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5 common shipping mistakes and how to avoid them

by Kobus Van den Bergh | Apr 05, 2017
  • Anyone who has ever shipped goods overseas will know there’s always a certain amount of anxiety that comes with waiting for your belongings to arrive at their destination. We’ve rounded up some of the most common shipping mistakes and how to avoid them.
    Ship and boxes in harbour

    1.     Choosing the wrong shipping method

    There are certain things you need to consider when deciding how to get your goods to their destination. The most important considerations are: Urgency of delivery, ultimate destination and budget.

    If you are moving exceptionally large items, shipping by sea is most likely the right option for you. Most airlines permit only one piece of carry-on cabin luggage and around 20kg of luggage in the cargo hold. Airlines charge exorbitant extra baggage costs if you exceed this limit. Unaccompanied airfreight is a more cost-effective alternative.

    2.     Not insuring your goods

    While you’ll probably take every precaution to protect your possessions when you’re packing, there can be no guarantees when it comes to shipping items across the world.

    Unfortunately, accidents happen and if they do, you want to be able to claim back any losses you may have incurred. Insurance is the best way to do this; most marine transit insurance covers all risks of loss or damage in transit.

    3.     Packaging errors

    The best way to protect your goods from damage is to use suitable packaging to keep them safe. Breakable goods need to be placed in the centre of boxes and packed tightly to prevent any movement in transit.

    The fool proof option is to get your goods professionally packed. This will usually come at an extra cost, but will ensure your goods are packed exactly the right way.

    4.     Failing to read the contract properly

    Remember to always read the fine print before signing a contract or agreeing to an estimate. Ensure that your goods are going to get where they need to be by the agreed upon time, and if not, the firm you choose should take responsibility for this.

    5.     Using the wrong shipping company

    If you choose an inexperienced freight firm, your consignment could never arrive. It’s best to stick with a cost-effective, reputable firm to ensure that your goods reach their final destination without a hitch.

    You should also ensure that the firm you choose takes care of everything from start to finish, including ensuring that you meet various trade laws that come into play when transporting goods to different countries.

    We’ll make sure your excess baggage gets to where it needs to be. Our online tracking system allows you to track your possessions every step of the way. Contact us on +44 (0) 80 8141 5520 or pop us an email on

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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