Guide for shipping furniture overseas
So, you finally decided to move to Hong Kong? It looks so far away, and believe me, it is! Planning a relocation of this size is no piece of cake, but it shouldn’t be too difficult either. With proper guidance, you should be able to organize the move and finish everything on time. One of the more challenging tasks to tackle is shipping furniture overseas. There is no reason to lose sleep over this seemingly complicated process. If you educate yourself and follow these simple steps, shipping furniture should go without any problems. So, without any further ado, let’s see how this process works.
The process of shipping furniture overseas
This process has a couple of steps. If we put it on paper, it will look something like this:
- shipper (location)
- export haulage (transport)
- origin warehouse (location)
- cargo origin handling (transport)
- origin port (location)
- ocean freight (transport)
- destination port (location)
- cargo destination handling (transport)
- destination warehouse (location)
- import haulage (transport)
- consignee (location)
It may seem like a lot to take, but let us closely look at these steps to better understand how shipping furniture overseas works.
From shipper to customs clearance
Transporting your belongings from the shipper’s address to the forwarder is called export haulage. If you have less than one container load, it is usually sent to the export consolidation center, otherwise known as the origin warehouse. The forwarder has own people or hired agents who take control over the cargo. Your furniture is usually moved on road, by a truck or by rails. In this case, a quality moving company plays an important part.
Before your shipment leaves the country, it must go through regulatory customs clearance. Forwarder must create a declaration and submit valid documentation to the authorities. Customs clearance must be completed before the cargo leaves the origin country, or before it enters the forwarder’s origin warehouse.
Next step – origin handling
It’s a long way from shipping your furniture until it safely arrives in Hong Kong. Once it’s there, it would be smart to hire Hong Kong movers to handle heavy furniture, but we can think about that step later. Let’s first look at how origin handling works.
Origin handling is actually all physical handling of your cargo, once it arrives in the origin warehouse until the moment they load it on a ship. Many people are in charge of this step, as it requires different actions. Handlers, or agents, have to inspect the cargo and schedule it for loading. Once that is completed, it has to be consolidated with other items for shipping and packed into a container. Finally, they load the container, move it to the port and load it onto the ship.
In many cases, it may happen that you require storage services during the relocation process. Sometimes, you are just not ready to ship your belongings at that moment. While you can send it to the origin warehouse to wait for shipping, sometimes it is cheaper to leave it in a storage unit until you are ready. It all depends on the individual prices.
As we always like to say, if you have the opportunity, always choose ocean freight over air freight. It is more affordable, but it takes a longer period of time for your furniture to be delivered. The timeline for the shipment depends on the freight forwarder since they must decide on a shipping line that will meet the deadline.
Either the shipper or the consignee has to cover for the cost of the freight. However, you should know that there are some hidden prices here, like urgency shipping, or the bunker adjustment factor.
Import clearance at the customs
This step can happen before the cargo reaches the destination port. Import customs clearance must be completed before the cargo leaves a customs bonded area in the destination country. It is freight forwarder’s responsibility to make sure that everything is on schedule.
Destination handling to the warehouse
Once the customs clear the cargo, it is time to transfer the shipment to the destination warehouse. Before they release it to the consignee, they must deliver it to the warehouse and prepare it for the consignee. This includes unpacking your furniture and preparing it for the collection.
As you can see, shipping furniture overseas involves a lot of steps, but everything follows a logical process.
Destination handling costs
It all depends on the agreement, but before consignee signs for the cargo, he has to cover the handling cost. If it is agreed that the shipper pays for shipping expenses, while the consignee covers all costs in the destination country, both parties must be aware of this. That is a secure way for the consignee to know the fee he has to pay before signing for the cargo.
Import haulage – the final destination
The last step of shipping furniture overseas is import haulage. After the consignee covers all the expenses, it is time for the cargo to leave the warehouse. This is where you should consider hiring movers to assist you. A good example is Relosmart Movers Hong Kong. Their experience will ease the process, and your furniture will safely arrive at the desired location!