Affordable International Moving Costs | How Much Does an International Move Cost?
Published on 2022-07-08
How Much Does an International Move Cost?
Do you have a plan of moving overseas? Relocation to a new country feels like an adventure and a fresh start with new job opportunities, living experiences, a change of lifestyle, etc.
However, calculating international moving costs can be a daunting process if you are new and not guided by international moving specialists. Choosing a moving company that has your best interests in mind can make the situation a little less stressful.
Luckily, Three Movers is there for you. We are registered with FMCSA and rated as A+ moving company by BBB. With over 20 years in the moving industry, we have the best movers that will guide you to calculate the budget for moving overseas. Contact us today for free estimates today.
The main question that comes to our mind when international relocation is, how much does it cost to move internationally? Firstly, in order to execute an international move smoothly, you will need to get the help of a professional moving company that has the expertise of moving internationally. These movers know what it takes to properly package your items and have them shipped to their destination overseas. There is a vast price range for hiring international movers. A lot depends on the size of the home they are packing up and moving. The international moving costs will also depend on if you need to hire a professional packing service provided by the moving company. For an overseas move, you could be looking at a price range of $3,000 to $10,000.
While moving overseas, shipping costs make up the largest percentage of the overall international moving cost. As the cost of packing, loading, unloading, e.t.c. is also an important part of international shipping costs, if we break down the cost of moving overseas, the shipping cost will have the highest share.
The shipping cost for a full container load is more than the shipping cost of less than a full container load. When you are paying for less than a full container load, you’ll have to share a container with stuff belonging to other people.
The cost of shipping containers overseas also depends on the shipping route and the total distance of the shipping route. If the container ship has to stop at a seaport of an expensive country, the cost will increase. If you are shipping through a place with cold weather and an abundance of icebergs, you’ll have to pay more for shipping.
The shipping company you choose will also have a big impact on the shipping cost. For affordable shipping prices, you should contact Three Movers.
Visas and Immigration Costs
Hopefully, you will use a that moving company will help you with the visa and immigration processes. Some countries will not make you pay for the household goods you bring into the country up to a certain amount. After that amount, they will tax the items. In some countries, you may be looking at fees for bringing in your household items up to $500. Visa fees could also cost around the same amount, but in some countries, they don’t charge anything at all. Usually, visa fees depend upon what you are applying for and where you want to move.
Should International Moving Costs Include Moving Insurance?
As a matter of fact, not every moving companies include insurance in their estimate. However, if your moving company offers some kind of insurance that covers your items, it’s likely that the insurance covering your items in full is slim. For this, you will need to get third party insurance through another carrier or get extended coverage offered by your moving company. While moving companies and their affiliates are going to do everything they can to make sure that your items do not get damaged in transport, there is a lot of unknown that comes with the thousands of miles your belongings are going to travel. So, it may be a good idea to opt for additional coverages. The cost for additional coverage can range anywhere from $200 to $1,000.
Storage, Boxes, and Packing Materials
For a move overseas, you will need to use packing materials that can withstand the trip. General boxes are not going to cut it, and they will need to be sturdier. Boxes that are sturdier than typical boxes can range in price from $4.00 to $17.00 each, so depending on the number of boxes you need, this could add up. The pricing does not include the extra items like bubble wrap and packing tape. If you want to limit the cost of moving overseas, you may check into the rates of packing professionals that are a part of a full-service moving company.
Storage is another option that has to be utilized in moves overseas and usually, it is provided by most moving companies. Some people spend the first part of their move overseas traveling. For this, they will often put their belongings in storage while they travel. Other scenarios where storage may be necessary is if the new home has not been completed. The cost of storage can run as high as $200 to $400 per month, depending on the size of the unit needed. This cost could also increase if it is a climate-controlled unit.
Flights, Accommodations, and Pets
You aren’t able to accompany your belongings on international moves, so you will have to make your own flight plans. Depending on the flight you have to take, and the connecting flights associated with it, the amount you pay for plane tickets could add up. You may also need to find temporary accommodations until your belongings reach your new home. Between the two, you could possibly be spending between $2,250 and $6,550.
Furry family members will have to be taken into consideration during an international move. A lot of times you can make accommodations to bring your pet on the plane with you. Flying with your pet will be the fastest and cheapest option available. You can’t ship them with your belongings due to restrictions by carriers. You will need to make sure they are correctly crated or placed in a carrier. Depending on the pet and the airline rules, you could be looking at spending $200 to $500 for your pets.
Customs Duties and Taxes
Whether you are moving your goods to a new country using air freight or sea freight, apart from shipping costs, you may incur customs duty, taxes. These charges are based on the value of the goods you are moving.
If you are moving into the United States from another country, most household goods are allowed to be moved duty-free. Rules differ internationally but the common rule is that used household goods are allowed in duty-free. However, some countries may collect duties on newly purchased belongings that are being moved. It is also important to note that some countries can levy duties on used personal vehicles. Make enquiries about specific practices in your destination country before making your move.
Buying or Renting a Property
You certainly need to rent or buy a new home while it is a part of your moving cost for international moves. The cost of renting or buying a property differs based on the country you are moving to and the specific area you are choosing to live there. So make a list of areas that you like and enquire from other expats that are already living in those places to have an idea of costs. You search online to get the average cost of buying or renting, and the associated direct property taxes.
Cost of Transferring Money Abroad
The moment you land in your new country, you will need to begin to spend money even before you start working or earning. That is why it is a good idea to open a bank account domiciled in your country of destination and transfer money. This means that you should also expect to incur international money transfer costs which may mean parting with up to 4% of your transfer funds. However, the cost can be much lower when you use reliable online banks.
International Removals Cost
When making an international relocation, use it as an opportunity to get rid of unwanted items. These items can often be donated, sold, or trashed. If you have a lot of unwanted items that are not in a condition to sell or donate, renting a large trash bin may be the solution to all your troubles. These large bins are dropped off by waste companies and then picked up when you are done with them. In the grand scheme of an overseas move, this will more than likely be the easiest part of the move and it will help you save money as well on moving costs. These waste receptacles run anywhere from $150 to $250 for drop-off and pick-up.
International Travel Costs
When it comes to moving to a new country, you may need to travel there a couple of times prior to your moving day. Then, when moving day rolls around, you need to have plane tickets for you and all the members of your family that is relocating. Depending on the country that you’re moving to, travel costs can be quite the expense. So, make sure that this is something that is not overlooked as you are making your budget.
Overall, the cost of airfare will vary based on where you’re flying, how much luggage you’re bringing, and the time of year. Though, you can save money by booking your tickets far in advance.
International Housing Costs
It can be difficult to find a new home for you and your family when you’re not currently living in the country. Instead, you’ll probably have to secure temporary housing after you arrive in your destination country. That way, you can take a couple of months to get to know your new city, figure out where you specifically want to live, and find a more permanent residence to call home.
That said, when you’re calculating the overall cost to move to another country, plan for extended stay hotels or other short-term housing options. Also, make sure you have enough money budgeted for all the initial housing expenses, such as security deposits, insurance, taxes, down payments, or first month’s rent, etc.
Quick Tip: Before you make the move, it’s smart to find out the cost of living in your new country. That way, you can ensure that you have enough to cover your living expenses for a few months until you get settled.
Cost To Ship Furniture While Moving Overseas
The cost mainly depends on the mode of transportation you choose. If you need to get your furniture to the new country quicker, you should use air freight. It will cost more. Using the sea route will cost less.
Unless you are moving a large number of furniture, you will be moving less than a container load. In that case, finding the right partner/s to share the container is necessary to make the move more affordable.
But, there are some other factors as well that will affect the cost to move your furniture overseas. When moving heavy furniture, you may also need to pay for professional packing, assembly, disassembly, loading and unloading services. Storage services may also be required. The cost of these services mainly depends on the company that you choose for these services. Finding a company that will provide all of these services and also provides shipping services will make it more affordable for you. Three Movers is that type of company.
Finding an Overseas Moving Solution
Three Movers offer many overseas moving options that can fit your budget. The price ranges for an international move can run $6,150 to $20,200 depending on the size of the move and the season you are moving. An experienced professional moving company will offer both competitive and fair international moving rates. These companies help you with all the steps that need to be taken before, during, and after the move. If you are unsure what you need to do to start the process, call Three Movers for a free no-obligation quote.
How do different shipping methods, such as air vs. sea freight, influence the international move cost?
The method of shipping you choose for your international move can significantly influence the overall cost. Both air and sea freight have their advantages and disadvantages, and their costs vary based on several factors. Here’s a breakdown of how each method impacts the cost:
- Speed: Air freight is notably faster than sea freight. If you need your items to arrive quickly, air freight is the best choice.
- Cost: Generally, air freight is more expensive than sea freight, especially for large volumes or heavy items.
- Weight & Volume Sensitivity: Air freight costs are greatly influenced by the weight and volume of the shipment. The more you ship, the higher the cost.
- Customs & Airport Fees: Airports often have strict regulations and might impose higher fees than sea ports.
- Limitations: There are stricter regulations regarding what can be transported by air due to safety concerns, potentially necessitating alternative arrangements for some items.
- Ideal For: Smaller shipments, urgent shipments, or items of high value.
- Speed: Sea freight is slower, with shipments often taking several weeks to a couple of months depending on the destination.
- Cost: Generally more cost-effective for large shipments or entire household moves. The cost is typically determined by the volume (measured in cubic meters or containers) rather than weight.
- Container Options: You can choose from different container sizes, and if your belongings don’t fill an entire container, you can opt for Less than Container Load (LCL), where you share container space with other shipments.
- Port Fees: While there might be fewer regulatory fees than at airports, there can still be significant charges at sea ports, including docking and storage fees.
- Access to Ports: If you live far from a major port, you’ll need to consider the added cost and time of first transporting your items to the port.
- Ideal For: Large shipments, non-urgent items, or entire household moves.
- Customs Clearance: Both air and sea shipments will need to clear customs. Costs can vary, but both methods will generally be subject to the same duties and taxes based on the destination country’s regulations.
- Insurance: Insurance costs might vary slightly based on the perceived risks of each shipping method.
- Door-to-door vs. Port-to-port: The costs can further vary based on the service you choose. Door-to-door is more convenient as the shipping company handles everything from your old residence to your new one, while port-to-port might be cheaper but requires you to handle transportation at both ends.
In summary, while sea freight is often more affordable for large shipments, air freight offers speed and convenience for smaller or time-sensitive shipments. Your final decision should be based on your budget, timeline, and the volume of items you’re moving.
Why does the cost to move overseas vary so drastically?
The cost to move overseas can vary drastically due to a multitude of factors. Here are some of the primary reasons for the fluctuation in prices:
Volume and Weight of Belongings:
- The more items you have, and the heavier they are, the more expensive your move will be. Some shipping methods charge by volume (e.g., container shipping) while others charge by weight (e.g., air freight).
Distance and Destination:
- Shipping to a nearby country will generally be cheaper than shipping to a distant one. Additionally, some destinations have higher port or handling fees due to local regulations or lack of infrastructure.
Mode of Transportation:
- Air Freight: Faster but typically more expensive, especially for large volumes.
- Sea Freight: Generally more cost-effective for larger shipments, but slower.
- Land Transport: Depending on the locations, land transport using trucks or trains might be involved, influencing the cost.
- Door-to-door: The moving company handles all aspects of the move, from your current residence to your new one. This is more expensive but convenient.
- Port-to-port: You are responsible for getting your items to the departure port and from the arrival port, reducing the cost.
Customs Duties and Taxes:
- Depending on the destination country’s regulations, customs duties and taxes can vary widely. Some countries offer duty-free import for used personal goods, while others may impose hefty taxes.
- Comprehensive insurance coverage will be more costly than basic coverage. The cost also depends on the declared value of the shipment.
Packing and Unpacking Services:
- If you opt for professional packing and unpacking, it will increase the moving cost.
- Items that require special handling, like pianos, antiques, or artworks, can increase the cost due to the need for specialized packing or extra care during transit.
- If you need storage services, either at the departure location, destination, or both, it will add to the cost.
- Just as with many travel services, moving during peak season might be more expensive due to higher demand.
What is the best way to cut the cost of shipping your household goods overseas?
Reducing the cost of shipping household goods overseas requires a combination of strategic planning, decluttering, and informed decision-making. Here are some ways to help you cut the cost of your international move:
Declutter and Downsize:
- Before the move, thoroughly review your belongings and sell, donate, or dispose of items you no longer need. Shipping fewer items will directly reduce your shipping costs.
- While professional packing services ensure the safety of your goods, they can be expensive. If you’re confident in your packing skills, consider doing it yourself. Just ensure you have the right packing materials to protect your items.
- If you know others moving to the same destination, consider consolidating your shipments. This can be especially cost-effective when shipping partial container loads.
Choose Sea Freight over Air Freight:
- For bulky household goods, sea freight is typically cheaper than air freight, although it takes longer. If you can afford the wait, opt for sea transportation.
Flexible Shipping Dates:
- If you’re not in a rush, some shipping companies might offer you a cheaper rate if you’re flexible with your shipping dates, as they can consolidate your goods with others to fill up containers.
- Obtain multiple quotes from different shipping companies. This will give you a better understanding of the market rate and allow you to choose a more affordable option.
Opt for Port-to-Port Shipping:
- Instead of door-to-door shipping, which includes pick-up and delivery at your old and new homes, consider port-to-port shipping. This means you handle transportation to the departure port and from the arrival port, cutting down on costs.
Consider Insurance Costs:
- While it’s essential to insure your belongings during an international move, shop around for the best insurance rates and only insure items that are irreplaceable or of high value.
Be Aware of Hidden Costs:
- Familiarize yourself with potential additional fees, such as customs duties, port fees, or quarantine inspections. Being informed will prevent unexpected expenses.
- If you’re moving a large household or relocating for business, don’t hesitate to negotiate with shipping companies for better rates.
What packing materials do I need to buy moving internationally?
Moving internationally requires careful packing to ensure the safety and integrity of your belongings during transit. Here are the essential packing materials you should consider buying:
- Get a variety of sizes. Double-walled boxes are especially useful for international moves because of their added strength.
- These tall boxes allow you to hang clothing, ensuring they remain wrinkle-free during transit.
- Used to wrap items and provide cushioning inside boxes. This can protect dishes, glassware, and other fragile items.
- Essential for wrapping fragile items like vases, electronics, and other breakables.
Packing Peanuts or Foam:
- These provide extra cushioning inside boxes, filling gaps and preventing items from shifting.
- Useful for bundling items together or wrapping upholstered furniture to protect it from dirt and damage.
Heavy-Duty Packing Tape:
- Ensure you get a high-quality tape that will hold boxes securely closed.
Labels and Markers:
- Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to. If there are fragile items inside, mark the box as “FRAGILE.”
Furniture Pads or Moving Blankets:
- These provide protection for furniture and larger items against dings, scratches, and dust.
Mattress Bags or Covers:
- Protect mattresses from dirt, dust, and damage during transit.
How does your international moving company calculate international moving costs?
The expense of relocating internationally is determined by various elements, such as:
- Shipment Size: Costs rise with the number of items you’re moving.
- Relocation Distance: Longer moves typically result in higher charges.
- Seasonality: Relocating during the summer, the peak season, often costs more than during the winter months.
- Service Type: Different service tiers are available, with comprehensive services usually being pricier.
- Destination: Moving expenses can differ widely depending on the target country.
- Customs and Duties: Relocating to another country might incur customs and importation charges.
To gain a precise understanding of your international relocation costs, it’s wise to solicit quotations from multiple movers. When evaluating these estimates, ensure you understand every included charge, covering aspects like packing, loading, unloading, and customs processing.
Further considerations impacting your international moving budget include:
- Packing Costs: The expenses associated with packing depend on the magnitude and intricacies of your move. Employing professional packers might be beneficial for ensuring your items’ safety.
- Insurance: Secure coverage for your belongings during the move to safeguard against potential damage or loss.
- Visa and Immigration Expenses: Transitioning to a foreign nation might necessitate acquiring visas or paying immigration-related fees. The costs for these can vary widely based on your destination country.
Examples Of International Moving Costs
|USA To Other Countries||Distance||2 BR||3 BR||4 BR|
|Tempe, AZ To Vancouver, Canada||1559.3 Miles||$1,247 – $1,403||$1,637 – $1,793||$1,949 – $2,105|
|Charlotte, NC To Calgary, Canada||2357.1 Miles||$1,886 – $2,121||$2,475 – $2,711||$2,946 – $3,182|
|Huntsville, AL To Tokyo, Japan||6724 Miles||$5311 – $5984||$7060 – $7732||$8405 – $9077|
|Johnson City, TN To Osaka, Japan||6955 Miles||$5494 – $6189||$7302 – $7998||$8693 – $9389|
|Brockton, MA To Madrid, Spain||3402 Miles||$2,688 – $3,028||$3,572 – $3,912||$4,253 – $4,593|
|Miami, FL To Murcia, Spain||4577 Miles||$3,616 – $4,074||$4,806 – $5,264||$5,721 – $6,179|
|Greenwich, CT To Berlin, Germany||3936 Miles||$3,109 – $3,503||$4,132 – $4,526||$4,920 – $5,313|
|St. Cloud, MN To Dortmund, Germany||4274 Miles||$3,376 – $3,803||$4,487 – $4,915||$5,342 – $5,769|
|Hartford, CT To Doha, Qatar||6589 Miles||$5,205 – $5,864||$6,918 – $7,577||$8,236 – $8,895|
|Waldorf, MD To Al Khor, Qatar||6878 Miles||$5,434 – $6,121||$7,222 – $7,910||$8,598 – $9,285|
|Gilbert, AZ To Sydney, Australia||7804 Miles||$6,243 – $7,023||$8,194 – $8,974||$9,755 – $10,535|
|Wasilla, AK To Melbourne, Australia||7773 Miles||$6,218 – $6,995||$8,161 – $8,938||$9,716 – $10,493|
|Bozeman, MT To Santa Fe, Argentina||6196 Miles||$4,957 – $5,576||$6,506 – $7,125||$7,745 – $8,365|
|Federal Way, WA To Buenos Aires, Argentina||6900 Miles||$5,520 – $6,210||$7,245 – $7,935||$8,625 – $9,315|
|Cedar Rapids, IA To Zürich, Switzerland||4574 Miles||$3,613 – $4,071||$4,803 – $5,260||$5,718 – $6,175|
|Rochester, NH To Geneva, Switzerland||3632 Miles||$2,869 – $3,232||$3,814 – $4,177||$4,540 – $4,903|
|Ogden, UT To Seoul, South Korea||5841 Miles||$4,614 – $5,198||$6,133 – $6,717||$7,301 – $7,885|
|Roswell, GA To Busan, South Korea||7185 Miles||$5,676 – $6,395||$7,544 – $8,263||$8,981 – $9,700|
|Akron, OH To Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||5055 Miles||$4,044 – $4,550||$5,308 – $5,813||$6,319 – $6,824|
|Ogden, UT To São Paulo, Brazil||6,118 Miles||$4,894 – $5,506||$6,424 – $7,036||$7,648 – $8,259|
FAQs About International Moving Costs
To move internationally, you’ll likely have to spend somewhere between 3 to 10 Grand for basic cost of moving without additional expenses.
The cheapest way to move overseas is to plan your move beforehand and choose the best time to move with the best international movers.
With all the expenses considered including shipping a vehicle, you can ship your belongings overseas for somewhere between $6,150 to $20,200.
Three Movers is the best international moving company.
You should choose an international moving company based on their experience and the resources they have.
Yes, it is worth shipping furniture overseas but only if the furniture is valuable or close to your heart.
You can choose to get a quote from Three Movers. You have no obligation to hire us or pay us anything when you choose to do so.
Items like ammunition, explosives, drugs, alcohol, e.t.c. cannot be shipped overseas. But, you’ll be surprised to know that you cannot even ship the best fruits and vegetables overseas.
If you do not want to take them with you, then selling them is the best idea. Or, you can dispose of them if they have no value.
Reducing the cost of your international move without compromising on quality requires careful planning, organization, and informed decision-making. Here are some tips to help you achieve a cost-effective yet high-quality move:
Start Early: Begin planning months in advance. This gives you ample time to research, get quotes from multiple moving companies, and decide on the best options.
Downsize: International shipping is often based on volume and weight. So, the less you move, the less you’ll pay. Sell, donate, or dispose of items you no longer need.
Packing Yourself: Consider doing some of the packing yourself, but ensure you’re using quality packing materials. Remember, though, some moving companies might not cover damage for self-packed items.
Group Shipments: If you know others moving to the same region or country, consider combining your shipments. It might help reduce costs if the logistics can be coordinated.
Flexible Moving Dates: If you have flexibility in your moving date, you might get a better rate. Some periods, like off-peak seasons, might be cheaper.
Compare Quotes: Get quotes from at least three reputable international moving companies. Compare the services offered and ensure there are no hidden costs.
Freight Options: Sea freight is typically cheaper than air freight, though it’s slower. If you don’t need your items immediately, opting for sea freight can reduce costs.
Tax Deductions: In some cases, moving expenses might be tax-deductible. Consult with a tax professional or do your research regarding potential deductions.
Insurance: While it’s essential to have your goods insured, shop around for the best insurance rates rather than just accepting what the moving company offers. However, ensure the coverage is adequate for your needs.
Research Destination Fees: Some countries have duties, taxes, or quarantine costs. Knowing these in advance can help you plan better. Some items might be cheaper to buy in the destination country rather than ship.
DIY Customs Paperwork: While it might be more time-consuming, you can save money by filling out customs paperwork yourself instead of paying someone else to do it. Just be sure you understand the requirements and regulations.
Avoid Scams: Unfortunately, there are moving scams that prey on those relocating internationally. Always do thorough research to ensure you’re working with a reputable company.
Negotiate: If you have a quote that’s slightly out of your budget, don’t hesitate to negotiate with the moving company. They might offer discounts or find ways to adjust services to fit within your budget.
Use Local Services at Destination: For some services, like unpacking or setting up, it might be cheaper to hire local professionals at your destination rather than pay the moving company’s premium rates.
By implementing these strategies, you can reduce costs without compromising the safety and integrity of your belongings during your international move.