Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 27 October 2020

Shipping tips for UAE expats returning home

Shipping your goods home sounds easy enough but there are several factors to consider to ensure the quote you are offered is the right one for your needs.
There are plenty of factors to consider when shipping belongings home. Reem Mohammed / The National
There are plenty of factors to consider when shipping belongings home. Reem Mohammed / The National

In this week’s Money section we looked at the financial pitfalls expats must consider when returning to their home nations after leaving the UAE - from transferring money to tax and their credit score.

But leavers also need to pay to ship their worldly possessions. During the years spent living in the UAE, expats can accumulate vast amounts of personal possessions. According to Bana Shomali of MoveSouq, the average quote asked for by UAE residents is for a 20-foot container (25 to 28 cubic metres of possessions).

But when evaluating any quote from a shipping company, Ms Shomali says residents must check the inclusions and exclusions page first to make sure they are comparing apples to apples.

“Pay close attention to packing and unpacking services, customs charges and any additional charges,” Ms Shomali adds. “If you’re pressed for time, air shipment or at least a dedicated container shipment will ensure your goods are delivered on time.”

Remember, the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best, so here are some other factors movers should grill their chosen shipping company on before signing a contract:

• Beyond 16 cubic metres, groupage is not cost-effective — you might as well choose an individual container.

• Do you need special crating for fragile mirrors and paintings? Is this free or extra?

• Will it cost extra to remove light fittings and curtains? Will holes be filled and painted over?

• What is their estimated date for filling your shared shipping container, if you’re going groupage? If you use a smaller company, this may take longer.

• If you’re choosing groupage and the actual shipping date is unknown, is storage free until then?

• What is the handling charge and cost per cubic metre for storage at both ends?

• Is storage air-conditioned or is it ambient / heat-controlled?

• Is it a door-to-door service? You don’t want to be handling customs yourself.

• Is there a different agent being used at the other end?

• Will shelves, tables etc be reassembled when delivered to your new home?

• What can’t you ship? For instance, you can’t ship liquids (including toiletries or perishables), but you could possibly include relatively expensive things such as dishwasher tablets that you don’t want to dump.

• Can you negotiate? Not just on price but things like crating or filling and painting over holes.

• And don’t forget to take out insurance. Factors to consider here include the type of insurance you want. Total loss, for instance, would cover, water damage to your entire shipment. All risks could cover damage or theft of an individual box. It’s like the difference between third party or fully comprehensive car insurance. Also find out, what the excess you would have to pay if making a claim and the amount of time you have to make a claim. You may be leaving it in storage for some time before it finally arrives at your destination, so is this covered under the insurance?


Updated: January 5, 2016 04:00 AM

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