What is the Average Cost of an International Move?

What is the Average Cost of an International Move?

Are you preparing to take the leap and make an international move? – congratulations! This is an exciting time for you. But, we won’t sugarcoat it – the process of moving internationally can be overwhelming. Whether it’s the mountains of visa paperwork, the difficult goodbyes, or the logistics of moving your belongings overseas, there are plenty of challenges to contend with.

While we can’t help you say goodbye to loved ones, or fill out application forms for you, we can get your belongings safely from A to B. We can also help you to understand the cost of your big move. Below, Gentle Giant’s international move experts share the cost of moving overseas, and some tips to reduce your expenses.

How Much Does an International Move Cost?

The cost of international moving services will vary anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000+. Typically the price will include the following services:

  • Professional packing and furniture disassembly;
  • Loading into a container for sea freight. Sea freight involves transporting your items by ship container across the sea. This is usually the case with international moves;
  • International transportation;
  • International customs clearance;
  • Delivery of your belongings to your new home.

The cost of moving internationally can vary drastically, and depends on several factors, including the distance of your move, the number of boxes and furniture to be moved, the size of the furniture, and other additional services. For example, if you have specialty or delicate items like artwork or electronics that require custom crating, this will cost you an additional fee. Be sure to confirm that these resources are included upfront in your international move estimate.

Additional Costs of an International Move

Moving Insurance

Most reputable moving companies automatically provide basic limited liability insurance for your items. This type of insurance is valued at $0.60 per pound which offers little protection in the event of damage to your belongings. Given the long-distance nature of an international move, there is a higher likelihood of damage to your items than say a local 1-bedroom apartment move. For this reason, we recommend paying for additional coverage.

Insurance can be added to the overall price of your move for an additional fee. The insurance charge is typically calculated by determining the overall value of your shipment. Expect to pay about 1% of the value of your shipment.

Customs and Import Taxes

Customs and import taxes will vary depending on your destination location. However, you will likely see fees of around 2% of the overall cost of transportation.

Car Shipping

According to move.org, it can cost up to $5,000 to ship a car to another country. That cost will vary depending on the size, weight, and type of vehicle, where you are moving to, and the shipping company you choose to hire. However, shipping is often a fraction of the total cost of transporting your vehicle into a different country. Most countries have strict duties and taxes in place.

Where possible, we recommend selling your car within your current country and purchasing a new one in your new location. That way, you will avoid expensive emissions and transportation fees. If selling your car is not an option, you can often save money by shipping your personal vehicle with your household items in one container.

Long-term vs Short-term Storage

There are two types of storage that will increase the overall cost of your international move.

Long-term storage

You may wish to store your furniture in a storage unit instead of packing and transporting everything overseas. This will cost you on average $250 per month, depending on the unit size you require. According to move.org, the average monthly cost of a small unit (5×5-5×10 ft.) is $60. A medium-sized unit (5×15-10×15 ft.) is approximately $140 per month, while a larger unit (10×20-10×30 ft.) is about $260 per month.

Temporary storage

Packing, trucking, shipping, customs, clearance, delivery, and unpacking. An international move is a long and complicated process that requires a lot of coordination. As a result, your belongings may arrive at your new location before you do. Thankfully there will be a number of long-term and short-term storage solutions available to choose from. You can expect to pay rates similar to those listed above.

Pro tip: Make sure you do your research before paying for a storage unit. You will want a secure and climate-controlled unit to ensure your belongings are safe. An added bonus would be the e-inventory feature similar to that of Gentle Giant’s storage service. Gentle Giant’s e-inventory provides customers with a detailed list of items, a photo of the item, and a detailed description of the condition.

Tips for reducing the cost of your international move

If you are starting to fear the cost of your international move, keep reading! Gentle Giant’s international move experts have compiled a list of tips to reduce the overall cost.

  1. Where possible, sell as many of your possessions as possible. This will reduce the number of items to be shipped and the overall transportation costs. You can sell almost anything on sites like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and Craigslist.
  2. Get a roll of black garbage bags and bin any unwanted or damaged items that are not in a condition to sell or donate.
  3. Time to DIY! If you have the time, doing your own packing and unpacking will help to save you money. Check out Gentle Giant’s Pack like the Pros YouTube series for packing tips.
  4. Shipping items via sea freight is typically more affordable than shipping via air.

Are you planning an international move? Speak with a reputable international moving company like Gentle Giant. We have some great resources to get you started on your relocation. Check out our moving checklist for information on how to prepare and use our free move estimate tool to determine the cost of your international move.