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.
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.
An example would be a full size refrigerator/freezer that is 3 feet (.91 meters) wide, 2 feet (.6 meters) deep, and 6 feet (1.8 meters) high would be 36 cubic feet (1.01940 m3).
20 foot (6 meters) container total cubic capacity = 1172 cubic feet (33.2 m3)
40 foot container (12 meters) container total cubic capacity = 2392 cubic feet (67.7 m3)
A standard 2 to 3 bedroom house or condo should fit into 1 x 20ft container. A larger 4 to 5 bedroom house would need 1 x 40ft container. One benefit of a larger shipment is that the greater the overall volume for shipment, the lower the rate per cubic foot, and vice versa.
Removal cost also depends on the point of origin and final 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.
Note that the final price is almost always more expensive than even the best estimates. Be knowledgeable about basic costs and budget a buffer between what you think it will cost and what you can pay.
The three 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. This method is often done in conjunction with sea or air shipping.
To move by sea takes about 6-8 weeks, but costs less then traveling 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 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. International movers 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. 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.
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 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 other warehouse.
Consult our FAQ made by the most frequently asked questions and specific terms of expatriation.
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