If you’re considering moving your household goods with you when you move to Australia, you will need to know the common terms that shipping companies use when calculating your shipping costs.

Here are some tips for moving to your good to Australia and some common terms you may come across.

  • Full Container Load (FCL) – this relates to exclusive use of a twenty foot and forty foot shipping container for the transport of your goods and furniture. A twenty foot shipping container has a capacity of thirty eight cubic metres. As a broad rule of thumb, a twenty foot container should hold the contents of a three bedroom house. If you require more room, then a forty foot container has a capacity of sixty seven cubic metres and can comfortably hold the contents of a three bedroom house and a car, or the approximate contents of a five bedroom house.
  • Less than Container Load (LCL) – this relates to sharing a container with another party. It is important to realise that as shipping companies will want to only ship full containers, you will need to wait for another party to be available to share the container with you and may result in some delays.
  • Break bulk – goods shipped “loose: in a vessel’s hold and not packed in containers.
  • Door to door – As the name suggests this means that they will pack your belongings at your existing residence, then ship them to Australia and deliver them to your new residence in Australia. This is one term that you need to be careful with and get explicit details of what the company is agreeing to do.
  • Garments on Hanger (GOH) Containers used to hang garments or other items usually available in twenty or forty foot sizes.
  • Wharfage – a charge applied for the handling of incoming or outgoing cargo.
  • Bill of lading (B/L or BOL) -contains the contract of carriage and acts as a receipt for the cargo and also as a title to the goods.

Of course, how much the cost of shipping will be is dependent on where you leave from and what your ultimate destination is in Australia. We would advise when moving to Australia to get at least three quotes from international removals companies to get an accurate feel for the cost of shipping your goods.

It is important to remember that the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best quote. You are entrusting your worldly possessions to a company that will transport them across the ocean. Make sure that you are comparing services with like services and wherever possible make an effort to check out the company’s reputation – you’re sure to find some reviews online.

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Migration Editor


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