Moving houshold permanently to Australia
May 13, 2011 11:15 PM   Subscribe

How to move large household of stuff from San Francisco bay area to Sydney area Australia.

Hi, I am considering a permanent relocation to Australia (I have citizenship).

We have a lot of stuff, I expect enough to full a large container. (I have read other threads about getting rid of stuff before you move, but the reality of our situation is we will be bring an awful lot with us)

Are there any particular movers recommended?

Any moving strategies? We will (eventually) be buying a house a few hours north of Sydney, but may need to store our belongings for a while whilst we sort out a permanent location. We wondered if it was possible to buy a container outright, and just have it stored and then delivered when we are ready (that way no transferring our stuff from truck to container to truck to storage etc). We would be able to find a use for the container (storage) in Australia (we will be in a rural area north of Sydney).

Any Customs tips of trip-ups?

Thanks for your help
posted by mechantbruce to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This site is my go-to recommendation for moving info. The sidebar on the right has recommended international movers. I'd also go to the international discussion forum and do a search for Australia. There were several US->Australia threads with specific info that might be helpful.
posted by sharkfu at 11:23 PM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Australia has strict quarantine laws that may prevent you from bringing in particular items or result in your container being held up in customers. Here is information on quarantine and customers for people moving to Australia.
posted by girlgenius at 12:22 AM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

My parent, Australian Citizens recently came home (if you can call Tasmania home for Sydney kids that is.). Transportation of a lifetime worth of posessions went without incident aside from the rise of the dollar, and a couple of quarantine inicdents (my wife's double bass was fine, the box it was transported in was not for some reason, for example). They transported a whole container of goods. I assume that these guys can meet your needs, although I'd imagine there are a few outfits who can do similar around the Tempe/Mascot area.
posted by singingfish at 4:56 AM on May 14, 2011

One thing that stands out is your guesstimates on how much storage room you will need for your belongings. Have several moving companies come and do free estimates with the pound estimates included. I figured our belongs would take at least two giant container trucks to bring across the country and everything, and I mean EVERYTHING but our car wound up in these two freaky little pod-type quarter containers, on a truck with two OTHER pod containers (our household goods came to 7200 lbs total -minus the car).

(excuse my oh-so-technical names for things. It's amazing how good professional movers are at compacting your stuff.)
posted by pink candy floss at 8:06 AM on May 14, 2011

I do a lot of work with Crown Relocation and Chipman International. They both perform the exact service you are describing.

Memail me and I can get you some direct contact #'s
posted by pianomover at 8:17 AM on May 14, 2011

Here's a little anecdote about moving in a shipping container (including the question of what you might add to fill nooks and crannies).
posted by FLAG (BASTARD WATER.) (Acorus Adulterinus.) at 8:58 AM on May 14, 2011

Having moved overseas (but not to Aus), just wanted to second the great advice above about movingscam. The forums will have reviews of particular companies. Also I second pink candy floss's advice of getting professional estimates of how much space you need. These people are much better at packing than you are. (or at least, than I am)
posted by sesquipedalian at 11:38 AM on May 14, 2011

I used Allied Pickfords for a move from Denmark to Australia. They were efficient and friendly and not a single thing got broken, but they were also bloody expensive ($10,000 for half a shipping container, once insurance was included.) Work paid, so I didn't shop around for quotes so much.)

Another thing to consider is speed. We had to wait two months for our stuff, mostly with it sitting on the docks in Sydney waiting for quarantine inspectors to look at it. Maybe some moving companies can speed things up for you? Also, maybe ship the necessities (clothes, etc) via normal post if possible.
posted by lollusc at 6:13 PM on May 14, 2011

I recently moved the opposite direction, from Australia to the USA. I used an Aussie company called "Wridgways" I only moved 10 cubic metres of goods. They price based on area of shipping container taken up not weight. There are a few ways to ship depending on what you are shipping. If you plan on moving every pot, pan and scrap of paper you can hire a whole container, or can ship like I did and just take up part of a container. The part method takes longer as you have to wait for enough people to be shipping things the same way to fill a whole container, but it can work out a lot cheaper.

Most shipping companies can arrange storage etc as well and going on the company I use, stuff is very clearly labeled and tracked so I wouldn't be too worried about stuff being moved from truck to container etc.

I still have a month or so before everything gets here but I managed to ship all the things that were important to me in that 10 cubic feet including a huge bookcase, rocking horse and antique sewing machine. Packed, shipped, insured and delivered to my door here in the US for AUD$3,500. I only shipped stuff non replaceable to me as I can get basic furniture etc where ever I go, and electrical goods that work in Australia won't work in the US so I saw no point in shipping those.

I was not lucky enough to have a company to pay for my shipping so I really had to ship on a budget and got lots of help from the company, numerous emails and phone calls and was never once made to feel like I was unimportant just because I was shipping so little. I was very nervous and stressed selling a house and moving overseas and got lots of metaphorical hand holding from the company which was very nice. Two other companies didn't even want my business as I wasn't shipping a whole house worth of stuff and wouldn't return my calls after my initial inquiry.
posted by wwax at 7:50 PM on May 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

« Older Where can I find more bass like this?   |   Do I need/should get a headphone amp if I already... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.