3 Things to know about shipping your items overseas

3 Things to know about shipping your items overseas

Shipping your items overseas can be stressful and a lot of people find it overwhelming. Here at let’s move abroad, we like to keep things straightforward and honest. That’s why, if you are considering moving overseas and shipping your items internationally, you need to know what you are in for. 

That’s why we have created this super quick and simple read, with three must-knows about shipping your items overseas. 

1. Shipping your items overseas takes a long time.

Let’s start with the most important thing you need to know when moving your household items overseas: it takes time!! No matter what a savvy salesperson tells you, moving your items in a container takes a long time. Apart from the travel time (containers are usually shipped), things like unloading and customs take longer than you might expect. So if your moving company tells you it will take eight weeks, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be 12 weeks (or more). To avoid disappointment, make sure you are ready for any (unforeseen) delays and get your items packed and shipped around 60-90 days before you move. 

Pro tips to avoid any (unnecessary) delays:

  • Prepare your paperwork correctly (make sure everything is complete, signed, and shared on time)
  • Reply to any questions from your moving company or customs clearance agency swiftly.
  • Stay on top of your moving company, and make sure they keep you in the loop of the process.

2. Shipping your items overseas can go wrong.

shipping your items overseas
Shipping your items overseas comes with some risks

Ever read those stories of containers falling off a ship? Yeah, that happens. According to The World Shipping Council, around 27 containers get lost every day. That is about 10,000 containers each year. Considering that approximately 150 million containers are shipped annually, that isn’t quite that bad.

However, there is a very, very small chance that one of those containers is yours. And if your container does arrive, it is also no guaranteed success. Traveling miles on the open ocean and subjected to all types of weather conditions, things can get a little wet. Stories of couches covered in mold or household items ruined by water damage are not uncommon. So without sounding too grim. Things can happen. But, It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move your items. You simply have to be prepared and aware of the potential risks. So take note, and consider bringing any important personal things with you on the plane. 

3. Shipping your items overseas: get insurance (always!!)

For all the reasons listed above, it is essential to get insurance. Trust us; it is money well spent. If you ship your items with a container, things can get damaged or lost. Having insurance will protect against any losses or damages and can replace any items if necessary. Do yourself a favor and make sure to have a good inventory list with images to help with submitting insurance claims – it will make submitting a claim way easier and takes away a lot of stress. 


There you have it, three no-nonsense things you need to know about moving your items overseas. If you are overwhelmed with the idea of moving abroad, you are not alone. Luckily, we’ve got an entire article dedicated to preparing you for your overseas relocation.  


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