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Obtaining Supplies in American Samoa

By Sue Richards last modified Jul 17, 2009 09:10 PM

Published: 2009-07-17 21:10:45
Countries: American Samoa

If you come to American Samoa with the intention of obtaining marine equipment, you probably will have to order it from outside.

The only marine equipment available here is what might be used on a large tuna fishing boat. You could save yourself weeks of time if you were to order your needed equipment before you arrive. The exception to this being items small enough to be shipped by the US Postal Service. Even with USPS deliveries are slow and inefficient. Priority mail only comes in once a week and we feel that the local post office staff are not efficient at locating packages in general delivery. In other words, if you are expecting something and they tell you it is not in, go back later and try again.

We came to American Samoa needing to replace our house bank of batteries and our dinghy. After wasting a week looking for batteries and the dinghy locally, we resorted to ordering from the USA. Cruisers in the anchorage referred us to a local shipping agent and a battery supplier in California. We wish we had known the following in advance, so we could have saved much time by contacting the local shipping agent and having things on the way before our arrival.

Batteries being classified as hazardous cargo must be carried as cargo on a ship. The time involved in ordering and receiving is at minimum three weeks and possibly as much as six weeks. A ship leaves the USA for American Samoa every two weeks. Your cargo must be delivered to a consolidator in California for placement on the ship. The inflatable boat we ordered, because of its size and weight, was also much less expensive to ship by sea than by air.

The local shipping agent we used is: Ziggy Vollrath of CSL Deliveries, Ltd, in American Samoa. His telephone and e-mail are: (684) 699-4800, pagoziggy@gmail.com. Ziggy is efficient and knowledgable. He will provide you with the consolidator information.

For batteries we used Jeff Struiksma of Battery Systems, Inc. His information is (562) 244-5790, jeff@batterysystems.net. Several boats here have used him and we found him to be efficient and responsive to our needs.

The dinghy we purchased from Sunset Inflatables and Marine. The website is: www.sunsetinflatables.com . They also were efficient and responsive to our special needs.

Both suppliers are located in southern California near the Port of Los Angeles. Just for your information, shipping eight 6 volt golf cart batteries cost $379.80, and the inflatable came to $180.50. There is no sales tax or duty involved.

Donald Bryden

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