My husband and I will be leaving in a year to do our Masters, and after that, we are unsure of where we will go and teach
Where exactly do you live?
In sunny Pingtung.
Be ruthless. Keep only:
- unique to Taiwan or more expensive to purchase elsewhere
- sentimental value
Sell the rest for cold hard cash. You may take a beating, but consider it a rental fee…owning lots of stuff just creates a hassle and raises the cost of everything else.
A 20-foot container is about 1,000 cubic feet. That means you are paying NT$200 per cubic foot to ship your furniture.
So, take a look at your stuff, calculate the cubic footage, then how much it will cost to ship, then decide if you wouldn’t be better off getting a new one of the same at destination.
For exampke, a coffee table might be about 12 cubic feet, whic works out to NT$2,400. Could you get something similar at destination for the same price? Take into consideration, of course, sentimental value too.
I’ve seen people include all manner of things in their shipment without taking into account how much they’re paying for it, like a big exercise ball, value NT$200, that cost them nearly NT$2,000 to ship based on volume.
Also, bear in mind that a container is the cheapest way to ship anything more than 500 cubic feet, though your packing and unloading costs will be halved. Get quotes for a full container load as well as a half container load. If you have less than half a container, it’s cheaper to ship, as you canshare a container with others, but you will have more packing and loading costs as they will need to make you a crate, which must also be included in the shipping volume (add about 15%).
Be prepared to haggle with the moving company, and consider the cheapest ones, as the stuff will get there whoever sends it, but the cost difference can be significant.
Once you’ve reduced the volume by discarding stuff, get a price from a freight-forwarding company rather than a moving company - again, you will save thousands, but you might need to pack the stuff yourself (or hire a professional packer for a day to pack the more delicate items).
Work out how much it would cost to ‘start again’ at destination, and you will see that, once you’ve followed my advice, the cost of shipping becomes very much worth it.
Remember to donate somestuff to AnimalsTaiwan when they have a yard sale fundraiser.
maybe long term storage
[quote=“Stray Dog”]A 20-foot container is about 1,000 cubic feet. That means you are paying NT$200 per cubic foot to ship your furniture.
I’ve seen people include all manner of things in their shipment without taking into account how much they’re paying for it, like a big exercise ball, value NT$200, that cost them nearly NT$2,000 to ship based on volume.[/quote]
While this is a good general point, calculating the ‘cost’ per cubic foot may be misleading. Once you get over half a container load, and are therefore committed to a full container, the incremental cost of each extra cubic metre is minimal because you’re taking the full container either way - it’s just packing material and labour, which is minor in comparison. One company told me outright that it was exactly the same price for anything over a half container load (I believe they defined this as 17-30 cubic metres) because it wasn’t worth the calculation in their opinion.
Also, when doing a costing, make sure to factor in the value of your time - which may or may not be a relevant issue - in buying the replacement items. Given the amount of time we have spent replacing stuff which we threw/gave away, we would have been better off shipping it IMO. Different situation though.
I’ve found that expensive part is getting it packed properly.
If possible, always try to fill a whole 20’ container. If you go CFS, then you need you stuff wrapped, boxed and crated. And even them some forklift driver always puts a hole in the crate.
I used to ship everything, but now I have bottles of spice that have been trans-pacific 2x.
Which is why you need to get it under 500 cuft., although the cost per cuft will then go up, and you will need to reassess the ‘value’ of the items. I would suggest getting quotes for a full 20’ container, 500 cuft FCL (in a container), 500 cuft LCL (in a crate, sharing a container), and 250 cuft LCL. That way, you can get a better idea of cost per cuft.
And, in my experience working for a local moving company, the quote will vary depending on the volume withing the 20’ container, as a full container takes twice as many men or twice as much time to load, and you would be surprised at the cost of the packing materials.
You’re right that the container price is the same, but the actual volume will make a difference.
A good ploy is to find someone else to share your container.
[quote=“Stray Dog”]And, in my experience working for a local moving company, the quote will vary depending on the volume withing the 20’ container, as a full container takes twice as many men or twice as much time to load, and you would be surprised at the cost of the packing materials.
You’re right that the container price is the same, but the actual volume will make a difference.[/quote]
Yes, I was specifically talking about amounts over 500 cubic ft. Of course it’s cheaper if you go under, no arguing that point!
Re the volume, yes, but not that much of a difference is I guess what I was trying to say (relative to the total cost of the international move). The company which said the cost was the same for 17-30 cubic metres meant exactly that - the same - for the full moving service - packing, shipping, clearance, unpacking etc. Of course, we are talking about a premium company with a figure well over NT$100,000 here to begin with. For a company without all the fancy ISO9002 etc. stuff I’d expect it would vary quite a bit more with volume since they would cost more carefully. In international moves the company estimation is often out by a few cubic metres here or there anyway, and packing/labour will vary depending on the type of item packed (small items take up less volume but require more labour) so it does make a certain amount of sense that the change in cost is minimal once one gets over the half-container mark. We’ve done the thing of trying to shave 5 cubic metres off a FCL only to discover that the cost saving was relatively tiny and really not worth it.
Yet another factor to consider with LCL is how fast you need your goods. Moving from Australia to Taiwan we went with a FCL simply because we couldn’t bank on when someone would come along with another LCL headed the same way - sharing is a great idea, but it’s not always easy
I worked for one of the most expensive companies, and I can tell you, if you don’t haggle the difference in volume, the company makes a much fatter profit. They want you to believe the price is the same, as that way they make more money.
Just as well I didn’t use them, then Actually, even their flat rate was lower than the company I eventually did use - other factors came into play. I think the whole estimation thing is pretty shaky, personally, so all you can do is try and get a discount on whatever they quote you!
The company I tried to get a reduction in price with for a reduction in volume was in Australia - and while the second quote was a bit smaller, it was nowhere near a 20% reduction (which is the reduction in volume I was proposing). More like 5-6%, from memory, which didn’t seem like much given the inconvenience of not bringing the stuff. I didn’t think ‘haggling’ further would have gotten me anywhere in that instance, but then I’m not a great bargainer anyway
Wow, thanks so much for all the helpful info. You all have made great points to consider! Cheers!
By the way, ask when the peak seasons begin and end and make sure your move (or the quote at least) is for the low period - you will save considerably if you canavoid the busy periods (June till September and December usually).
You only need to donate 5 percent of all your savings to AnimalsTaiwan.