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question of cost averages for freight shipping a household full of furniture, electronics and appliances

Posted on 2018-01-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2018-01-14
this is a wierd question. doesn't have anything to do with Technology.

I've living in Quito Ecuador 25 years. now I'M returning to my home country of Canada. I'm wondering if it would be cheaper to sell off everything and but everything new in Canada, or if it would be worth the cost to have it shipped in a container. Probably the smallest container going. The largest item is an upright piano. No vehicle.  Shipping ultimate destination is Victoria, BC, Canada.

Does anybody have experience with this kind of thing. Just a ball park figure. Like are we talking close to $1000? or more like $10,000. Anything just to give me an idea.

Question by:gregholl
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Expert Comment

ID: 42433824
I do not have information from where you are but I did move a truck load of household stuff from the NE US to Ontario Canada about 35 years or so ago and that cost about $4,000. It would undoubtedly be more now and from farther away. You need to contact your shipping company. If you have more than $10,000 of household effects, it is probably cheaper to move it.

Author Comment

ID: 42433826
Thanks. Indeed this is waaaay farther than from the US to Canada. I'm in Ecuador South America. I put some feelers out with freight companies. We'll see what they say
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Assisted Solution

John earned 1000 total points
ID: 42433827
A significant part of the cost is packing and loading and unloading, unpacking. Shipping long distances should not have a huge impact on the total cost
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LVL 34

Accepted Solution

Paul Sauvé earned 1000 total points
ID: 42433849
of course the cost depends depends largely on the volume of your goods.

perhaps this site will give you a better idea:
Container Shipping Costs 2018
If you’re planning on moving abroad then, firstly, congratulations! It’s an exciting time ahead. However, there are some logistical things that you need to think about. You’ll most likely have some belongings that you want shipping somewhere. Depending on the size of the move, this can range from a couple of boxes to the contents of a five-bedroom house.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 42433850
thanks guys
LVL 102

Expert Comment

ID: 42433852
You are very welcome and I was happy to help
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 42433861
don't forget a detailed packing list if you ship... good luck
LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 42433981
Ecuador uses the same electrical supply as Canada and America (110/120 volts 60 Hz) and the wall plugs are apparently the same, so it would make sense to ship your consumer electrical products and appliances back to Canada.  The only consideration is whether you could sell the items 2nd-hand for as much as or more than it would cost you to buy them new in Canada.  As you will know, Ecuador uses the US $ so you would have to do your price comparisons based on conversion rate between US and Canadian $ and differences in salaries and general cost of living.

If you have any fairly new large domestic appliances like a washing machine that are still under warranty, you would have to check whether they would be covered by an international warranty to figure out whether it would be better to sell them or move them.

You would have to get a piano re-tuned even if it was being shipped between two cities in Canada, so you would have to factor in that additional cost (unless you are skilled in tuning it yourself).  Metal shipping containers are usually pretty watertight, but a lot of condensation can form inside when they go from hot climates to colder, and wood absorbs that moisture.  A piano should be packed into a custom crate and battened securely in place.  The piano should be completely wrapped in bubblewrap and then plastic or the crate lined with with waterproof paper lining to protect it from extreme canges in temperature and humidity.  Most reputable international shipping companies will be skilled in packaging items like pianos, but such packaging will undoubtedly incur some extra expense.

How old is the piano?  If the white keys are ivory and it is not quite old enough to qualify for exemption as an antique, you would have to check whether Canadian regulations would allow that ivory into the country.  I don't think there would be any issues with the wood used in its manufacture, but you never know.  If it was bought or made in Ecuador there could be issues with where the wood was harvested.  Fairly recently a large American guitar company fell foul of sustainability regulations concerning import and use of certain hardwoods.

Unless the piano has a history in your family and is sentimental, or is an antique with some value, you might be better leaving it behind and picking up a 2nd-hand one in Canada.  Due to the bulk it could mean the difference between being able to share a container (usually cheaper) or occupying a whole container for your own possessions.  Do your homework on this aspect, and on import duties for certain items on top of all your other shipping costs.

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