Looking for recommendations from people who have recently shipped their household belongings from the USA to Australia. There is an endless number of companies (shipping agents infest these waters) to choose from and I have obtained a couple of quotes.  There are some very good advisory websites that I have been paying heed to but would like to get 'the skinny' from those who have been through it and 'lived to tell the tale'.

Any positive recommendations?  Any negative ones?

Intend to post my experience from the other side of the relo for anyone following in the same footsteps (a self paid move across the Pacific).


Hi and welcome on board Oarsome!

Why not try our partner ? :

Hope it helps!

je veux voyager en australie comment je fait

Hi bara abdoul aziz!

You should write in English on this Anglophone forum so that other members may understand & participate too.

There exists also the french version.

A little intro would have been appreciated.

Thank you,

Thank you Armand for your suggestion and thank you Harmonie for yours to Bara Abdoul Aziz.

Not being fluent in French myself, I entered Bara's statement into the translator and understand that Bara would like to travel to Australia...nice but not really helpful to my situation. ;)

The status of my move (for anyone interested in moving themselves from the USA to Australia): 

Firstly, I am very glad I allowed 3 months to find a shipping company.  So far I have obtained about 6 estimates and waiting on one more.  Currently leaning toward the two companies that bothered to send a person to my house to inventorize and estimate.  The internet companies (agents) just want you to fill out the inventory (online), they send you a quote and hope you will sign and pay them a deposit with caveats that say the price may change on the day. Having been scammed once on a domestic move, I am extremely concerned that this approach is fraught with disappointment and disaster for the unwitting relocatee. 

In contrast to that approach, the best company I've encountered so far while a little more expensive, is providing highly personalized service before they even have my business. They are a reputable local firm connected to a reputable, long standing global shipping company. The Representative has called a few times since her visit with more useful information about requirements of me and what to expect with the move.

What is impressing me and building my trust is that they are very concerned that my household goods won't fit into a 20ft container (just slightly over) and are trying to help me visualize just how much space I will have so that I can better plan for the move by either increasing my downsizing efforts or rethinking the container size.  They are as concerned as I am about any frustration,disappointment and unexpected additional expense on the day and are trying to protect both our interests.  Sounds like a winner to me.

The same rep is coming back within 30 days of my move to see how I have progressed with my 'downsizing' so that we can re-inventorize and lock in an estimate based on shipping container. The price difference between 20ft and 40ft container is about $5000 and what won't fit into the 20ft container will definitely not be worth $5k.  So, the downsize continues and in the event I still can't get it all in, I've allowed myself 4 days after the movers leave, to take care of what is left.

That is where the process stands today. 

Will report back closer to the day.


Hi is there a further update to your shipping story?  I'm moving from LA to Melbourne and am keen to know which company you have used.

There is an excellent site you need to visit: Once there, look to the bottom right hand corner where you will find a list of international moving companies.  I contacted most of those -after first checking their websites to assess their routes and global regions of focus and went from there. 

For me it has come down to Northern American and Suddath...both have been very responsive, helpful and their prices extremely competitive.  Am about to sign with one of them but cannot say which one until the paper work is signed -waiting for the documents and am anxious to see the stipulations in the agreement.

I will come back to the forum once I have signed and write more then.  For now I recommend you explore the site and perhaps just stick to those companies listed.  They might come in with higher estimates than the online booking agents but I think you will find them much more professional, helpful and reliable...after all, they have well earned reputations to maintain.

PS I am moving to Melbourne too.

We are moving to Melbourne, AU from Minnesota, USA. Can you recommend good movers who will ship our items. We dont have a lot of stuff. We'll be moving kitchen items like utensils, clothes, shoes, toys etc which will be around 10-15 boxes approx. Thanks for your help.

Hi Movingtoau,

You may contact our partner :

Thanks oarsome for the referral.  It's been very helpful, especially the "Guide to International Shipping" and their recommended companies.

It seems like the companies that come in with the bigger quotes are including everything in their prices, and those providing lower quotes do not include a few important costs, like the port fees and terminal handling charges.  It's time consuming to check all these.  I'm looking at Suddath, Rainier and a local LA-based company at the moment and will update once we've decided and received everything in Melbourne.

Hello. Good luck with the move. WHen I came over I pretty much fit everything into my luggage.

One thing that may be obvious, but may be overlooked is not to bother bring over any electrical goods. The power here is 240v with a different plug. So you can save space by offloading all the electrical goods.

You will however struggle with any DVD's that you might want to bring with you as the DVD's are region coded. Also some game systems have similar region coding so you want to sort that out before you pack that sort of stuff. Getting a power adaptor for a DVD player is fairly trivial, but getting one for your refrigerator isn't. ;-) That said if you hunt around you can find some region free DVD players here in Australia for reasonable prices.

Anything you do want to sell in the US and purchase here will however cost you more. Sometimes this is as little as 10 - 20% and some times it's as much as 200%. Be sure to shop around and get lots of quotes before buying. A lot of the big name retailers expect you to haggle a bit so there prices will be significantly marked up.

Dear Oarsome,

My friend recently moved away from USA to Australia and hired a company to keep good care of his goods and its really amazing to see that he got the goods in same condition as when he packed them in USA. Service is good and yes while searching for a good companies we got also several proposals from many companies, but we select finally with contracted with (moderated: no free ads on the forum)
Positive Recommendation : Do check companies history and if possible try to get in touch with people who recently used there services.

Negative : None in my case.

Oarsome wrote:

Looking for recommendations from people who have recently shipped their household belongings from the USA to Australia. There is an endless number of companies (shipping agents infest these waters) to choose from and I have obtained a couple of quotes.  There are some very good advisory websites that I have been paying heed to but would like to get 'the skinny' from those who have been through it and 'lived to tell the tale'.

Any positive recommendations?  Any negative ones?

Intend to post my experience from the other side of the relo for anyone following in the same footsteps (a self paid move across the Pacific).


So, as an update, we decided to go with Schumacher Cargo Logistics.  They are LA based, which was convenient for us, and  are a large cargo company that is often used by the other moving companies.  I had considered Rainier and when I informed Rainer that I was going with Schumacher they warned me that although cheaper, the customer service would be inferior.  They were right, but for $800 less, I figured I'd take the risk.  The accounts girl overcharged me and getting the refund was a bit of a hassle. This was partially my fault, but also because of miscommunication between the guy I was liasing with and the accounts girl.  Also our stuff was stuck in quarantine for longer than expected and then becuase they shipped to Sydney the local company (Chess) had to wait til they had a container load to send on the train down here.  So overall it took a little longer than predicted; It shipped on 10th Sept and arrived on our doorstep in Melbourne on 15th December. 
Also, there were two items they wrapped for us - my bike and our bed.  The "wrapping" was several layers of brown paper, not cardboard as I had been led to believe.  The bed got a little damaged but nothing major, and the bike a few scratches, because of course the brown paper tore in places.  To avoid this, I would suggest buying a bed box and a bike box from a box company and wrap them yourself - an added expense, but would take the total to be less than the total quotes I received from the other moving companies I consulted. 
A note on Rainer - they did seem very good and customer service was good, but they didn't actually handle any of the logistics themselves and instead subcontracted a local LA company (actually, Orange County) to handle the removal.  As the guy at Schumacher said, they probably then go and use Schumacher to arrange the freight.  Those additional middle men do cost a bit, but probably wrap your stuff a little better. 
Anyway, nothing was badly damaged or broken, so I'm happy with our decision to go with the cheaper company. 

You can usually decode your DVD player through a series of button presses on the remote.  There are websites that will tell you how.
Also, voltage converters will take care of the voltage issue.  You just have to be sure you don't overload the wattage.  My brother shipped his fridge, roomba and a bunch of other electrical stuff from US to Australia and they are all still working fine 4 years later.  We have done the same.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I followed Oarsome's advice and checked out the website and checked all the companies on the better business bureau website ( 

As an aside, I looked into Northern American and Suddath, who did indeed send assessors around, but I found them to be a little less friendly and efficient than Rainier and far more expensive.  (Schumacher didn't send an assessor around, but that was because I made a last minute decision to go with them, so there wasn't time.  Otherwise they would have.)

Good luck to anyone else considering moving countries!

Ok, now that we're finally semi-settled into our new place and I have internet hooked up, I can finally sit down and help people on their move.

Moving is stressful: there's no way around it. My husband handled booking the movers, and I didn't realize how stressed he was about the move until I called Acclaimed Movers myself to confirm something and realized he'd been calling them daily with a question, or to add or remove an item from their list. I spoke with Jenni, who'd spoken with my husband every time, and far from being annoyed at all the extra work we were obviously causing her, she was incredibly reassuring and said she was giving us one of her best crews. She didn't lie.

Mike and his crew were incredible. He immediately put us both at ease by laughingly saying, "This is it? I thought there'd be more!" They examined each piece of furniture for existing damage before wrapping it with extreme care. They even packed some electronic equipment in boxes for us, which I think was supposed to cost extra. He even packed my solitary house plant in its own adorable little box.

When we arrived at our new place, Mike was like, "Hey, did you know there are some screws missing from your bed frame?" I said, "No, I've slept on it like that for seven years just fine." He replied, "Hang on, I'll get my toolbox." And he fixed my bed for me.

I'd wholeheartedly recommend these guys to anyone. They went above and beyond. Like I said, moving is stressful, but working with these guys was easily the least stressful part about it.

I would recommend SevenSeasWorldwide for the move, just because I used them when moving from Melbourne to Europe and they were really great, very efficient and everything arrived perfectly.

The price was pretty reasonable, but remember there will be some fees after your items land from Customs too, the moving company cannot control that.

I am about to move from
Nashville, Tennessee, US to Perth, Australia. I have gotten several moving company names from all of these posts, so thank you! My question is about how you guys went about packing your stuff. I read some tips at the website and I was surprised to read several times they recommended you let the moving company do all the packing. I would think that would really add to the price. Can I find out what others on here did in regards to packing? Did you have the moving company pack everything, did you do a partial pack where you did some of the packing and the moving company did the breakable items, or did you pack everything yourself? Did any of these scenarios impact how your belongings were treated at customs (ie, if you packed the items, did it take longer going through customs)? Thanks for any feedback.


I have the same questions Susan Crossley asked in October 2017.  I am definitely relocating from San Diego to Perth and am wading through a sea of unknowns.  To pack myself to not?  How difficult is customs approval?  After looking at their regulations, I'm wondering if I should ship anything as it looks pretty stringent!

Hi sandie and welcome to the forum. :)

I would suggest that you take a long hard look at what you wish to ship as many things are available here in Australia. Any electrical items of yours use 110 volt where we use 240 volt.
Plenty of good furniture, electrics, clothing etc at reasonable prices. Go online and check prices.
Just ship sentimental items.

Thanks Stumpy for the quick response.  Actually, I do plan to ship some furniture and personal items, not just sentimental things.  We will have a 4-year work visa, so purchasing all new just doesn't make sense for someone who loves to cook and loves her bed!  Having seen the prices in Perth, I had sticker shock.  I think the prices are quite high in Australia compared to the U.S.  Maybe I'm not looking at the right places?

Prices in Australia are outlandish compared to the US.  On the flip side of the coin, paying thousands of dollars to ship stuff across the ocean (normal household items) for stuff you can get used/etc in Australia doesn't make economic sense if you are planning on returning to the US in four years and taking your stuff back with you as well.

If the move is permanent, bring your stuff.  Just a temp stay, I would say get used. 

When I was getting moving quotes, I think the average was about $15 US a cubic foot.  Basically, check your cost vs purchase price.  A household phone is more expensive to ship than buy.  Most electrical items will not work.  Leave the large white goods at home.

Thank you Optimus!  Yes, the frig, washer and dryer are not coming.  In fact, none of the electronics are coming with the exception of my cell phone and computer.  Shipping charges will be covered by my husband's employer, but the return to the U.S. will not.  So this is why I have to make wise choices and am asking for insight.  Can you tell me what company you used for your move?  I'm doing my research now.  San Diego doesn't really have relocation companies, but a lot of movers.  I've been in contact with graebel out of Colorado and schumacher cargo in L.A.

Hi. I am a fellow Perthite and have downsized while living here in San Diego. I have a few boxes and would like to send these back home. If anyone is sending a shipment back and has a little space available, I am willing to share some costs. It would be so helpful as I am now a single mum and need to move on.

Hi which shipping company did you use. Thanks