An international move is always exciting for everyone involved, but shipping can be a little daunting - we hope this guide helps
2 October 2019| Last updated on 19 January 2020
An international move can be both super exciting, and extremely stressful...
You'll have no doubt spent a lot of time and energy securing a new work opportunity, and planning your return home or to your new destination. Once you've arrived, you'll also be wanting to make new friends and try new experiences, even if it's just for personal development.
However, there are some important points to consider before you relocate yourself and your family to another country.
One of the first questions you may ask when you are relocating country is “to ship or not to ship?”. And when it comes to this, there are numerous factors to consider...
1. Is re-purchasing items cheaper than shipping?
One of the biggest debates when relocating is, will it be cheaper to repurchase all your items at your destination country? This can be a tricky question, as every country has different prices for furniture, and you may not even be buying the furniture brand new.
However, there is a method to evaluate the costs for either option.
Firstly, take a small section or room in your house, look through all the cupboards and start adding up in your mind or even on paper to calculate how much you spent on the items.
For your kitchen just take the counter space and drawers without the big appliances and add up your knife sets, pot and pans, plates, cups, glasses, every utensil, chopping boards, cutlery and even the small appliances such as your microwave or coffee machine (basically everything, no matter how small).
Once you have a total room replacement price, apply the same principle for the rest of the house. You may be surprised at the replacement cost of your entire household after completing this exercise!
Obviously, it is not as easy to just compare how much you spent versus the cost of shipping. You will need to do some research on how much the items would cost at the destination; ask yourself how much would you really be able to sell the items for, the sentimental value and the time it takes to repurchase everything.
After your research and complete this activity, you will have a clearer picture to be able to make the informed decision if shipping all your items is the best thing for you.
2. What items should you ship?
If you have decided that shipping your items is best for you, your next step will be to evaluate which items will be joining you on your next adventure.
Moving is a great time to declutter and ensure you are only taking the items that you love and need to your new home. So, take the time to go through your old paperwork and cupboards to clear out any of the junk. There are some items which are also not recommended to ship such as candles so this may be a good time to rehome them.
Once you have had a clear out you will also need to evaluate the bigger furniture item,s and whether they will fit in with your new home. Is the furniture the right sizing for the new space? Does the furniture fit in with the overall look of your new home?
It is important to note that shipping your items is very similar to bulk buying at the supermarket. The more items you take the cheaper per CBM (cubic meter) rate will be. So, if you are only reducing a few items to save on the shipping cost then this may not actually save you that much money.
3. What customs and duty-free rules do I need to be aware of?
Many countries do have duty-free entry if all the correct documentation is completed (depending on your visa status, nationality, and country of origin). So, it is very important to complete all the required documentation and know if you are eligible for duty-free entry before proceeding with the shipment.
You can check out the customs guide on our website for all the documentation requirements for each country here.
4. How long is transit time, and how long does it take to ship?
Knowing when to ship your items is also important. You will need to be ready for the packers to come in and pack everything up, as well as be ready to receive your items on the other end.
It will also be important to consider the length of time it takes to ship, when you need to be out of your current property, the number of days it will take to pack/unpack, any celebrations or holidays which may delay the process or if you would like the items before a celebration/holiday, and if storage would be required depending on your situation.
Knowing your dates will help you inform the relocation company to work with you and ensure they can meet your needs.
If you’re thinking about moving abroad and would like to find out how we can support your move from A to B, get in touch with a member of our friendly expert team on 04 332 1595 today.
Authored by Gemma Barakat
Team Lead - Consumer Sales
Santa Fe Relocation