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Old Nov 7th 2017, 3:03 pm   #1
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Default Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

Hello all,

O.H. and I are in the process of obtaining quotes for shipping to Vancouver. I had a visit from one company yesterday, PSS (Mods, am I allowed to use names?), due to their numerous accreditations and third party referral.

We live in a two bedroom flat and after completing his scan of the flat, I asked him for an approximate ball-park figure we could expect, he said if we shared a container we're looking at around £2800-£2900, which is much cheaper than hiring a sole container, though it will take longer to reach our destination (max 10 weeks v 6 weeks).

Today the PSS office has emailed me with a quotation for £4648 (for 640 cubic ft of shared container space)!!! I asked him why there was such a huuuge discrepancy between the approximate figure and the quotation, and I was merely told 'it's only approximate, he shouldn't have done that on site'. He then proceeded to supply me with a second quotation for the same container space in a SOLE container space... and this quote was £4250, which is cheaper than the shared container, contradicting what the on site surveyor said.

It's one thing to have differences in approximate figures v actual quotations (though not by 40%, surely???), and quite another with regard to pricing policy. I've rang the on-site surveyor and even he was surprised by the quotation figure. Fair play to him, he said he'll investigate and be back in touch with me tomorrow.

I just want to ask if anyone here has any advice on this issue of shipping companies, if there are any reputable ones anybody has had a good experience with... receiving that quote today has really put the w1ll1es up me, my wife's response was 'for that price we may as well chuck all our stuff away here and buy everything new in Canada' (not that she's suggesting it!). Please help!
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Old Nov 7th 2017, 3:10 pm   #2
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

We used Bishops Move back in 2009, we paid 4,300 pounds for a sole container, they came, they packed everything, provided all boxes and packing materials, they dealt with customs including a inventory list, when it arrived in Canada they unloaded the container and put the boxes furniture into the rooms we wanted.

we had a 3 bedroom house, which included OH carpentry business tools, 3 jukeboxes, a pinball machine, a craft room and the biggest shoe collection they had seen to date (oops)
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Old Nov 7th 2017, 3:26 pm   #3
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

When we moved, we found that there was a lot of room for negotiation once we had obtained a few quotes. In our case it was a sole container to Ontario.

We had the usual suspects come round but kind of knew who we wanted since they had an operation at both ends. They were the second most expensive, but a few phone calls later and the price reduced easily by 30% or so.

We didn't take the company's insurance, and instead used an insurer recommended on this forum. That saved some money, so definitely check that.
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Old Nov 7th 2017, 4:38 pm   #4
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

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Originally Posted by enak View Post
We had the usual suspects come round but kind of knew who we wanted since they had an operation at both ends. They were the second most expensive, but a few phone calls later and the price reduced easily by 30% or so.

What was the company? You're fine to mention the company name, the only rule affecting this is if you're advertising the company.
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Old Nov 7th 2017, 6:56 pm   #5
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

IIRC we paid Whites 3,500 pounds for the sole use of a 20 foot container in 2007. It took the entire contents of a 4 bed detached house. They packed and unpacked at each end and took all the packing materials with them.

Derbyshire to Calgary.
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Old Nov 7th 2017, 7:55 pm   #6
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

We moved (Rutland to Calgary) with Doree Bonner 9 yrs ago - service was excellent - cost about 3500 pounds for a 20ft container (it was full) and took about 6weeks. Quote and final invoice were pretty damn close and transit time was exact.

I've just recently had some dealings with Robinsons and have found them to be excellent too. Would highly recommend them.

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Old Nov 7th 2017, 8:07 pm   #7
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

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Originally Posted by Shakyuk View Post
What was the company? You're fine to mention the company name, the only rule affecting this is if you're advertising the company.
We went with Crown for the shipping, and Letton Percival for the insurance. Worked out well, but as I say - had to knock the price down some.
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Old Nov 7th 2017, 11:29 pm   #8
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

We moved a 20' container from N Ireland to Cape Breton in August. Used All-Route Shipping.. They were fantastic and flexible. We decided in the end to get the container dropped here for 4 days to self load, then they collected it and delivered to the house in CB. We offloaded it while the truck waited and all was perfect. They also do packing/unpacking too if you wish.

I just requested a quote for a 40' can for my stuff going out now.
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Old Nov 8th 2017, 1:58 am   #9
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

We moved this summer and went with Whites. They were just over £5500 for a sole use 20' container, packed and delivered, Somerset to the Okanagan. They were very efficient initially, and the packers were great (or so we though!). However once our stuff set off they were useless at keeping in touch, and even quite rude. We had no idea where our stuff was or when it would arrive!
The delivery guys were a complete joke... They made dumb and dumber seem like Einstein! They were supposed to meet me at customs in Penticton but went to Kelowna. They went missing for 6hours (i still have no idea what they were doing all that time!). When they eventually turned up they didn't have the correct paperwork. Thank God for a very patient customs official! They should have unloaded and unpacked but I didn't trust them, so I got them to put the stuff in the garage (even then they failed to fit the sofas in - my husband and I did it later). The boxes were misnumbered (several 21s but no 37 etc) and didnt correspond with the labelled contents. We're still not sure if we've got everything!
Ultimately we got our stuff, and other than the odd broken picture frame it was all ok, but it was rather stressful! Expensive,yes, but still cheaper than selling everything and buying new. Canada is expensive, and the initial costs when you first move are pretty eyewatering.
If you're unsure about whether to ship or not, I'd recommend listing all your goods with the price you'd get for selling them, then look at the cost of Canadian replacements.

Good luck! It is all worth it!
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Old Nov 8th 2017, 2:51 am   #10
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

The problem with recommending shipping companies is that they are not consistent so whilst a company may offer a great service from say their Liverpool office, the service from another office, say Cambridge, may be awful because it does depend on the actual personnel.
It's the same story with their Canadian partners as the company you select will dictate who will unload. We had excellent packers in the UK and utterly useless unpackers, who destroyed quite a few items, in Canada.
That said, get at least 3 or 4 companies in to quote and see what their volume estimates are in addition to the moving cost. We had one company where the assessor was so busy talking about himself that he gave a totally outlandish estimate effectively discounting his company because their price was so ridiculous. Once you have all of the estimates you can negotiate a lower price.
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Old Nov 8th 2017, 10:25 am   #11
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

Thanks everyone for the helpful advice, I'm still awaiting a call-back from the surveyor to clarify the discrepancy, however in the meantime I've done the sensible thing and already rung around and arranged quotes with other companies to compare.

Interestingly, I noted from looking at yesterday's quotation in detail that the surveyor had noted some of the furniture as to be flat-packed beforehand, but not all (such as a tall IKEA bookcase), which of course would have an impact on total volume.
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Old Nov 8th 2017, 4:39 pm   #12
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Pardew View Post
I just want to ask if anyone here has any advice on this issue of shipping companies, if there are any reputable ones anybody has had a good experience with... receiving that quote today has really put the w1ll1es up me, my wife's response was 'for that price we may as well chuck all our stuff away here and buy everything new in Canada' (not that she's suggesting it!). Please help!
Hi Dave,

A great place to start for shipping is to check out FIDI website for a list of FAIM certified international removal companies that serve your area to make sure whoever you're using is fully qualified, licensed and independently vetted for overseas moving, and to get at least 3 quotes to allow you to compare. Having 3 means that you can more easily benchmark if anyone is way out (on volume/price or service spec) and may have overlooked something or got something wrong. There are sometimes oddities when you reach certain volumes for certain locations where groupage isn't necessarily cheaper (because of the extra handling), i'd ask them to explain to you why that cost became higher - there could be a good explanation or it could have been an error!

There are lots more tips about choosing reputable removals companies, and your different shipping options and comparing quotes over on our vendor forum for International Removals advice. Hope it helps!
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Old Nov 8th 2017, 7:17 pm   #13
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

Check out the wiki page about Shipping as well, the last section also goes through recommendations. Shipping-Canada : British Expat Wiki

(We did a shared container with Robinsons and insurance with Letton Percival.)
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Old Nov 12th 2017, 1:16 pm   #14
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

Hi, I am having the same trouble, I have had quotes for a 20 foot Container, part house move, one started at over £6000, it's slowly going down in price, still not happy, can anyone reccomend a reasonable priced container+shipping to Manitoba from Yorkshire. Last question how long have you got till you move to Canada, I have all paperwork done passed, been to Canada had all I am going to take passed, PR delivered to my Address in Canada, thank you for your help.....
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Old Nov 12th 2017, 1:23 pm   #15
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Default Re: Shipping company is driving me mad! Please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaman View Post
Hi, I am having the same trouble, I have had quotes for a 20 foot Container, part house move, one started at over £6000, it's slowly going down in price, still not happy, can anyone reccomend a reasonable priced container+shipping to Manitoba from Yorkshire. Last question how long have you got till you move to Canada, I have all paperwork done passed, been to Canada had all I am going to take passed, PR delivered to my Address in Canada, thank you for your help.....
Once you have landed and had your goods to follow list stamped there is no time limit for those goods to enter. You could leave them in the UK for 20 years and still bring them. Just make sure goods don't arrive before you do unless they are going into a sufferance warehouse to be stored which also costs money.

You get what you pay for when moving and there are companies who are highly recommended by some but not by others. If well packed most make it without damage but remember the Atlantic isn't exactly a pond as some like to call it as **** happens.
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