Discover our expert tips to help you pack your household items and belongings for domestic and international shipping, removals and storage.
General support, guidance and advice about our services.
We will guarantee you that there are no hidden charges and, if any charges do arise other than those on our quote, then we will refund you the value of that charge. The only exceptions to this guarantee are when charges arise for:
- corrective actions that are needed to your shipment, for example, your shipment contains a Prohibited item that must be removed, your shipment contains items that Quarantine agency at the destination demands that are cleaned, irradiated or disposed of by deep burial, individual boxes, bags or suitcases that weigh more than 30kg / 66 lbs requiring repacking, invoices unpaid for more than late payment of our charges, or,
- charges for duty and taxes on the contents of your shipment applied by the customs agency in the destination charges, or,
- charges by your bank or credit card company, or,
- storage charges, for example, delays in completing documentation or payment of our charges, or,
- changes of details to your shipment, for example, changes to the size of your shipment, changes to the collection address, changes to the destination address once the shipment has arrived. These changes may be so significant that they require a complete requote.
Seven Seas Worldwide can take payment in two ways: bank transfer and credit cards. We are unable to accept payment using debit cards from local banks unless they are Visa or Mastercard debit cards.
The quickest and safest method is payment by credit card. We receive thousands of transactions from around the world each day and, unfortunately, this makes finding an individual bank transfer quite a challenging, particularly when not all banks supply complete details on the payment and if the amount being searched, such as a deposit, is often the same amount for many customers.
We recommend that you log into your account with us and make payment using a credit card, paid directly onto our website. We allow 7 days from the date of issue for the outstanding charge to be paid. We will send reminders but if this period passes without payment we reserve the right to charge a Late Payment Fee and start to charge storage.
When we start our shipping service with you, we ask that you pay a security deposit. (See “How do I make payment?”) This is not an extra charge but a prepayment of the “Shipping and transportation” charge. See “If I change my mind can I get my money back?” You can then proceed to arrange for the delivery of empty packing boxes, bubble wrap and tape – our Baggage services – or our Starter Pack – MoveCube® service.
Shipping and transportation (less the Deposit already paid)
Once your shipment has been collected, you must complete the shipping documentation immediately and the final stage will be making payment for the “Shipping and transportation” – as mentioned the deposit will be deducted from that total. If your shipment is to be delivered within the same country then you will not have anything further to pay, however, if you are shipping internationally, then there will be a Destination Charge to be paid.
Destination Charge will be paid once your shipment has arrived, been cleared through Customs and quarantine if required. See “Moving abroad, why do I need to pay destination charges?”.
Depending on your destination address and our routing, your shipment will either be delivered to our closest depot to your overseas address or remain at our Hub to be delivered directly, at this point you will be contacted to arrange for the return of your shipment and pay the remaining charges.
Domestic moving services have a two-stage payment plan.
International moving services, except for some direct air services, have a three-stage payment plan.
- For Air Express, Baggage Worldwide, Mini Move, Metro Move and Student Storage, a full refund is processed if your request to cancel is made within 14 days of the deposit being paid AND the service has not commenced.
- No refund is payable for Baggage Worldwide, Mini Move, Metro Move and Student Storage, if the service has commenced, following your instruction, so that the initial delivery of empty packing boxes or initial collection of packed boxes, bags or suitcases has been scheduled AND to occur within 72 hours of the scheduled date.
- Partial refund is payable for Air Express only, if the service has commenced with a deduction of £84, including VAT, from the value of the deposit before refund.
- For MoveCube® domestic and MoveCube® international services, a full refund is processed if your request is made within 14 weeks of the deposit being paid AND the service has not commenced.
- Partial refund is payable, if the service has commenced, following your instruction, and you have received our Starter Pack then we will refund you the difference between the deposit paid and the price of the Starter Pack as detailed on your quote;
- No refund is payable, if the service has commenced, following your instruction and either the delivery of the MoveCube® to your address or the depot visit, is scheduled AND to occur within 72 hours of the scheduled date;
- Full refund for the cost of packaging purchased, as part of the MoveCube® service, then returned. The packaging should be returned in the same condition that it was delivered.
- If you cancel following collection of your shipment, you will be liable for the costs to return your shipment. You will also be liable for the costs of storage fees incurred up to the scheduled date of return of your shipment.
If you are moving internationally, then you have two opportunities of taking two weeks of “free” storage;
- before your shipment is sent and the online documentation has been completed, and
- once your shipment has arrived and been cleared through appropriate agencies at the destination.
There is no charge for storage during each two-week period, but you must inform us if you require storage and for how long you need us to store your shipment BEFORE it has been collected.
If you need storage beyond the two-week period, then storage will be charged weekly, paid in advance, see “Our Storage Charges”.
If you are moving domestically or you are moving internationally using our Air Express service, then you are entitled to Part 1 of the “free” storage but not Part 2.
There is no free storage offered with our “Student Pack & Store” service, or if your job is converted from “Student Pack & Store” to a Mini Move service.
Using the two-week storage, allows you to pack multiple MoveCube®s during that period without incurring additional charges for holding those MoveCube®s you have already packed. However, you must complete your online documentation for each MoveCube that has been collected to enjoy this benefit.
Similarly, at the destination, your shipment can be held at our closest depot to your new address without charge for this two-week period. However, you must pay all other outstanding amounts to enjoy this benefit.
Seven Seas Worldwide is able to accept payments in stages when the charges actually arise; see “What is our two or three-stage payment plan?”
International removers demand you pay all charges upfront, before even packing your household. The international mover must pay their agent to clear and deliver your shipment, subject to the exemptions on their quote.
However, this leaves them exposed to currency fluctuations; the difference in value between the currency of the origin country and the destination country. The longer the period between you paying the international remover and them paying their agent, the greater the chance of a wide currency fluctuation.
This is overcome by building in a percentage surcharge in the international remover prices to protect them from that currency exposure. We do not think you should be paying for something that has nothing directly to do with your move.
Our destination charges include a wide range of charges including:
- Customs clearance, including data entry and presentation of documentation
- Quarantine clearance, where applicable
- Homeland security, where applicable
- Customs Inspection Fees,
- Quarantine Inspection Fees,
- Port Document Fees,
- Port Handling Charges,
- Warehouse handling charges.
In order to provide a meaningful quote, we need to know your destination address. This can be quite challenging if you have not actually reached that point in your preparations for your international move. Therefore, we suggest that you provide the address of your future employer or friends or family who is living close to your planned future location. This will give you an idea of the charges involved, however, if you plan to move to another state and city, then the charges may change significantly.
The requirement for a destination address is demanded by Customs of the destination country before the shipment can proceed. We recommend that you have your future address before your shipment leaves. However, we are aware that at least 25-30% of our customers change their address once the shipment has been dispatched. There is no problem with changing the address BEFORE the shipment arrives at the destination and formal clearance process begin. However, once the shipment arrives, changing the address can result in additional charges.
With international shipments do not be surprised by a period of preparation before sending, this is entirely usual and can vary, depending on the service, between 2 days and 4 weeks. Your shipment is not late, this period is anticipated in the transit time, (See “What does Transit Time” mean?”) and allows us to send your shipment for the price we have quoted you. Your shipment will then be transported either to the airport or port for export, depending on the service you have selected.
Once sent, your shipment may be not be sent directly to the destination country but will use the most economic shipping route which may include trans-shipping through another port such as Hong Kong or Singapore. Your shipment may not go directly to the desired destination city either; we ship to our Hub in that country. Your shipment will then be collected and brought back to our Hub to be cleared officially into the destination country.
Clearance & Destination Charges
Upon arrival in the country, you will be asked to pay the destination charges that were listed on the original quote.
In certain countries, such as Canada and China, their Customs require that you have a document stamped at the airport as proof of your arrival, In Canada, Customs requires that, in addition, you attend one of their offices to prove you are in the country before the shipment can be formally cleared. We will assist with where you need to go.
Once your shipment has passed through the formal clearance process for the relevant import authorities it is then ready to be returned to you. It will either be delivered by the Hub if this is closest to your destination address, or, relocated to our depot which is closest to your destination address, or, if we have no depots local to your destination address then your shipment will be sent direct using once of our partners.
The start of the Transit Time commences once your online shipping documentation is completed and payment for the Shipping and Transportation charge is made. The end of the Transit Time occurs when your shipment arrives at the depot responsible for the return of your shipment.
The Transit Time recognises a time taken to:
- complete the documentation, at the origin and sometimes the destination, and make payment,
- preparing the shipment for dispatch,
- dispatch the shipment using commercial shipping routes which may not go directly to the destination country, and,
- route the shipment to our Hub which may not be your destination city but will be sent to you once cleared.
The management of your shipment using your online dashboard includes:
- Choose your quote, place your order and pay the deposit
- Book delivery of empty packing boxes
- Arrange collection of boxes once packed
- Complete your shipping documentation - inventory, insurance, customs forms - and upload copies of your passport and visa (if required)
- Pay the Transport and Shipping charge
- Track your shipment
- Arrange the return of your shipment once cleared through Customs / Quarantine and destination charges paid.
The online documentation includes:
An inventory of the contents of your shipment. If you are using our baggage service then this would include the contents of boxes, bags and suitcases. Alternatively, if you are using our MoveCube® service then it would be the contents of each MoveCube®.
An insurance form for the contents of your shipment, we recommend that you insure your shipment.
Details of the destination address and those who would be at the address, including contact telephone numbers and emails
Personal information related to the shipment which includes “What is your reason for travel” and “What is your occupation”. These can be used to confirm what type of clearance you need at the destination, whether as personal effects or commercial clearance.
In the case of international shipment, then the completion of a Customs Form – depending on the destination country - uploading a copy of those parts of your passport with your photo and your signature and, if required, a copy of your visa if you are not a citizen of the destination country.
Seven Seas Worldwide operates its own business centres in China, Malaysia, South Africa and the United Kingdom. The different time zones allow us to assist you whatever time zone you have moved from or to. Our advisers handle all your calls and emails but you can also be updated on your online account on the status of your shipment. Seven Seas Worldwide have specialists who offer language support in Afrikaans, Cantonese, Mandarin and Thai as well as English.
See below for our Business Centre operating times or click Contact us to send us a message.
Seven Seas Worldwide offers insurance on “unaccompanied personal effects and household items”, i.e. you are not travelling with your possessions, they are under our care. This is not the same as the insurance that you have for baggage that is travelling with you; our policies are specifically developed for Seven Seas Worldwide.
Insurance is there for the unexpected i.e. events that do not normally occur in the normal course of business, but accidents do happen: ships sink or run aground, containers fall off ships; warehouses have fires, vehicles have accidents. This list is not to alarm you, if these events were happening regularly then no one would offer insurance; insurance companies need to make a profit & not keep paying out on claims.
The insurance company looks at the company involved, the activities and the frequency of these types of accidents and offers protection for a premium. Our insurance company is Aviva, one of the largest in the world.
There are three levels of protection your shipment can enjoy:
- No insurance, there is very small protection offered by our “Shipping Terms & Conditions” based on the weight of your shipment. This only applies if your entire shipment is lost, under any other circumstance, you have no protection.
- “Basic” insurance which protects you for the loss of your entire shipment, or, one or more receptacles in your shipment. For example, if you send five suitcases and only four arrive at your address, then you are entitled to a settlement for the lost suitcase.
- It does not protect you if the fifth suitcase arrives open and some, but not all, of the contents have been lost.
- It does not protect you if the contents of the other four suitcases are damaged.
- “Premier” insurance includes everything offered by “Basic”, plus, taking the example of the five suitcases:
- any individual items in any of the suitcases are lost AND
- any damage to those items in those suitcases IF you have listed those items and valued them in your insurance form that you completed.
We think “Premier” insurance offers the best value for money, but you can be selective in which items you insure for Premier and which receptable need only Basic. We would always recommend that you take some insurance protection.
The charge for insurance is based on the value of the items insured. The charge or “premium” is a percentage of the value you place on the contents of your shipment, for example, if you insure each of your five suitcases for $100, this is $500 of protection but you pay the percentage of that value, if the percentage is 5% then the Premium is $25 or 5/100 x $500.
The valuation of your shipment is important to get right! It is easy to under-insure. Please remember that the insurance valuation is what the item would cost to replace not what it would cost to sell. For example, if you were to claim $200 for the fifth suitcase that did not arrive because you have now realised what the contents would cost to replace. The insurance company applies an “Averaging Clause” which means:
- you under-insured by 50% or half ($100/$200) then
- the pay-out will be half, not $100 but $50.
This is standard practise on the insurance industry, so please think about the valuation. If you have a budget, then be selective in what you insure and pick the most valuable items and insure for their full value.
To ensure maximum safety and security we advise all customers to use the strongest boxes available for packing and transportation. This is why Seven Seas Worldwide offers unlimited, brand new cardboard boxes for every journey. The boxes are chemically-hardened and designed to withstand long overseas trips. Put simply, they're the best you're going to find. However, if you're thinking of using your own boxes, take a look below and maybe think again.
Boxes Not Safe Enough to Transport
Plastic storage boxes
|These boxes are not designed for long journeys, only for storage. The slightest impact could break them, and as we know broken plastic can create dangerously sharp shards. Plus you increase the risk of items being lost once the box is damaged.
Do we really have to say why this isn't a good idea? No matter what you put inside a bin liner, it cannot be protected. Nothing you put inside will be secure. You must put everything in boxes to maximise safety.
Fruit and Vegetable boxes
Collecting boxes from supermarkets and other stores is not a good idea. Firstly these boxes were never designed for moving household items and secondly if they have been used to transport food then you may incur delays and fines when they're shipped through Customs and Quarantine.
Once again any box that used to carry food could cause delays if shipped through certain Customs departments, particularly fruit and vegetables. And as mentioned before, boxes of this kind will not survive the journey.
Storage and archive boxes
These boxes do not have the strength of a chemically-hardened Seven Seas Worldwide box and will almost certainly be on the receiving end of irreparable damage while in transit.
Again, this does not offer any protection. No bag does. Everything must be stored in a robust box.
Our Business Centre accepts calls; 24 hours a day from Monday to Saturday with weekend opening shown below:
May 1st - October 31st
Monday - Friday: 24 hrs
Saturday: Midnight - 6:00pm (GMT +1)
Sunday: 7:00am - Midnight (GMT+1)
November 1st - April 30th
Monday - Friday: 24 hrs
Saturday: Midnight - 2:00pm (GMT)
Sunday: 2:00pm - Midnight (GMT)
You can always get in touch through our contact form or social media platforms and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.