White and Company finally get our stuff down under

White and Company finally get our stuff down under - Optimized blue ocean1 - Getting Down Under australian-customs, packers, white-and-company

White and Company storage boxes, this time sat in one of our bedrooms in Western Australia

The 19th of November 2006 was a pretty momentous date for us as it was the day that White and Company packed and removed 96 boxes worth of stuff and we finally felt that we were on our way to a new life down under (the following week we were).

Over four months later, we have been reunited with our 96 boxes of ‘stuff’.

I think it’s fair to say that 20 weeks is a lot longer then we originally expected we’d have to wait before being reunited with our possessions again.

Admittedly, we had a shared container which meant it may have been sat at White and Companies depot for a little while whilst they waited to fill the other half with another customer’s possessions but 20 weeks? Phew!

In general the service from White and Company has been pretty good but like our good chums at the Halifax, they seemed sadly lacking in the proactivity department as time progressed.

There had been a number of delays (for whatever reason) once our container arrived in Fremantle and it was unfortunate that we were never given a realistic updates from White and Company or their Aussie counterparts to advise us what was going on.

It was only when we phoned the guys (several times) that we got any kind of update. Still at least it’s all here now.

Is everything still in one piece?

Before we made our own journey down under, I had read a number of horror stories from people who had shipped some or all of their own stuff out to Australia.

Some folks wrote about the time when their whole shipping container got tossed over the edge of the ship during high winds. Some spoke about how all of their boxes were ruined by heavy handed customs officials whilst others warned that you should prepare to have some of your stuff looted by crooked thieves!

I’m really not sure how true some of these stories were but at time of typing I’m relieved to say that everything appears to be accounted for, in the sense that we have the same number of boxes we left with and as you can see in the picture (which shows about 10% of the boxes) they are in good condition.

All is not perfect and there has been some confusion however.

Who changed our boxes?

Bizarrely, some of our boxes have been repacked. We’re not sure why or by whom but some of the stuff we packed has been unpacked from the originally boxes and repacked in new ones without any kind of explanation.

In addition, the inventory we were provided by White and company in the UK which was effectively a list with box numbers on one side and contents on the other doesn’t really match up. It seems that at some point between leaving our house in the UK and arriving in Australia many of the boxes have been renumbered!

Those Essential items were not really….well, essential

It’s not going to be for some time before we can verify that everything has arrived in one piece.

Since undertaking the worlds biggest shop and buying sundry other ‘essential’ items, a lot of the stuff will remain in its boxes until we make the final move from rented accommodation into our own home.

We should still have a decent idea about the state of everything within the next couple of weeks though as we’ll still need to check every box so we can report any breakages or losses back to White and Company.

Even though we only brought out half a shipping containers worth of stuff, in hindsight, we could have left a lot more back in the UK.

Because it takes so long for thing to get out here it’s only natural that you buy the things you need in order to get by. Once you’ve got by for four months you can pretty much manage without all of those ‘essentials’ and you start asking yourself why you brought any of this stuff in the first place.

Having said that, items like junior’s favourite toys and teddies, our photographs, DVD / CD collection, and maternity cloths for the missus have been welcomed back with open arms.

Anyway, it’s done now and it’s another thing crossed off the list. I’ll write another entry in the future to give my final thoughts (Jerry Springer style) on White and company once we’ve done a full review on the condition and content (or lack) within the boxes.

There is also a small mater of a refund due from White and Company that we’ll need to chase.

We were quoted and paid for half a container but by the time we had packed everything we realised that we had actually used a fair bit less.

It was a condition of White and Company doing the move that we had to pay the full amount upfront and they’ll refund the difference if there was one.

As they’ve not come back to us about this (surprise surprise) it looks like it’ll but up to us to chase this. Hopefully there will be nothing untoward to report :)



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    Stephen Kerrigan
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    Stephen Kerrigan

    Hi Mark, In hindsight do you wish you didn’t use a container or was it worth it. We are going throught he motions asking all these questions before we get ready to move to Perth hopefully by 2010-11. I have spoke to 2 mates in Perth who shipped out full containers. One said you have a load of taxes and extra delivery charges to pay on arrival in Oz bumping total cost to over 5k! Maybe he paid more to start with as we are all from N.Ireland, maybe the ships cost more to sail from here? I was just… Read more »