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Old 10.06.2010, 01:55
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Moving from California to Switzerland

Hi!
We'll be moving from California to Switzerland in a few months, and I would like to ask for an advice. Those of you who moved from overseas -- which moving companies are good and reasonably priced? Did you send stuff in a container or mail boxes yourself by post? We won't have any furniture or any other bulky items (except the car which we want to take with us, but it's a whole different story). If I start sending boxes with my stuff in advance, how to deal with the Swiss customs? I don't really know the formalities involved.

Bringing the car -- how does it work, which company did you use, how much time in advance to book the container?

Thank you very much for any information! Moving is such a pain.
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Old 10.06.2010, 05:34
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Re: Moving from California to Switzerland

Welcome to the Forum! What part of Switzerland will you be living in? You can find lots of good info here: http://www.eda.admin.ch/la And while it's quite general, I found this brochure very helpful. http://www.bfm.admin.ch/etc/medialib...s-alltag-e.pdf (It tells you what to do to declare the goods you bring into Switzerland and not get taxed on them).

For shipping, I recommend Delta Cargo. It can take 4-6 weeks to become a known shipper (and includes an inspection of your site (home) and background check), but the rates are really good and shipping by sea will take too long to landlocked Switzerland -- think 3 months minimum! Also, the USPS no longer has slow rate shipping overseas, so you're looking at $55 per medium size Priority Mail as your best option. And don't use UPS or DHL! They both charge a 20 CHF handling fee for each package.
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Old 10.06.2010, 22:50
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Re: Moving from California to Switzerland

Thanks for the information!
I didn't realize that the slow and cheap parcel mail is not available anymore... 3 months wait isn't a problem, we can survive without most of our things for a few months. In fact, it could even be an advantage -- solves the problem with temporary storage.
I'll look into Delta Cargo, thanks. I wonder how much, very approximately, it is going to cost us. It's hard to estimate without packing, but I expect we'll have about 2-3 cubic meters of stuff.

What about the car? Any advice on the shipping company?
Thanks!
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Old 11.06.2010, 07:27
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Re: Moving from California to Switzerland

We are not bringing our car although I'd love to. Can't offer any advice on sending the car, but if you ship by sea you can send the car in the container. 25 feet would hold all of your stuff including car no problem!!
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Old 11.06.2010, 08:25
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Re: Moving from California to Switzerland

Hi, where in Switzerland you are planing to move?
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Old 11.06.2010, 09:17
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Re: Moving from California to Switzerland

Hi, we used transcontainer.com in NY, they start at 1 cubic meter @ about 165. US, to 20 foot or 40 foot containers and cars. They also have a LA office. Good luck
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Old 13.06.2010, 11:13
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Re: Moving from California to Switzerland

Hi:
When I moved here with my family, We brought nothing but clothes and my laptop, the rest you can buy here. For us it was cheaper than bringing everything from overseas....Just my two cents.
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Old 16.06.2010, 14:29
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Re: Moving from California to Switzerland

First thing to do is get various quotes from moving companies - they differ considerably depending on what you are sending, in which manner, how quickly, and so forth. It really helps to get what you need (for example, offers on partial container loads: you may not have more than that if you aren't taking furniture).

Then, take a look at this list:

http://www.internationalmoving.ch/movingtips.html

Mailing can be incredibly expensive, even if you can get bulk rates (like those 60 lb sacks for book boxes, each of which may be no more than 11 lbs.). Check the rates for UPS, DHL etc. and compare them to U.S. Post Office rates; it can be cheaper to go for one or the other, depending on what you are sending.

IF you are going to pack boxes and mail, mark *everything* 'used personal items' and/or 'no commercial value'. Otherwise you will be hit with really high customs duties.

Clothing IS expensive here, so that's a good candidate for mailing.

As for the car... The Swiss public transportation system is very good and very extensive and everyone uses it. A lot. So much so that they are constantly having to expand their capacity. You can (really, literally) get *everywhere* here on public transportation - completely unlike in California (even in places where the public transportation system is fairly good). So think twice - and three times - whether you *really* need that car. It's thousands of dollars we're talking here - and if you need a car here, even new, decent-sized, decent quality cars can be had in the $25,000 range.

J.
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Old 16.06.2010, 14:49
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Re: Moving from California to Switzerland

Welcome to the forum
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