How to Ship Furniture Overseas

Written by jamie lisse
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Shipping furniture overseas is a costly endeavour. People with lower end furniture find that it is actually less expensive to replace all of the furniture once they arrive than to ship what they already own. If you have expensive furniture though, it might be worth the freight costs to take it with you. And, of course, there are those pieces that are irreplaceable, like antiques and family heirlooms. If you do decide to ship furniture overseas, be prepared to pay a hefty price to do it.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Insurance

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Get quotes from multiple shipping companies. All shipping companies advertise competitive rates. The only way to find out the best rate is to get several quotes. The shipping company will make sure all shipping documents and paperwork are completed correctly.

  2. 2

    Compare sea and air freight. Sea freight is generally cheaper. When shipped by sea, your items will be placed in sea containers with multiple other items and will likely be handled numerous times during arrival. Furniture will need to be well packed in crates to avoid damage. Air freight is usually double the price of sea freight. It is faster and safer for irreplaceable items. Check before shipping. Freight prices vary, and, occasionally, air freight is actually less expensive than sea freight.

  3. 3

    Look for a container share. Find someone who is shipping goods to the same location as you and see if you can share a container. If you fill the entire sea shipping container, the items will not need to be moved from container to container at each port.

  4. 4

    Get the proper insurance. Your shipping company should have insurance available. Make sure that it covers all items and that it is door-to-door insurance. If you are getting full pickup and delivery, the items will not only be on the plane or ship, they will also be transported to and from the plane or ship.

  5. 5

    Complete all required paperwork. If you choose, you can hire a custom broker to handle all of the required documents for getting furniture shipped into the country. You will need to fill out a bill of landing, entry manifest and customs declaration. Your goods may need to be examined before they are released.

  6. 6

    Be prepared to pay a duty. The duty on most furniture is approximately 2.5 per cent. If you are shipping a £13,000 sofa, the duty will be around £325. Pay the cash amout at customs; you must pay in the currency of the country where the furniture will be shipped.

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