Getting Down Under Australia
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Shipping our goods to Australia – First quote received

Well, the next stage in our whole moving process kicked off this week with our first formal quotation from a shipping company. It proved to be a useful and informative visit.

A representative from White and Company came to visit and had a good look at all the stuff we want to take so that they could give us a rough estimate of the amount of storage space we would need and therefore advise if we needed to book a full container or could share a container with someone else.

The advantage of taking a full twenty foot container is that it gets there quicker as they don’t need to wait for the remainder of the container to be filled by someone else before its sent.

A 20 ft container gives you 1150 cubic feet of storage apparently, anything over half of this (lets say 600 cubic feet) needs to go in a full container, anything less then 600 cubic feet goes in what is refereed to as ‘groupage’ (shared).

After doing a full review of our stuff were looking at 650 cubic feet. I.e. borderline.

Having a full container would be good as we could take more then we originally planned, having said that moving to Australia is a great chance to spring clean.

Things are never as good as they look are they?

For me, this is a real necessity. Being a typical bloke I have about 30 years of crap that I’ve kept ‘just in case’. I blame my dad for this :)

There is also the all important cost element to bare in mind.

A twenty foot container from White and Company, sent to Australia would cost us £3,500! A guestimate for our 600 cubic foot is approx. £1800. We’ll be going for the half container I think!

We should easily be able to get under the 600 cubic feet. The footage is calculated by the number of boxes you’ll take and half of the boxes that we have already packed are only half full.

As well as the boxes of stuff we’ll be taking, we are also taking our bed (which is about 6 months old and cost us over £1000 new – think Nasa space foam mattress), our TV (2 years old) stereo and some nursery stuff (you never know) like the little lads old cot, changing table, etc.

There’s actually a lot of stuff but it will all go in half a container say the experts.

Some interesting things that we’ve picked up which should be kept in mind when shipping your stuff to Australia:

  • You can’t ship out any wicker, bamboo or natural fibres
  • With your shoes, they have to be thoroughly cleaned, the cleaner the better (with the recommendation being that you use strong disinfectant on the soles that is so strong that it can be smelt if checked!)
  • It’s recommended that for shoes and cloths, take them with you when you fly out. Remember you get double the baggage allowance (40 – 50 kg) on many airlines when flying one way to Australia (with the sole purpose being to emigrate) so use the extra space for shoes and other similar items.
  • Any electrical items shipped that are less then 12 months old are subject to import tax
  • All items need to be categorised and boxed separately. I.e. China goes in one box, glass goes in a separate box and bedding goes in another – no cross packing.
Another way in which moving to Australia can upset your parents

This latter point is because the import guys in Aus will select 3 – 5 boxes at random for checking so only the stuff labelled on the box should be found in it.

No chance for accidental mix ups either! The shippers need to check everything packed to ensure its labelled correctly so it looks like a lot of the stuff we’ve already bubblewrapped will need to be unwrapped.

I’m assuming they need to sign a declaration themselves confirming there are no illegal substances or objects being shipped so in a way this makes sense.

It will take 14 – 16 weeks for our shared container to arrive (if you took a full container of your own you’d be looking at between 12 – 14 weeks.

We need to dismantle the bed and any other large items and take all of the stuff out of the loft before packing.

Lots to do by the sounds of it.

Busy Busy Busy

The in-laws used White and company when they moved to Australia earlier this year and they were ‘quite happy’ with the service.

So far they seem to know what they are doing. Time to get a couple more quotes in first though.

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Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia. Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assistance. If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Community Forums. Please note All information provided on Getting Down Under should be considered in conjunction with our disclaimer. Please seek professional advice if you have any doubts! 

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