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    How long does it take to ship your belongings from the UAE to the UK?

    The process of moving from one country to another does not end when you arrive at your new home. You still have to wait for your packed goods and furniture, and the in-between state of living out of suitcases can be long and stressful! 

    However, with a bit of planning and information before shipping your belongings from the UAE to the UK, you can ensure a smoother and easier transition that doesn’t leave you waiting!   

    Shipping method

    Depending on how rushed you are to receive your goods in the UK, you can ship your belongings via sea or air. Most people who are not pressed for time opt for sea freight, as it is more economical and allows for larger container sizes. 

    To decide what moving services and package best suit your needs, consider the following questions:

    1. What is the timeline for your move? 
    2. When do you need to be in the UK?
    3. What are your plans for housing? Will you be renting a place or purchasing one?
    4. How many fragile items do you need shipped? 
    5. What is the size of your shipment?

    International movers will assess the number of goods to be shipped, accurately advise you on container sizes and then offer a quotation. This will help you decide what belongings you want to take and budget accordingly. You may opt to use both sea and air-freight options – shipping immediately-needed and more precious goods via air and letting the sturdier pieces come via sea. 

    Air freights can be received within a week to 10 days, depending on the number of flights out of the UAE to the UK, clearance times at customs, and payment of additional taxes and tariffs. Shipping via sea can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, it is worth noting that if you opt for a shared container (groupage shipment) this can add 4 weeks or more to the timeline. You should hire a moving company that can provide a suite of options customised for your specific needs. 

    Assessing shipping costs

    It pays to be financially prudent during a move as there are always unexpected additional expenses that can throw off your budget. That said, you should be mindful of huge price differentials in quotations. If a moving company is offering a quote far below its peers, you can be assured that they will cut corners – either when packing, or through the extra fuss you’ll suffer at customs ports. For example you may find that terminal handling charges are not included in your quote which amounts to approximately 1000 AED and you will need to pay this on arrival in the UK if you haven't already paid your internal mover for this.

    Before deciding on a moving company, representatives should conduct a home survey so that you have an accurate estimate of the amount of shipping space you will need. Keep in mind that only experienced movers can offer a precise assessment by looking at your belongings. 

    Customs clearances

    Choosing the right international movers means hiring professionals who have experience dealing with customs procedures and officers, both in the UAE and in the UK. Experienced packers are best placed to guide you on the correct procedures for special goods like fine art, antiques, or dutiable items. 

    You should be mindful of the fact that your belongings go through a thorough check at the port of departure before they are cleared out of the UAE. In some cases, this means that duty officers may request some packages be opened for closer inspection. 

    When you hire a moving company with extensive local experience you benefit from their reputation for integrity, familiarity, and rapport with customs officers. This ensures a smooth, fuss-free clearance of your belongings.  Additionally, on the rare chance of further inspection, you can be assured that your goods have been repacked to professional standards. 

    Lastly, a professional moving company will coordinate at UK ports for a quick and smooth clearance. They will also manage safe transportation and unpacking of your belongings in your new home. Whilst it may not seem important, every step in the moving process can determine how long it will take to ship your belongings from the UAE to the UK. Hiring a professional moving company mitigates further delays in your move.  

    At GAC we have decades of experience moving families like yours from the UAE to the UK. To find out how we can help you through a safe and stress-free move to the UK, click here

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