What You Need To Know About Shipping Your Household Items Internationally

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Shipping your household items internationally can seem like a daunting task. It’s not as simple as just packing your goods in a moving truck and having them driven across the United States to your final destination. Instead, your household items have to be packed, driven, and then either transported by ship or air in most cases. It’s an expensive and complicated process, but it can be done with minimal hassle if you’re aware of the following:

You’ll Be Charged By Weight

You’ll be charged by weight when shipping your household items internationally in the majority of cases. This means that the more items that you’re shipping, the more expensive that it’s going to be. Your goods will be stored in either a 20 foot or a 40 foot storage container, but it’s usually rare where you can make an arrangement in which you can store as many goods as possible in it without being charged more.

Instead, the container will be weighed either at the port or the moving company can do an assessment at your home so that you know of the price beforehand. Nonetheless, you should be able to get a fairly accurate estimate from them.


A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-452-2880 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.


You’ll Be Charged By Distance / Location

The farther that your household items have to be shipped, the more that you’ll be charged. There are exceptions to this, though. If you’re transporting your items to a final destination that is remote or landlocked, it could cost more than transporting your goods to a popular destination such as London or Tokyo.

Your goods have to be transported from your home to a shipping port and from there, placed on a cargo ship, transported through international waters, where it then has to be transported from the port of arrival to your final destination. Many moving companies offer door-to-door service, meaning that they will pick up your items directly from your home and make sure that it arrives at your final international destination.

It’ll Take Much Longer

You should try to arrange your shipment of your household items overseas at least 6 weeks ahead of when you’re going to need your items. There are so many steps involved in the process that it’s going to normally take at least two weeks for the transportation process to be completed. Cargo ships move notoriously slow and shipping by air freight is not a viable option if you have many items.

Plus, you have to consider the various paperwork and documentation that will accompany the customs requirements of the particular country that you’re shipping to. This can all add to the delays that you’ll experience, especially if you have not properly prepared all of your documents. A great international moving company will be able to assist you with all of the documents that you may need.

Don’t stress out over shipping your household items internationally. Many people are in the same position as you and the good news is that there are many credible companies that have extensive services to assist you in doing so. Always check the credibility of the company on a website such as the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org before choosing a company. Good luck!

Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC) where he graduated with with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, Inc., including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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