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TheWayOfThePony

My own experience with Anglo Pacific

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I know there are a  few threads on the subject, just thought my own experience might help. I know I trawled the internet looking for reviews!

The choice: MoveCube or packing company?
I found the prospect of self-packing and loading quite daunting (I was on my own and had some pretty heavy stuff to move). So for peace of mind I went for Anglo Pacific (which had been recommended by two friends who had moved to Australia) over MoveCube.

Preparing the move: getting a quote, an estimate, a date 
- Quote: I had a phone call to AP during which I was asked to roughly estimate how much stuff I would be shipping to Oz so they could give me a provisional quote. No fret if it's a bit off the mark or if you can't think of everything, they want a rough idea and if on moving day it turns out you are bringing more (or less) than estimated, the quote will be adjusted. Just don't forget to mention the piano or any Big Thing that doesn't lead itself to improvised packing ;) Moving day was confirmed over email.
- Making a list of my belongings: it helped for getting an accurate insurance quote, but also for flagging any problematic stuff that customs might object to (organic material, tools, etc...), and which will have to be declared on the customs form.
- Insurance: AP offered insurance, but following the general wisdom I went with a third party (Letton Percival). In the end I had no claim to push so I can't tell you how Letton Percival are in a time of crisis! All I can say is that I found them very efficient and professional in our communications.
- Arranging parking space for the truck: I had off-street parking so that was never an issue, but this is definitely something they will ask you about.

Moving day
Miscommunication between the office and the packers meant the truck was 5 hours late... so that wasn't great.
But I have to say that once there the packers worked with incredible speed. In less than an hour they had packed and loaded about 25 boxes. Which was a good dozen more than estimated (I had way more books than I thought during that first conversation with AP!) but that wasn't a problem: the packers are prepared for that turn of event and always bring extra boxes.
The quote was re-adjusted accordingly, but I thought the final quote was fair. The packers bring their experience of shipping goods to Australia and can advise you on some items you're not sure about (I thought about bringing sand and seashells from the motherland but they advised against it, so I left it behind). They also put all the potentially problematic stuff (I had objects made out of wood) together and labelled the boxes accordingly - that way if Customs wanted to check all the wooden objects they could go straight for those boxes instead of opening them all.
All in all, knowing my belongings were packed in accordance to customs requirements justified the extra amount, I thought. Not breaking my back trying to load a dozen box of books into a cube is also pretty neat.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
The container took a couple of months to arrive in Australia, which was the estimate I had been given. AP kept me up to date with the shipping status over email and gave me a tracking number as well.

Christmas Delivery Day 
Once in Australia, Allied Pickfords took over for delivery. Once again, the office and truck didn't seem to communicate that well as my delivery didn't arrive on the agreed day, so I had to call again and rearrange the delivery. 
All boxes were accounted for, HOWEVER a couple were bashed in... one of them pretty seriously - though thankfully the content was unaffected, so I didn't have to investigate any further. But there is no telling when that occurred: on the truck? on the ship? in customs?  It's not like anyone left a note saying hey, sorry we handled this one a bit roughly...
The boxes containing my wooden objects looked like they had indeed been opened by customs. Nothing was removed/destroyed.
In the end my belongings arrived pretty much in the state I had left them, save for a few books which ended up with crumpled pages, and a couple of tins which suffered some bumps. Pretty sure this occurred during packing, as the packers probably wanted to make up for their late arrival and just crammed things into boxes. But this is very minor stuff, and there's not telling I'd have done any better! And on the other side, all my fragile objects (vases, frames etc) were completely fine.

So there you go! Not perfect, but nothing is, and overall I'm pretty satisfied . Should I ever need to move back to Europe(God forbid) I'd probably use the same companies.

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