Departure to Colombo

International Removal Companies to Colombo

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Moving your belongings to Sri Lanka is best accomplished with the help of professionals. Packers and movers who work internationally are the ones to look out for. These companies know what needs doing.

Preparing for the Move

Moving to a new country entails getting ready for change. Specially if one is relocating to an area of the world which is largely unknown to you, you must get acclimatized in more ways than one. You should get acquainted with the culture, traditions, ethics, ways of living, language, etc.

Practically, one needs to work out all other aspects of the move, such as, getting a job, a place to live, knowing your way about the local markets etc. Even using a different currency will prove to be difficult at first.

However, help, in the form of sites like this one and others, plus first-hand interaction with those who have already travelled the same path, would ease the process of adaptation. Before shifting your personal effects, you must read up and find out from others, for tips on relocation to Sri Lanka.

Understand Pricing

The price of moving depends on how much is being moved, the value of the goods, and the distance it is to be moved. If possible, ship only the truly indispensable items and buy the rest as and when you need them, when you have settled in, to abate some of the cost.

Shipping Size

Basic shipping costs are calculated on the amount of volume (Cubic Feet) that your packed goods will take up in a shipping container. Please note that:

  • Volume is calculated by the following formula: Length x Depth x Height.
  • For example, if a full-size refrigerator/freezer is 3 feet (.91 meters) wide, 2 feet (.6 meters) deep, and 6 feet (1.8 meters) high, it would be 36 cubic feet (1.01940 m3).
  • A 20-foot (6 meters) container's total cubic capacity would be 1172 cubic feet (33.2 m3).
  • A 40-foot (12 meters) container's total cubic capacity would be 2392 cubic feet (67.7 m3).
  • A standard 2 to 3-bedroom house or condo would fit into a 1 x 20ft. container while a 4 to 5-bedroom house would need a 1 x 40ft. container.
  • A larger shipment is beneficial because the greater the overall volume for shipment, the lower will be the rate per cubic foot, and vice versa.

Common Additional Moving Costs

Be knowledgeable about basic shipping and additional costs. Always make a budget which is more than the cost of the estimate, because of the following reasons:

  • Access at the collection or delivery point may be difficult so a smaller van would have to be brought in or hired.
  • Collection or delivery might have to be on higher floors, with or without a lift. This would require extra manpower and additional costs.
  • Parking permits may be needed at the collection or delivery addresses (the customer usually has to arrange these; a local council will advise if they are necessary).
  • The final destination might be several hundred miles from a port.

Note: the final price is almost always more expensive than even the best estimates!

Shipping Options: Ground, Sea or Air

The three basic goods shipping options are by ground, sea or air, or a combination of the three. Most companies offer all of these 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. This method is often done in conjunction with sea or air shipping


To move goods by sea takes about 6-8 weeks. But, the cost is far lesser than if taken by air. If moving by sea, your household goods will be packed into containers that are usually loaded at your residence. Once your home is packed into the containers, they are shipped by rail or transport to the port. Here they are loaded on to a steamship container which is loaded onto the ship as cargo. Once your goods have arrived in the new country, the container is unloaded and must pass through customs. International movers will be able to help you with the custom forms and are responsible for clearing your goods.


Airlifting household items is becoming increasingly popular, despite the higher costs. Heavy cardboard boxes are normally used to pack the goods, but some air freight companies use containers. You may find that shipping items by air is less expensive than renting a furnished place or living in a hotel in the country of relocation.

Airfreight is calculated either on the actual gross weight of the consignment or the volume weight, whichever is greater. Weight is expressed in kilograms. To calculate the volume weight of a given, we use the formula: Length x Breadth x Height (in centimetres) and divide by 6000, to obtain the volume weight in kilos. For household goods, the volume weight generally exceeds the gross weight.


To save money, you can ship 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 to a central location warehouse with later shipments being made to a country specific destination.

If your shipment is large, or if cost is not an issue, direct shipping is a better option. The truck will contain only your personal belongings and will go directly to its final destination, without stopping at any other warehouse.

You-pack / We-drive Service

For relocating your household effects to Sri Lanka, there is a company which provides a "You pack, we ship" option. Once your goods reach Colombo, the port of entrance, they will make a delivery to any part of Sri Lanka.

Finding a Reputable Moving Company

Before finalising which company you would like to work with, it is advisable to get at least three estimates in writing. This will give you a better idea of the pricing and the services available.

Use the Recommended Service Partner tool below to compare prices and receive free quotes.

Update 22/07/2018

The Ultimate Family Moving Guide - RSS&

As any expat knows, the key to a successful move is all in the preparation. By readying yourself for any possible bumps in the road ahead of time, you can rest assured you’ll be prepared to handle anything moving throws at you.

Removal Services Scotland has put together ‘The Ultimate Family Moving Guide’ in partnership with - so whether you're a moving pro or a first timer, our handy guide can take the stress out of your next move to Sri Lanka.

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Recommended Service Partners

International Movers

When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to Sri Lanka and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

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