Jeddah is one of the world's largest seaports, with plenty of competition between logistics and removals companies, which means expats generally have few problems shipping items here. Expats should get quotes from several companies, and compare their prices and reputations before settling on one.
On the other hand, not only is shipping expensive, but expats would easily be able to purchase most of their household items locally, and accommodation in Jeddah often comes furnished anyway. Expats moving to Jeddah should therefore think carefully before deciding what to bring with them.
Air vs sea freight in Jeddah
Air freight and courier services are good for delivering smaller packages. They're efficient, but the costs are proportionately higher.
All shipped items must pass through Saudi Arabian customs and the sender has to complete the appropriate paperwork. Customs clearance depends on whether goods are classified as having no commercial value. Dutiable goods are taxed.
Shipments can sit in customs for quite some time before they're allowed to be claimed. In some cases, the recipient of the goods may have to pay for storage during this period. Using a shipping company with warehouse storage can be worthwhile, as expats won't have to worry about extra costs if they can't claim their goods from customs immediately.
The list of prohibited items is long and constantly changing but generally tends to include pornographic material, weapons, alcohol, narcotics and pork.
Shipping your Pet to Saudi Arabia provides more info on transporting companion animals into Jeddah.
►Read more about Shipping and Removals in Saudi Arabia
Are you an expat living in Jeddah?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Jeddah. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.