International Shipping & Freight Forwarding Blog

What is the Best Shipping Method when Shipping Household Goods Overseas?

Posted by Reid Malinbaum on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 @ 08:51 AM

shipping methods for shipping household goods overseas
 
As freight forwarders, we have begun to notice a upward trend in receiving more requests to ship personal effects, household goods and vehicles internationallyThere are a few options for these customers to choose from such as air freight, ocean freight for less than a container load (LCL) or full container load (FCL) shipping. But deciding which shipping method is best for shipping household goods overseas will depend on factors like weight, budget, and shipping speed required. Let's explore each shipping method a little deeper.
 

Air Freight:

Over the years, international shipping companies offer air freight shipping for compact, well-packed boxes that, for the most part, would not create more volume than weight on the scale. Shippers are reminded to compare their weight on the scale against the volume weight. Multiply the length by the width, by the height in inches to get your cubic inches, then divide by 166 to get to your volume weight in pounds. Most world destinations are offered.
 

Ocean Freight for Less Than a Container Load (LCL):

If you plan on shipping household goods overseas that are less than a container load (LCL) via ocean freight, boxes and other items must be placed on a 42x48 inch, heat-treated pallet. Pallets can be purchased at big box home improvement stores or may be provided to you by your international freight forwarder.
 
Each item must be packed with nothing overhanging the edge of the pallet. The total height should not exceed 7’ 7” and you must take into consideration the base of the pallet which is usually 8 inches . When packing your pallet, take into consideration the distribution of weight. Items at the bottom of the stack may be crushed and damaged by heavier items above them if weight is not distributed properly.
 
Cartons should be double wall cardboard boxes that are sturdy enough for stacking one on top of the other. Each box should be labeled with the booking number and consignee name and address. We recommend shrink-wrapping the pallets and add labels to the outside as well.
 
If the shipper's freight (cargo, shipment) is palletized, the international freight forwarder will need to send a truck with a lift gate and a pallet jack. The gross weight versus the volume weight also matters here, but it can be very different from the air freight industry. Pricing is based on a per cubic meter (1 CBM = 35.3145 CFT.) or 1 metric ton (22016 pounds equivalent). 
 
To prevent any excess volume, some shippers may choose to ship their boxes loose without pallets. It is their choice, but, shipping in a well stacked-up pallet will secure your load greatly. Forwarders price heat treated pallets and can stack-up the boxes at the consolidation point. Ask your forwarder or shipping company to price this service. Most world destinations are offered.
 

Ocean Freight for a Full Container Load (FCL):

Shippers moving the contents of their entire homes can choose from 1x20’ or 1x40’ ocean containers. (20’ – inside dimensions: 19’.5” long x 7’. 8” wide x 7’. 9” high)
INSIDE LENGTH: 5.895 m
INSIDE WIDTH: 2.350 m
INSIDE HEIGHT: 2.392 m
DOOR WIDTH: 2.340 m
DOOR HEIGHT: 2.292 m
CAPACITY: 33 m3
TARE WEIGHT: 2230 Kgs
MAX CARGO WEIGHT: 28230 Kgs
 
(40’ SD- inside dimensions 39’. 5” long x 7’. 8” wide x 7’. 9” high):
INSIDE LENGTH: 12.029 m
INSIDE WIDTH: 2.350 m
INSIDE HEIGHT: 2.392 m
DOOR WIDTH: 2.340 m
DOOR HEIGHT: 2.292 m
CAPACITY: 67 m3
TARE WEIGHT: 3780 Kgs
MAX CARGO WEIGHT: 26700 Kgs
 
(40’ HQ - inside dimensions 39’. 5” long x 7’. 8” wide x 103”)
INSIDE LENGTH: 12.024 m
INSIDE WIDTH: 2.350 m
INSIDE HEIGHT: 2.697 m
DOOR WIDTH: 2.340 m
DOOR HEIGHT: 2.597 m
CAPACITY: 76 m3
TARE WEIGHT: 4020 Kgs
MAX CARGO WEIGHT: 26460 Kgs
 
Ocean containers are dispatched to the freight forwarder's warehouses to load securely or trucked right to the shipper's homes. Ocean containers are transported on a truck chassis that sit 4’ off the ground. Shippers must take the individual piece weight into account to make sure that the loading is feasible (4’ off the ground) and the entire shipment is braced, blocked securely.
 

Household Goods and Vehicles

Your international freight forwarder will provide the auto loading at their warehouse, which must be loaded last to meet the requirements of the US Customs and Border Protection. Aside from the facilitation of your shipment process, utilizing an international forwarding company can also have benefits such as ease of access to a packing crew who can build ramps above to maximize the space especially when shipping a vehicle internationally.
 
In conclusion, if you foresee yourself moving overseas, work on your packing list and get your dimensions per packed items and approximate weight on paper. Your forwarder will be able to identify the most beneficial service and work on your shipping estimate. Remembering to keep busy shipping seasons, such as late December, in mind to avoid foreseeable delays. Give yourself an early start or find out how your forwarder can pack, store, load and ship for you.
 
Overseas residential move on your mind? ETC International can save you time, money, and a ton of heartache. Get a free quote today!

Tags: Air and Overseas Cargo Transport