How to Ship Moving Containers Overseas

For anyone who is considering an international move, it is recommended to contact a company that ships moving containers overseas. Moving overseas is a complicated process because each country has rules and regulations about what outsiders are allowed to bring into their country. 

A reputable moving company will be able meet all the requirements such as:

  • The right documents
  • Professional inventory
  • Professional packing

Many countries will not allow goods to be brought in that haven’t been packed and inventoried by a professional international moving company. Also, the documentation and paperwork can take several weeks to complete even with the help of professionals.

Throughout the process, the customer will have one contact with the U.S. based moving company to follow the process. The basic steps of a move overseas are:

• The moving company will pack and load the containers at the customer’s residence and transport them to the appropriate port.

• The moving company will arrange with a freight forwarding company that will transport by ship the containers to the port that is closest to the final destination.

• Another moving company in the destination country will receive the containers from the ship and clear them through the foreign customs office.

• After the goods have cleared customs, a local moving company will pick them up and deliver them to the final destination.


When moving overseas, the customer’s regular homeowner’s insurance does not cover their belongings as it does when moving within the U.S. The overseas mover should provide comprehensive insurance coverage that covers your household goods and personal effect while they are in transit against damage, theft or loss. 

They may offer several insurance options from which to choose. The customer should consider each option and how it suits their personal situation. Moving insurance should give the customer peace of mind about their possessions, but it will not help with items of sentimental value. 

If possible, these should be moved in the custody of the customer. If the contents will be stored by the moving company, a different insurance policy may be required to cover the goods during the time is it stored.

There are several different types of moving containers that are used for shipping overseas. The moving company will be able to tell the customer what type of container is best for their possessions.

LDN containers are used for air freight. They have removable panels that make them easy to pack and unpack. They are not recommended for moving furniture because the cost of air freighting furniture would be prohibitive. 

Air freight transit times vary from 15 to 25 days from door to door. Air freight containers are useful for shipping to countries that do not have good sea ports such as China and Russia.

Ocean freight containers range from 197 cubic feet internally to 2,200 cubic feet internally. They can transport personal items and small furniture to the full contents of a normal home as well as a car.

How to select an international container moving company?

Most moving companies have restrictions on where they can ship goods. Some companies list themselves as international movers, but they only transport goods in the U.S., to Canada or Puerto Rico. 

When researching companies, the customer needs to make sure the company will deliver their goods to the required destination. It should be the first question the customer asks the mover’s representative. 

When the customer finds two or three companies that move to the required destination, they should look for the one that has extensive experience in moving containers internationally.

There are several items that are not allowed inside moving containers. The moving company will know which items are legal and which are not. It’s a good idea for the customer to also know. 

A few of the most common items that may not be packed are:

  • Aerosols
  • Paint and paint thinner
  • Ammunition
  • Fertilizers
  • Chemistry sets
  • Gasoline
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Car batteries
  • Charcoal and charcoal lighter
  • Fireworks
  • Swimming pool chemicals
  • Household bleach
  • Matches
  • Perishables such as animals, plants, fresh and frozen food

Personal records, address books, stocks, bonds, IRAs, family photos and videos, jewelry, computers and cell phones should also not be packed.

When all the possessions are packed the moving company’s representative will seal the container and attach a tag number. The customer should keep this information and all documents related to the move with him or her at all times while their possessions are in transit.

When the moving container arrives at the destination, the customer should not sign-off on the move until they have opened and inspected all of their goods for any visible signs of damage. 

The moving company will have packed everything to protect it against the jostling and turbulent weather during the ocean voyage, but in spite of their best efforts, sometimes things do get damaged.

The customer should make sure their moving company has their new address at the destination

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