10 frequently asked questions about shipping to Europe

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Moving internationally can be quite a bit complicated and exhausting. One of the biggest differences between a local move and an international one is – international shipping. When you decide to relocate your entire household to a new country, it means all of your belonging are going with you. Some of you may wonder what exactly is the problem here, you just ship them to your new location, right? Well, it’s not as easy as that. There are many things to consider before you can actually ship your belongings. You need to do thorough research on this topic to be well prepared. Thinking about this raises quite a few questions. You can be sure that someone else has already thought about the same ones as you did. Therefore, let’s take a look at 10 frequently asked questions about shipping to Europe.

1. How long will shipping to Europe take?

Every relocation process is known to be very time-consuming. Therefore, it’s only logical that moving internationally using overseas relocation services will take you even more time than a usual move would. This is the main reason why everyone tries to save as much time on moving tasks as they can. You can never be sure about the exact time the moving process will take you. However, you can always do some calculations to have some kind of idea of how much time you will have to spend

analog clock sketch on a black surface
Shipping usually takes up to 10 business days, or up to 6 weeks if you choose the economy shipping

In order to get an idea about the duration of your move, you’ll want to know how long will the shipping of your belongings to take when moving from USA to Europe. It’s one of the frequently asked questions about shipping to Europe. This is good to know because you can’t plan the unpacking or set up your new home if you don’t know when your belongings will get to their destination. Europe’s logistic links are outstanding, to say the least. Therefore, shipping is not a problem at all. Your things will most likely arrive in 7 to 10 business days. If you want to save some money, you can choose the economy shipping option and wait about 5 weeks. Remember that shipping time may vary depending on the shipping company you choose.

2. Will the safety of my belongings be guaranteed?

As we’ve mentioned before, an international moving process is not easy at all, especially if you decide to ship all your belongings to another country. When you think about it, it’s a pretty long distance, isn’t it? So that raises another question. Will your belonging be able to endure the whole transportation process? This is something that mostly depends on the company you choose. It’s of big importance to do good research and entrust your belongings to a reputable shipping company. They are well trained and will handle everything with great care. However, bear in mind that accidents are possible no matter how reputable a moving company is. It’s not always something that you can control or something that happens because of a lack of skill. International furniture movers will do their best to keep your belongings safe during the move.

Knowing this, you’ll probably want to protect your package in some way. When you are shipping your belonging from the US, you will be able to get insurance for everything you shipped, just to make sure everything gets safe to your new home. Some moving companies will charge you extra for it and count it as an additional expense. But spending some extra money on this will keep you from worrying about the safety of things that you want to transport.

3. How do I choose a shipping company?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions about shipping to Europe. As previously mentioned, you’ll want to hire someone you can trust like international household movers to take care of your things. But how exactly do you choose a shipping company? For people who are maybe moving for the first time, it can be really confusing. There are so many different shipping companies in the US which makes it really hard to choose one. 

a woman with a finger on her forehead thinking about frequently asked questions about shipping to Europe
Learning to spot scammer shipping companies will help you avoid unwanted problems and money loss

One of the most important things is to learn how to spot scammer shipping companies. As unfair as it seems, not everyone wants to earn their money the right way. Scammers are all over the place in every line of business. So how do you spot one? There are three things that every reputable shipping company needs to have to gain your trust:

  • Years of experience
  • Good reviews
  • Reasonable prices

Did you find a company that fulfills all these criteria? They are most likely a company that you can hire without having to worry about getting scammed and losing your money. But bear in mind that you should get international moving quotes from a few companies you made sure are reputable to see which one is the best option for you.

4. How do I properly pack my belongings for international shipping?

Insurance is not the only thing that you are supposed to think about to keep your belongings safe. This is a part that’s completely your responsibility if you choose to pack for your move by yourself. It’s on you to pack your things and protect them the best you can. This is not a move across the street or across the country, it’s an international move that takes a lot of time and your package needs to be packed well enough to endure the whole process.

The golden rule is to pack everything in a way you would like to receive it. For this, you will have to forget about cheap boxes from your local store and cheap packing supplies on sale. If you want to receive your belongings undamaged, you need to invest in quality packing materials and boxes. This especially applies to fragile items that are at a much higher risk of getting damaged. When you pack things into the boxes, avoid leaving empty spaces in them and fill them with packing paper or anything of that kind you have on hand.

a couple packing up a chair
Make sure to properly pack your belongings to keep them completely safe during transport

5. How much does international shipping cost?

One of the biggest concerns people have when moving is how much will the whole process cost them and this is one of the frequently asked questions about shipping to Europe. Moving can be a very expensive process in general, especially if you are moving internationally. One of the things that raise the cost of an international move is shipping. This is another thing that partly depends on the shipping company you choose. Whether you are moving from USA to Austria or somewhere else, the cost will be different. There is something else that determines the price of your shipping expenses for the most part. It’s the destination of the goods that are being shipped. 

You’ll pay more or less depending on how far away is the county you are moving to. If you want to get some kind of an idea of how much this will cost you, you can use the shipping calculator to find out. Apart from that, something that also plays a role in your shipping expenses is the weight of your boxes.

6. How to deal with customs

This might be one of the trickiest parts of shipping your belongings to Europe from the US. You need to do research and understand the customs regulations that are specific to every country. So it depends where you are moving and you need to inform yourself. Every country has its own regulations on cross-border parcels, and customs are the ones that regulate these rules. 

Simply speaking, it’s a responsibility to import something from a different country. However, this responsibility depends on what country you are sending your belongings to and what contents of the parcel you want to send. You need to know this in order to understand why you need to state the value of the package and say exactly what’s in it.

waving flags in the blue sky
Customs regulations are different depending on the country you are moving to – inform yourself about them on time

But why do you have to do all these yourself and do your research? The reason for this is that the person sending the package is the one that holds responsible for knowing and complying with customs regulations when they want to send something overseas. So make sure to inform yourself about this on time so you won’t have problems with shipping your belongings later on during the move.

7. What am I allowed to ship internationally and what not?

Another question on our list of frequently asked questions about shipping to Europe on our list. Talking about shipping regulations that are unique for every country of Europe leads us to another very important question. What are you allowed to ship internationally and what is prohibited?  This is another thing that solely depends on what country in Europe you are moving to. Every country has its own regulations about what items they are allowing to be imported from other countries. So if you are moving to Denmark from USA, you need to find out what you can ship to Denmark and what you cannot. The same thing applies to every other country in Europe.

On the other hand, there is a group of item categories that you certainly can’t ship from the US to any country in Europe. This usually includes things that are flammable or pressurized so make sure to take care of those in some other way if you have them in your home and want to bring them with you. Some other things that you are not allowed to ship are illegal things like any kind of weapons. Things like cash, gold, or food are also not allowed to be shipped to any country in Europe.

8. Is it necessary for me to drop off and collect my belongings from the shipping company I chose?

Let’s go back to the talk we had about hiring a reputable and safe shipping company – since this is something that depends on what kind of services the company you chose offers.

a man in a white t shirt carrying cardboard boxes while thinking about commonly asked questions about shipping to europe
Door-to-door delivery service is a trait of a reputable moving company

Before hiring a company, you also need to check the list of their services and see if everything you need is on the list. Not all companies offer the same kind of service. However, a reputable moving company will offer door-to-door service in most cases. This is because a company that’s been in business for a long time wants to make sure its customers receive the best service possible. Moving your packages to a certain place, then collecting them and moving them to your new home sounds really exhausting. That’s why you need to hire a company that will complete this for you. 

9. Can I track my shipment?

Once you entrust your belonging to your shipping company of choice, you are probably still going to be worried about the safe transportation of your parcel. Shipment tracking is one of the advantages of living in such a modern society. You will be able to track your shipment throughout the whole shipping process. This is a very useful service that lets you know where your parcel is at any time of the day. But in what way is this useful to you? Being able to track your parcel and always know where it helps you find out if the package got stuck somewhere by any chance or if there are any other problems. You can also see if the parcel will arrive at the estimated time. 

a man using mac book searching for frequently asked questions about shipping to europe
Shipment tracking helps you find out where your parcel is at any time of the day

In case you notice a problem or have a problem tracking your order, you can always contact your shipping company and they will give you all the answers you need and solve any problems you might have.

10. Can I ship my car?

In this day and age, many people have a driving license and use their car to get to work, school, etc. When you are moving, your car goes with you as well. The easiest option to transport your car is to just drive to the country you are moving to and the problem is solved. However, not all countries in Europe will allow this. So make sure to check beforehand if your country of choice has any regulations of this kind. In that case, one of the frequently asked questions about shipping to Europe is if you can ship your car to another country. The answer is – yes, you can. Bear in mind that it’s quite expensive, so decide if it’s really worth it.


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