Select Your Shipping Provider
There are more shipping companies than anyone could count. From the man and a van who acts as a broker to sell the services of a bigger company to large global companies who have their own storage units, trucks and staff around the world.
The price, expertise and quality of service is as diverse as the variety of shipping companies. This is our top tips to selecting a provider as some insider secrets they would prefer you did not know.
Many of us fail to read the small print but when it comes to shipping companies it is vital you take your time and read every word. No two companies are the same and their level of cover and commitment to you will vary a great deal. If your treasured possessions arrive damaged you will be thousands of miles from home and you need to know your shipping company will help you.
2) Don't Spend Money On Unnecessary Insurance
Some shipping companies make most of their profits selling insurance. Their markup can be hundreds or even thousands more than it should be. Do not get caught up in the idea your possessions are worth more than they actually are, no matter how lovely the sales person tells you they look. Set a realistic replacement value and stick to it.
3) Store or Sell
Storage of items can be expensive and often not worth the money. Shipping companies will charge for storage if they can not deliver your items. That means if you are not sure if your furniture will fit into your home you may need to pay for storage.
In our experience furniture that looks good in one country often looks out of place in another. I always say sell what you can and only keep the most sentimental items. I would never export a vehicle for example, but granddad's ashes might be allowed to come with me!
4) Ensure the container is big enough in the quote
Some companies will aim to be as competitive as possible to win the quote. Salespeople rarely pack a container, so on the day of the move, you may find they cannot fit something in. This may result in a few issues ranging from the company trying to sell you additional space over budget, your items going in separate shipments or the item being left in the house!
All this can be avoided by ensuring the sales person is being realistic in their quote and offering enough room on the boat. Compare other quotes to ensure they are offering the same or more.
5) Registered with BAR or other bodies
Shipping companies can be members of a governing body. An organisation like BAR not only helps the shipping company but also should bring you peace of mind knowing your items will be in safe hands door to door. Ask about their governing and check them out with the body they refer to. It is important to see they are a reputable company.
4) Packing your home up
Packing material can be expensive and some companies will try to save money in the area on your quote. The way your items are packed will ultimately determine how they look when you unpack them. Insist on the best possible packing material and if possible as them to pack as most shipping companies have brilliant packers who have seen the damage a poor job can do.
There are some fantastic shipping companies who do a great job at very low prices in my opinion. There are also companies who overcharge and under deliver. This is one area you want to get right as writing a letter of complaint after you have emigrated is too little, too late.
If you are a shipping company and would like us to mention you ask for a review or if you are thinking about using a shipping company let us know who they are and where you are from and going to.