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Moving Overseas Shipping Costs

Published by Chris Townsend

Moving Overseas Shipping Costs

Moving to another country isn’t just a major step in someone’s life, it’s a huge dive into the unknown that brings up numerous concerns, emotions, and questions. Oftentimes, one of the most worrisome questions that come up is, “How much does it cost to move to another country?”

The cost of moving to another country depends on a large number of factors, which all must be taken into account in order to create a realistic budget for your international relocation. That said, here are the most significant costs to consider when moving to a different country:

How Much Does It Cost To Ship Household Goods Overseas

The biggest expense that you’re going to face when moving overseas is the cost of shipping your household goods from your current home to your new home in your destination country. In order to determine your international moving costs, you need to know how much it’s going to cost to transport your belongings to your new country.

To calculate these costs, it’s important to understand what factors go into the final price and how your individual needs will impact the amount that you pay. That said, international moving costs are usually calculated based on the following factors:

  1. Size of the move. The more stuff that you have to move, the higher your shipping overseas costs are going to be. Prices are generally determined by either the weight or volume of your shipment, depending on the transportation method that you choose.
  2. Moving services requested. Depending on the type of goods you need to be shipped and the nature of your relocation, additional moving services may be required. For example, larger furniture items may need hoisting or disassembly services, and delicate items may require extra protection, packing materials, and custom crating.
  3. Transportation method. The means of transport that you choose to move your stuff to your destination country impacts both the shipping costs and the time it takes for your goods to arrive. That said, air freight may be quicker, but it’s significantly more expensive. Meanwhile, sea freight is more affordable but takes longer.
  4. Pickup and delivery method. Whether you choose a port-to-port move or door-to-door move plays a role in the overall cost of your international relocation. Port-to-port is more affordable but means that you’ll be responsible for getting your belongings to the port of origin and then retrieving them from the destination port. Door-to-door moving involves hiring movers to take care of your move from start to finish, meaning they will pick up your belongings from your home, get them to the port, ship them to your new country, handle customs clearance, and then deliver them to your new home.
  5. Distance and route. Overall, the further that you’re moving, the more expensive your move is going to be. In addition to distance, the specific route can also impact the cost to relocate to another country. Common routes tend to be more established and are, therefore, cheaper. While less-common, or “exotic” routes, are more expensive.
  6. Time of the move. Like all other types of moves, overseas moving has peak seasons – typically between August and September and January and February. During these peak seasons, moving services are in demand, available movers are limited, and costs are higher.
  7. The moving company you choose. While all overseas movers meet basically the same standards and provide virtually the same services, their rates can vary considerably. To find the best deal possible, make sure to collect multiple quotes and thoroughly research each company. Then, choose the movers that are best suited for your needs and budget.
cost to ship your household goods overseas

Cost of Shipping a Vehicle Internationally

If you’re planning on shipping your car to another country along with you, you need to add a couple of thousand dollars to your overseas moving budget. Depending on the type, weight, and size of your vehicle, the auto shipping method, distance, and applicable international destination taxes and fees, auto shipping usually starts around $700 but could be as much as $4,000, or more.

Price Of Moving Insurance For Overseas Move

Although most overseas moving companies will provide basic coverage with their service, it’s highly advised that you budget a little extra for a more comprehensive policy. Moving insurance costs are determined by the value of your goods, which can range from $100 to $1,000 or more.

Customs Expenses

Although most countries have duty-free policies in place for importing household belongings for personal use, customs fees are determined by the type and value of the particular goods. That said, there may be some specific requirements that vary from country to country. You might be required to pay a customs duty for some of your goods (like care, for instance).

Regardless, the international average for customs duties is roughly 1.8% of an article's purchased price.

Cost Of Storage Units

It’s very common to need storage at some point during the process when moving abroad –whether you need to travel to your destination country before your goods are shipped or you want to keep your belongings safe while you search for your permanent residence. Whatever the case may be, storage costs are based on the size of the storage unit you need, the storage duration, and any additional features you desire (climate control, advanced security, etc.).

To put things in perspective, storing the contents of an average three-bedroom home will cost you around $300 per month.

Visa Fees

Depending on the reason for your move (whether it’s work, school, or retirement) and the country you’re heading to, you may or may not need to acquire a visa. Each country has its own specific requirements regarding visas, as well as different types of visas with different costs. On average, visas can range from around $150 to as much as $2,500. This fee must be paid each time that you renew your visa.

For details regarding visa requirements and prices, contact the nearest Foreign Consular Office for your destination country. Make sure that you inquire about visas and pricing well in advance of your moving date.

How Much Does It Cost To Ship Belongings Overseas?

average cost to ship your belongings overseas

With so many factors to consider, it can be difficult to estimate an exact number of what it costs to move to another country. In fact, the only way to know for sure is to request an in-home assessment from a reliable international mover. However, to help put things into perspective, we’ve put together some of the average international shipping rates for some of the most popular overseas relocation routes from the U.S.

Route Average Cost Range
San Francisco to Montreal $2,500 to $3,000
New York to Vancouver $2,100 to $2,800
San Francisco to Sydney $1,600 to $2,000
New York to Sydney $2,600 to $3,000
New York to Auckland $3,000 to $4,000
San Francisco To Auckland $2,500 to $3,500
New York to London $1,200 to $2,000
San Francisco to London $2,000 to $3,200
New York to Ireland $1,300 to $2,000
San Francisco to Ireland $2,000 to $2,900
New York to Italy $1,500 to $2,200
San Francisco to Italy $2,000 to $3,000
New York to Spain $1,400 to $2,300
San Francisco to Spain $2,000 to $3,100
New York to Japan $1,500 to $2,500
San Francisco to Japan $1,000 to $2,000
New York to China $2,000 to $3,000
San Francisco to China $1,300 to $3,000
New York to India $1,800 to $2,600
San Francisco to India $2,000 to $3,000
New York to Mexico $1,000 to $2,100
San Francisco to Mexico $800 to $1,900

All of the estimated prices above describe sea freight, port-to-port transportation ONLY – they do not include any additional services. This means that when all the relevant moving expenses are factored in, the actual cost of moving to another country will likely be substantially higher.

However, when you work with top international movers, you have nothing to worry about. The international moving experts at Three Movers will provide you with an accurate estimate for your overseas moving costs to ensure a smooth relocation. That way, you can plan your budget and finances well in advance of your move.

Ready to Move?

If you already know when and where you are headed internationally, it’s best to get the process started as soon as possible. To find out how much it’s going to cost to move to another country, fill out our online request form or call (888) 202-0036. We will happily accommodate any international move – no matter the size, scope, or distance – and help you find the most affordable shipping option available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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