Are You Thinking of Shipping Your Whole Household to Australia, but Only If It Doesn't Cost Too Much?
This post is from an email I got from someone thinking of shipping their three-bedroom household (two-bedrooms plus home office) to Australia from London. They haven't said if they are considering shipping their car or not, as that would make a difference in the size of the container needed, but I get into that in the post.
A better estimate for shipping a two-bedroom plus to Australia.
We have started the process of looking for removalists for our move to Australia. During our research online, we've come across many different companies and a wide range of prices. I was wondering if you could give us a better estimate for how much we are looking at.
We are moving from London to Sydney and have a two-bedroom house plus office.
Also interested in any other bits of advice you have for preparing for our move and dealing with the international removalists.
In-House Shipping Quotes vs Online Estimate
First off, I doubt I can give you a better estimate than the removalists.
I suspect you're referring to are online estimates instead of in-house shipping quotes.
Many international relocation sites will have a pop-up inventory list that you fill out and send in. Though those are helpful to give you a ballpark they are usually way off.
The best option is to have the removalists come to your house and walk through with you, taking an inventory of everything you are shipping. They will then work out a more realistic estimate.
This is also a good idea because you want to ask them questions about your move. I have a list of 31 questions to ask the international movers when they are at your house that you should look at to give you an idea of things to be aware of and what to ask specifically about when getting your in-house quote.
That's my first piece of advice, get in-house moving quotes and don't rely on online quotes or over-the-phone quotes.
Get a Minimum of Three Shipping Quotes
My second piece of advice is to get a minimum of three quotes.
I know it seems like a pain to schedule three different appointments, but being able to compare and contrast how each company handles their in-house quotes plus the information they give you about shipping to Australia, will give you a glimpse into how the company operates and their experience.
Australia has a very strict quarantine regulations that you need to be aware of. Choosing a removalist that is not experienced with shipping to Australia could be a disaster.
Terms to Know Before Getting Shipping Quote for Australia
Full Container Load (FCL) = This is when you are the sole user of a 20 ft or 40 ft container.
Less than Container Load (LCL) = This is when you share the use of a 20 ft or 40 ft container with someone else also shipping things to Australia.
One thing to note with an LCL is that you may have to wait until the shipping company or the company that owns the container has someone else to fill the rest of the container. Shipping companies want to only ship fully packed containers.
Door-to-Door = Means they either pack the container at your house or at the port of departure and then handle the unpacking of the container in Australia and deliver the contents to your new home in Sydney.
There are two sizes of shipping containers: 20 ft and 40 ft. For general guidelines, a 20 ft container will ship a three-bedroom house and a 40 ft container will ship either a five-bedroom house or a three-bedroom house plus a car.
Now, I know I said that I'm not your best resource for an estimate, but since I'm posting this on the site I thought it might be nice to give a general idea of the cost of shipping a 20 ft container to Australia is from other parts of the world.
Most people usually go with a 20 ft or less, as the LCL option mentioned above.
The Cost of Shipping a 20 ft Container to Australia
New York City
Where the heck did I get these estimates from?
I used the shipping calculator on MoveHub.com then I did a quick currency exchange calculation in my OFX account for the estimates from around the world.
Again, these are very general estimates. Your shipment could be more or it could be less.
Ready to Get Started with Your Move to Australia?
Australia Moving Checklist
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Lock-In Your Exchange Rate
Did you know the Australian dollar is a commodity currency? This means the value of the Australian dollar is linked to the price of iron ore and other Australian exports. It also means that it's HIGHLY VOLATILE! When a good rate comes along, you need to be ready to jump on it and lock-in that exchange rate.
Have You Started Packing Yet?
No, not yet? Still got several months to go? Ok, but have you at least started thinking about what you're taking? Maybe even started a list? The truth is you don’t need to know what's going with you before getting your shipping quote. Why? Scheduling a shipment to Australia can take as long as 6 months.
Open Your Bank Account
In 5 minutes or less, you can open both a checking and savings account BEFORE you move to Australia. There are only 3 things you need to get started.
1. Your passport and visa details.
2. Know where you're going to live.
3. Be arriving within the next 3 months.
*This link will take you to Commonwealth Bank of Australia's special accounts for newly arriving expats and migrants. Commonwealth Bank is a sponsoring partner of Sydney Moving Guide.