One of the most asked questions about our move to South Africa is “how do you get your stuff there?”
Well, you use a shipping container and it goes by boat.
There are moving companies that you can hire to do an international move. This container is a 20ft one, and we filled it (mostly) with our 2 bedroom house, all our camping/overlanding gear, and some extra furniture from my wife’s parents. You can also pay for a partial container, but you might have to wait for somebody else to fill the other portion which may add a delay in receiving your items.
In our case, after loading, the container was trucked to the Port of Tacoma where it will ship from. It’ll go through the Panama Canal and on to Durban, SA; from there, it’ll be loaded onto a truck and shipped to Joburg. It’s quite a process…
Is it expensive? Yes and no. It’s about $7000 U.S. to do this. But, when you factor in the cost of replacing your possessions with all new items, it’s a good value. Ours came to the price because we boxed our house up ourselves, and then they loaded it into the container. You can change packages where they pack and load, or where you do everything yourself (they just bring the container to load and you’re responsible for loading it.
We used International Sea and Air Shipping. Natasha’s parents used them last year and had a good experience, so it was an easy choice. They brought the container to where we needed it and provided a crew that sorted, manifested, and loaded our packed boxes into it. It ended up being a six hour process. The crew does everything, you just watch.
If all goes well, it will be a month from door to door. In September, I can post up how it worked and in what in condition everything arrived.
I will say, it is a strange feeling right in the middle of the stomach watching the door close and be locked knowing how close we are to the actual move…