If you are moving overseas, shipping containers can be an affordable and reliable shipping option for your larger goods, furniture, and appliances. Whether you’re moving for work, school, or personal reasons, shipping containers with the help of an established ocean freight forwarder offers a convenient and secure way to transport your belongings overseas.
Learn how to find the ideal shipping container for your move, and use the following packing, documentation, and shipping tips to ensure your items arrive safely overseas.
Determine the Right Size Shipping Container for Moving Overseas
When planning to move your household goods overseas, it’s essential to determine the appropriate size shipping container to accommodate your items. Shipping services’ container options include 20-foot or 40-foot, and 40-foot high cube. Each size has a different full container load and utility:
- A 20-foot container is ideal for apartments, condos, or one-bedroom homes. It has a capacity of 33 cubic meters and can accommodate approximately 10-12 standard pallets.
- A 40-foot container is ideal for three to four-bedroom homes or commercial use. It has a 67-cubic-meter capacity and can fit around 20-24 standard pallets.
- A 40-foot high cube container is suitable for taller items, including machinery or extra tall furniture. The 76-cubic-meter interior space can fit between 20-24 standard pallets.
To determine the appropriate size container for your move or furniture export, consider the size and number of items you intend to transport. Create an inventory of all the items, including the dimensions and weight. If you have bulky or awkwardly shaped items, a larger container or a high cube container may be necessary.
Moving overseas with shipping containers involves several cost considerations that can add up quickly. It’s important to consider shipping fees, customs fees, and insurance costs when budgeting for the move.
- Shipping fees: Ocean freight costs depend on the size and weight of the container, as well as the distance and route to the destination. The cost can vary significantly between international movers, so shop around and compare prices.
Usually, a full container load (FCL) is priced per container. However, for less-than-container load (LCL) shipping, the freight company applies an LCL base rate to the weight measured in tons or the volume measured in cubic meters (CBM). CBM represents the volume of an object with dimensions of 1 meter wide, 1 meter long, and 1 meter high.
- Customs fees: These include import and export duties, taxes, and other charges that the destination country may impose. These fees are typically based on the value of the goods being transported and can vary depending on the country and the type of items.
- Insurance costs: They are essential to protect against loss or damage during transit. Shipping companies may offer insurance, but it’s essential to compare prices and ensure that the policy covers all items being transported.
To budget for your international move and avoid unexpected expenses, create a detailed statement including all shipping, customs, and insurance costs.
Research the destination country’s customs regulations and ensure all necessary documentation is ready to avoid delays or extra costs. You can also declutter and sell any items that you no longer need or use to reduce the overall shipping costs.
Pack Your Container Strategically
Packing your container strategically ensures your items arrive safely and intact. Some tips on how to pack your container efficiently and effectively include:
- Disassemble larger items, such as furniture, to maximize space.
- Use sturdy boxes and packing materials, such as bubble wrap and packing peanuts, to protect fragile personal effects.
- Pack heavier items at the bottom of the container and lighter items on top to prevent damage.
- Fill any empty spaces with soft items, such as clothing or blankets, to prevent shifting during transit.
- Label all boxes and items clearly to make unpacking at your destination easier.
In addition to packing your container strategically, take steps to protect your items during transit, including:
- Securing all items with ropes or straps to prevent movement during loading time and transit.
- Applying a moisture barrier bag or liner protects your belongings against water damage.
- Purchasing insurance to cover any potential loss or damage during transit.
- Hiring a professional door-to-port packing and loading service ensures your items are packed and loaded correctly.
Prepare Your Documentation
To comply with customs regulations when shipping overseas, ensure that you have the necessary documentation, including a Bill of Lading, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Certificate of Origin, and Insurance Certificate.
These documents provide details about the shipment, including its value, quantity, weight, dimensions, country of origin, and insurance coverage.
To prepare and organize your documentation, ensure you have all the documents and copies. Fill out all forms correctly and legibly, and keep all the documents in a secure and organized folder.
Partnering with Asiana USA can make clearance procedures easier. We are experienced in handling complex customs clearance and shipping documentation. Our team can help you prepare and organize all the documents, ensuring that your shipment complies with all regulations and arrives safely at its destination.
Customs and Border Control
Preparing for customs and border control inspections is crucial when shipping overseas. To ensure a smooth process, consider the following tips:
- Research customs regulations: Each country has different regulations regarding imports and exports, so research and understand the rules and requirements before shipping.
- Ensure proper documentation: Ensure you complete all the documentation accurately and completely.
- Declare all items: Don’t attempt to hide or under-declare any items, as it can lead to penalties or confiscation.
- Pack appropriately: Ensure that your items are packed securely and that any prohibited items are removed.
- Be present: If possible, be present during customs and border control inspections to answer any questions or provide additional information.
Delivery and Unpacking
Typically, with overseas shipping containers, the delivery process involves transporting the container by truck to the final destination. Once the container arrives, it will be unloaded, and the items must be unpacked.
- Choose a suitable delivery location: Ensure that the delivery location is accessible for the truck and that there is enough space to unload the container.
- Have the necessary tools: You may need a crowbar, hammer, and box cutter to unpack the items.
- Label and organize: Label all the boxes and organize them by room to make the unpacking process easier.
- Inspect for damage: Check for any damage to items during transit and report it to the shipping company immediately.
Partner With Asiana USA to Simplify Your Overseas Move
Moving overseas can be complex, but partnering with a trusted logistics provider like Asiana USA can simplify it.
Asiana USA works with reputable moving companies to transport furniture and household goods overseas, offering comprehensive shipping solutions that include customs clearance, documentation preparation, and cargo insurance.