Shipping to Oman, a diary with a happy ending!

We had 2 contacts for organising the shipment of our car to Oman: Jane (+254 720 882 061) and Mario (+254 719 849 474). As Mario’s offer was 1,600.- USD less, we booked with him. Fellow travellers, Uli und Martina – 6x6ontour.eu, were doing the same, just that they were one week ahead of us. We met them at Twiga Lodge, south of Mombasa, before they moved to Mario’s place not far from here, to prepare their car for shipping.

Mombasa / Kenya to Salalah / Oman
The shipment team, Cordy, Mario & local assistant

13.01.2024
In the evening we got their message that neither their ship, nor our ship one week later, will be going, the next ship is now promised in 2.5 weeks, at the first of February. This might have something to do with the problems in the read sea with the Huthi attacks and the container ships now avoiding the Suez Canal and going around South Africa instead. But we didn’t really know. That we would get the car shipped in the near future felt very uncertain.

The other option would be to drive all the way down to South Africa again, and ship home from there. Not something we would look forward to.

The Israeli Palestinian conflict causes a difficult situation in the Middle East

18.01.2024
Today we learned, that the ship on the 1st of Februar is full, we will have to wait until the 8th now, but that we will get on that ship is not guaranteed either. We are doomed to enjoy the sun, the beach, the sea for much longer than intended. Such a pain ­čśë

19.01.2024
Mario informed us, that we are on the waiting list for the 8th, which didn’t make us very confident about this date. In the meanwhile we enjoy our beach holiday in Tiwi, maybe karma wants us to relax and slow down?

22.01.2024
We get the confirmation that we are booked for the ship on the 8th of February! Hurray!!

01.02.2024
Today, we delivered our camper to the shipping company in Mombasa. 2 flat track containers were prepared, and they constructed a nice ramp to drive our car on the container. Uli’s car was there too, and we could watch them lash the cars down. They used new lashing straps and worked very professionally.

Cordy & Mario
Mario driving the 6×6 up the flat track container
Edi driving up the specially made wooden ramps
our 2,25 meter wide camper is fitting perfectly
both campers are lashed down perfectly

We are now staying in a hotel, waiting for the ship to depart and to receive the car papers, before we will take the flight to Salalah/Oman. There is still so much which could go wrong, but we are hoping for the best.

02.02.2024
Mario informed us, that already tomorrow, the cars will have to be brought into the harbour and will be there for a couple of days before loaded. He recommended us to hire a soldier to watch our cars while they are in the harbour, which we of course will do. Harbours are never a save area to leave your car standing around.

both campers arrived at the Mombasa harbour (04.02.2024)
Import clearing requirements Oman

05.02.2024
Our container ship, the Cabo Verde, should have reached the harbour of Mombasa by now, but the marine app tells us, it is hanging around in front of the harbour. The schedule of Maersk had changed online, with the ship going into the harbour on the 7th and leaving on the 9th, one day later than before.

8th of Feb., Carnet and keys are in our hands again

08.02.2024
We received our Carnet de Passage, stamped correctly on the 8th of February, delivered to our hotel. We also received the Carnet & keys for Uli, which we will take to Salalah for him. We are going to book our flight for the 11th now.

The ship has finally arrived in the harbour, we are waiting for the loading confirmation …..

Security taking care of our camper for 8 days in Mombasa harbour.
Loading …..

9.02.2024

Camper loaded 09th of Feb. @ 16:54

The container tracking tells us, our camper was loaded onto the Cabo Verde, tomorrow morning it will finally leave for Salalah/Oman. We will follow on the 11th.

Ship leaving Mombasa on the 10th of Feb. 2024
CABO VERDE, our ship, in the background ­čśë

10.02.2024
While enjoying breakfast at our hotel (Severin Sea Lodge), we watched first via a ship tracking app that the Cabo Verde is leaving the harbour. A little bit later it appeared at the horizon and we could watch it making its way towards Oman.

11.02.2024
We are now on the way to Salalah via Dubai, expecting to arrive in Oman on Monday evening. All looks good.

12.02.2024 / Dubai
We received the invoice of the shipping company in the late evening and immediately made the payment. The critical problem is, that we do not get our camper out of the harbour before the shipping company has received the payment. The operational problem is, that we can only pay in EURO, but the invoice is in US$. Therefore we use a service called “wise.com” which converts the EURO in US$ and does the international transfer to Kenya. Should work much better than a direct transfer from our bank.

13.02.2024 / Salalah
We have arrived in Oman, the “Cabo Verde” with our camper is still on the way, making good progress.

14.02.2024 / Salalah
The “Cabo Verde” arrived on time, in the morning hours, in the harbour of Salalah. Our container was discharged at midday. And the payment is still on the way ….

We visited the agent to hand in our carnet, but they are still waiting for the delivery order. It seams CEVA has no online connection with Maersk, therefore it takes longer. Finally CEVA promised to have the papers ready tomorrow morning.

Wise payment
we are waiting for the harbour administration @ Arabian Silk Line Trading, Salalah

15.02.2024
Of course nothing had happened overnight, so we did some errands, before we went to the agent again, to see how it is going. Uli’s delivery order had just arrived, and ours followed half an hour later. We waited again at the freezing office, until an Omani came, who would take our carnets to the harbour and do the customs.

We then left the agent’s office and waited at a restaurant at the fishing harbour, not far from the container terminal. When we were bored to death, we drove to the gate of the container terminal, in the hope to see our campers leave the harbour.

Watching the harbour activities

Again we waited and waited. Just before sunset, we suddenly saw them being moved in the direction of the gate, but they didn’t come out. After a long time, we got a call that the keys were needed for customs, so Uli and Edi walked in, but of course were not allowed through. Uli made many calls and wrote many messages that day, and finally somebody came to take them through. Then they wanted the car registration, so Edi had to came back and get it. They had a long discussion with customs, until the carnets were stamped correctly. Obviously they are not used to handling them. In the meantime night had fallen.

We had to wait again with the trucks parking just behind the gate before they finally left, and we could follow them.

We were told, they would be brought to a warehouse near the harbour, but obviously plans had changed as the trucks drove in the direction of Salalah. Following our camper standing high up on the truck, we were quite relaxed until the truck passed the first traffic lights, mounted across the road. The bed of the truck, the flat track container and our car together was about 6 m high. Only after the first traffic light, the driver realised that he has to take the lane where the lamps are the highest and go between them. Luckily, he passed all of them without dismounting anything or destroying our car.

As it turned out, our destination was an unused plot of land, where a ramp for unloading cars from a truck was standing lonely in the middle. The truck drivers had no idea what to do. The difference was 60 centimetres. They didn’t know, that the wall of the container folds only inwards and not outwards. When they started to collect rocks, we had to stop them. They then disappeared for a break. Again, Uli was trying to sort things out. By then it was midnight, and we were all tired and exhausted. With the manager we agreed, that the drivers should park somewhere save and we would continue the next day.

Ramp in the middle of an empty plot, just not high enough

When the drivers returned, they jumped into the trucks and drove off. They only spoke Arabian, so not communication was possible. Of course we followed them, as it turned out, to the area where the truck company has their big cranes. It turned out, they were finally going to lift the container off the truck and then build a ramp so we can drive the cars down. Obviously, plans had changed again without our knowing.

Preparing for the unloading
Mounting the shackles
Camper in the air
Folding down of the container wall

First they had to find the right shackle, but soon they had the container fixed and were lifting it up, just enough that the truck could drive away. It was lowered to the ground and then they had to fight hard to get the wall down. Our flat track container was a little bit battered, and the wall had to be forced down with a fork lift. When that was done, they brought good material and constructed a solid ramp.

Only 60 cm to go

What a relief when our camper was finally standing on solid ground!! Ulis camper was next and for them, the container had to be turned around in the air. Luckily, they had a better flat track container, where it was easier to get the wall down, and soon they were also unloaded. By then, it was 2.45 am!!

Building a ramp
Finally driving down

From the outside, the camper was completely unharmed and the first inspection of the inside revealed, that everything was fine. Nobody had been inside, not even in the front, as the snacks we had left, were still there.

We parked the camper and as we were completely exhausted, we went to bed as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, at 6 am a muezzin next to us called for the first Friday prayer, a compressor started to make a lot of noise, a truck was starting its engine and a radio or TV blasted next to us. We clearly had to move. After a little rest on a quiet place at the beach, we returned our rented car, went for breakfast, did our first shopping, filled up water and are finally relaxing at the coconut beach of Salalah.

Coconut Beach Salalah

15 thoughts on “Shipping to Oman, a diary with a happy ending!”

  1. karl jungwirth

    Servus Cordy und Edi !
    Alles Liebe und gutes Gelingen aus ├ľsterreich !
    Haltet die Ohren steif … Hi, 73, Karl OE3JAG

    1. Hallo Karl,

      danke, aktuell l├Ąuft alles nach Plan, habe gerade mein gesamtes HF / UHF Material nach OE gesendet, da ich keine Lizenzen f├╝r den Mittleren Osten bekommen konnte und die Einfuhr verboten ist.

      73, EDI

      1. Hallo Edi,
        eure Abenteuer sind ja unglaublich, aber am Ende “Alles gut”, dank Eurer super Organisation, die alle Umst├Ąnde bestm├Âglich meistert.Weiterhin gutes Gelingen und sch├Âne Erlebnisse. Liebe Gr├╝├če Manfred

  2. Servus Cordy und Edi !
    Ich habe gerade gelesen, dass ihr wohlbehalten nach den ├╝blichen Problemen, in Salalah angekommen seid !
    Ich freue mich f├╝r euch und hoffe bald wieder was von euch auf dem SAT h├Âren zu k├Ânnen.
    Haltet die Ohren steif … LG, 73, Karl – OE3JAG

  3. I think the last few days have been very challenging for you both. All the best for the next months in the Arabic countries.
    Liebe Gr├╝├če, Ewald

  4. My oh my .
    Shipping from Africa to the middle East is an adventure on it’s own. Glad to hear you finally managed.
    Enjoy your time in Oman !!!
    Johan
    ON3OX

    1. Hallo ihr Zwei, wo seid ihr denn bereits? Passt ihr in einen Container? Die Arabian Silk Line hat uns versichert, sie organisieren solche Verschiffungen, falls ihr den Kontakt wollt, senden wir euch gerne die Infos.

      LG
      Cordy & Edi

  5. We were happy to be at your Service at CEVA logistics Mombasa terminal. Kindly Make a Return , And lets us be your Favorite Logistics provider.

    Wir freuen uns, Ihnen am CEVA Logistics-Terminal in Mombasa zur Seite stehen zu d├╝rfen. Bitte machen Sie eine R├╝cksendung und lassen Sie uns Ihr bevorzugter Logistikdienstleister sein.

  6. Ihr seid der Wahnsinn! Unglaublich, welche Abenteuer ihr erlebt! Dieser Bericht war spannender als das Buch, das ich gerade lese. Super beschriebenund untermalt mit fantastischen Fotos! Das war definitiv ‘ an adventure on it’s own’. Alles Gute, weiterhin viel Gl├╝ck und genie├čt den Oman!

    1. Hallo Kerstin, Danke f├╝r das Lob, selber sieht man das oft nicht ganz so, drum ist es gut von dir zu h├Âren. Wir waren auf jeden Fall sehr erleichtert, dass alles gut ging. Wir haben von anderen geh├Ârt, deren Schiff hatte bereits im Hafen von Mombasa eine Havarie mit einem anderen Schiff. Das ist uns zum Gl├╝ck erspart geblieben ­čÖé Die Arabische Halbinsel ist auf jeden Fall ein starker Kontrast zu Afrika, wir sind schon gespannt, was wir hier noch alles erleben werden. Alles Liebe an Dich Cordy

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