How Can I Ship My Belongings to Another Country?

Posted on December 21, 2021
Categorised as Freight Forwarding Services

If you’re moving to a new country, you’ll want to bring some of your own items with you, so you can make your new place really feel like home. But it can be difficult to know where to start with your personal effects shipping, from deciding what to take with you, choosing how to transport your items, and knowing how to correctly pack them.

PBS International is the expert in international shipping. Our step-by-step guide explains exactly how you can ship your belongings to another country.

Step 1: Find the Best International Freight Forwarding Company

The best way to ensure your personal effects shipping goes smoothly is to work with an experienced and reliable international freight forwarder, like PBS International. We offer our customers a comprehensive range of freight forwarding services to find exactly what you need for your circumstances. We’ll work with you every step of the way, from packing your belongings to advising on the documentation you’ll need, to safely transport your personal effects to your new country.

By working with a reliable freight forwarder from the outset, you can make sure that no part of the shipping process is forgotten, meaning there will be less risk of delays and loss of your items.

Step 2: Decide What You’ll Bring and What You’ll Leave Behind

You will need to decide what you will be bringing with you, and what you plan to leave behind. You may have certain items that are sentimental or valuable and that you know you will want in your new home. You may have items that you don’t want to bring with you, but you don’t want to get rid of – in which case, you will need to look at storage solutions. You may have lots of items that you could easily replace when you get to your new home, so you can either donate what you have to charity or sell it on.

You should also consider whether your new country has any prohibited items that you won’t be able to bring, or if you have any dangerous goods that will need special services to be shipped correctly.

You will also need to make special plans for your pet’s travel if you are bringing a pet with you. PBS has a specific Pet Travel department that specialises in relocating pets overseas. We can assist with getting the right documentation and finding the right airline to safely transport your pet.

You should make a list of everything in your home that you will be bringing with you, that needs to go into storage, or that you will be selling or donating. When you know exactly what you will be shipping to your new home, you can start to think about what size container you need and what route you will take to ship it.

Step 3: Decide What Route is Best

When you are shipping personal effects, you will have a choice on how you can transport your goods.

The most common way to ship your personal belongings is by sea freight shipping. Whilst shipping by sea isn’t the quickest method, it is usually the most cost-efficient way to transport your belongings. As well as being economical, it is also usually the best option if you have particularly large items to transport, or if you’re shipping dangerous goods. At the same time, it can also be an efficient way of transporting smaller shipments, as they can be grouped together to reduce costs.

If you need your items transported more quickly, you may prefer to use air freight services. Whilst air freight is usually more expensive than sea freight, it is faster and can be more reliable, as you’ll know exactly when you can expect your belongings to arrive. Air freight can be more beneficial if you’re moving in a tight timeframe or want to guarantee your items will arrive by a certain date.

Step 4: Pack Up Your Things

Once you have decided what you’ll be taking and how you’ll be transporting it, it’s time to properly pack up your items. We have a more detailed article explaining how to pack and label your shipment for export, but the main thing is to ensure everything is packed safely and with the correct labels and documentation.

At PBS International, we have four tiers to pack and ship your personal belongings, including an option for you to pack up your items yourselves, and an option for our expert staff to pack your items in bespoke cartons custom-made to fit your cargo. We can also collect your belongings and transport them to our premises to properly pack them for shipment. Whatever option you choose, our knowledgeable staff will be on hand to guide you to ensure your shipment travels safely and damage is kept to an absolute minimum.

Step 5: Unpack in Your New Home

Once your items have been properly packed up and shipped out, the only thing that’s left to do is to wait for them to arrive in your new home. You should be aware that sea freight can sometimes face unforeseen delays, so you should be prepared by travelling with your essentials on your person. You might also find it beneficial to rent or buy essential furniture as soon as you arrive in your new home, to tide you over until your belongings arrive.

Once your items arrive in your new home, you should try to arrange a staging area where you can keep your boxes and unpack at your leisure. You should keep hold of the list you made of items you were going to transport out to you, so you can crosscheck it with what’s arrived and ensure all your items are present.


PBS International is a specialist in personal effects shipping. We ensure your belongings are well taken care of, from packing to delivery and every step in between. If you’re moving abroad, contact us to speak to one of our expert team members about how we can help ship your household belongings.

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