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Old 22.10.2021, 20:09
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Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

We're considering to start a self-relocation back to the east coast of the US from Schaffhausen at the end of this year (likely terminate the apartment in March) as I'm not sure I want to sign up for another year with my current company, their standard relocation contract.

We have a four bedroom flat, but are moving very little home - a 20' container will be more than enough. Four bikes, a roof top tent, ski equipment, clothes, no big furniture. We moved all our furniture over in a 20' container and it wasn't full, we are moving less home.

Seeking any ballpark estimates as I know freight is crazy right now (although not as bad from EU to US, I believe). Guessing $10k or less based on simple Packimpex online quote, but that was for a 4 bedroom and probably considering more goods than we have. We can self pack, but will pay for it to be loaded out of the apartment and into the container.

Appreciate any advice, apologies if a duplicate thread, I did search but didn't find anything recent.

Last edited by CRJeepin; 22.10.2021 at 20:20.
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Old 22.10.2021, 20:40
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

If you have less than a full container then look for a consolidator.
These are people who combine different people's loads into one container, cheaper than paying for a whole container.

Sorry do not know any who specialize in the US, used one once who specialised in New Zealand and it worked out well.
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Old 22.10.2021, 21:08
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

35K+ US$ was our charge for a forty foot from Hiroshima to Geneva this fall. I think you might safely double your guesstimate to be honest, unfortunately.
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Old 22.10.2021, 21:43
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

What Marton said.

Search for LCL - Less Than Container Load
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Old 22.10.2021, 21:44
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

Thanks all.

Is it hiring a moving company then? Or just a container?
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Old 22.10.2021, 21:54
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

I would get a few quotes in

Examples (there are plenty more)

https://www.crownrelo.com/intl/en/se...crown-groupage

https://www.harsch.ch/en/

And why not

https://www.dhl.com/us-en/home/our-d...iner-load.html
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Old 22.10.2021, 22:05
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

Thanks, got those entered and a couple more. Appreciate it!
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Old 23.10.2021, 11:25
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

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35K+ US$ was our charge for a forty foot from Hiroshima to Geneva this fall. I think you might safely double your guesstimate to be honest, unfortunately.


At those prices I think it would be wise to only take the bare necessities with you on plane and buy everything else on site, much cheaper. Heck, even Swiss prices to furnish a flat would be a bargain.
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Old 23.10.2021, 18:41
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

personally i'd do it with a container. safer and a bit easier. i paid about 30k for a 40 foot from east coast US to Switzerland in 2015 including movers both ends. but i used a relocation company. I then moved another 40 foot of stuff a couple of months later and basically did most of the work myself. it cost about 2.5k to ship the actual container and 200 eur to a guy with a back hoe / JCB to help unload it.

i'd say do it yourself with movers hired locally at each end and a container arranged from a freight broker.

shipping itself is dirty cheap. now i fairly regularly ship large pallets, crates or containers US to here and its almost cheaper than a DHL express box.
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Old 23.10.2021, 18:44
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

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35K+ US$ was our charge for a forty foot from Hiroshima to Geneva this fall. I think you might safely double your guesstimate to be honest, unfortunately.
you paid relocation company mark up.
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Old 23.10.2021, 23:39
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

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At those prices I think it would be wise to only take the bare necessities with you on plane and buy everything else on site, much cheaper. Heck, even Swiss prices to furnish a flat would be a bargain.
Japan is ridiculously expensive. We took seven quotes. We are really only taking things we treasure (I’m not planning on replacing my 20,000 LP collection and many heirlooms… and my wife’s grandmother’s kimonos are worth quite a lot to her, and their value is probably over $20,000. There are compromises made in life).
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Old 23.10.2021, 23:47
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

Freight is delayed and crazy. I'd be tempted to sell whatever isn't going to fit on a plane and buy it back in the US.
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Old 24.10.2021, 11:13
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

Shipping to the US is currently insanely expensive. I ship normally several pieces of large furniture per month to New York as part of my business, but right now the quotes for airfreight have tripled compared to what it was a year ago.


To give you an idea of some of our recently received quotes from Convelio: 8 dining chairs, 150kg for USD 8000 , Sofa set: USD 6500, four wooden dining chairs: EUR 3500. all inc packing, and door-to-door.
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Old 24.10.2021, 16:33
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

Shipping to the US might be expensive, but will you even be able to buy replacements in the US?

My sister in Indiana, just ordered a new sofa and some chairs. She was told that it would be at least 8 months.

Shipping has to be faster than that.
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Old 24.10.2021, 17:48
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

Re: Getting rid of stuff here.

Be aware that it is increasingly difficult to get rid of household goods in Switzerland. Tthe number of Brockis no longer taking furniture and household goods seems to be increasing, and there seems to be waning demand for used goods on the various sales platforms outside specific styles or niches.

Ultimately you may have to pay - perhaps rather a lot - to get rid of your things here, so you should factor disposal costs into your total move budget.

For instance, the gorgeous one-of-a-kind wood furniture I had custom made by a local möbelschreiner may be of great value to me, but it has zero value on the second hand market, it is simply not something Swiss people tend to value today.

If I don't ship it home the only option will be to junk it, which will be expensive. That cost, plus the cost of having something similar custom made back home - all in, shipping a container, even at these high prices, even with delays, is a no-brainer.
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Old 24.10.2021, 19:56
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

I'll post what I've said before on these moving threads. We looked into the abyss in the US in July 2020: Our customers were already having trouble with shortages of glass vials and nests for pharmaceuticals. Heads up! The Chinese factories that manufacture intermodal metal containers were shut down. Heads up! No moving company could guarantee p/u times or delivery times. Heads up! The consignment stores were not accepting any furniture. Heads up!

So we did what we'd been meaning to do for some time. We sold our house and moved almost everything from a 2000 sq. ft. house to Europe. It took from mid-July to end October to get here. The 40-footer (including collectible Porsche) plus full-service packing and unpacking cost $17K. That would not have even covered the replacement value of our living room furniture/art.

Decision points:

- since then, the price of containers has skyrocketed
- there is a dearth of people to unload the containers from the ships
- there is a lack of truck drivers to pick up the containers
- there is a backup of warehouse space and delays at every node
- it can cost a lot to get rid of stuff in CH
- it will take a long time to replace it in the US, at premium prices
- either way, you will have to wait a long time for stuff

Sooo..I would still err on the side of keeping and moving the things that are hard to replace or dear to you. The key is good insurance!! Read the fine print. Get full replacement value. Get damage insurance, including for stuff that sits in the humidity of ports and is damaged by mould. Make lists of lists. Keep pictures of everything, and write every. single. item. down.

Best of luck, OP.
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Old 04.11.2021, 13:17
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Re: Self move to US - ballpark estimates or advice?

Thanks all for the comments. Thought I'd update for anyone's reference with some quotes I've received and input about freight I learned from my company's logistics team.

Freight situation:
  • EU to US routes are not heavily impacted. Cost is higher than pre-Covid, but can still get regular and prompt sailings.
  • US to EU is not impacted much at all, the company I work for is still shipping out of Mexico at same rates as pre-Covid.
  • Asia to EU is a mess, and costs 4-5x higher than pre-Covid. This means $20k for a 40' container, versus $5k before.

Quotes:
I asked for a 20' container, loaded halfway. Only one company was willing to estimate consolidated freight, but considering our goods that are not easily pallet-secured, we will probably go ahead with a 20' container.
  • Quotes from: Crown Relocation, Schumacher Cargo, My International Movers, pending still from AGS worldwide and Santa Fe Zurich
  • Average coming in around 10k CHF for door to door with packing, loading and unloading of goods equal to about half a container. Will go up about 1k for more packing, but doesn't impact the container price of course.
  • My International Movers seemed the most flexible, and quoted a groupage option for 100 sq ft (about 30 boxes) at 7500 USD.

As we brought only IKEA furniture with us and left our "heirlooms" at home, we'll dispose of almost everything here - give it away free or haul it to the transfer station. In Schaffhausen, there's a Remondis waste company that has a public "drive in and dump" by the kg. Weigh in/weigh out your vehicle. I don't know what they charge, but last year we drove a car loaded with junk and a mattress on top and it was 10 CHF. I expect we will be able to get rid of anything that we can't sell or give away for about 150 CHF max.

Will keep updated on what else we find, but seems pretty reasonable so far. Considering corporate relocation will have a tax penalty about 30%, I expect we'd pay at least $5k to take the "free" relocation and be at the mercy of the company for timeline of the move, and locked into a year contract. Self move is looking more attractive.
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