We're looking to move from Australia to the US in the next few months. I've been looking into options for getting our stuff there and the problem is proving to be a little complicated. I'm looking for solutions that worked for other people.
1) The list of things that need to come isn't absolute. We will not be bringing our car, furniture, bikes or appliances. We will be bringing our clothing, our picture frames and some treasured kitchen gear. Everything else (the rest of our kitchen stuff, serving dishes, linens, the books etc) has a question mark. The exact cutoff will depend on costs and logistics.
2) We are moving from Canberra (not a port city) to San Francisco (port city). We are able to survive 6-8 weeks without our household goods by staying with family before we fly.
3) We have family who can store our stuff at both the origin and the destination.
4) Our plane tickets allow for 4x50lbs in baggage.
5) Adding up all the stuff that I would potentially want to bring (beyond the four suitcases) in my head, I estimate 1-2 m^3 (6-12 tea chests which are 42cm x 45cm x 62cm or thereabouts)
6) Our situation has a lot in common with this post
. The main differences are a) the ocean in question and b) we are wondering about kitchen gear which wouldn't lend itself to excess baggage as well as the shoes, books and clothes in the other post.
I have found five possible options:
1) Removalist. I have requested some quotes, but the companies come across as a little perplexed that I don't actually have any furniture, just cartons.
2) LCL Shipping. This is less-than-container-load shipping. A pallet is 1.9m^3 so this would be way
less than a container load.
3) Unaccompanied baggage. This would be nice because it is fast. It seems really expensive (since it is air freight).
4) Accompanied cargo. A friend told me that you can add cargo to the hold on the plane you are traveling on at a pretty low rate. I can't tell how this is different to excess baggage, but it was recommended as a cheap option. I learned about it in the context of bringing carpets back from Morocco, so I don't know if it extends to cartons of kitchenware.
5) Excess baggage. (I mean the policy that airlines have to allow an extra bag at an exorbitant rate, not the shipping company called Excess Baggage.) Looking back nostalgically on my youth, I recall this was about $100/bag. Surely the rates have increased.
Are these the options that people use when they move overseas? Are there other choices? Can anyone recommend one method over another? Any genius schemes for splitting our gear into air and sea freight (my current algorithm will prioritize urgency of need with weight as the secondary consideration)?