You have either decided to move to China, back home, or elsewhere. Along with feelings of anticipation and excitement for the move, wondering what to do with your household of furniture and personal possessions is likely also weighing heavily on your mind. How does it work using an international moving company for China?
Personally, I’ve moved my household to and from China (and two/from Thailand!) a couple times.
I’ve done it the hard way – putting everything I could fit into suitcases – and the easy way (shipping) and I can tell you that if you can afford to ship your belongings, it makes the international move so much better!
Fortunately for you, there is a whole industry in place to assist you in moving your prized possessions overseas. It’s effective, efficient and surprisingly affordable.
Whether you just need to ship a couple boxes or plan on filling an entire container with your belongings, this guide covers essential topics to assist you in your international move to/from China.
Quick Note: If you already know what you’re looking for and want to get 5 free quotes, use the form below. Otherwise, scroll down to read more.
Now, let’s discuss a bit about what you should ship and what you should look for in an international moving company for China.
What Should I Ship to China or Back Home?
The best way to answer the question of how much to ship to or from China is to come up with a budget on how much you are willing to spend. This alone will help you decide what to ship.
Once you have a budget in place, compare different international moving companies for China to determine how much you can send for each quoted price.
But what should you ship? For those moving to China, it can sometimes be cheaper and easier to buy items like furniture and most daily necessities once you arrive.
I remember from my first move to China that I wasted large sums of money shipping things that I could have purchased for cheaper once I was in the country. Many apartments in China also come fully furnished with furniture so its likely that your mattress and favorite armchair can stay behind.
You’ll also want to double-check your China apartment rental contract to make sure it lists out what furniture is your and what is the landlords.
Finally, check-in with your employer to determine if they will cover the bill, which will give you plenty more flexibility in deciding what to ship.
What to Look For: International Moving Company
Before forking over your treasured possessions, you will want to do plenty of homework to ensure you will be working with a quality international moving company.
The 5 essential items below can help you narrow down and select a quality mover.
1. Quality Tracking, Streamlined Claims Process and Insurance
The last thing you would want is for either your shipment to get lost in transit or arrive with broken or missing items. In the same way that you want to buy travel insurance when traveling in China, you should consider insurance for your belongings when moving to/from China.
When evaluating an international moving company for China, check out if they provide packaging along with tutorials on how to pack your items properly. This will allow you to take advantage of all the space you pay for and hopefully keep your items from arriving broken at your destination.
As you can see above, the international moving company we used brought packing material for the items we couldn’t fit in boxes, such as my son’s bicycle.
Be sure to also research how you can track your shipment along with how often you can anticipate the tracker to be updated. Review how the claims process works in the event that your items are lost of broken.
Any reliable mover should have this process streamlined and available for review before agreeing to a contract.
Finally, you should highly consider insuring your items before shipment. This will give you added assurance that in the event of loss or damage, you will be fairly compensated. Believe it or not, shipping containers do fall of of ships sometimes!
2. What is the Estimated Time of Shipment?
How long it takes a moving company to ship your items overseas should factor into your decision on which provider to choose.
However, keep in mind that shipping items overseas takes a lot longer than shipping domestically and you can anticipate the job to take around average 60-90 days (and maybe even more now thanks to Covid restrictions).
If possible, it is best to start shipping items with a moving company well before your move. If you are under a tight timeline, it is likely moving companies can ship things faster, but you should expect this service at a much higher cost.
We had the international moving company we used come pick up our boxes about 5 weeks before we left…
…and it still arrived 2 months after we arrived in country!
3. Are There any Restrictions, Taxes or Duties?
Prior to shipping your items, be sure to check if there are any restrictions, licensing, or special provisions on the import of your goods. Most reputable international relocation services can help you figure this out as well.
Shipping any prohibited items can delay your shipment at local customs and potentially run you into trouble with the local government.
Additionally, items that were manufactured within the last six months may be subject to import taxes. Therefore it may be best to leave these newer items behind.
4. Do They Offer Student and Group Shipping?
If you happen to be a student or parent of a student planning on studying abroad, there are international moving companies for China like Seven Seas Worldwide that offer special rates and free services to students.
If you are also part of a group traveling to the same destination, your entire group can ship all your items together for a cheaper rate.
5. What is or is Not Included in the Quote?
While it is easiest to compare quotes based on the final price, before making a decision, be sure read the fine print and fully understand how much space and what services are included in the quote.
Things to consider include:
- Does the company provide packing materials?
- Are you required to pack and load everything on your own?
- Are there any shipping minimums or deposits?
- Is the service door to door, port to door, door to port, etc.?
Just remember to thoroughly review what you are paying for as well as any hidden costs before deciding on an international moving company for China.
What Do China Relocation Services Cost?
From moving a small box to a full apartment, you may be surprised by the affordability of internationally shipping your items to and from China.
Remember that moving company quotes will vary but are primarily based on the amount of items you would like to ship.
With this in mind, it is best to have a concrete list of all the items you would like to ship handy when inquiring with moving companies for an accurate quote. Services like door to door, packing and loading assistance will also have an influence on price.
When shopping around for the best international moving company for China, you can anticipate receiving an official quote in 1 to 2 business days. However, some moving companies do provide instant quotations. Below you can see examples of two instant quotes from Seven Seas Worldwide.
Quote with Seven Seas Worldwide: Shipping two standard boxes (have a shipping minimum) 51x41x31cm from New York City to Beijing
Quote with Seven Seas Worldwide: Shipping a Medium Cube (146x112x187cm =57x44x73inches) with no help loading and unloading the MoveCube and no packaging materials included.
Remember that there many variables that international moving companies take into account for quotes, so be sure to shop for quotes with criteria specific to your moving needs to get an accurate idea on how much you can anticipate paying.
If you’re shipping more than just a couple boxes, you should expect to pay at least $1,500 all the way up to $8,000.
Suggested International Moving Company for China
When it comes to the best international moving company for China, you have a number of options to choose from. You can search around and try to find reputable companies that can do the move for you, but it’s always better to use companies that have been pre-screened and reviewed.
You’re entrusting an international moving company with all your belongings…don’t just throw that to chance.
For that reason, I recommend you use a service like ExpertsinMoving. Just fill in your information below and they will send you 5 quotes for your international move…for free!
They’ve already pre-screened these companies and made sure that they meet the high quality and professional standards of the IAM (International Association of Movers). Give them a try below.
Get 5 Free Moving Quotes:
There’s no obligation once you fill out the form below. You’ll be presented with up to 5 free quotes from reputable international moving companies that you can choose from.
Local Shipping Couriers and/or Post Office
When shopping around for quotes from an international moving company for China, do not forget to also inquire with your local post offices.
If you’re only shipping a box or two, it is likely they can also provide you with a competitive quote. For China, check out the China Post website for details and pricing.
Final Thoughts | International Relocation to/from China
Overall, using an international moving company for China can make your move to or away from the country extremely easy.
The primary things to keep in mind to help you prepare for your move are knowing how much you want to ship and shopping around multiple moving companies to land an affordable rate.
Trust me, it sounds like a lot of work, but when the shipment arrives at your door in a new country, the relief is immediate an wonderful. It’s worth it!