The truck donated by Wes Loomis of Loomis Truck and Tractor was finally ready.
The frame and bed had been lengthened, rear axle moved back, the hoist was
rebuilt and mounted, a large generator strapped to the bed along with some tanks
and other items. All was ready. Now to get it to Guatemala.
We usually ship trucks from Florida or Texas and we have driven them down
across Mexico, but it is a long drive. Gary checked with our shipping agent and
learned that the port of Seattle would only handle containers, and this had to be
shipped “breakbulk cargo.” This is cargo or goods that must be loaded
individually, and not in intermodal containers nor in bulk as with oil or grain. Gary
began to contact people who might have some ideas on how to do it.
Finally, Gary was referred to an agent who had a connection to ship out of
Tacoma, Washington and eventually he was in contact with Bryan O’Dell of
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean. They are a Norwegian/Swedish shipping company
that specializes in shipping cars, trucks and heavy equipment worldwide. They
have large roll-on roll-off vessels and could ship out of Tacoma.
As it turned out, (as it often does when the Good Lord is the shipping agent) Mr.
O’Dell has been to Guatemala many times and was very interested in what Water
for Life is doing in Guatemala. He worked with his manager, the Pricing Team
and Operations and was able to elevate the request and get the WFL truck a free
ride on one of their vessels. The only charge from them would be the charge of the
“3 rd party carrier” from Panama to Guatemala. The loading of the truck in Tacoma
and shipping to their hub in Panama was 100% free of charge. What a blessing for
Water for Life and our donated truck.
Gary’s nephew, Don, drove the truck on the shake-down run from Spokane to
Graham, Washington, which is near Tacoma. They took it to Jon Hansen who is a
co-owner of Tacoma Pump and Drilling and a WFL volunteer. The truck made it
into their yard with no issues. This is a good truck!
Meanwhile, Gary and I worked on getting the paperwork together for the shipment.
There was some issue with getting the title released and properly in the name of
Water for Life. Wes Loomis took care of that. Gary had to sign a Power of
Attorney for the shipping company. I made up a document on WFL letterhead to
certify that Gary was the Vice President of WFL. Everything had to be notarized
and looking as official as possible. We have learned that the more notarizations
and seals and ribbons that can be attached to a document, the less trouble the
Guatemalan officials seem to have with them. I guess if it looks right, it is right.
The truck will be loaded onto the WW Ocean vessel Oberon and must be in-gated
to the port on Jan 14. The Oberon will leave the port of Tacoma on Jan 18. I trust
the truck will make the port and make the ship and then get through customs into
our hands and start a second life in the highland jungles of Guatemala, bringing
live and health to the folks there.
Thank you for all the good folks who made this possible. If you would like to be
part of something good, part of something that changes lives, part of something
bigger than yourself, come and join us. If you can’t come, donate so someone who
can come, will.