When relocating to a new country, there are two main ways to move your belongings, by sea and by air.

Each mode of transport has its pros and cons, but your choice will also be determined by a number of factors including your travel budget, the amount of time you have, and the items you are moving.

If you are shipping only a few items, you may want to opt for air transport, as it would be cheaper and save time. On the other hand, moving a large number of items usually, require shipping by sea. This option is less expensive than air transport when you are sending large quantities, but it takes a longer time.

Before making a firm commitment to one or the other, it makes sense to consider both options, especially in terms of cost, so that you can decide whether to take along all your belongings or leave some behind.

In this article, we will explore some suggestions for shipping your personal belongings when moving to Brisbane, for example, in Australia from New Zealand.


Choose your preferred mode of transport

Moving your belongings from New Zealand to Australia by sea is the cheapest option. You can send a lot more on a ship than you can on a plane and at a lower cost too.

Of course, a ship will take longer to arrive in Australia from New Zealand, but that is one of the reasons why it is cheaper. The key is to send your belongings ahead before you leave New Zealand so that their arrival will coincide with your arrival in Australia.

Alternatively, if you arrive in Australia before your household goods, you can make temporary accommodation arrangements while awaiting the arrival of your belongings.

This is where advanced planning comes in. When planning your move, consider your timing, so as to ensure that you don’t spend too much on temporary accommodation because your belongings are taking too long to arrive.

Consider the size of your belongings

After choosing your preferred mode of transport, your next step is to consider the space you will need for your belongings.

If you live in a two-bedroom apartment and intend to move all your belongings, or a car, you will definitely be shipping by sea. But how much space should you pay for in a shipping container? Most relocations involve 20 to 40-foot shipping containers, but if you have a lot to move, you may require more than one container.

A typical 20-foot container has a usable space of 1,169 cubic feet and carries a shipping load of 55,000 pounds (including the weight of the container). This can move household goods contained in one or two bedrooms or a car and some boxes.

A typical 40-foot container has a usable space of 2,385 cubic feet and carries a shipping load of about 60,000 pounds, including the weight of the container. This can move household goods contained in three to five rooms or a car and goods contained in two rooms.

Determining the exact space you need for shipping your goods can be difficult, which is why you should consider working with an international moving company when moving to Brisbane in Australia from New Zealand, for example,

Sell stuff you don’t need

If you have made the decision to move from New Zealand to Australia, it is a good idea to carry only the household goods you are sure you will need in your new country. In fact, it is probably a better idea to carry half your belongings and double the cash you think you will need.

When planning your move, consider the important items in your home and picture life in Australia without them. If you feel you can survive without that big screen TV, you don’t need it and should sell it or give it away, this will help you save on shipping bills.

It is also vital that you research your new country to find out the restrictions on some of the items you have. For example, you will not be permitted to carry certain plants, certain types of foods, pests, and dangerous equipment into Australia. See a list of the restricted items you cannot take into Australia.

You may also be required to pay import duties on electronic appliances that are older than six months.

Once you have decided what you can do without in your new city, you have the choice of selling these items, giving them away, or placing them in long-term storage.


A lot can go wrong on the sea, and all your belongings could get lost. Poor handling by customs officials could also result in damage to expensive goods.

Most international moving companies offer a choice of insurance options for moving your belongings to another country, and it is important that you take advantage of these options.

In the event that the moving company of your choice does not offer adequate insurance, consider getting an independent insurance quote. With the right insurance, you have the peace of mind that should something happen to your belongings en-route, you are covered.

You may also want to check with your regular insurance provider to find out if your home insurance package covers goods in transit.


Unpacking and settling in your new home

After arriving in the Australian city of your choice, the next step is unpacking and settling in.

Clearing your goods from the port and unpacking your belongings can be a really tedious process unless you use expert international movers, who will handle the entire process on your behalf.

It is never a good idea to unpack in a hurry. Instead, have a temporary staging area in your new house where your goods can be stored safely. This way, you can unpack at your leisure, making sure that everything is placed in the right position.

Final words

Moving from your home in New Zealand and relocating to Australia is not something you do on a whim, but once you have made up your mind to move, start by prioritising the important things.

With proper preparation and the suggestions contained in this guide, you will find that every aspect of your international move is seamless.

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