Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Moving back or to the UK
Reload this Page >

Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Old Feb 15th 2019, 1:50 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 10
AbbiD is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Shipping personal belongings US to UK

I have lived here for 18 years and am returning home to the UK this summer with my husband and 2 children.

Does anyone have recommendations and/or experience on shipping personal belongings from the US to the UK? I would like to cost out different options before deciding if we are going to ship stuff or sell it off. I have no idea where to start for shipping containers, do you rent or buy, do you then rent the same container at the other end or do you have to move it into a storage unit...any and all advice would be very much appreciated.

Also, for those who have shipped stuff in shipping containers - does your stuff get wet? If so do you have tips on keeping it dry?

The threads about shipping pets and moving money was very helpful. Thank you!

Abbi
AbbiD is offline  
Old Feb 15th 2019, 9:09 am
  #2  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 3,640
durham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

You can get a full range of options of do it yourself with u-Pak-we-ship to companies who will send a team of packers to your place and wrap and pack everything for you and ship it off.

We chose the option of the company doing all our packing for us, as did our son a year later. It cost us $4,500 for a 20’ container and it cost our son $3,500 for a shared load. It took 6 weeks for our goods to arrive and 12 weeks for our son. In both cases our goods were off-loaded in England into a local removals van and delivered and unpacked at the new place. In both cases we were very happy with the service and there was no damage done. We both got quotes from different companies and in fact used different companies. We got quotes from Atlas, United Vanlines and Transunion(?). I’m sure there are plenty other big companies.

A lot of folks report good experience with u-pak-we-ship where a container is delivered, you have 2 or 3 days to pack it yourself then it is picked up and shipped over.

https://upakweship.com/

Last edited by durham_lad; Feb 15th 2019 at 9:12 am.
durham_lad is offline  
Old Feb 15th 2019, 4:00 pm
  #3  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 10
AbbiD is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

This first reply is very helpful thank you! I should have added that we cannot unpack right away since we will be living with my parents for a few months before buying another house. This makes me think that we may need to rent another shipping container or storage unit at the other end or maybe even buy the shipping container?

I will call the folks mentioned so far this weekend, thank you again!
AbbiD is offline  
Old Feb 15th 2019, 4:12 pm
  #4  
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 50,991
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Buying and owner a shipping container will bring a host of other issues. Certainly some people do it, but you have to store it, arrange for a contractor to move it, and ultimately dispose of it, so unless you own a farm or haulage business and have access to heavy lifting gear, owning a shipping container will likely create more issues that it solves.

​​​​​​​What you almost certainly need is a self-storage mini warehouse to store your stuff after it arrives in the UK.
​​​​​​

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 15th 2019 at 4:20 pm.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Feb 15th 2019, 4:21 pm
  #5  
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 50,991
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Buying and owner a shipping container will bring a host of other issues. Certainly some people do it, but you have to store it, arrange for a contractor to move it, and ultimately dispose of it, so unless you own a farm or haulage business and have access to heavy lifting gear, owning a shipping container will likely create more issues that it solves.

​​​​​​​What you almost certainly need is a self-storage mini warehouse to store your stuff after it arrives in the UK.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Feb 15th 2019, 5:07 pm
  #6  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 3,640
durham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Originally Posted by AbbiD View Post
This first reply is very helpful thank you! I should have added that we cannot unpack right away since we will be living with my parents for a few months before buying another house. This makes me think that we may need to rent another shipping container or storage unit at the other end or maybe even buy the shipping container?

I will call the folks mentioned so far this weekend, thank you again!
Our son moved in with us and we expected to have to rent a storage unit to keep his stuff until he bought a house. As it happens he found a house very quickly and there was no chain so he got the keys the same week his shipment arrived in the UK. The UK end of the move was Pickfords and they held onto his stuff for 3 days until he got the keys to the house. ( His shipment took 12 weeks to arrive.)
durham_lad is offline  
Old Feb 15th 2019, 5:13 pm
  #7  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 264
Wilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud ofWilto has much to be proud of
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

We are moving in July after 10 years in the States and are planning on going the u pack we ship route (2x100 cubic ft crates) which is roughly $2200 USD.

Our furniture has been battered but well loved however is too big for the UK and holds no real value. Also we will be staying with my parents for a few months and while they have the space to accommodate more stuff, it would be nice to start off with newer things!

We are mostly shipping things that cannot be replaced in the UK and sentimental items.
Wilto is offline  
Old Feb 15th 2019, 5:43 pm
  #8  
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 50,991
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Originally Posted by Wilto View Post
.... Our furniture has been battered but well loved however is too big for the UK and holds no real value. ....
​​​​​​​This is a great point, and anyone considering shipping furniture back to the UK should consider whether it is likely to fit in a typical house in the UK. This is especially true of beds as they vary in size from standard British beds, so getting bedding to fit in future may also be a problem.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Feb 21st 2019, 8:56 pm
  #9  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 10
AbbiD is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post

Our son moved in with us and we expected to have to rent a storage unit to keep his stuff until he bought a house. As it happens he found a house very quickly and there was no chain so he got the keys the same week his shipment arrived in the UK. \
This is very encouraging. Did your son not have to work in the UK for a certain period of time before he could get financing for the house? We were thinking we will need to work for a while to show salary income before we can get financing to buy a house. We will have a good down payment since we are selling our home here in CA.
AbbiD is offline  
Old Feb 21st 2019, 9:00 pm
  #10  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 10
AbbiD is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
You can get a full range of options of do it yourself with u-Pak-we-ship to companies who will send a team of packers to your place and wrap and pack everything for you and ship it off.

We chose the option of the company doing all our packing for us, as did our son a year later. It cost us $4,500 for a 20’ container and it cost our son $3,500 for a shared load. It took 6 weeks for our goods to arrive and 12 weeks for our son. In both cases our goods were off-loaded in England into a local removals van and delivered and unpacked at the new place.
We now have quotes from two companies who pack the stuff for you and they are both over $8K, which is a lot more than you and your son. I am wondering if you came back to the UK from the east coast. We are in CA which would explain why it is so much more. If you came from closer to the west coast could you tell me who you used please? Thank you! We also got a quote from upakweship which was $5600. I prefer the price but am intimidated about how to pack everything up.
AbbiD is offline  
Old Feb 21st 2019, 9:29 pm
  #11  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 3,640
durham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Originally Posted by AbbiD View Post
This is very encouraging. Did your son not have to work in the UK for a certain period of time before he could get financing for the house? We were thinking we will need to work for a while to show salary income before we can get financing to buy a house. We will have a good down payment since we are selling our home here in CA.
He paid cash so no need for a mortgage.
durham_lad is offline  
Old Feb 21st 2019, 9:32 pm
  #12  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Location: Eee Bah Gum
Posts: 3,640
durham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond reputedurham_lad has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Originally Posted by AbbiD View Post
We now have quotes from two companies who pack the stuff for you and they are both over $8K, which is a lot more than you and your son. I am wondering if you came back to the UK from the east coast. We are in CA which would explain why it is so much more. If you came from closer to the west coast could you tell me who you used please? Thank you! We also got a quote from upakweship which was $5600. I prefer the price but am intimidated about how to pack everything up.
We moved from Houston. The company we used was Atlas Moving and our son, also from Houston, used United Vanlines. Houston is about the 3rd largest port in the country by cargo volume and on the Gulf of Mexico so probably explains the cheaper prices.
durham_lad is offline  
Old Feb 21st 2019, 10:15 pm
  #13  
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 50,991
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Originally Posted by AbbiD View Post
…... I prefer the price but am intimidated about how to pack everything up.
You are right to be cautious - packing and loading a truck or container is not to be underestimated. There are people who have done it, and seem to make light of it (including here on BE), and I have moved our stuff twice - from NY to VA, and later onward to NC, loading a large rental truck (it would be classed as an HGV in the UK) with help from my wife (and FIL on the VA-NC move), and it is no small undertaking. And I say that as someone who has loaded and unloaded artic trucks "professionally" - I did it for a couple of years on and off while I was a student, and I know how to load a truck (pack things tight, use every space), I also know that it takes time even if everything is already palletized and you have use of a pallet truck (USA: "pallet jack") and a loading dock. Needless to say it takes significantly longer if you're loading loose boxes and furniture, and things aren't palletized, and also that it is a very physical activity.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2019, 7:00 am
  #14  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Feb 2019
Location: Seattle
Posts: 7
Littlered5 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

I'm moving to Dorset from Seattle and using Sunset International Movers with a price of $9K for a 20' container. They had a person come to my house to survey the shipment to see if I had enough for a full container or a split container. I've packed most of the individual boxes already but they are packing up artwork and wrapping all furniture + garden tools, taking it from my house to be stored for 30 days and then packed into the container for shipment and off-loaded to a place of my choosing on the other end. I thought the Customer Service from Betty, specifically, was really thorough and friendly. You get $5K free insurance but can top that up if you want. I did get 3 quotes and they were all pretty similar.
Littlered5 is offline  
Old Feb 23rd 2019, 11:24 am
  #15  
Concierge
 
spouse of scouse's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 20,031
spouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond reputespouse of scouse has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Shipping personal belongings US to UK

Originally Posted by Littlered5 View Post
I'm moving to Dorset from Seattle and using Sunset International Movers with a price of $9K for a 20' container. They had a person come to my house to survey the shipment to see if I had enough for a full container or a split container. I've packed most of the individual boxes already but they are packing up artwork and wrapping all furniture + garden tools, taking it from my house to be stored for 30 days and then packed into the container for shipment and off-loaded to a place of my choosing on the other end. I thought the Customer Service from Betty, specifically, was really thorough and friendly. You get $5K free insurance but can top that up if you want. I did get 3 quotes and they were all pretty similar.
From what I've read over my years on the forum, $9k is really, really expensive for what you're getting.
spouse of scouse is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.