Shipping and Storage of Personal Belongings

Students, especially International and EU Students may need to use shipping and storage companies during vacation periods and when they are returning home to store of ship personal items. It is important to be careful about the choice of company and make sure you fully understand the contract you enter into.

Please note that the Students’ Union Advice Centre does not recommend any storage or shipping companies.

Points to consider when choosing which storage or removals company to use:

  • Choose from companies that are recommended and also read reviews and blogs on a particular company.
  • Choose companies that belong to recognised national/international trade associations such as British International Freight Association – www.bifa.org ;

British Association of Removers – www.bar.co.uk . Companies affiliated to these organisations will operate to specific standards and members of BAR (www.bar.co.uk) have the benefit of an alternate dispute resolution service to help sort out disputes.

  • Decide what you are going to ship/store.
    • Estimate the weight and volume of what you need to store/ship,
    • The length of time you will need to store the items.
    • Where you are shipping the items to.
    • The dates of collection and delivery of your storage items.
  • Contact at least 3 companies and ask for a written quotation for the costs involved in storing/shipping your items.
  • The quotation should provide full details of how much it will cost for what you want to do and include:
    • A detailed breakdown showing: any insurance costs, collection and delivery charges, shipping costs etc.
    • If you are shipping items overseas you should also establish what costs are not included eg clearing customs etc. 
    • Are there any weight/size limits?
  • Make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions that will apply to your agreement for the company you choose to use – they can vary from company to company.
  • Find out what the company policy is if they are responsible for any damage in transit or whilst the items are being stored by them ie what compensation they will pay, as often it is limited to a small amount per box which will often be a lot less than the cost of the damage caused to your items.
  • Buy insurance if no insurance protection is provided by the company for loss, breakages and damages.
  •  Make sure you fully understand what you need to do to be able to make a claim under the insurance eg what proof is necessary of the items being covered.
  • Find out about custom regulations, documentation if you are shipping overseas.
  • Make sure you use appropriate storage boxes, pack carefully and securely and firmly by filling any empty spaces with bubble wraps, shredded paper etc.
  • Make a list of items included in your box/boxes and take photos of any expensive items as evidence if in the event you need to claim for compensation for any loss, damage or breakages.
  • Clearly mark your boxes with your name and contact details.
  • Agree collection and delivery dates well in advance to avoid misunderstandings about when your belongings are going to be collected and returned to you.
  • Keep all the emails/messages and documents that relate to the storage or shipping safe and easily accessible in the event that you have problems.

If you have any questions regarding choosing a storage or shipping company, or you have problems with a storage or shipping company please contact the Student’s Union Advice Centre.