FAQ – International Moving and Relocation

One cubic foot (Cu. Ft.) is the measurement of 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 foot or 12″ (inches) by 12″ by 12″.

There are 35.2 Cu. Ft. in one cubic meter.

20′ containers can hold about 850 to 1050 Cu. Ft. and are usually enough space for a 1 to 2 bedroom household or 1 vehicle with a few, small-sized household goods. While 40′ containers can hold about 1850 to 2200 Cu. Ft. and are usually reserved for 3 to 5 bedroom households or 1 vehicle and a 2 bedroom household.

We can provide storage services for a couple of weeks with less than container loads only, and only in certain areas and locations. Mostly, however, once your goods are delivered or picked up, they will be shipped right away. When you are notified by the agent overseas that your shipment has arrived, you will get about 5 days thereafter to clear customs and collect your shipment, or make other necessary arrangements. The time allotted after being notified varies, so make sure to ask the agent overseas how much time you get. For more detailed information or questions about storage, please feel free to ask one of our shipping customer service experts.

  • Jewelry
  • Pressurized spray cans
  • Alcohol (in hand luggage only)
  • Any flammable, hazardous, or toxic substances
  • Perishable goods such as food
  • Open bottles containing any liquids or other contents
  • Fire arms (license required in some countries)
  • Live plants or seeds (license required in some countries)
  • Valuable and important papers such as family records, birth certificates, marriage documents, financial information and other such documents.

If your vehicle is shipped in a personal 20′ or 40′ container, then you may put some boxes of household/personal goods in the vehicle and the trunk of the vehicle. However, if your vehicle is being shipped by RO/RO service, then the car has to be completely empty.

Shipping Full Container Loads (FCL) – When you are ready to ship a 20′ or 40′ container load, we need your complete name, address, and phone number for you here in the U.S. and overseas. We also need your passport number or social security number, plus the date you want the container delivered to your door. If the container being delivered is by live load method, we can deliver the container to your door Monday through Friday only, excluding holidays. However, if the container is delivered by drop off method, the container can be delivered on Friday to be picked up on Monday. You can contact us via e-mail or fax us (1-888-621-SHIP (7447)) the required information. As soon as we receive the information, we can start processing your shipment.

Shipping Less than Container Loads (LCL) – When you are ready to ship less than a container load, we need your complete name, address, and phone number for you here in the U.S. and overseas. We also need your fax number for you here in the U.S. (either at home, work or a friend’s fax #) in order to fax you Dock Receipt with all necessary information, including delivery address and instructions You can contact us via e-mail or fax us (1-888-621-SHIP (7447)) the required information. Also, indicate the number of boxes (pieces) you want to ship and the date you want to deliver them to the receiving warehouse. You can deliver your goods to any of the receiving & loading warehouses/terminals Monday through Friday only, excluding holidays. As soon as we get this needed information, we can start processing your shipment.

For shipping full 20′ or 40′ container loads please notify us, with all the necessary information, at least 7 to 10 days in advance to when you want the container delivered to you. For shipping less than container loads, we need a 3 to 4 day notice with all the necessary information (see answer to question 7).

For insurance you need to make two packing lists. One list with the replacement values listed for the insurance company, and the other one without any values listed for customs overseas (you keep the list for customs and send us the one for insurance). You can make your packing list in general, with estimated replacement values, such as:
Quantity Unit Description Value Per Unit Subtotal Value
10 Boxes Clothes $100.00 $1,000.00
5 Boxes Books $25.00 $125.00
1 Piece Couch $500.00 $500.00
2 Boxes Dishes $75.00 $150.00
1 Box Computer $600.00 $600.00

Total Value:

You can pay by cash, check (cashier or personal), money order, Visa, Master Card, Discover or American Express. Payment is prepaid in full before shipping. All payments are made through or sent to our office location, not to the truck drivers who deliver the containers or at the warehouses. When you book a container, we require at least a $500.00 deposit and when you are finished loading the container, the balance is due. For less than container load shipments, we cannot determine the exact amount until you deliver your goods to the receiving warehouse. Once delivered, your goods will be palletized or crated, and then the whole pallet or crate will be measured. According to those measurements and the rate we’ve previously quoted you, the amount is calculated and payable to us through our office.

Shipping Full Container Loads (FCL) – Upon arrival of your container, the agent overseas will notify you that your shipment has arrived. You will have to clear customs, pay a port fee, and either pickup your shipment or make arrangements to have your goods delivered to your residence or final destination overseas. You have options in custom clearance and arranging for delivery of your goods to its final destination: You can clear customs yourself, hire a custom broker to do so for you, or go through the agent. This also applies for arranging your shipment to its final destination. When your container arrives, you will be charged a port fee. In general, the port fee for a 20′ container can cost up to $250.00 U.S. Dollars and for a 40′ container it can cost up to about $350.00 U.S. Dollars (this amount will vary depending on the port regulations of each country). Plus the extra cost of trucking to your residence (by the door) or final destination overseas can be arranged independently (self pickup), or depending on destination country and its regulations through the agent who will contact you. The rough estimate for the port fee is given in general to give you an idea of how much things might cost. Services and charges can differ depending on the regulations of each country. If you require any of these services, the agent overseas will be able to assist you when they notify you of your shipment’s arrival.

Shipping Less than Container Loads (LCL) – Upon arrival of your less than container load shipment, the agent overseas will notify you. You will have to clear customs, pay a destination charge, and pickup your shipment. Or you can make arrangements through the agent or on your own to have your shipment delivered to your residence or final destination overseas. When the agent calls you to notify you, you may ask them about these services, and they will be able to assist you. Also, these services are payable to the agent overseas. Of course, you can clear customs and pay the destination charge on your own and just have the agent help you with the delivery of your goods to its final destination. The destination charge is based on the weight and size of your shipment. This charge usually costs at least $100.00 U.S. Dollars.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be or hire a packing expert to have your goods arrive safely and undamaged to its destination. What you will need is some good, common sense, a little advice, and a few basic packing materials. Here are some packing tips if you decide to do it yourself:

Basic Materials You’ll Need – You will need good, clean, strong boxes, suitcases, trunks, and/or plastic or metal bins. You will also need some type of protective wrap or padding (such as: bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts, packing paper, newspaper, moving blankets, plastic wrap, etc.), sealing tape, and a marking pen.

How To Pack – Wrap all small, loose items individually in packing paper, then crumple newspaper to use as padding (use at least 3 inches of crumpled newspaper or packing paper on the bottom and top of each box, bin, trunk, etc.), and then pack your wrapped items in them. You can also use blankets, towels, sheets, and even clothes for padding when packing your goods. Also, try to pack similar items in one box so everything is better organized and easily found (for example: pack books in one box, dishes in another, etc.). When packing books, keep in mind that books and magazines can be really heavy. So try to pack them in boxes, trunks, or bins no larger than 1.5 cubic feet, which can, believe it or not, end up weighing anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds. Use a sealing tape at least 1.5 inches wide and of good quality (strapping tape is the strongest choice), to seal your boxes, suitcases, trunks, and bins. Then use a permanent marker to label the contents of each box on the lid, side, etc. For fragile pieces it is best to use even greater cushioning and protection by wrapping each item in bubble wrap and packing them in boxes full of styrofoam peanuts. In addition to labeling your fragile item boxes with the contents, it is suggested to write “FRAGILE” on all sides as well. Also, for all goods, fragile or not, pack the larger, heavier items on the bottom while smaller, lighter items on top. For big items or furniture, you can buy moving blankets or use plastic (saran wrap) to cover and wrap the limbs of your furniture. Then use tape or rope to keep the moving blankets and plastic in place. This protects your big items and furniture from scratches, dents and dirt.

Where to buy Supplies and get them for Free! – You can purchase moving blankets (about $7.00 or $8.00) at stores like Home Depot, and buy plastic (saran wrap) in bulk from places like Costco Wholesaler, Sam’s or Price Club. You can also buy moving boxes and packing materials from storage or moving centers like U-Haul Rent-A-Center locations, Public Storage, Office Max, The Packaging Store, or Office Depot. You can buy bins and trunks from Target or Walmart stores. Or, you can go to your local department and grocery stores to get good, clean, strong boxes for free.