It can be easy as pie, anyhow:

Finding the right freight forwarder when a shipper wants to move their autos & household goods inside one ocean container is not a small task. Not to mention, going through a mover is hideously expensive. Interestingly, your shipment is going to be handled through a licensed freight forwarder anyway, so you’re actually better off going direct if you can find one that offers other complimentary services.

Over the last 30+ years of working in this industry, we have seen a lot of problems arise from people shipping their vehicles and household goods overseas, trying to improvise their way through more complicated tasks. On the other end, many give up and ship through movers with a moving cost 3 times more than what an international freight forwarder can do it for.


We had a client who recently moved to Sweden, which is what prompted this writing of this article. 

Things you need to worry about:

  1. In-house vs on-site packing
  2. In-house vs on-site container loading
  3. Auto & household pick-up services
  4. Shipping a full container vs less than a container load
  5. US Customs title validation
  6. Packing and crating services
  7. Building ramps over the vehicles services
  8. Bill of lading & booking preparation,Packing list guidance
  9. Moving certificate (some countries)
  10. Container pick-up & delivery live load or drop & pull
  11. International shipping & preferred routing
  12. Port fees
  13. Foreign Customs clearance, tax, not tax (VAT), duty, no duty
  14. Untouched container delivery up to the foreign curb side with or without the unloading & inside delivery. Live load or drop & pull.
  15. Local warehouse for auto unloading or access of tow truck with hydraulic flatbed that rises to the level of the container to be used at the ultimate destination.
  16. Cargo Insurance

If you’re shipping household goods and your vehicles, you’ll likely use most, if not ALL of the services listed above. My suggestion is to let somebody who does this every day handle it for you.

Download this checklist for moving your life overseas:

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As a quick illustration, we get people who want to do a lot of these things themselves, such as packing their personal belongings, but then they’ll use our services for wrapping up the furniture & loading everything into a container at their home. Folks like this, the ones who would rather not take chances with doing it incorrectly, will typically have us pick up their cars, and have them professionally loaded.

Another scenario we often deal with are folks driving their car(s) to our warehouse & delivering their household goods already boxed up & furniture wrapped for our crew to load and secure them into the ocean container in-house. There are cases were we are asked to bring the ocean container, which is delivered on a truck chassis 4’ off the ground on a live load, and others where the containers are dropped & pulled to a storage unit where the shipper handles their own loading & securing of their shipment inside the container & have us pick up from there.


For our friends shipping to Sweden, it was a turn-key operation. We saved them time, money, and false-starts.

Working with the right freight forwarders will avert excessive packing, freight, clearance, & delivery costs that it is almost a guarantee will happen if the outfit you are working with is not fit for the tasks at hand. More importantly, you should choose the level of services that meet your budget and risk-factors.

If you’re interested getting an international moving services quote with my team, click HERE:

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