International Moving From USA to Any Destination

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International Household Moving Cost

There will be many different household moving costs when you move from one country to another. Some of those costs are incurred in the origin, most at the destination. Remember that international relocation is a significant life event. Even though the cost of a move may seem high, the cost of repurchasing things may be even greater.

You will face many choices during the relocation process. What should you take with you from America, what is best purchased in your new home? Do you plan on returning to the United States in a few years? What should you do with the belongings that will not be coming on the ocean voyage with you, should you store them or try selling them or giving them away?

You have to keep in mind that your overall international household moving cost is not only what you have to pay the movers, but also the cost of replacing furniture, appliances, clothes and more.

International Household Moving Cost

It costs a lot of money to ship your household goods and personal effects across the sea. It also costs a lot to sell things that are still of high quality. Keep in mind that many things that are available in the United States will not be available abroad. Even if you can find them, they could be very costly.

For everything you own you will have to decide what to do with them: to ship to your new home, to store, or to dispose of by either selling second hand or giving away. 

  • Shipping – the cost of shipping varies with shipment size and destination. If you are sending a shipment to Europe, the UK or Australia, we can get you very good rates for sending a shipment of any size, utilizing SDC International Shipping’s groupage consolidations. As we have such high volumes of cargo shipments to these destinations, we arrange for very affordable pricing for our clients. If you are sending a private container, our professional movers know how to conserve the cargo capacity, enabling you to spend more at the same cost.
  • Storage makes a lot of sense for people who know that they are moving abroad for a set amount of time. We have many clients from universities and commercial companies who go abroad for a few years, planning on returning to their homes. Some rent their homes furnished, but most prefer to store a portion of their belongings. A great advantage of working with a company like SDC International Shipping is that we are both international movers AND have storage facilities. This means that one moving van can come to pack up your house, some of your belongings will be prepared for international, and some can be moved into storage at one of our facilities. 
    • Please note that SDC also has storage facilities in Europe. If you are moving to Europe, the best way to reduce your storage costs is by purchasing it from us. If you purchase your storage while you are in Europe, you will have to pay the local VAT, which varies from country to country but is about 20%. When you order your storage from us, you can save this cost.
  • If you sell second hand, you will probably have to account for the cost of movers as well. In many cases, this cost will exceed the cost of shipping abroad as a part of your cargo. If you want to give your things away, organizations like Goodwill will usually pick up your things at no cost to you, but you don’t get any money back (but might provide you with a tax receipt that will be very valuable if you have a high tax burden in the United States). You can always give your things away to friends and relatives.
International Household Moving Cost


When you sell one-year-old furniture, expect to get about half of its value when sold used. If it is two years old, expect to get a quarter of the price. If older, don’t expect to get much for it. If you own furniture that is in good condition, in most cases the most cost-effective thing to do with them is to ship them abroad.

Just like we said above about storage services, new products in most countries have a value-added tax called a VAT or a good and services tax called a GST. Unlike American sales taxes, these purchase taxes are excised, meaning that they are incorporated into the cost of the product and not added at checkout. 

In most places in the world, you should expect to pay more money for poorer quality furniture.

Shipping furniture will reduce your overall moving cost.

Electrical Appliances

If you are moving to Canada or Mexico or Central America, you can send your major American appliances to your new home and expect them to work. For other locations, major home appliances will not work.

However, most small appliances will work well wherever you go. Things with motors like food processors require special transformers. But most modern appliances can get by with only a simple adapter. Anything with a USB charger or an external charging “brick” will work almost anywhere.

For most locations, shipping small appliances and electronics will reduce your moving cost


If you own a car between six months and five years old, the cost of sending it to your new home will usually be far less than replacing it abroad. Sending your car to most locations will reduce your total moving cost. You can also send motorcycles, RV’s, boats and other vehicles.


Like many other things, you will find that clothes sold in the USA are of higher quality and at a lower cost than those sold abroad. If you are moving to a different climate, make sure that you stock up on clothes appropriate for your destination. Also, consider trivial things like socks. You are not likely to find the same quality at the same price abroad. Also, if you are moving to many Asian countries, you may not find clothes your size readily available.

Shipping clothes will save you money on international household moving costs.

Specialty Equipment

Do you have a passion or a hobby? Is there a sport or leisure activity that is very popular in your new home? Consider sending extra equipment in your shipment. Golf, skiing, boating, scuba diving, fishing, bicycling, hunting, tennis — whatever it is you plan on doing in your new home, stock up on equipment early and add to your shipment.

Sending specialty equipment in your shipment will reduce your moving cost.

International Household Moving Company

One of the biggest expenses, when you move from one country to another, will be the international moving company that coordinates all aspects of your move. SDC International Shipping hopes that it will be your choice for this. SDC is an international freight forwarder recognized and licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission. We are not resellers of others’ services but are licensed sea cargo exporters.

We will try to account for as many of the international household moving costs as possible. Please read our international moving services costs document that will explain most of these. 

By following the guidelines here, you will be able to manage your international household moving costs.

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