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House and Carriage News

Friday, May 15, 2015 by Jon Ellard

Your move: International Shipping FAQs

Moving abroad can be a logistical nightmare. There is so much to consider with cargo insurance and international shipping costs - not to mention planning the move and getting it all packed up and ready for removal.


Your move: International Shipping FAQs

Here are some quick FAQs to help you navigate the risky waters of shipping and international removals. 

Q. How is shipping internationally different from local UK moves? 

A. If you ship nationally, you’ve only got a few trucks transporting your items from A to B. If you’re going further afield, you have to think about getting everything into a truck, which will then take it onto a shipping service to send abroad (by rail, air, land or sea) and then load it back onto another truck at the other end to take to your final location. As a result things need to be handled a bit differently. You’ll need to reinforce your boxes so they don’t crumple, there will be packing requirements for different carriers that you’ll need to adhere to, and you’ll have to quantify the size and type of container that you’ll need for your belongings (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg).

Q. How much will international shipping cost?

A. There are a few international shipping calculators out there designed to give you a rough figure, but finding a good cost effective way to ship can be difficult. There are so many carriers and fees to consider. Going with a company that provides a door to door service (like House and Carriage) will ensure you get the best price for the whole move, instead of a different price for every leg of the journey – making your move really complex! 

Q. Do I need shipping insurance?

A. When you add in so many extra aspects of your move, you multiply the chances of something going awry. Shipping insurance is absolutely key for covering you for any breakages, loss or extended delays. There are a lot of choices though, so you’ll need to decide what kind of insurance you’ll need…

Q. What’s the difference between ‘marine cargo’ and ‘goods in transit’ freight insurance, do I need both of these?

  • Marine cargo insurance: This isn’t just limited to boats, it covers loss, damage or delay to goods carried in a vessel, by road, train or in an aircraft hold. (It is worth discussing with your removals specialist if they have marine cargo and the limitations of this. You will need to take out your own policy if you require something specific). Alternatively discuss your insurance requirements with us and we’ll help you decide on the right package.

  • Freight insurance: This tends to be the insurance that your haulier or carrier will have. Freight covers all goods in transit. It mostly covers theft, loss and damage occurring while the carrier has your goods on their transport. Discuss with your removals company what type of freight insurance they have. Some operators won’t have this insurance so buyers beware – always ask what type of insurance is offered as standard. 

Q. Will I need to handle customs? 

A. When you add an international element to a move there may be caveats to what you can send. Some of your cargo might be susceptible to scrutiny and extra levy from customs and excise. You’ll need to check that what you are moving is compliant with EU and specific country rules regarding what can and can’t be admitted into the country. Ideally, you will leave this to your shipper to arrange – if you provide them with the right information they will tie the customs declaration in with the shipment. 

Q. What about groupage? 

A. If your items won’t completely fill a shipping container, then you might end up paying for a load of space that you haven’t actually used. Groupage allows you to share your container with another party or parties so you share the cost of shipping (split according to container volume). So if you’ve got a small move, it might be worth going down the groupage route. Groupage items need to be packed incredibly well because they get handled many times in transit. 

Q. How can House and Carriage help me with my international move?

A. We’ve mentioned only the basics of a move abroad and these alone require a lot of research and careful planning. If you choose House and Carriage to help you with your international move, we’ll do everything for you, making your life easier and removing the challenges and hassles involved in an overseas relocation. This includes…

  • Tracking down and advising you of the best rates for your international consignments

  • Wrapping and packing your belongings to international standards

  • Getting your items through customs 

  • Taking your belongings from A to B – no extra carriers required

  • Quantifying how much space you’ll need in a container 

  • Providing full and specific shipping insurance cover

  • Storage facilities if you need them in the interim  

  • Arranging receiving agents

Talk to us, we’ll simplify the process with our complete international shipping service. 

We are always happy to hear from you if you have any questions →
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