How much does an international move cost?

International shipping costs can often be a maze of calculations and considerations. Whether you’re moving overseas for work, embarking on a new adventure, or expanding your business globally, understanding how shipping costs are determined is crucial for budgeting and planning. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deeper into the intricacies of international shipping costs, exploring factors such as cubic feet measurements, shipping methods, additional services, and obtaining accurate estimates for your move.

Factors Influencing International Shipping Costs

When it comes to international shipping, several factors play a significant role in determining the overall costs:

Cubic Feet vs. Weight

Unlike domestic shipping, where weight is often the primary determinant of costs, international shipping is calculated based on the cubic feet of your goods. This means that the volume your items occupy in the shipping container is more critical than their weight. As such, even lightweight items that occupy a considerable amount of space can incur higher shipping costs.

Shipping Method

The method of shipping you choose will greatly impact your expenses. Ocean freight is generally more cost-effective but slower, making it ideal for non-urgent shipments. On the other hand, air freight offers quicker delivery but at a higher price point. Your decision between the two will depend on factors such as budget, timeline, and the urgency of your shipment.

Additional Services

Beyond the basic shipping charges, additional services such as door-to-door delivery, customs clearance, packing, and storage can significantly impact your overall costs. Each of these services comes with its associated fees, and opting for convenience and peace of mind may come at an additional expense.

Calculating International Shipping Costs

Volume Calculation

The cubic feet measurement of your goods is determined by multiplying the length, width, and height of each item and summing up the total volume. This measurement helps shipping companies determine how much space your goods will occupy in the shipping container.

Rate Determination

Once the volume of your shipment is determined, shipping companies apply a rate per cubic foot to calculate the shipping costs. The rate may vary depending on factors such as the destination, shipping method, and the shipping company’s pricing structure.

Additional Charges

In addition to the basic shipping charges, you may incur additional fees for services such as insurance, customs clearance, and handling charges. It’s essential to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for your international move.

Additional Services and Their Impact on Costs

The specific services you require can significantly impact your overall shipping costs:

Door-to-Door Delivery

Opting for door-to-door delivery provides unparalleled convenience, as your goods are picked up from your current location and delivered directly to your new address. However, this convenience often comes at a premium price.

Customs Clearance

Navigating customs regulations and procedures can be complex, especially when shipping internationally. Hiring a professional customs clearance service ensures that your goods comply with all relevant regulations, but it also incurs additional costs.

Packing Services

Professional packing services not only save you time and effort but also ensure that your goods are properly protected during transit. While this service adds to your overall expenses, it can help prevent damage to your belongings.


If there’s a gap between moving out of your current location and moving into your new one, you may need temporary storage for your goods. Storage fees vary depending on the duration and the size of the storage unit required.

Obtaining an Estimate for Your International Move

To obtain an accurate estimate for your international move, consider the following options:

Quick Quote Form

Fill out our online quote form with basic information about your shipment, including the type of goods, volume, and destination. While this method provides a quick estimate, it may not capture all the nuances of your specific requirements.

In-Home Survey

Schedule an in-home survey with one of our international moving specialists. During the survey, a specialist will visit your home to assess the volume and nature of your goods, discuss your shipping options, and provide you with a detailed estimate tailored to your needs.

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