Fiasco has such a nice ring to it…well, until you understand its the story behind it!

Prior to leaving Canada last year I decided to bring only some of my personal effects. I disposed of the remainder via garage sale, FaceBook marketplace or put on my front lawn.

This included all of my kitchen appliances etc as the power source is different in Australia.

I’d done quite a bit of research on what I could take to Australia given their strict import laws. All of the items made with wood had to be separated (e.g. salad tongs, cutting boards, fruit bowls…) and placed in especially marked boxes.

If not, there were to be destroyed…at my expense! Now you can see why I was so thorough. 🤔

At the same time I was researching companies that ship to Australia. I eventually narrowed it down to three companies who I approached and got quotes from.

I ended up choosing Pickford – Allied movers who seemed to have a lot of experience shipping internationally, especially to Australia.

They weren’t particularly cheap, but they did have all of the necessary experience and credentials that I was looking for.

The day of packing arrived and they were on time, and thorough. A good sign by any standard!

My shipment was sent to Vancouver for an early Dec departure, then placed on a container ship bound for Brisbane. Thats when things went south! 

I left Canada in late November and completed my two weeks of quarantine in Sydney and headed to my new home in Queensland December 9th. Yay!

Awesome! I could buy whatever new furniture I required and given that my shipping container in January and I’d be all set.

December came and went and my container was still in Toronto….

The company had forwarded me the container number so that I could track its progress. Well, that was until I realised that it hadn’t yet moved. When I questioned the company about it they blamed shipping schedules and of course covid… 🤨

By mid January and after much prompting they gave me a date when my container was to be sent to Vancouver, as well as the container ship that it was to be sent on. Finally some progress I thought!

The departure date from Vancouver was then set for January 29th. However, when I searched for the ship it was still languishing off the coast of California near Long Beach.

Eventually, the ship sailed to Vancouver where it sat for another month. But instead of departing for Australia it sailed back to Los Angeles. 🤔

Radio silence from the shipping company…

By this time it was early March and I noted that the ship was heading out into the Pacific. As you can imagine I’m elated!

Until I realised that it was heading to New Zealand…. Oi vey!

More delays in New Zealand before the ship finally ups anchor and heads toward Australia.

However, instead of sailing for Brisbane as was planned and conveyed to me to went to the Port of Botany in Sydney.

The response from the shipping company is that covid is to blame, along with port labour issues in Brisbane…but not to worry it won’t be long now…

Let me see arriving into Sydney (wrong port) three months late is annoying to put it mildly.

I finally get word from the company that its been unloaded, but that I had to pay customs fees to move the container to the customs facility. However, when I read my contract it clearly states that this cost is included.

The company in Australia has no idea about my contract and says unless I pay the $700 it won’t be released to customs and that I’ll be liable for storage costs at the container port…

Left with no choice I had to make payment so it could be moved to the customs warehouse for inspection.

My container cleared customs without any issue as I knew it would as I’d separated out all of my wood products into specific labelled boxes.

However, now I have to move my items back from the customs facility but this is going to cost me another $700 to take it back…. I mean really WTF!!!

Not sure about you but I hate the fact that there are all of these hidden costs, while they hold your items for ransom.

So after all this tooing and frowing and me having to pay all these extra costs I get a call from the shipping agent to say that my container will be at my house Tuesday May 11th.

I even received a call from the local agent for the company here in Brisbane to confirm my address and time for delivery.

Okay lovely!

Now you can imagine my chagrin when I received a call from the Sydney shipping agent on the day my container was supposed to be delivered to me in Queensland, and asked me to verify my address.

Yes, the same address I gave them when I originally shipped the container.

The conversation went something like this

“Hello, Mr Wallis. Can you please confirm your address.” I gave it to him again.

“Okay but that’s in Queensland, not Newport in New South Wales. It’s more than 30 miles from the port so you’re going to have to pay haulage to get it to you”. (This is the part where I lost it!)

After regaining my composure I explained to him that my container was scheduled to be shipped to Brisbane (30 kms) from my new home, but due the changes in their shipping it went to Sydney and clearly not my problem.

“Well, I’ll have to follow up with our company in Canada to see who’s going to pay for it.”

Yes, and this was the day it was supposed to be delivered…. 🤯

Two days later the Sydney based agent called to tell me that the Canadian company was going pay for the haulage to me in Newport, Queensland and not to worry.

Oi vey – seriously!?

The good news is that it did finally arrive on Wed May 26th, but it took 206 days instead of the 120 as promised, but what really grinds my gears is the additional hidden charges of $1400…

Unlimited patience is required plus really deep breaths. Lol!

So now to unpack! 🤩

Until next week