Moving internationally | should I pack a container or just send a few boxes and sell my belongings
I thought I would write a fairly short blog post on this topic as we received a call the other day from a man who wanted to move his family over to Canada.
He was asking how much it cost to send just a few boxes as he didn’t want to pack a container and didn’t believe he had enough to fill one. He was persuading his wife to sell most of their belongings to save money with the move.
This is not always correct!
With some countries it is actually cheaper for you to send a self pack container with all of your goods.
When goods are packed in boxes to be sent overseas as LCL (less than a container load) cargo – the same rates do not apply.
For some countries sending over a few boxes of you goods is the best thing.
But for others, the cost of sending a few parcels may fall just shy or equal to what you would pay to send a full container load of your belongings.
Find out your costs first before you start selling and sorting your goods
For instance, if you are taking bicycles overseas – they must be thoroughly cleaned and well packed in boxes – you can’t just load a bike into an LCL container with other peoples goods.
Sometimes the sheer cost of getting the right packages can be quite an expensive exercise in itself – unless of course you have keep the original packaging it came in.
Whereas if you were packing a container – the bike must still be well cleaned but you could just wrap it in a few layers of bubble wrap for protection and of course if you pack the container yourself – you can pack it against items which shouldn’t move very much and so on.
With our budget conscious solutions you may find you can in fact take most if not all of your goods as a twenty foot container should hold the contents of an average three bedroom house.
There are some other costs to bear in mind.
We operate port to port – we can pick up you container or packages this side (there is of course a cost to this).
But you will need to organise all customs clearance, cartage, unpack of the container and return of the container to the shipping agent from the other side.
Can I do my own clearance at my destination
We of course recommend you hire a local customs agent to handle this process – we will then send all the documentation to them.
If you do choose to do it yourself – check out what the rules are for the country you are sending your goods too.
Some have an easy process and some have all sorts of taxes and other rules.
For instance, always have a packing list.
Lack of knowledge is no defence with customs and border control.
Find out for yourself what rules and regulations are in place and what you need to do.
If you are returning to your country of origin – check on the rules also – don’t assume because you are a returning local that the process will be simple.
If using a container…
If you do opt for a container, consider purchasing the container you use.
If you have some place to store the container at your destination – then this can solve many issues re storage of your goods and once you have arrive and unpacked the container.
You can either keep it as a storage shed or on sell it to some one else.
So what is the lesson here – check pricing before you decide what you want to do. It could make your move a lot easier than you think.