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Shipping Options

when Moving Overseas

Shipping Containers, Air Freight, Groupage and More

Moving to another country but not sure which shipping solutions best suits you?

Household effects and personal belongings can be transported internationally by various types of overseas shipping services depending on the number of effects, the speed of delivery required, routing and cost considerations.

The terminology applied to the various modes of transport available can be confusing, so to assist you we have prepared the following summary of our overseas shipping options.

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International Removalists

Full Container Load (FCL)

A Full Container Load (FCL) is for sole use only. Therefore your goods (and only your goods) will be loaded into the shipping container. Once your belongings are loaded inside, a seal will be placed on the container which is taken to the port for shipment on the next available vessel. This is ideal if you are taking all or the majority of your furniture and effects. Container sizes are 20ft and 40ft. A 20ft holds the contents of your average 3 bedroom home whilst a 40ft caters for larger homes and those people wishing to ship vehicles to their new home.

Groupage (Shared Containers)

Our groupage or shared containers are suitable for those who do not have enough items to fill a 20ft or 40ft container, are on a budget or transit time is not an issue. Maybe you only want to take a few boxes or just part of your home. This overseas shipping service is perfect in this situation because you are only paying for the room you take up in the container. Once your items have been packed they are brought to our warehouse for loading into a shipping container along with other shipments belonging to other clients destined for the same country. As soon as the container is full it is shipped to the port of entry at your destination. Our chosen destination agent will collect the container from the port and deconsolidate it at their warehouse. This is a very safe, secure and cost-effective way of sending shipments. Shared containers are available to limited destinations so please call our friendly Moving Consultants who will advise if this service is available for your shipment.

 Less than Container Load  (LCL)

If you do not intend to ship enough items to utilize your own container, your shipment can be sent by LCL method. This means that once your effects have been packed they will be placed securely into wooden lift vans. These will be taken directly to the shipping line to be consolidated into a shipping container, sealed and then shipped to the requested destination port. LCL is the perfect option for those countries where we do not offer a Groupage service or for smaller shipments when the timing is important.

Air Freight

Air freight is a quick method of sending your goods overseas. With an average transit time of 7-10 days on a full door-to-door basis, it is ideal for those items you will need immediately at your destination. Airfreight is charged on either the dead weight (how much the item weighs) and the volumetric weight (how much room the items take up in the plane), whichever is the largest. To assist our Moving Consultants in quoting you accurately please try to have dimensions of your items and the weights at hand when you call our office.

If you have any questions about our shipping or air freight services please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will provide you with the information you need.

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Tips for Moving Overseas Shipping 

Moving overseas is an exciting time, but it can also be nerve-wracking. Thankfully, with a trusted international removalist at your side, a lot of the guesswork and anxiety around moving to a new country can be lifted. Whether you are moving to the UK, New Zealand, America, or anywhere around the world, you will always benefit from having as much knowledge as possible before moving day comes around. 

With that in mind, here are some useful tips for moving overseas shipping

  • Different nations impose varying limitations, so familiarise yourself with what you can and can’t ship.
  • Your goods may be subject to tax in your new destination, calculated as a percentage of the declared value of the item.
  • It’s essential to secure insurance. While the thought of a storm damaging your belongings might seem remote, it’s possible. Insurance generally covers the total loss of your container.
  • Pack essentials with you. Sea transport can be a lengthy process, spanning several months, so ensure you have everything crucial for the interim period when the bulk of your items are in transit.

We hope these tips will prove useful as you plan to ship your items to a new country.

Other Overseas Shipping Options

When relocating overseas, there are multiple facets to consider beyond just moving personal belongings. One main consideration is vehicle transport. If you’re fond of your car or motorcycle and wish to take it with you, specialised overseas removalists vehicle shipping services ensure your vehicle arrives safely at your new destination.

Similarly, for many, pets are cherished family members and it can be difficult to leave them behind. Moving pets internationally requires careful planning. Dedicated pet relocation services understand the intricacies of travel regulations, quarantine processes, and the unique needs of animals in transit. These services work diligently to ensure your furry or feathered friends reach their new homes with minimal stress.

If you’re uncertain about the duration of your stay or haven’t finalised your new address, storage options come to the rescue. Our secure storage facilities provide a solution for those in transition. Whether you’re waiting for your new home to be ready, or you’re on a temporary assignment and unsure of your long-term plans, these storage services offer flexibility. By keeping your possessions safely stored, you can have peace of mind knowing they’re protected and accessible whenever you’re ready.

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Am I able to pack my own belongings?

We do give you the option to pack your own belongings. You can even purchase your own packing materials from us. We offer a wide range of materials for packing as well as boxes of all shapes and sizes to help with all of your packing needs.

Customs for overseas shipping has been forever changed by the events of September 11, 2001. Strict regulations apply to items that have been packed by individuals, rather than trusted professional packing agencies, and authorities are more likely to inspect shipments that have been packed by the owner. This could lead to additional examination and inspection fees that are not included in your quote. Furthermore, when you pack your own cartons you are not covered for breakages and damage under any insurance policy. So while packing your own belongings could be seen as cost saving, it may have the opposite effect in the long run.

How long will it take for my possessions to be shipped?

The time it takes for your possessions to be shipped can vary, depending on where your possessions are being shipped to and the type of overseas shipping method you choose. Generally shipping options take between 4-16 weeks to deliver your belongings depending on your destination. If you do require delivery to be quicker than that then we can arrange for it to be delivered by air freight, which takes between 7-10 days. Discuss your timing restrictions with one of our Moving Consultants and they can help you choose the best service to suit your requirements.

How do you help organise the move?

Our experienced consultants can assist you with any paperwork for the move including insurance and customs forms. We can also help you pack up your old home, and unpack at your new home. Our trained packing team will wrap all of your items with special three-tier bubble wrap, helping securely cushion your possessions.

Worried about valuable ornaments or glass? We wrap these in acid-free tissue and pack into double layered cartons; a proven way to minimise damage.

How does the cost of sea freight compare to air freight when moving overseas?

Sea freight is typically more cost-effective for larger shipments or when shipping entire households. Air freight tends to be faster but may come at a higher cost, especially for larger volumes.So if you are only moving a small amount of belongings, air freight may be a more logical option. But for larger loads, sea freight will almost always be the more cost effective choice.

Are there any restrictions or prohibited items I should be aware of when shipping my belongings overseas?

Yes, each country has its own set of regulations and prohibited items. It’s essential to familiarise yourself with the destination country’s customs regulations. Commonly restricted items might include certain foods, plants, animals, and regulated goods. It’s not worth facing the penalties of attempting to bring in any of these prohibited items, so make sure you conduct thorough research before you move to a new country. 

Thankfully, most international moving companies like Overseas Packers & Shippers will be able to provide you with an up to date list of any prohibited items for the country you are moving to.

How do I ensure my belongings are protected during the shipping process?

Ensuring the safety of your belongings is crucial. Our team uses professional packing materials and are experienced in packing items securely for international transit. You can also opt for insurance coverage specific to international shipping to protect against unforeseen damages or losses during the journey.

Overseas Movers
Moving Overseas In-home Consultant
Relocate Overseas
Move Belongings Overseas
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We take over the complicated process of moving…

Helping our clients pack, organise insurance, liaise with shipping officials on their behalf and unpack at the end of the move.

Learn more about our process