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What’s the Cheapest Way To Move Belongings Overseas?

Byron Mühlberg, writer at

Byron Mühlberg


Sep 30, 2022
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Are you moving abroad and wondering how much it'll set you back to ship your belongings along too? Depending on many factors such as from where to where you're planning to move and how many belongings you want to be shipped, the costs can be very high indeed!

In this short guide, we go over the costs associated with contracting an international mover and show you how to save money by finding the cheapest way to move belongings overseas for your unique needs.

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To cut down on the high costs of moving your belongings overseas, we recommend using a trusted, established, and globally-connected international moving company like Eurosender. With Eurosender's flexible platform, you can send as little as a few packages to as much as an entire home's worth of belongings across the globe.

Moving Overseas Can Be Expensive

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There's no escaping the fact that moving your belongings abroad is an expensive endeavour that adds a considerable cost to any international move.

The final costs can vary significantly and depend on how far and how much you'd like to move. For example, moving a four-person household's worth of belongings to a different continent will generally cost between $7,500 and $20,000. However, moving a two-person household's worth of belongings across the same continent can cost between $1,000 and $5,000.

It's because of these costs that it's always a good idea to rely on an affordable international mover like Eurosender to get the job done (more on them later).

Let's break down these costs. While you'll probably pay a once-off payment to the international moving company, they'll take care of a lot of the intermediary steps for you. Below, we go over some of the third parties involved in moving your goods from one country to another:

  • International mover: As mentioned above, this is the company you'll be dealing with. They'll take care of most of the process for you, from packing, shipping, customs, and finally to delivery. In most cases, they'll also be the only company you pay to get the job done, and they'll also be your main point of contact along the way.
  • Origin agent: Usually employed or subcontracted by the international mover, the origin agent will be responsible for coming to your home before your move to help build a more accurate quote and oversee the packing of your belongings on moving day.
  • Freight forwarder: Acting as a middleman between the moving company and transportation services, freight forwarders don't move your belongings but are responsible for managing their import and export and the associated regulations.
  • Consolidated warehouse: If your combined belongings aren't enough to fill an entire cargo container, they may be stored in a warehouse to await other goods before being combined into a container with them and shipped off.
  • Origin Port of Departure (OPD): This is the port authority where your belongings are loaded onto a ship. The port authorities often charge a fee, which is sometimes not included in your quote with the international mover. Be sure to check your quote to see whether or not this cost appears.
  • Ship line: The company owning the ship that carries your belongings from the origin to the destination.
  • Destination port: The customs authorities at the port in the destination country. Another party is sometimes involved here if your belongings are stored temporarily in a warehouse before clearing customs.
  • Destination agent: This is the company subcontracted by the international mover to move your belongings from the port to your new home overseas. It's a good idea to contact them in advance to find out whether they plan to unload the boxes inside your home or unpack them and clear the debris for you.

Considering each step is another company or local authority that charges its own set of fees or taxes, it's easy to see how quickly these costs can stack up. Furthermore, considering the international moving company that arranges everything is itself also its own company seeking to make a profit, it's then easy to see how you could end up paying upwards of $15,000 to move your belongings overseas!

While the costs are high, they vary significantly from case to case, and although you'll get a precise quote, you might not know the total cost of the move until after it's already been completed.

How to Find the Cheapest Way To Move Belongings Overseas

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As we've seen, moving your belongings overseas is far more expensive than doing so domestically (and that's not even to mention all the planning, admin, and other expenses that go along with moving countries!). Whenever you're planning to spend $5,000 or more on anything, it's always a good idea to compare providers in advance, as every percentage saved adds up to large amounts of real money!

To find the best rates and service for your move, we recommend shipping your belongings overseas with Eurosender, whose innovative online platform connects shippers with logistics companies worldwide to find you the best price and service for your relocation needs.

FAQ About Moving Belongings Abroad

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