When you and your family finally decide to move to Kuwait, there are a few things you should keep in the back of your mind.
Nothing is easy when it comes to relocating. Kuwait, or any Middle East country, does present its own set of unique challenges. Before moving to Kuwait, you may want to consider the following:
The price of moving depends on the how much is being moved, the value of the goods, and the distance to be moved. If possible, ship only the truly indispensable items and try to buy when you arrive to abate some of the cost.
Basic shipping costs are calculated on the amount of volume (Cubic Feet) that your packed goods will take up in one of our shipping containers. Volume is calculated by multiplying the length x depth x height.
An example would be a full size refrigerator/freezer that is 3 feet (.91 meters) wide, 2 feet (.6 meters) deep, and 6 feet (1.8 meters) high would be 36 cubic feet (1.01940 m3).
20 foot (6 meters) container total cubic capacity = 1172 cubic feet (33.2 m3)
40 foot container (12 meters) container total cubic capacity = 2392 cubic feet (67.7 m3)
A standard 2 to 3 bedroom house or condo should fit into 1 x 20ft container. A larger 4 to 5 bedroom house would need 1 x 40ft container. One benefit of a larger shipment is that the greater the overall volume for shipment, the lower the rate per cubic foot, and vice versa.
Removal cost also depends on the point of origin and final destination. Certain regions are expensive despite a shorter distance. For instance, Europe tends to be relatively expensive to ship to. A full load from the UK to Spain can cost £5000. For comparison, a full load from the UK to Australia is £6700.
Note that the final price is almost always more expensive than even the best estimates. Be knowledgeable about basic costs and budget a buffer between what you think it will cost and what you can pay.
The two basic options are to go by sea or by air. Most companies offer these options, so inquire about the price difference and decide which method is best for you.
To move by sea takes about 6-8 weeks, but costs less than traveling by air. If moving by sea, your household goods will be packed into containers that are usually loaded at your residence. Once your home is packed into the containers, they are then shipped by rail or transport to the port where they are then loaded on to a steamship container. The container is then loaded on the boat as cargo. Once your goods have arrived in the new country, the container is unloaded and must pass through customs. All cargo arriving at Shuwaikh Port will be thoroughly inspected by Kuwaiti Customs officials. The inspection process may include unpacking every box within your container to ensure no alcoholic beverages, pork products, Israeli goods, firearms or other prohibited items enter the country. International movers will be able to help you with the custom forms and are responsible for clearing your goods.
Just getting the necessary documents together for customs clearance can take several days. You can expect heat damage for containers arriving in the summer months, due to containers sitting in the open air for several days.
Moving household items by air is becoming increasingly popular, despite a much higher price tag. Heavy cardboard boxes are normally used to pack your goods, although some air freight companies will use containers. You may find that shipping items by air is less expensive than renting a furnished place or living in a hotel.
Airfreight is calculated on either the actual gross weight of the consignment or the volume weight, whichever is the greater. Weight is expressed in kilograms. To calculate the volume weight of a given item we multiply the length, breadth and height in centimeters and divide by 6000 to obtain the volume weight in kilos. For household goods the volume weight generally exceeds the gross weight.
Finding a Reputable Company
Try to find feedback from people who have used the company. While online reviews can easily be found by using Google to research a company or speaking with people you know can yield the best results. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family can all be a valuable resource. Ask around to find out which companies have the reputation as the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Basic Questions to ask during your Meeting:
It is advisable to get at least three estimates in writing. A verbal agreement is not enforceable, so make sure to have the estimate and details written down. By comparing multiple estimates, you will find what an average price for your move will really be, and find a company that best matches your expectations. It will also inform you of the different offers and advantages different companies offer. This can provide you room to negotiate with the company of your choice.
As any expat knows, the key to a successful move is all in the preparation. By readying yourself for any possible bumps in the road ahead of time, you can rest assured you’ll be prepared to handle anything moving throws at you.
Removal Services Scotland has put together ‘The Ultimate Family Moving Guide’ in partnership with EasyExpat.com - so whether you're a moving pro or a first timer, our handy guide can take the stress out of your next move to Kuwait.
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