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Home » Moving Overseas » How to move your household contents from Australia to New Zealand

How to move your household contents from Australia to New Zealand

Moving Overseas by Sea Freight?

Using self-pack shipping containers when moving overseas can be a relatively safe and cost-efficient process. In this article we examine the process of moving overseas from Australia to New Zealand. Much of this information is relevant for any self-pack international shipping, however.

In this specific case we are considering a self pack shipping container to be packed with a full household load. On average, remember that a 20ft-container can hold all of the contents of a 3 bedroom house. This particular container is being exported from the port of Gladstone in Queensland, Australia. The final destination is to a small port in New Zealand.

As with the international shipping, in reality this cargo can be shipped from anywhere in Australia to anywhere in New Zealand.  International relocations

Some shipping lines call in at North Queensland and have transit to Auckland, but in this case the destination was elsewhere. Because of the more unusual destination we had to arrange the shipping ex Brisbane. Transportation was booked with a specific shipping line who called at the port required.

What is the “moving overseas” shipping process?

To do this, we had to make the booking with the shipping line, and get the empty self-pack container sent by rail to Gladstone terminal. We arrange the transportation of the empty container to the person’s house for them to pack. It is important to ensure you have sufficient time to pack the container before it needs to be transported back to the port.

Once fully packed and ready, the full container is sent back via rail from Gladstone to Brisbane rail terminal. It is then shipping by road from the rail terminal into the port. Finally, the self pack container is shipped by ocean freight to the destination port.

In this circumstance the customer had to consider whether or not the container was going to be an immediate unpack and return. The shipping lines only give us a short period of time (usually about 14 days from vessel arrival) to return their empty container before they start charging rather horrendous daily charges. To avoid these costs it is imperative you know your requirements before you start. We want to decide whether we need to buy or rent a shipping container for storage in New Zealand. It is never pleasant to be hit with surprise shipping costs, so it may be safer to purchase a shipping container and then sell it later on.

Packing your shipping container

In this case we were also able to advise and assist the customer in the packing and securing inside the container of his personal items. Proper loading of the container prevents unnecessary damage to your possessions during transport.

Additionally, there is one important tip we always provide when moving overseas. Consider which possessions are the most important for you to access when you get to your destination. These are the items you should pack last. Always remember; last on, first off.

Furthermore, we were also able to assist and advise in regards to the insurance of these goods. There are several insurance options available. If the customer happens to be moving to the destination, then it is always a good option to arrange the insurance of your personal goods. Additionally, you are always well advised to arrange your own personal travel insurance.

The full process was rather time consuming, but we made a specific shipping plan for the exporter. This allowed us to meet our shipping goals with very minimal adjustments. Every step of the way was planned, scheduled and documented so that everything happened on time and without any major issues.

Shipping to New Zealand

Once all the planning was complete and the packing finished the container was shipped via sea freight to the port of entry in New Zealand. From here, their Customs and MAF (the NZ equivalent of Australian quarantine) inspected the cargo. The container was then released and the customer was able to take possession of their goods. In New Zealand, basically the reverse of what happened here needed to be done there. The customer appointed a Customs Broker who was familiar with personal effects and the regulations in NZ. The customs broker acts on thei behalf for any and all matters pertaining to the importation of personal effects and the delivery thereof. This, inevitably, saves a lot of headaches, grief and costs.

It is extremely important to note that MAF there go over everything with a fine toothed comb. Any vehicles, motor bikes, bicycles, jet skis and the like need to be thoroughly cleaned of all soil, oil and grease and any water. Sports shoes and the like also need to be completely clean. Golf Clubs are of particular interest. More often than not they have not been cleaned and still have some grass and soil in the grooves. This can lead to serious biosecurity and quarantine problems. Failure to comply with all their regulations may result in fines, expensive cleaning and/or fumigation costs. In some cases it can even lead to forfeiture and destruction at your expense; so be meticulous.

This article is written by our principal Mark Salmon.