Moving International With Cheap Shipping
While moving abroad is a very exciting experience, it costs money – and often quite a bit. If you’re not careful, flights, visas, and shipping can add up and cost you a substantial amount of cash all before you’ve even settled down in your new country. However, don’t let your concerns about money put a damper on your plans. Fortunately, we’ve put together some tips to help you cut moving costs and find cheap shipping options when moving overseas.
Opt for sea freight.
If you’re looking for the cheap shipping for your overseas move, you should choose sea freight over air freight. Not only is it the widely used method for transporting household goods internationally, it is also the most affordable. In fact, sea freight is typically between twelve and sixteen times cheaper than air freight. This has to do with the fact that supply is outweighing demand, which helps keep prices low.
Air freight usually comes at a premium since it is exponentially faster than ocean freight. While it may take between 20 and 30 days to ship a container via ocean freight from China to the United States, a freight plane can do it in about three days. Of course, if you’re in a rush, air freight may be your only option – but for those who are looking for cheap shipping, sea freight is always the way to go.
Nearly every aspect of an overseas move will greatly benefit from getting it sorted out sooner rather than later. Once you find out where you’ll be moving to, you should start solidifying a date for the shipment of your belongings. If you wait until the last minute, you’ll be left with undesirable options like having to pay a ridiculous amount of money to ship your items via air freight or having to arrive well ahead of your stuff.
Plan ahead and start contacting overseas shipping companies at least three to four months before your scheduled moving date.
Regardless of the type of purchase, everyone shops around a little bit before they commit. This same approach can be applied to moving overseas. There are many international shipping companies out there that service the country you’re moving to, meaning you’ll have to make a choice. It is absolutely crucial that you weigh your options instead of going with the first company that you find. This will not only help you avoid potential moving scams, but it will also help make your shipment as cheap as possible.
To do an accurate comparison, it’s recommended that you gather quotes from at least three companies. Also, make sure that you ask for a full breakdown of all the services that are included so there are no surprises.
Purge items you don’t need.
This may be obvious, but the less stuff you have, the cheaper your shipment is going to be. If you purge some of your items before your move, you’ll be able to save a pretty penny. When it comes to moving internationally, you should only take about half the items that you think you’ll need. You’ll need to be pretty brutal with your possessions. A good practice to follow is the ‘six-month rule’ – if you haven’t used something in six months, you likely don’t need it.
Once you decide what you’re taking and what you’re leaving behind, you can start thinking about selling the leftovers to make some extra cash. Anything that won’t sell, give to a friend or donate to a local charity.
FCL or LCL?
Once you start the process of booking your sea freight shipment, you’re going to come across your two main options: Full Container Load (FCL) or Less Than Container Load (LCL). With Full Container Load, you pay a flat rate for the complete use of an entire 20-foot or 40-foot container. For LCL, on the other hand, you will share the container with other people.
If you only have a small amount of cargo to ship (and you should), LCL is your cheapest option. However, this stops being applicable when you have around 15 cubic meters of cargo. At that point, you should just secure the entire container, LCL is approximately two to three times more expensive than FCL when it comes to cost per cubic meter. If this sounds confusing to you, no worries; your professional moving company can give you guidance on whether LCL or FCL is the more cost-effective choice for your move.
Ready to Move?
If you already know where and when you’re headed overseas, you should get the process started right away. To begin gathering quotes for your move, fill out our request form or call (888) 908-6496. We will gladly accommodate any overseas move – no matter how big, small, or complex – and help you find the cheapest shipping option possible.