Personal Finance, Travel

Ten Ways to Save Money When Shipping Overseas

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If you are planning a move that takes you overseas, or simply sending packages to others living in a far off land, there are a lot of things to consider. One of the issues which most people have little experience with or knowledge about is the best way to get stuff to a overseas destination. While there are a lot of different shipping options, the correct option depends greatly on what you’re shipping. The one truth you will soon learn is that international shipping, whether by air or by sea, is expensive. However with a few tricks of the trade up your sleeve, some up-to-the-minute information, and some creative thinking, you can learn how to cut costs and avoid blowing your entire budget on your overseas relocation.

Here are 10 great tips on how to save money when shipping overseas:

Save Money on Boxing

When it comes to packing your personal belongings, there is no need to buy new boxes. Free boxes from the grocery store, friends and neighbors who recently moved, or from office buildings, retail stores and restaurants will more than suffice, provided they are dry and not soiled from spills.

Save money on expensive packing

You can save money on bubble wrap and packing peanuts by wrapping fragile items in blankets, sheets, coats, or bulky clothing that needs to be packed anyway; to protect glassware en route, stuff them with rolled-up socks and cushion them with towels

Sell Unneeded Items

Instead of discarding items which won’t be making the move with you, consider holding a garage sale; the extra cash pocketed can be used for new furniture, new household items, or a night out on the town in your new country

Increase Space

Double up on storage to save space and money, using pots, dryers, dresser drawers, and shoes to pack jewelry, toiletries, underwear, and other small items

Shop Around for Shipping Rates

International moving can be very expensive. Shop around for the best shipping rates by asking for a free estimate from at least three reputable international shipping companies; their experts will also advise you on the best and least expensive way to ship your furniture, car, and other household contents.

Be Flexible

Since shipping companies base their estimates on the timeframe, distance, and size of a move, being flexible with your pickup and delivery dates could help you get a better deal

If Your Stuff is Heavy

Overseas container shipping is the most cost-effective and convenient means of shipping goods around the world. Here is how it works: For a flat rate, you select the shipping container size of your choice (typically 20 or 40 feet long, although there are containers as long as 45-53 feet). Next, anything you can fit into your container gets to go, without any weight or size restrictions


Sharing a shipping container is another great money saver. In this scenario – also known as ‘container consolidation’ or ‘less than container load’ (LCL) shipping – if you don’t have enough items to fill a container on your own, you can arrange for your cargo to be shipped inside someone else’s container, provided you are departing from and arriving at the same ports. In another scenario, if you have extra room in your container, you can get a return on your investment by offering others the chance to fill it up, charging them per square meter. To learn more about the ABCs and costs of container shipping, check out eHow’s container shipping calculation guidelines.

Smaller item Shipping

When it comes to international shipping, USPS (the United States Post Office) is still your best bet financially for parcels weighing less 50 pounds (USPS also offers special rates for shipping books and media)

Weight Charges

Avoid hefty overweight charges by packing large and light rather than compact and heavy

Get Friends to Help

If you don’t need all of your belongings right away (i.e. extra books, knickknacks, or out-of-season clothing), ask a visiting friend or family member to bring them to you later on. This may be the very slowest form of delivery, but it’s reliable and it won’t cost you a dime.

About the author: Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.

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