Join me and my young, South African family as we accompany my husband to Kuala Lumpur for a 3 year contract.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Sea and air freight and lots of courage

We arrived in KL about a week ago and I'll update everyone on the initial system shock to all of us when we arrived. But first I thought to tell you about the packing of our lifetime objects and household goods.

We initially wanted our sea freight to be packed around end June so that we would have our stuff by the time we arrived in KL. But because the work visa was taking longer than expected, this was pushed forward to being packed and collected 2 days before we left. Oh boy! What a pain this was.

So note to self  and others - Transport companies and Malaysian authorities need passport copy and work visa/permit and lots of other paperwork before they will pack and ship. Ask questions is what I can say.

I was requested to compile an inventory of all our sea freight and air freight for Hubcap's company as they were doing the insurance. This helped me a lot when it came time to pack up as I had a list, room by room, of all items going with. Even if you don't need an inventory, it's a good thing to do anyway so that you always have a list of what you own. And I included serial numbers of all electronics and appliances and ISBN numbers of some precious books.

We used Biddulphs removals for our shipments and will let you all know how it went when we get our precious cargo in September. The packing guys were excellent. We only had 3 guys with us and they were friendly and unobtrusive. They started downstairs and only went upstairs to the bedrooms on the 2nd day. They then took items downstairs to pack so they were not in our 'private' space in the bedrooms.
All packed up - A whole life in boxes and cartons.

Some handy tips that might help you:

1. Inventory of everything.
It sounds like a pain in the arse, but it's worth it and makes planning and organizing much easier. While you are compiling your inventory, pack away/in boxes/separate cupboards the items that you will not need in between inventory and packing.

2. Separate items.
Start separating items that will be packed. When I was doing the kitchen inventory, I got my mom to help. I started in one cupboard and only packed what was going back into the cupboard. I allocated my pantry cupboard for items not going. Then I could seal it off when packers were here instead of telling them not to pack certain things.
I also bagged the smaller items together. This made it easier to keep all the stuff together.

3. Keep an open diary for 2 weeks and 2 weekends before your packing starts:
This is what I didn't do. I was 'balls to the walls' for weeks beforehand, and it was a BIG BIG mistake as I left out so many things and had to leave so much behind as our air-freight was packed before our suitcases. If your kids are at home, get a baby-sitter/Nanny or neighbour to help. Or bribe a Granny or Aunty to keep them for a few hours so you can concentrate.

4. Pack your luggage BEFORE your air-freight boxes:
Aah, the joy of hindsight hey - again I didn't do this and left the packing of our luggage to the last minute before we left. I had to leave so much behind and now I'm kicking myself.
So, pack your luggage before your air-freight leaves. This way you'll know what doesn't fit and you can pack it into air-freight.

The "Pep Stores Sakkie" is a great way to take soft items with you. I used mine for the vacuum packed pillows, some clothes, blankets and I wrapped these around the car booster seat. Don't worry about locks, I had all my luggage plastic wrapped at the airport - a must for anyone travelling to Malaysia.

All our luggage ready to check in. Plastic wrap all your check-in luggage to be on the safe side when travelling to Malaysia or Asia. If plastic has been opened on the other side call security immediately and don't touch your bag.

5. What not to take with sea-freight:
Malaysia is very strict when it comes to food stuffs and wine, so we decided not to take any food stuffs with us. Didn't want the hassle of entire container being searched if we declared it.
Also, you can't take any liquids with.
And remove batteries from all appliances, clocks and remote controls. It gets very hot and very cold in the container so batteries could leak all over your stuff. I removed them all and bagged them seperately.
You can take wine with but you will have to pay heavy, heavy duties on it.

Candles also melt in the container due to heat so I packed all of mine into a cooler bag before it was packed in boxes - let you know if it worked.

I also had to compile a detailed inventory of all DVD's and videos - name, duration, actors etc. I think this is to prevent porn as they are seriously strict with it.

So now I sit and wait for our beloved furniture and household contents to arrive this side.
I'm going to be very happy to see my bed.
Let you all know how it is when it arrives in a few weeks.

Until then

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