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Seven things to look out for in a shipping agency

by Kobus Van den Bergh | May 28, 2014
  • Shipping your goods abroad can add to the stress of relocating, if you choose a shoddy shipping agency. But a reliable agency will ensure a stress-free experience, avoiding any unwanted surprises along the way. The key word here: reliability.
    83_Seven-things-to-look-out-for-in-a-shipping-agency
    1. Easy online quote

      Your shipping agency should give you a quote without having to leave your home, deal with tons of paper work or spend ages on the telephone. It's the 21st century - if you're not online, you're behind.

    2. Sufficient choices for shipping your cargo

      Your agency should give you the option to choose the mode of transport that suits your final destination, urgency and budget, letting you choose to ship your goods by road, sea or air. If transport options are limited, skip it.

    3. Track your goods online

      Never lose track of your goods again. We all know someone whose prized parakeet somehow ended up in Peru, and not Australia, as planned. Make sure the company offers a sophisticated online shipment tracking system; one that lets you monitor the location and status of your consignment. This system should preferably include the vessel/flight, container number/air waybill number, estimated date of arrival at destination port/airport, as well as the contact details of a local representative.

    4. Nationwide service

      Your shipping company should let you deliver and collect excess baggage and packing cartons from all over the United Kingdom. A reliable agency should ensure that certain areas, like Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow, enjoy a next-day free delivery and collection service, while other UK collection points might need an outside courier service at a small fee.

    5. Free cartons and packing materials

      The last thing you need during the rush of relocating is to have to choose your own packaging. Make sure your agency gives advice on which box sizes would be best, as well as excess baggage shipping cartons and other packing materials like packaging tape, bubble wrap and tissue paper – all free of charge.

    6. Reliable, safe and secure

      Make sure the company's network of agents are accredited by FIDI/FAIM – the respected global international removals trade body. Consider this the Euro NCAP pedigree of shipping.

    7. British Association of Removers (BAR)

      Choose a company that is a BAR member, which means you have protection knowing that your goods will be delivered to their final destination, with no unwanted surprises along the way.

    With more than 25 years’ experience delivering over 500 000 consignments, 1st Contact has become a trusted name in helping customers relocate or adapt to a new country. If you need to ship your goods abroad, visit 1st Contact Shipping to get an online quote or find out more about the service. 

    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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