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
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...
HANG SOME FONET