8 Things to Consider When Calculating International Moving Costs – Part 1

8 Things to Consider When Calculating International Moving Costs – Part 1

7 Apr 2022 

Thinking of moving overseas but not sure if you’ve considered all the costs of moving? Calculating the costs of moving should be done carefully and meticulously, but losing track of things is normal. Let’s talk about the costs to keep in mind when considering a move overseas. 

Why international moving can cost more than you expect 

The costs of international moving can vary widely between countries depending on the cost of living and distance. For example, moving from San Francisco to Vancouver might cost between $500-700, while moving from New York to a two- bedroom home in Auckland can cost just as much. It is a very rough estimation. When estimating costs, you also need to consider duty charges, taxes, and insurance. Here at Asian Tiger, we are experts in moving internationally and domestically and are happy to share what we have learned through our years of working with countless clients. 

1. Transportation costs 

Transportation cost is a major cost sink for many people. Transportation costs vary depending on distance and method of transportation. Having your belongings transported by ship is the most common method and is relatively cheap if you are moving overseas. The only drawback is that it can take a long time to arrive. Moving things by air is the opposite-fast and expensive though this option isn’t always available depending on the country you are moving to and the things you are taking. Before-andafter your belongings shipped by air or sea, they need to be transported by truck to get to the port or airport, so also consider this when estimating the cost of transport. 

Whatever option you decide on, a rule of thumb is that price increases with distance and the number of things you take, and it goes for the cost of transporting yourself to your new home as well

2. Packing and unpacking 

You might want to avoid the cost of having a moving company pack and unpack for you by packing yourself. But some countries’ customs require moving companies to vouch for goods, which helps prevent the transport of illegal items like drugs or firearms. It means that moving companies need to pack themselves since they are on the line. Therefore, this cost is often unavoidable. So if you are hoping to save on packing costs, first ask your mover whether the country you are heading to requires moving companies to vouch for your goods. 

If a moving company does pack and unpack for you, the cost is typically a couple of hundred dollars, packing materials included.

3. Insurance costs 

Most moving companies include insurance costs in their quotes, but some don’t. Make sure to check if you need separate insurance for your belongings. You will want a policy covering the total cost of the loss of, damage to, or theft of your belongings. These can cost as low as a little over $100 but can be much higher depending on transporting high-value items. 

You might also want insurance in the country you are moving to, whether home or health insurance. Considering that the cost of insurance varies significantly between countries, it makes sense to start researching insurance costs for the country you are moving to before you purchase insurance.

4. Storage costs 

Storage is an essential part of your safety net abroad, so much so that this might be an unavoidable cost. Coordinating between your moving date and shipping date can be difficult, and not everything likely lines up for you to be able to move in immediately. Storage space allows you to hold your goods if they arrive ahead of time or if your new residence isn’t ready on time.

Let’s continue the other costs in part 2! If you would like assistance with shipping or relocation support, contact your local Asian Tigers office or reach out to us via our online contact us. 

If you found this article interesting, you might also be interested in taking a look at 8 Things to Consider When Calculating International Moving Costs – Part 2; Learn From My Shipping Mistakes (So You Don’t Make Them Too), Set Yourself Up For A Successful Expat Experience, and Expat Life – Moving Abroad During Covid-19.