Shipping your household goods (HHG) and personal effects (PE) can be a very frustrating experience. This page will provide you with some information that will help you determine how to ship your belongings.
There are several shipping options available depending on how many things you want to ship and how quickly you need your stuff overseas. First, you need to know the dimensions of your cargo. Based on the size, you may choose to ship your belongings by air, or by boat as a FCL (Full Container Load), or a LCL (Less than a Container Load).
Full Container Load (FCL)
Shipping your belongings in full container means that you need to determine the size of container which you are going to use. On the left size of the screen, under useful links, click on Size Guide and Container Types & Dimensions, two valuable links which can help you to determine which size container you will need. Most ocean carriers offer usage of 20’DV or 40’HC containers for shipping of HHG & PE. If you choose to send your things as a FCL, you can either load the container yourself, or bring your items to our warehouse where our professionals will load it for you.
You will save time and money if you choose to load the container yourself. If you choose to “live load” a container, you will have two (2) hours of free loading time, with an hourly fee thereafter, typically around $75.00/hour. This is the most common option if you choose to load a 20’DV container, or have regular HHG & PE cargo for a 40’ container.
If you need more time loading the container, you can choose to have an empty container dropped-off at a convenient location and picked-up after four (4) days. In case of drop-off & pick-up service, trucking companies typically charge double for their services (if the loading place is near the terminal, the trucking company may just charge an extra flat fee of $100.00-$200.00). In case you cannot pack your belongings yourself, we can provide a professional team in all major U.S. cities to help you with packing, loading, or unloading the container.
If you decide to ship your personal vehicle together with your belongings, you need to know how to load and properly secure the vehicle inside the container to avoid any damage during the transport. Please read more information about exporting vehicle on the left side of the screen.
Less than Container Load (LCL)
If you do not have enough cargo for a full container, or if sending a FCL is too expensive, you should choose to send your shipment as a LCL. All your items must be protected, properly packed, and marked. All furniture must be crated in order to be received by our warehouse. For certain destinations all HHG & PE must be crated. For other destinations we accept cargo packed in carton boxes or in suitcases, but the items have to be properly packed and marked.
We recommend that you bring your cargo to our nearest warehouse from your home. Once we receive the cargo, it will be repacked on pallets (if needed, to avoid possible damage) and sent overseas in our consolidated containers. In case you are not able to pack your belongings or bring it to our warehouse, we can send professional packers and movers to help you. However, keep in mind that this kind of service is expensive.
Shipping by AIR
If you have a few boxes of PE that you need at your destination quickly, you can send them by air. Shipments that are less than 40 cubic feet in volume, usually go by air. This is both the fasted and most expensive method of transport. Ask our air shipment specialist for rates.
Before you call or request a quote online, you will need to know the dimensions and weight of your shipment. Air carriers will charge based on actual weight, or chargeable weight. You can calculate the cargo’s chargeable weight in a following way: L” x W’’ x H” / 366 to get chargeable weight in kg.
Air carriers will charge according to the actual or chargeable weight of your cargo, whichever is greater. For example, if your lamp has 15 kg of actual weight, but 175 kg of chargeable weight, you will be charged for 175 kg. Conversely, if your box of tools weighs 150 kg, but chargeable weight is 75 kg, you will be charged for 150 kg.
Export Documentation Requirements
In order to ship your items you must fill out the forms online or download a copy (click on forms button on the left) and send it to us. You will need to have the following information handy:
1. Power of Attorney to Aqua Air to prepare export documentation
2. Cargo Information Sheet
4. Passport Copy
5. Packing List with Invoice / Listed Value
6. Set of required documents for import procedure overseas
If your cargo has a value of more than $2,500.00 we need to declare the shipment with U.S. Customs and the U.S. Department of Commerce. In order to do that, you need to obtain an EIN# if you reside in the U.S.
On December 3rd , 2009, the U.S. Department of Commerce stopped accepting SSN numbers as a tax I.D.# for this purpose. If you do not have EIN#, and you do not know how to obtain one, (click the link on the left), you can fill out the SS-4 form and authorize Aqua Air to quickly obtain an EIN# on your behalf. You will receive an EIN# by mail 10-15 days later. If you are not a U.S. resident, you will need to send us a copy of your passport.
Packaging your cargo
Your cargo must be properly packed & protected. Also, if you ship your shipment as LCL or air cargo you must mark your shipment with “To & from” labels. There are no rules regarding dimensions of your packages, but we do have some recommendations. When you make your own crate, we would recommend that you make it less than 7’6” long, if possible. When you ship your furniture as a LCL shipment, it must to be packed in crates. We recommend that you wrap your furniture in bubble wrap. Pay special attention to chairs/sofa-legs, and armrests. Search around your area for packing company for materials. Please check the useful links button on the left for more info.
When using wooden packing material you must use heat treated wood in compliance with International standard ISPM15 (click the link on the left for more info).