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Advice on shipping companies (Aus-UK) - paying ourselves

(6 Posts)
Smidge001 Mon 04-Jan-16 06:59:20

Hi, my husband and I are moving from Sydney to England and trying to select a suitable shipping company.

On the way out here I used GMS, who were great value and provided a great service. Unfortunately I've discovered they went bankrupt about a year ago!

I've had several quotes and so far our contenders are Kent International, and OSS.

Kent seem to be cheaper, and have been more forthcoming with information. However, they are sure the pick up will take 2 days and are a bit more uneasy about us pre-packing boxes rather than having them do them all.

OSS seem to be a bigger organisation and understand our wish to prepack, agreeing that if we leave the boxes open and provide full inventory lists they can still mark them as packed by them. (A lot better for customs). They also reckon they can pick up in one day.

I think Kent will cope with us prepacking in the end (they have offered to drop off materials in advance) but I'm still a bit more concerned. However the chap was nicer to deal with!

OSS are being painful about telling me whether they can match Kent's quote and want to have a detailed inventory in advance even though I'm just asking like for like - ie price for 21m3.

Price for Kent is AU$8k.
OSS AU$8.5k.

I know it's not a huge difference (though every bit helps at that figure!!) so am looking for any advice from any mumsnetters who have used either company. I've tried google but it seems a lot of the reviews are false.

ifink Mon 04-Jan-16 07:57:23

Hi Smidge, we used Kent very recently for two shipments - small one to the UK, big one to SE Asia. We haven't had our stuff arrive yet so can only comment on the packing process......they were brilliant - v quick, really polite and efficient. I personally wouldn't want to do any of the packing anyway and I assume their reluctance for you to do it is due to insurance reasons?? Is there a particular reason why you want to pack it yourself?

Smidge001 Mon 04-Jan-16 12:01:38

Thanks ifink. I think it's customs related rather than insurance - if customs know the company packed the boxes they trust their contents more than the random joe blogs!

I'm glad they seemed efficient and polite at this end. I'd like to think that would indicate whoever they partner with at the other end would be similar.

Did the price/volume tie up with what they originally quoted?

The only reason we want to pack some things ourselves this time is that we're only sending over some of our things, and will be keeping some back to continue to use here for a couple of months, before selling/storing any leftovers. The trouble is it would take forever (and I'd need to be in four rooms at once) to oversee them pack, as I'd be saying "those 3 glasses, these 8 mugs, these 4 bowls but no - leave these ones behind, don't pack that one... This wardrobe is staying but please pack these bedside tables" Etc etc! It's so much more complicated than on the way over here when I just asked them to pack everything. <sigh>.

ifink Tue 05-Jan-16 22:40:42

Hi. For our small shipment to the UK (paying ourselves), the price/volume was fine - in fact we went slightly over the volume when they came to pack but didn't charge us anymore than the quote.
On the pack thing, could you put items in one room and label furniture bits appropriately? we did this to a certain extent, put all our UK stuff in one pile, some even in boxes and labelled the furniture which was going.

SavoyCabbage Tue 05-Jan-16 22:56:26

We just used oss in December from Melbourne. We went to Australia with Kent but they wouldn't let us do any of our packing ourselves from Australia. We wanted the do some of the packing as it seemed to be a good way of getting rid of stuff.

We had a quote from Pickfords too and all three quotes were pretty similar. A few hundred dollars between Pickfords and oss with Kent being higher but doing all of the packing.

We went through all the quotes and compared the volume that they quoted and they were all similar too.

Oss came on two days. One to 'pack and wrap' and one to 'lift'. They came at 7.30am and were gone by 2pm on the first day and 10.30 on the second day.

They didn't say 'it says her 24 boxes and you have 30' or anything like that which I had been worried about! And at the end when there was space left they wrapped an extra sofa and the barbecue which weren't on the list and put them in.

Smidge001 Wed 06-Jan-16 22:02:13

Thanks Savoy. We've picked OSS in the end - took a while but they did agree to reduce the price to match Kent, but the main reason we went with them was that they were more comfortable with us doing some of the packing - and given we were doing some of the packing they have said they will manage it all in one day. Fingers crossed they are right - our boxes arrived this morning.

Have you been invoiced for any extras? I was told that the packers aren't able to assess the space so although they'll happily pack more things into the container if there's room, the shipment is still measured when it gets to the warehouse and any overs (or unders.. hmm) will be billed back to us.

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