Moving Company, Courier, Excess Baggage, or Groupage! Which is the better option for moving my stuff?

Written by Jennifer Beattie on Tuesday, 02 December 2014. Posted in Go Moving Tips

The simple answer to this, it is the one that best fits your requirements.

Courier or Excess Baggage
Most people understand pretty well the point of a home or office moving company. A company representative will visit, assess how much you have to move and its value including any potentially dangerous items. Then you will be issued with a written quote which can include a number of other optional services e.g. packing, unpacking, reconnecting etc. This way you can move the entire contents of your house from old address to new one with ‘minimum’ amounts of hassle. However, the further the move and the more items you have, the more costly it will become. For a big family or office move, you may have no choice but to use a moving company. Any moving company worth their weight will be able to give you a reliable quote. In this instance beware of hidden extras and make sure that the quote you are signing is ‘final’.

How does your average courier company work?

Ok so the principles of a moving company are fairly straightforward, but how about a courier service? A courier company provides a door to door collection and delivery service for any number of different items, from important letters to larger boxes. Some courier companies specialize in the movement of certain things, for example pets, whilst others have carved out a niche market in the movement of high value items such as antiques.

Your average courier company will collect your item and deliver it to the new destination within three days or the same day if you require it (taking into account the distance) and the whole process (in most cases) can be organised and booked on line. Some courier companies do provide you with the option to drop off a package. But frankly, one of the main advantages is that they pick the box or package up from you at your convenience. The other great point about couriers is they often compete with each other to provide you with a good price, so there are some great deals to be found.

When would you use a courier service?

There are many instances when using a courier service is ideal. For example if you want to send smaller items, paperwork, reports, keys, pay slips etc. But couriers are also used regularly to collect and deliver supplies, medication, spare parts or more valuable items that need to be tracked. You would usually only move one or two packages at a time and weight and size dimensions will apply. Generally speaking for a good price the package needs to be under 30kg and no more than 1 metre in length, height or width, but you can move packages of any weight or size, it will just cost you! An additional point to consider is that there may be customs implications and charges if you are sending these items between countries. Documents tend to be free of any additional customs charges with a courier.

In addition to offering a speedy service in most cases, the courier service will make sure that you can track your package and that it is insured for loss or damage throughout its journey.

When would I use an excess baggage service?

Courier services are excellent for sending any amount from point A to B. The sender and receiver is usually never the same person. Excess baggage services in contrast, require that you are both the sender and receiver. The address can be different but the receiving person must be the same. It is a really useful service if you have been to town on a bit of a spending spree but do not have enough luggage space to get your bits and pieces home, or you are on business and need more than one suitcase worth of clothes. Excess baggage services, can in many cases be much cheaper than buying an extra bag on the airline!

Who would benefit most from an excess baggage services?

If you plan to marry overseas and need to bring your gifts back, then an excess baggage service could well be the answer. Perhaps you are planning to study for a few months and need some essential supplies then again this service could help. There are many instances in which excess baggage companies are much cheaper than additional baggage charges on the airline, they might take a little longer (up to 7 days), but could save you a packet!

What is Groupage?

Last but not least Groupage is a system in which packages or goods from a number of senders can be consolidated into one pallet for shipment or road transport. Obviously, all the packages may not have originated from the same town but they will be going from the same country to another country. At that point the freight forwarding company often offers onward courier services to get each box or package to the desired location. This system allows everyone to benefit from a preferential price compared to shipping their items individually. Freight companies prefer to fill the loads rather than start a journey half empty, so everyone wins.

Who benefits from Groupage?

Everyone! But the biggest winners are groups of people who can club together to send their items. For example a company sending out a team of individuals to complete a project could benefit greatly from shipping employee’s goods using the Groupage system. Alternatively, Chinese students studying in London could group together to have all their stuff sent home from a central point in London to a central point in China. Courier companies or indeed the shipping company then arrange for each item to be forwarded to the appropriate province or address. This way each person pays a fraction of the cost of the pallet (usually calculated in cubic metres) and at the same time saves a huge amount of money!

About the Author

Jennifer Beattie

Jennifer Beattie

Jennifer Beattie is the freelance journalist for the Go Group. With lots of experience of moving and relocating nationally and internationally, Jennifer has personal and professional knowledge of the issues involved. She aims to provide up to date and accurate information on topics of importance to the industry. You're welcome to contact Jennifer via email or send us a comment.

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