Today's post is a sponsored article courtesy of Tom Griffin, Managing Director at Aim International Moving. Tom has some tips for those of you who are trying to navigate the shipping process, specifically about the difference between Removals and Shipping companies. He also has some useful advice on the topic of shipping costs. Over to you, Tom...


Removals Vs Shipping

A removals service is when professional packers come into the home, pack the boxes, wrap the furniture, load the container correctly (by hand) and arrange shipment to destination.  Co-ordination from Ireland would mean that the Irish company’s moving agent in the origin city would visit for a pre move survey first, and would then be the ones to come to pack the boxes and wrap the furniture.  At destination, all items are placed in the correct rooms, boxes are unpacked and furniture is unwrapped.  Generally speaking a moving company can arrange full transport insurance for the move.  Usually all port fees and customs clearance fees are included in the door to door price.

aim movingA shipping service is designed for freight.  A shipping company will collect prepacked goods from the front door of a building and arrange delivery to front door of the building at destination.  Generally speaking, transport insurance is not possible for household goods through a freight company.  In many cases, household goods get shipped with general cargo.

There are many shipping companies in all corners of the world who state that they are movers, yet have no staff available to pack and wrap.  It is very important to know what type of company you are dealing with.  In the US in particular, there are many broker type companies who profess to be movers, but will simply take someone’s booking and then try to re book it out elsewhere as cheaply as possible.  So take some time to research the companies you are seeking quotes from.  Have a good look at their websites, and Google them to see what more you can find out.

There are completely different cost structures when comparing moving companies and shipping companies, and prices can vary pretty dramatically between the two.  It is very important when seeking quotes that a comprehensive explanation is given by the mover / shipping company as to what the service is going to be: what is included in the rate, and especially what is not included in the rate.

So often we receive shipments from overseas movers who gain the custom of Irish expats returning home.  They tell us to bill local shipping line fees from the Irish port to the person moving, and in some cases our own destination fee for customs clearance and delivery.  And most of the time they don’t make the client aware of this (the client believing that they have paid for a full door to door service, only to find in the small print somewhere that they hadn’t).

My simple recommendation for anyone moving back to Ireland is, as well as contacting local companies for prices, make sure to contact at least two Irish removal companies.  It won’t take long to get a sense of who can offer the needed service at a price relative to what that requirement is.

If an Irish company is chosen for a move, payment would typically not need to be made as quickly as it would be when booking a mover at origin (who will want payment before letting the shipment leave) and that can be a great help in terms of cash flow when there are so many other things going on in and around the relocation.  Also, in the event of any damage or breakage, at least the claim can be sorted in Ireland through the Irish mover’s insurance company rather than chasing back to the origin point to try to have the claim settled.

I am more than happy to give advice and comparison quotes to whoever might need it.

Tom Griffin
Managinging Director
+353 87 2029955