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Household Goods Shipping Overseas

Have you just been asked by your employer to relocate overseas for a few years? SDC International Shipping is here to help you prepare for the move.

Household Goods Shipping Overseas

SDC International Shipping relocates hundreds of families to locations around the world each year. Most of our clients are people who are either moving to another country temporarily, either to work or to teach or study, or people of foreign origin who have come to the United States for similar reasons and are now repatriating to their home countries.

There are lots of reasons why companies ask their employees to move overseas. Sometimes they need to train employees in a new office, establish a sales or distribution network, and provide support to business partners in different countries. We have also moved many families abroad who have been head hunted by foreign companies to come work for them. In many of these situations, the relocation comes with little prior notice. Don’t worry SDC International Shipping is experienced with facilitating an international relocation anywhere.

If you are moving permanently, you will want to ship everything you own, and even get some additional things to send to your new home. If you are moving temporarily there is a good chance that you will prefer to take a portion of your things with you, and to leave some in the USA, either inappropriate or unnecessary in the country they are moving to.

SDC International Shipping offers storage solutions to our international relocation clients. We can usually coordinate to store a portion of your things and send a portion with a single pickup by our movers.

Storage when Shipping Household Goods Internationally

Are you moving temporarily? If you are moving to another country and plan on returning to the USA, you might want to place some of your belongings in storage. SDC International Shipping offers our clients both long and short term storage. Short term storage is useful when you are moving abroad and don’t yet have an exact address in your new country. If you are moving to Europe or Australia, then we can also offer storage in your destination country. This will allow for the quick delivery of your belongings once you arrive.

Our long term storage will be convenient for you when you are moving abroad for a few years and know that you will be returning. If you have clothes that are inappropriate for your destination, books that don’t need to come with you but you don’t want to depart with, or quality furniture that won’t be making the trip across the ocean with you, you will want to keep these things in our safe and convenient storage units.

When you return to the USA, we can deliver your belongings to any location, even if it is far from your original location.

Shipping Household Goods Internationally

Shipping household goods internationally is one of the first considerations those moving abroad face. There is a good chance that you will be moving to a dwelling that is physically smaller than what you are currently living in. If you have a chance to visit the location you are moving to, it is a really good idea. Sometimes you might have the good luck of “inheriting” an apartment from someone who previously held your position abroad, but not usually.

So what should you send? We highly recommend that you send furniture. You will find that in many countries the furniture is very different than what you know and love in America. You might find yourself in an empty house, using inferior temporary furniture for months until your order of new furniture arrives, and that will also not be up to the standards you are used to. The new furniture will more than likely also cost more to you than the cost of shipping what you already own, so just send yours.

You will probably have the allowance of a 20’ container. A typical family home of around three bedrooms contents can usually fit into a container this size. Also please note, that according to the current taxation in the USA, if you get a lump sum payment from your employer, it is taxed as income. However, your employer can pay us directly for the cost of shipping, so it makes a lot more sense for you to send a shipment abroad than to buy new furniture when you move abroad.

If you are coming back to the USA, you might find it better to leave your American things abroad and just purchase new things when you return.

Household Goods Shipping Overseas

Shipping Household Goods Internationally – What Should You Include

As we said, furniture is critical. The most important things to take are beds. If you haven’t lived outside of the USA before, you might not know that mattresses are different. Every country will make them according to the local preferences which could be very different from what you are used to. In many countries they even advertise American mattresses, but they will still be different. Especially if you own one of the modern adjustable mattresses, you won’t be able to find these outside of the USA. The mattresses abroad are also slightly differently sized than in the USA. In most countries the largest sized mattress is called king but is comparable to the US size of queen.

As the mattress size is different, the bedframes will also be slightly different. You should send your beds along with your mattresses. If you are moving with children, you should consider buying quality bunk beds, as there is a good chance that you are moving to a house smaller than what you live in now and these will be very convenient. It is difficult to appreciate the difference in quality in readily available and affordable furniture more than in bunk beds. The only caveat that we have for you here is that it is prudent to measure room sizes. An American king or California king will not fit into every bedroom in the world. Along with your beds, make sure to send extra appropriately sized sheets.

If you are sending bedroom furniture, our movers will usually disassemble them. This will be different from one piece to another. The disassembly will be done when it will save you cargo space or our movers decide that your furniture will be better protected this way. If, for instance, your bed has very low legs, they might be left intact. Other pieces of furniture that you send also receive similar treatment, especially tables where legs or stands could be damaged during the long shipment to your new home. Delivery service includes the reassembly of your furniture when it is delivered to your new home, so this should not be a major concern for you.

If you are moving somewhere with pleasant weather, you will usually want to include your patio furniture and grill in your shipment. If you have a gas grill, make sure that the type of gas you have is readily available in your country. Propane is very popular in the USA, but many countries have only natural gas available. The available fuel supply in your country is easily checked on the internet. Other things you might want to consider include outdoor playsets or swing sets. Like other things, you will find really good ones in the USA at affordable prices.

Keep in mind that when you move to a foreign country, it is different from moving from one state to another. In most when you move with a valid visa you are permitted to ship things that you own without paying taxes. However, new items are not usually included on this list, though there are many exceptions.

However, your household does not start and finish with furniture. Your household includes your equipment for sports and for hobbies, clothes, toiletries, personal goods, books, cooking and dining utensils and more. Whatever sports you like, put extra equipment into the container. If you love baseball for instance, get yourself a set of bases and spare mitts for the friends you will make. If you are moving somewhere with limited English speakers, consider getting a few boxes of books for you to read. Cooking utensils are a must – take yours.

The situation with household appliances differs from one country to another. In most Latin American countries, your American appliances function without any special changes. In most of the rest of the world this won’t be true. Smaller appliances that work with either a USB power source or an external power adapter will work.

There are a few countries that restrict the import of communications equipment. If you are moving to one of these countries, then you should be careful about sending computers or things like streaming devices (however you can usually take a laptop on your person when you fly there). Computers, including desktops, are usually a good idea to send in your shipment. Our staff will need to check the regulation for your destination country, but you are usually allowed to send one computer per person or per adult. If your TV can work on the electric current of your destination, then send it. Computer monitors almost always work and should be included in your shipment.

Other things that you will want to either send or take along in your suitcases when your family travels include routers and other equipment so that you can have good connectivity throughout your house. Though you can get routers anywhere in the world, they will often be older models in other countries. You can check equipment like surveillance cameras and security systems, many of them will work with foreign electricity. If you have a gaming console you might want to take that on your person, as your kids might not want to wait until your shipment arrives.

Shipping your Clothes Internationally

While it might seem very straight forward to take your clothes with you, please plan for the proper weather and climate at your destination. If you are moving somewhere in the southern hemisphere, remember to send your clothes for the current season and take your clothes for the opposite season in your suitcase. If you are moving somewhere tropical, you might want to either get rid of winter clothes or place them into one of our storage units. If you are moving to a country with a long or sever winter, consider getting more appropriate gear to send.

If you are moving to the Far East, your clothing and shoe sizes might not be available in stores. Wherever you go, don’t expect to find the same selection that you have in the USA, so stock up when necessary.

Moving with Pets Internationally

While your pet will come with you on the airplane, make sure that you send the necessary supplies for them. Most countries will not allow you to send food in your container. However things like flea powder and tick collars should be sent, along with dog houses, beds, etc.

Each country has its own rules and regulations for the import of live animals. The USDA maintains a list of all countries available here. Please carefully review the information for your destination country. All countries require rabies vaccination and the implantation of an RFID chip. If you don’t have these yet, get them now.

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By Kfir Cohen

Kfir Cohen is handling global operations, cargo shipping, negotiation, and management of different suppliers around the world. He has more than 15 years of experience in the avant-garde of relocation and the sea/air freight business.
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