Tag Archives: gimmy liu

Moving to Sweden with Less-than-Container-Load Freight

Congratulations to all of you who were offered a placement in a Swedish school!

Exciting! I hope you have packed your bags and ready to jump on the first plane to Sweden…wait

Now, “packing” is quite a dirty word! I recommend packing an efficient suitcase and buy things as you need locally. But see flowchart below.

moving to sweden flowchart

I was in a different situation. My family didn’t live in Canada while I was planning my move to Sweden (rather silly… right after I settled my move, my father got a job transfer to Canada. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog now). Så, I had no where to store my stuff…

I have a ton of stuff (literally, 102kg): snowboard, 2x skis, car, 4 winter tires, kitchen stuff, desktop computer, bedding, sleeping bags, books, camping stuff, bike (got stolen, thank you thief)…a lot of cloth for 5 seasons and apocalypse…


Medium value goods:

It would cost approximately the same as buying it in Sweden.

After a few hours of detailed MARR (Minimum Attractive Rate of Return), Engineering Economics, and beer drinking (mostly beer drinking), I came up with three solutions.

1/ Throw away all my stuff & buy new in Sweden.

2/ Drive to Sweden with a fully loaded car.

3/ Ocean Freight (like the big containers you see trucks hauling around, yep)

4/ Pack dense things into boxes and mail it to myself.


Ok, I had at least $2000 worth of goods. 1/ Throw away all my stuff & buy new in Sweden. I don’t want to have a car in Sweden. Period. 2/ Drive to Sweden with a fully loaded car. Mailing it to myself? The cost is a function of volume. I have too much low density stuff (like cloth and blanket, etc.) The size of boxes is too large… not cost effective. 4/ Pack dense things into boxes and mail it to myself.

My Spanish and Italian housemates all mailed stuff from their home countries.


Upon research, I found this thing called Less-than-Container-Load (acronym LCL Cargo). Terrific. That is EXACTLY what I am looking for.

Definition: Less-than-container load


How to LCL Ocean Freight?


Step 1: organize

Figure out how much stuff do you ACTUALLY need to ship. Ie. Volume, weight

Then get an instant quote from a local shipping company. (google it)

$250 bucks for 1 cubic meter 100kg of stuff, DEAL!

canadian shipping lcl cost

Step 2: find a skid

Usually around supermarket…

NB! Make sure it has a “HT” (heat treated) mark on BOTH side of the skid. Otherwise they won’t allow it (preventing bugs from traveling without visa).

Step 3: pack & play Tetris

Get some big plastic container and start filling it up.

Get all your boxes to fit within the volume given in the quote.


Step 4: book your shipment

Inform your shipping company about 2 weeks ahead is fine.

Step 5: pay

Swedish side: cost depends on the receiving company in Sweden. The shipping company in Toronto was not be able to tell me. Ok, can’t cost that much € I thought.


Step 6: fly to Sweden

It took about 2 weeks to sail across the ocean, but it took about 4 weeks from handing over to the company in Toronto to receiving it in Sweden.

Step 7: the company will contact you once your stuff is here, but your phone number is…

No worries, once I received my Bill of Lading, I called the Swedish shipping company to update my phone number to the Swedish one.

Step 8: pay the Swedes

Så, about 400 SEK terminal fee, 500 SEK handling fee, if you want them to deliver it to your doorstep: 600 SEK (I didn’t have a car, I could have called a taxi and saved a little bit there…not worth my time)

That is almost as expensive as shipping across the Atlantic.

If you want the shipping company to do your “import customs” work that is another 500 SEK. Nej tack!

Step 9: customs & import tax

Since these are my personal effects and I am a student, I brought proof of my residency and student status to the custom office. The office is difficult to find, it is about 45 mins outside of Göteborg, near the Volvo museum. Cliché.


Step 10: wait for delivery

Welcome to your new home swede home!



Since I used my airline points and paid only €2 for my flight from New York City to Stockholm, the LCL freight cost was neutralized.

I hope I will NEVER have to move again.


see you soon!





Why Swedes wear Boxer Briefs? and you should too.

When you take off your pants (in a changing room or any other occasion), it is quite a solemn act (or at least it shouldn’t be a stand up comedy).

[Disclaimer: this blog is written for those with a great sense of humour. Reader discretion advised. Please take these advise seriously when you move here next year…or suffer the grave consequences. And no, I don’t work at Björn Borg. But our blogger Angelina did something there. She actually understands fashion.]

While sipping beers with a female colleague the topic of boxers sprung up as we discussed cultural differences… with female perspectives. Her story goes: a Swedish guy moved to the US when he was 12. The kids in his gym class made fun of him for wearing boxer briefs. Poor guy. Americans like boxers. Cultural differences. You guys know the definitions of the different types of underwear right?


[Source: http://www.mylespaul.com]

She mentioned most foreigners wear boxers and most Swedes wear boxer briefs. Remember last time, I mentioned how the Swedes like slim-fitted jeans, while the rest of the world is “relaxed fit”. Today I want to talk about why wearing boxer brief will save your life!


So, Swedish guys wear boxer-briefs.


The most famous Swedish designer underwear brand is Björn Borg (have you read Fashion expert Angelina’s blog?). You often see Björn’s name hovering over people’s butt cracks.




I will give you two motivations with solid engineering proof why you should switch to boxer briefs… especially for Sverige.

#1. Insulation

See comic below & Agreed… (No, you don’t want the breeze, not in the Swedish winter)2009-03-26_LOB_BOXERS OR BRIEFS

[Source: http://legendofbill.com]

#2. Better pressure distribution/ Lower load transfer/ Lower acceleration

I learned about physical forces acting on a human body during car crash in my Vehicle Traffic Safety class. Important to note, the slack in the seatbelt increases deceleration (bad news). So tighten up those seatbelts.

Like seatbelt, tighter next-to-skin underwear system reduces the maximum deceleration of a man’s reproductive system. That’s desirable.

Screenshot 2014-12-31 18.15.36

[Source: http://www.directindustry.com]

Don’t believe me? We also learned to use simulation software called LS DYNA, where you can visualize stresses in a structure and deformation of a vehicle structure during a crash. Normally it does this… Silverado-sm

[Source: http://sun1.eta.com]

But it also does this…(red and pink indicate high stress)

Screenshot 2014-12-31 18.17.55

[Source: http://www.oasys-software.com/dyna/en/software/ls-dyna/applications/other.shtml]

I promise I came across this by accident! I couldn’t find anything for men’s underwear. But I imagine, like a sports bra, boxer briefs offer better support… umm maybe I will propose this for master’s thesis… don’t steal my idea.


If you are still uncertain about the switch, this is what celebrities wear: (this made me laugh! I had NO idea where they got this info from)

Bono – usually commando, sometimes boxers

Chris Brown – boxer briefs

Michael Buble – briefs

David Cameron – boxers

Gimmy Liu – x3 thick thermal boxers with polar bear claw resistance fabric (Kevlar)

Bill Clinton – briefs

Russell Crowe – boxers

Tom Cruise – briefs

Jonas Brothers – boxer briefs

Michael Phelps – boxer briefs

Brad Pitt – seen in boxers but admits to liking briefs

[Source: http://thotlady.com]

To all the engineers out there, here is a flowchart for you!


[Source: http://www.esquire.com]






Next time I will talk about benefits wearing of high heels for you ladies.

Screenshot 2014-12-31 18.14.24

[Source: http://www.arupassociates.com]