Ecuador has many rules on importation and the administrative part can take a very long time. The price of moving depends on the how much is being moved, the value of the goods, and the distance to be moved. If possible, ship only the truly indispensable items and try to buy when you arrive to abate some of the cost.
Some basic factors in determining the best shipping method are:
Basic shipping costs are calculated on the amount of volume (cubic feet) that your packed goods will take up in one of our shipping containers. Volume is calculated by multiplying the length x depth x height.
Removal cost also depends on the point of origin and destination. Certain regions are expensive despite a shorter distance. For instance, Europe tends to be relatively expensive to ship to. A full load from the UK to Spain can cost £5000. For comparison, a full load from the UK to Australia is £6700.
Prices for shipping to Ecuador differ a lot per load; it is best is to request quotes at different shipping countries. To give you an idea, shipping a load of 200 lbs. to Ecuador from the UK by air costs around £1,200 and shipping a container should cost around £10,000.
Note that the final price is almost always more expensive than even the best estimates. Be knowledgeable about basic costs and budget more than the cost of the estimate.
Shipping Options: Ground, Sea or Air
The three basic options are to go by ground, sea or by air, or a combination of the three. Most companies offer all options, so inquire about the price difference and decide which method is best for you.
Moving with only ground travel is uncommon unless moving a short distance. This is much slower then flying, but much less expensive. Only when you move to Ecuador from a nearby country, like Peru or Colombia, you may consider this option. It is more frequent to use this method combined with sea or air shipping.
To ship your load overseas takes about 6-8 weeks, but costs less than traveling by air. If moving by sea, your household goods will be packed into containers that are usually loaded at your residence (depending on the location). Once your home is packed into the containers, they are then shipped by rail or transport to the port where they are then loaded on to a steamship container. The container is then loaded on the boat as cargo. Once your goods have arrived in the new country, the container is unloaded and must pass through customs, which can take longer than expected. International shipping companies will be able to help you with the custom forms and are responsible for clearing your goods.
Moving household items by air is becoming increasingly popular, despite a much higher price tag. Heavy cardboard boxes are normally used to pack your goods, although some air freight companies will use containers. Depending on the destinations, you may find that shipping items by air is less expensive than renting a furnished place or living in a hotel.
Airfreight is calculated on either the actual gross weight of the consignment or the volume weight, whichever is the greater. Weight is expressed in kilograms. To calculate the volume weight of a given item we multiply the length, breadth and height in centimeters and divide by 6000 to obtain the volume weight in kilos. For household goods the volume weight generally exceeds the gross weight.
A good way to save money is shipping your items with other people's belongings. Known as "groupage", your personal belongings will be shipped with the personal belongings of one or more customers. While this offers considerable financial savings, it can take much longer. Usually, the shipment is sent a central location warehouse with later shipments being made to a country specific destination.
If your shipment is large, or cost is not an issue, direct shipping is a better option. The truck will contain your personal belongings only and will go directly to its final destination without stopping at any destination.
Larger companies offer services transporting your belongings from house to house, but this increases the costs significantly. Another option is to hire a local company in Ecuador to make sure the importation and transportation to your house runs smoothly.
The best recommendations come from people who already lived the experience; ask them what company they used and about the do's and don"ts. You can get in touch with practical experts through the EasyExpat forum or the Expats in Quito Facebook group. Once you have found interesting options, it is advisable to get at least three estimates in writing.
You can also use the Recommended Service Partner tool below to compare prices and receive free quotes.