How do you ship unusual things abroad?
Making a big move easier15th Jun 2022
Many people ship furniture, pets and other necessities abroad. But what is the best way to ship bigger items like caravans and boats? And is it worth it? We unpack the best tips to help make moving abroad that little bit easier and more efficient.
Emigrate with ease
Shipping caravans, boats and other large belongings abroad may seem like a big task, but it doesn’t need to be. There are plenty of ways to get the things you love from A to B with ease.
Most large items, like caravans, will need to be shipped via roll-on/roll-off vessels (RORO), although some can also be shipped in a container, depending on size. Shipping via container is usually the cheapest option, but it is advised that you contact your chosen company prior to travel so as to ensure that your caravan will fit. The shipping company will load the item onto the vessel, so there’s very little involvement needed from the owners of the caravan. However, keep in mind that you may need to do some prep work, such as degassing a motorhome prior to travel.
When it comes to boats, the size and style will dictate the shipping process. However, a key factor to remember is that if the boat can be altered slightly and made smaller, this can significantly lower costs, as it could potentially fit in a conventional container.
Arguably, the hardest part is choosing the right company to ship with, but there are several shipping specialists, such as Freight Factory and IVSS (International Vehicle Shipping Services) to choose from.
The overall cost
The cost of shipping your unusual item will depend on what you are shipping and its size. If the item can be stored in a container, you’re likely to save more money. But it can still be costly.
IVSS suggest that, for a 20–40 foot container, you can expect to pay around $3,700–$4,200 (R58,570–R66,490) to export items to Europe. Costs can vary slightly depending on the departure port.
RORO shipping rates are based on numerous factors, such as cubic metres, weight measurement, and metre length. When you’re looking at your budget, remember that there are other costs to consider, such as carrier charges, export or import. Also keep in mind that there will be local charges and destination fees that may not be included in initial quotes.
If you are taking a boat abroad, avoid water lifts where possible as they are expensive. However, this is not always possible, subject to the size of the boat. Speak to a professional for more information on price and to kick-start the shipping process.
Should you take out insurance?
There are plenty of options online to help you choose the best insurance price, and getting a quote from each will help you find the best deal.
Websites such as Hollard, Santam and Cargo Compass SA all offer marine insurance. This covers the potential damage or complete loss of items that could occur during transit.
Insurance can often be bought online. For instance, Hollard, one of South Africa’s leading insurance companies, offers marine insurance through CargoMile, an online quoting platform that allows you to secure insurance quickly, easily and conveniently.
Is it all worth it?
There are pros and cons to moving big-ticket items abroad. It may not make sense to take older caravans and boats abroad, but it may make sense to do so for newer items as it will cost the same as for older items (if they are the same size and shape).
Consider all the costs involved – not just the shipping cost and insurance. There could be tax implications and road compliance costs, and some countries may also have prerequisites for entry, such as import permits. Always work out the total cost of the deal. Compare costs with local freight companies and brokers to secure the best deal. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the other option is, of course, to sell your item and buy new on the other side.