Monday, July 23, 2012

MOVING OVERSEAS


It's adventure all the way. That's for sure. A new country, new home, new everything really. But what about all your belongings? How do you get them from one place in the world to another? It's all logistics really. 

I'd say 95% of people who do move overseas for a lengthy period of time, use a moving company. Either it's a corporate move, or they take the safe route. After all those moving companies do it all, pack, load, paperwork, ship, deliver and unpack. 
Though we sold a lot of our electronics and furniture, we did end up with a 40' container of goods that needed to be moved. 
And the best quote from a professional moving company came in so high, it was not even an option. When we asked for a breakdown of charges, to just see where we could cut a corner or two, they were not so forthcoming with line itemized billing. They are in business to make money, nothing wrong with it.

With a little bit of experience in the import business, I set out to do it ourselves and hopefully save a bundle.
It turns out, though challenging, it's possible. And you can save over half of what you would pay with a pro.
Here is what you need:

-Buy your own boxes (used even) on KIJIJI or wholesale
- Freight forwarder
-Customs broker at destination
-Some friends to help you load and unload (or go straight to cash corner)

First you pack up your household, then call the freight forwarder and get the ocean container delivered to your door. With your friends and a case of beer, load the container as tight as you can. KIJIJI is a great source for anything you need to move. If the can is not full, get some 8ft long 2 X 4 and use them as load locks.
Call the freight forwarder for a pick up and ship dates. This, depending on the destination, takes a few weeks, ours arrived 3 weeks after loading in Calgary.
In the meantime check local yellow pages/Google for a local customs broker.
This broker will give you a list of documents needed to ensure smooth sailing through customs. In our case, that was a long list. But well worth it to have a diligent broker, as customs world wide can be a royal pain in the rear.
Pay your fees and arrange for a local delivery at your new address. Make new friends, offer beer and promise them it's only boxes and some furniture.....

You will be saving thousands of dollars, I guarantee it.



GETTING THE GOODS OUT OF STORAGE IN CALGARY

LOAD ONTO OCEAN CONTAINER

WITH THE HELP OF GOOD FRIEND BRUNO & KIDS

ALMOST FULL

SEAL IT UP

A FEW WEEKS LATER ON THE OTHER END...

SMALL STREETS IN FRANCE, YOU NEED A SMALLER TRUCK

FIND MORE FRIENDS

WITH MUSCLE AND BRAINS

LOADS OF BOXES

SOME OF THEM WERE NOT UNPACKED SINCE VEGAS IN 2006...

UNPACK

HANG SOME FONET


START LIVING

9 comments:

Loulou in France said...

Nice to see photos of you settling in. :)

Ken Broadhurst said...

Did you have to pack everything yourselves? That's a big job. Did you have to pay customs duty in France? You also didn't say what the final price was...

H.Peter said...

Thank you.We are glad to have started settling. Still plenty of boxes to unpack

H.Peter said...

Good afternoon Ken,

yes it was all packed by the family. With about half the paper and boxes than by a shipper. Damages so far? 2 glass frames, a plate and a dish. Still half the boxes to go.

No duty at all. No TVA. Rail freight, ocean freight, brokerage and local delivery.

We saved over 50% of the lowest quote by a professional shipping company.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Good that you paid no duty. We didn't have to pay any either. I'll tell you the details of our move: we had Allied International come into our San Francisco house, pack up our house, and pack everything in the container. Ours was a 20-foot container, so half the size of yours — we were downsizing. The container was stored in Oakland for a month before we gave Allied the go-ahead to put in on the boat.

After arrival in France, the Allied movers brought the container from Le Havre to Saint-Aignan and unloaded everything into the house, wherever we wanted it put. Absolutely nothing was broken.

That service, no hassles, cost us $8,000 U.S., which was a bargain to me. All we had to do was slowly unpack boxes for a few weeks after the container arrived.

H.Peter said...

I'd like to say that this was a bargain price you got. How many years ago?

Our best quote came in over 20K CAD$. San Fran has a port, we had to first had our container railed to Montreal.

The fuel surcharge alone on each leg of the trip was 18% of base price this time around.

Ken Broadhurst said...

I guess fuel prices have risen drastically since we moved in May/June 2003. Actually, I thought the price was going to be as much as US$20k at the time, so when Allied Int'l. quoted less than half that I was thrilled.

mackenzie said...

I am actually going through all my things, deciding what to take with me when I move abroad and what to throw away. I want to take as little as I can. I was worried that I was going to have to leave my car behind but I found a great overseas car shipping company to ship it over. I can't wait to get over there and see my fiance!

Smith Johnson said...

Looking at the current scenario where everyone is moving from one country to other for job opportunities or settlement.
International Moving Company Montreal