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Freight from the USA
Watch a Video | Customs duty | Unaccompanied baggage"Consigner = Consignee" Rule | Shipping foodstuff

Shipping Household Goods from the USA

If you are a first-time international shipper, we recommend that you start by reading this article about shipping household goods from the USA.

Do not confuse international shipping services.

Shipping personal items from the US is international transportation for non-commercial purposes.

LCL shipping from the USA is a cost-effective way for international cargo deliveries by sea. It's ideal for shipping a relatively large amount of goods that don't fill an entire sea freight container. With LCL freight, shippers share the container with others and only pay for the space they occupy. Currently, we DO NOT offer shipping from the U.S. household goods and personal belongings in entire containers.

Yes, it is possible to ship household goods and personal belongings using LCL freight. However, it is important to note that this is not the same as shipping items with a parcel service or hiring an international moving company to ship household goods overseas.

international parcels shipping       International moving company

Shipping freight LCL Vs. international parcel services

For shipping from the US to a foreign country small shipments weighing several kilograms, and a small volume of, let's say, less than 0.2-0.3 cubic meters, it's better to use international parcel services like USPS, FedEx, or DHL.

Even though you ship heavier or bigger items, when you consider international shipping goods LCL, please keep in mind that all LCL shipments are subject to:

Minimum charge: LCL shipping rates are generally calculated based on the volume of goods being shipped, rather than their weight. The shipping volume is calculated in cubic meters or cubic feet. With LCL freight shipping, the minimum volume for most shipments is one cubic meter, which is approximately 35 cubic feet. This means that even if your cargo is smaller than one cubic meter, you will still be charged for the shipping of one cubic meter.

For example, let's say the LCL freight rate from New York to London, UK is $47 per cubic meter w/m with a minimum charge of $47. Then, even if your cargo volume is less than a cubic meter, you'll still have to pay the minimum charge.

One cubic meter is a quite large volume. Shipping of cargo of one cubic meter is equivalent to shipping overseas about 12 medium shipping boxes, each measuring 18"x18"x16" (3 cubic feet).

W/M in international cargo transportation refers to "weight or measurement, whichever is greater," and the specific calculations depend on the mode of transportation.

If an international multimodal shipment involves multiple modes of transportation, freight rates are calculated separately for each mode of transportation.

Let's say you're shipping items from the United States to another country, and you request a pickup (collection) of the cargo from your location. In such a case, the cost of moving the cargo from your location to an ocean freight carrier terminal (called CFS - Container Freight Station) within the USA, as well as the cost of ocean freight, will be calculated separately. The prices used in the calculations will depend on the weight/volume standard used in each mode of transportation.

Destination charges: Also called "local charges" that occur at destinations. All imports, regardless you ship overseas commercial cargo or personal goods, are subject to destination charges that are separate from freight charges and not included in the cost of transportation.

When sending overseas a small parcel as a gift, the recipient may not notice the destination charges as they're already included in the shipping cost. However, depending on the type and value of the goods, and the country of destination, the recipient may have to pay a fee to receive the parcel. We will discuss the destination charges below. Otherwise, follow this web link.


Shipping freight LCL Vs. Shipping with international moving companies

We've been shipping household goods and personal items from the US abroad for 20 years. Our customers are happy with our service and recommend us to others. Some of them return to ship with us again. You can read the reviews of our customers.

However, inexperienced, first-time international shippers sometimes confuse LCL cargo shipping with services from international moving companies that send personal belongings from the USA to other countries.

To avoid confusion and prevent complaints, we wrote an article about shipping personal items from the United States overseas. We keep the web link to the article at the top of each web page on our website. This article aims to differentiate between shipping personal goods LCL and moving overseas with international moving companies. This article also provides answers to frequently asked questions from our clients.

Please read this article. It should take around 15-20 minutes of your time. However, once you've finished reading, you'll be ready to ship your goods overseas from the US, regardless of which international cargo transportation company you choose.

It is essential to understand that when transporting goods from the United States directly with an ocean freight carrier, all items must be properly packed for international transportation. Unlike shipping with an international moving company, the shipper is responsible for cargo packing. You should understand the liability of sea freight carriers and insurance providers if Marin insurance is requested.

Also, while packing your international shipment, you should be aware of wood-packing restrictions that apply to all U.S. freight shipments abroad. The regulations commonly referred to as ISPM15 are also known as the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15. If you are shipping cargo to Oceania, particularly delivering goods from the United States to Australia or New Zealand, it is important to pay special attention to cargo fumigation, also known as BSMB (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug spread prevention).


Customs duty is just a part of destination charges in shipping household goods from the USA

customs in international shipping seafreight

No matter how you transport household goods from the US, whether it's through an international moving company, LCL freight, or in the trunk of your car crossing the border, there are always charges that will arise in the destination country.

Shipping personal and household items from the US to most countries usually incurs little or no customs duty. However, it is important to ensure that the items conform to the destination country's import regulations, which can be complex.

Before shipping your household goods or personal belongings from the US to another country, consult with the consulate of your destination country in the US. Ask about special rules and taxes that may apply upon arrival of your belongings.

Get a relocation letter or customs duty exception letter from the USA consulate before starting your international shipping. These documents will be helpful during recovery and ensure a smoother import process.

Contact a licensed customs broker in your destination country before arranging international shipping. This will help you navigate customs smoothly and is worth the investment, even if you have to pay a fee.

However, always remember that when exporting goods from the USA to other countries, customs duty is just a part of the destination charges that occur when entering the commerce zones of those countries. You may find details about destination charges in international cargo transportation from the USA LCL in our website's FAQ section or read the article.


Unaccompanied baggage in respect of shipping household goods from the USA

The concept of unaccompanied baggage refers to shipping a portion of luggage separately from the passenger. This separate shipment is necessary as it contains items that will be immediately required upon arrival at the destination. While traveling, some of your goods will follow you, similar to international shipping arrangements made in your country of residence before departure.

In the realm of international cargo transportation, the Less than Container Load (LCL) option can be utilized for unaccompanied baggage. Import recoveries that fall under this category tend to be less complicated and more cost-effective when it comes to customs procedures in the destination countries.

At AMID Logistics, we offer the convenience of obtaining an instant price quote and managing the shipping of unaccompanied baggage, regardless of your location in the world.

Customs. International shipping of ocean freight.

Regardless of the mode of transportation, when entering a new country, it is necessary to declare any unaccompanied luggage at the border. This can be done by filling out a customs declaration form at a customs window.

Find out in advance what customs form is appropriate in your country. For example, in the U.S., it is Form 3299 - Declaration of Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles. The declaration clearly states that your unaccompanied baggage will be following you by sea.

If you choose to ship unaccompanied baggage from the USA, you will always be required to provide a detailed Valued Packing List - the document that lists shipped items and assigns the value. At AMID Logistics, we make it easy for you to submit this essential shipping document online. Attach a copy of your Valued Packing List. Include essential information about your international sea freight shipment available on your Dock Receipt, such as the ocean freight carrier's booking number, origin, destination, vessel, voyage, etc. It is advisable to keep a copy of the declaration and use it when you go through the customs process for your unaccompanied baggage in the destination country.


"CONSIGNER = CONSIGNEE" rule in international shipping household goods from the USA

Rules in international shipping of ocean freight

Suppose you plan to move overseas and ship your belongings to pick them up at the destination. In that case, following the "Cosigner = Consignee" rule when booking your shipment and filling out international shipping documents is essential.

This rule states that the consigner (the shipper) and the consignee (the cargo recipient) should have the exact same name without any variation in spelling. While you can provide different contact information for the notifying party on your ocean freight bill of lading, it is crucial that the full names of the consigner and consignee match.

If you are using an international moving company for your shipping needs, remind them about this rule. Take time to carefully review the shipping documents prepared by the moving company on your behalf. Pay close attention to the information in your sea freight bill of lading, as this document is the title for your shipping goods.

Adhering to the "Cosigner = Consignee" rule can avoid potential problems when retrieving your imported goods from destination customs. In other words, following this rule can save you both time and money by preventing the need for amendments to your international ocean freight bill of lading.


Food and animal products in respect of international cargo transportation from the USA

No food in international shipping of seafreight

*NO FOOD STUFF, WINE & DRUGS*. Shipping from the USA food, wine, drugs, and supplements is heavily regulated. Violations can result in cargo detention, fines, and criminal charges. The shipper/consignee is held responsible for providing proper documents and permits. Any costs that may arise due to violation of these regulations are on account of the shipper/consignee.

Do not include food, vegetables, wine, drugs, or animal products when shipping from U.S. personal effects or household goods. Even a small amount can cause significant issues during departure or with customs in your destination country. Avoid shipping these products for a hassle-free experience. 

Shipping from the USA cargo with vegetables or animal products may need extra documents like Phytosanitary or Veterinary certificates.

If you wish to ship overseas such kind of products anyway, contact the destination country's consulate or embassy before shipping. Get information on specific import regulations for your goods. Ensure you have all necessary documents and certificates before shipping.
Keep in mind that international shipping from the USA may face delays or incur additional costs if proper documentation is not provided. It is important to clarify that neither international freight forwarders nor ocean freight carriers can be held responsible for such occurrences. Professional international moving companies should be aware of this as well.


Other restricted commodities in shipping personal belongings from the USA

To make it simpler to understand, when packing goods for delivery from the U.S. overseas LCL, do not add items that are prohibited for shipping abroad at your local USPS post office. Stay away from shipping:

If you are not confident that some of your goods are legal for international shipping from the USA abroad, do not put your entire shipment at risk. Leave it. Do not ship.


No live plants or animals to the international shipping from the USA

Shipping from the U.S. overseas of animals and live plants is prohibited and will not be accepted for transportation unless there is no International Special Commodities contract.

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