The concept of making an international move is both thrilling and daunting. But more so than this, you’ll need to check through a list as long as your arm before you arrive in a completely new country and can begin exploring your new home.
If you’re set to move your family and your belonging across international waters, the first thing you’ll need to think about is how to get it all there in the best possible condition. Should you choose air or sea freight? What is your shipping budget and timeline like? These are just a couple of things you’ll need to consider.
To learn more about the process of how to ship overseas and other important items to think about during an international move, this blog is here to help.
Should You Ship Overseas via Sea Freight?
If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly means of overseas shipping, then sea freight is your best bet. The process is generally quite seamless and the logistics are largely handled by the international shipping company you choose to go with.
So, how does this process work?
Your chosen shipping company sends a shipping container to your home. You should be able to choose from a few different size shipping containers, based on how much you have to pack.
Sometimes, you can also choose to share a shipping container with another person(s) if you don’t need an entire container for your belongings. The two choices are known as FCL: full container load, or LCL: less than a container load.
The cost of hiring a shipping container depends on its size — you pay per cubic meter. Therefore, an LCL load is often the most popular choice as it can be far cheaper.
Once your container is packed and loaded, a truck is then sent to your home to load the container and transport it to your nearest shipping port. However, this relates only to an FCL load.
If you choose an LCL load, your belongings must be delivered to a warehouse, where they are packed into your shared container for you. Once the container is full, only then is it delivered to the port.
Most international shipping companies will offer this door-to-port service. They also ensure that your container is loaded onto the correct carrier and deal with all customs and clearance procedures and documents.
Naturally, the process of shipping via sea freight takes a little longer than by air, but it can save you a ton of money in comparison. The process is also affected by the amount of time it takes to clear items through customs. As well as poor weather, shipping and haulage issues, local customs clearance, etc.
In general, you should allow for at least a week or two on either side for customs clearance. Depending on where you’re shipping to, this process can take a few weeks on average. Your shipping company will advise on a realistic timeline.
Should You Ship Overseas via Air Freight?
This is a far less common means of shipping your household goods to a new country, but if you have the budget for it, then this can be a far quicker option.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you might not have as much flexibility with shipping household items as you do with sea freight. For example, you may be limited by the weight allowance of an airline. You may also be limited in terms of hazardous objects that are not allowed on an aircraft.
Depending on how much you have to ship, air freighting can be a fast and convenient option, especially if it does not involve any furniture or other large household items. If you have sold off these items and plan to move with your clothing and a few sentimental pieces, then air freight could be the way to go.
To add to this, you won’t have to face customs clearance or go through an international shipping agent to move your goods via air freight. It’s as simple as packing your belongings and paying the additional cargo hold and weight fees.
International Shipping Tips
Before you begin your search for an international moving company, you’ll want to keep these top tips in mind to help streamline the process:
1. Plan Well Ahead of Time
Every single aspect of your international move will benefit if you plan ahead of time. You want to allocate yourself a good few months of sorting and planning before you even think about approaching an international moving company.
Start by decluttering your home and selling off the items that you are not that attached to. This will help to cut down on your shipping costs, greatly. Once you are 100 percent sure of what you want to ship, get in touch with a shipping company a good few weeks before your move date.
If you can organize your shipping container to leave ahead of you and live with simple amenities until your move date, this way you can avoid waiting weeks for your goods to arrive in your new home.
2. Always Compare Shipping Quotes
This might be the most sensible thing you can do during an international move — you don’t want to settle on the first shipping quote you’re offered. Take some time to shop around and compare shipping quotes between different companies.
Today, you are spoilt for choice on companies that offer international freighting options. Compare at least four-six different options before you settle on a company that suits your budget and timeline.
3. Is It Really Worth Shipping All Your Household Items?
You want to take a long, hard look at the stuff you own in your home. Think about how much it will cost to ship those items and whether you really want to hang onto them.
Most of the time, you can find similar items in the new country you’re settling in. Yes, you’ll have to start over, buy new, or even rent a few things. But most of the time, you can save money versus the shipping and customs costs you’ll pay to bring over your pre-loved goods.
Expand Your How-To Knowledge With Us
When it comes time to ship overseas, the choice will boil down to your budget and timeline. You’ll need to assess what’s more important to you — saving and shipping your personal belongings, or selling off most of them, and starting fresh. This choice is very personal, so take your time and consider the pros and cons of each.
If you’re looking to expand your how-to knowledge on topics such as selling your home, check out the rest of this site for great tips. We also offer articles on all things entertainment, gaming, tech reviews, and more.