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Frequently Asked Questions

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How soon should I arrange for a quotation?

It’s never too early to get a quotation from us. We recommend you get a quote at least 12 weeks prior to your move. Some people choose to begin the process up to 12 months before. Just whatever you do, don’t leave it until the last minute! This can assist in programming your move to expedite delivery as well.

How soon will my quote be given to me?

Cost depends on what goods you want to ship and service(s) we are to provide. A Whybirds International consultant will determine your needs during our free in-home consultation. They will also address your individual needs and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Are there any items that cannot be moved?

Yes. Some of these items include:

  • Flammable liquids Explosives
  • Toxins and poisons Firearms
  • Flammable gasses Corrosives Pornographic material Radioactive materials Ivory
  • Miscellaneous items such as scuba tanks, matches, gas cylinders etc
  • Some items may also be prohibited for export or import as declared by customs.

Do I need to pay a deposit?

At the time of booking, we will request a deposit of AU$300.00 to secure the date and time. The balance of the removal
costs, including insurance are payable on uplift. If the removal costs are being paid from the process of the sale of your property, then a letter from your solicitor accepting those costs must be provided.

How can I pay?

The cost of your removal can be paid by cheque, cash, bank transfer and online. We also accept VISA, Mastercard and AMEX. A 2% surcharge is applicable to all credit card payments. We provide a written quotation but will review our pricing if requested.

Can you help with the packing and unpacking?

Yes, if you request this option. If you choose, you can pack some or all of your goods by yourself. Disassembling and packing by yourself is relatively cheaper, but we strongly recommend the ‘full export pack’ option. With this selection, you’ll have increased insurance cover and greater physical protection for your furniture.

What do I need to do if I get a full pack service?

With our full pack service, we’ll need you to put aside things that need to be disposed of or kept with you during the journey (e.g. passport). We can disconnect appliances, remove pictures and take down curtains for an additional, pre-planned charge.

How many people will be sent to pack my things?

The required team size is based on the amount of work needed to be done.

Can I pack my own cartons?

Yes. We can supply you with a sufficient quantity of cartons, paper and tape so you can complete the pack of your cartons. We ask that you leave the cartons open so we can inspect the packing and seal the boxes. You will be required to provide us with a comprehensive list of contents.

In today’s climate with heightened security, with respect to ‘owner packed’ cartons, customs and biosecurity will almost certainly want to carry out an inspection to verify contents are true to label. Inspections costs are additional and would be for your account.

We recommend that you allow us to complete the pack in an effort to avoid such costs. With that in mind, customs do have their random exams.

What happens when my goods arrive at their destination?

Whybirds International will be with you every step of the way. One-to-one contact with your Whybirds International Move Manager will keep you fully updated with the progress of your move.
Trusted, experienced overseas partners carry out our destination services. They are specially selected for their expertise. We choose partners who, like ourselves, are members of FIDI and/or and hold FAIMISO accreditation.

At time of shipment we will notify you of the vessel detail and partner to whom we have consigned to facilitate the necessary clearance and delivery. Once your goods arrive at their destination, our partner will be in contact with you to arrange the necessary customs clearance and a convenient delivery date. Our partner will unload all items into your property. Where agreed, they will unpack and remove the packing materials.

Will my shipment be opened on the way?

In most cases, sole-use containers will be delivered unopened. However, in some countries (e.g. Australia, New Zealand) all containers are unloaded into our partner’s Bond for quarantine inspection. Our destination partners will oversee the process.

We do our best to respect your privacy. However, once the goods leave their respective country’s territorial waters, they are placed under customs control of the country of destination. Customs officials reserve the right to inspect goods anywhere in the world. Inspections are therefore beyond our control. Random inspections are also undertaken as a check on all parties. Costs for these services are generally payable to our destination partner.

How long will my shipment take to arrive at the destination?

Transit times vary depending on your destination, mode of transport and the country’s customs clearance programs. Here are some approximate door-to-door timescales for shipments depending on mode of transport:

Destination Sole Use Container   Shared Container
United Kingdom 9-10 weeks 12-14 weeks
Canada (East Coast) 7-8 weeks 12-14 weeks
Canada (West Coast)   6-7 weeks 10-12 weeks
USA (East Coast) 7-8 weeks 12-14 weeks
South Africa 6-8 weeks 10-12 weeks

What are the fumigation costs?

Fumigation costs are not uncommon in Australia or New Zealand. DAFF in Australia and MPI in New Zealand may order items to be fumigated. If so, a cost will be incurred locally at the destination. We can provide indicative costs for fumigation of items.

Will I have to be at the destination for customs clearance?

Most destination countries require you to be in the country when your belongings clear customs. However, there are some exceptions—your Move Manager will be able to let you know whether your destination is one of them.

Are Whybirds International fully insured?

Yes. Whybirds International hold full Carriers Liability and vehicle insurance. Regarding goods in transit, we offer a full comprehensive insurance cover for international moves, which can be discussed with your Move Manager.

If I’m shipping my car, can I pack household goods in it?

No, custom formalities will prohibit this. The only items that can remain in the car are ones directly related to it (e.g. spare tyre, warning triangle, first aid kit). You cannot use your vehicle as a shipping container.

Can I access items that are in store?

Yes. Generally we would require 48 hours’ notice.

Where are your storage facilities?

At all of our branch and AMG member locations: Brisbane, Ipswich, Townsville, Mount Isa, Cairns, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Kalgoorlie, Darwin, Launceston and Hobart.

How much are the customs fees?

These will vary according to the destination. We will advise on associated costs within our quotation.

Will there be charges to pay at the destination port?

This depends on the destination. For example, all shipments to New Zealand are inspected and as such MPI charges for this can be prepared or paid locally. There may as a result be Biosecurity items that warrant cleaning, heat treatment fumigation. These costs and associated services are paid locally. We provide indicative charges for this within our quote. Likewise, we can advise on the costs of any duty/tax payable at any other destination.

Which is better, groupage or full container load?

This depends on the size of the consignment. Full container load is generally faster. We can quote and advise on transit times for either groupage or full container load.

Can I ship toiletries, alcohol and food?

Food is generally not permitted for most destinations, but toiletries are. For more information, check out our country specific customs guides. Alcohol is generally permitted, although you will likely have to pay duty/tax. We can advise you about any extra costs.

What about moving overseas with pets?

Each country has their own quarantine regulations that may apply when moving overseas with pets.

Should I take out insurance with Whybirds International? If I don’t, can I claim if a WhybirdsInternational employee damages an item?

While we exercise all care in the removal of your goods, accidents beyond our control can happen. Our liability for loss or damage is limited by our standard contract terms and conditions. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to take out an All Risks insurance policy.

Please read the FSRA, PDS, Terms and Conditions and policy wording. If you don’t take out adequate insurance, your recourse may be limited. Other parties (e.g. the shipping company or airline) operate under separate contract conditions that may limit/exclude their liability. If a loss occurs at sea, a shipping company may declare a ‘general average loss’. In this case, you may have to contribute to the ‘general average loss’ incurred by the shipping company. Our standard contract conditions (AIMA conditions) specifically limit our liability.

Do you recycle your boxes?

Yes. As part of our environmentally friendly initiative, we recycle used packing materials.

What is a part / shared load delivery?

A shipment or delivery in conjunction with other moves/deliveries to a particular geographical area, commonly known as ‘shared’. This means the shipments are sent once sufficient cargo has been received to send a consolidated container. Therefore, the transit times are based on current volumes moving at the time of the quotation and can fluctuate due to the volume of cargo available for the port in question. Transit time for such deliveries will be provided within our quotation.

I am only moving a few items, do I need insurance?

Even if you are only moving a few boxes, you should still consider taking out insurance.

Can I be insured if I pack my own boxes?

Because your belongings have not been packed by a removalist, our policy excludes the contents of these cartons in the event of any damages/breakages.

Owner packed cartons can only be insured for Restricted Cover, which provides cover for the following risks only:

• Fire and explosion
• Lightning or flood
• Overturning and/or derailment of conveyance
• Collision of vessel, aircraft or conveyance
• Crashing or forced landing of aircraft; stranding, sinking, or contact of vessel with any external object other than water
• Entry of water into any vessel, hold, container liftvan or place of storage.

Non-delivery of owner packed cartons is limited to AU$500 unless an itemised valued list of contents is supplied prior to the commencement of the transit.

Should I take insurance while my possessions are in storage?

Yes. We can arrange an extension of your transit insurance to cover your belongings whilst they are in storage with us. The storage extension cover is available anywhere in Australia or for storage at any of our nominated agents worldwide.

I’m not sure I should bother with insurance. Shouldn’t my home and contents insurance cover it? Or your insurance?

Ultimately, it is your decision.

There are many circumstances for which we, as your remover, may not be liable to make good any loss or damage to your belongings; this is why we strongly recommend you take out transit insurance.
If you think you don’t need insurance, you should ask yourself why you would insure your belongings in your house (where there is low risk), and not when they are moving – moving can be a high risk situation.

You should certainly check with your home and contents insurer to find out if your existing policy covers the transportation of your possessions.

Speak to your moving consultant, download our insurance documentation or contact us for more information.

Speak to your moving consultant, download our insurance documentation or contact us for more information.

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