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Shipping belongings to the US

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Search isn't working for me on this topic and the most recent thread I found on this for Canadians is from 2007, so if there is something more current, please direct me!

I'm in Toronto and am looking at costs to ship my personal effects to the west coast.

Not planning to bring any furniture, just a few costly-to-replace kitchen items and my clothes and books. I'd love to hear what others have done/plan to do, so that I can budget for this realistically.

Specifically, I'd love to know how you went about getting quotes, since so many of those are based on weight/volume and I honestly don't know how to calculate how many square feet my stuff takes up!

I looked at the upack website and the quote there was $2250USD or so for their smallest option and I am mostly wondering if anyone moving a similar distance found a significantly cheaper option.

Thanks all & happy Canada day!

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It would be much cheaper to just pay for an extra bag at the airport and use another suitcase to fill with these items. IMHO.


"A million years if I could live,
A thousand lives if I could give,
I would spend it all again with you,
Don't forget where you belong,
Only with me you are strong,
Not even the gods above can break,
Baby what we have"

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It would be much cheaper to just pay for an extra bag at the airport and use another suitcase to fill with these items. IMHO.

I definitely have more than a suitcase's worth of stuff.

When I moved to my current place I used a cube van & I would probably bring about 1/3-1/2 of those items with me.

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I definitely have more than a suitcase's worth of stuff.

When I moved to my current place I used a cube van & I would probably bring about 1/3-1/2 of those items with me.

Have you considered a freight service from DHL? Since they're international it's worth a shot.


"A million years if I could live,
A thousand lives if I could give,
I would spend it all again with you,
Don't forget where you belong,
Only with me you are strong,
Not even the gods above can break,
Baby what we have"

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Search isn't working for me on this topic and the most recent thread I found on this for Canadians is from 2007, so if there is something more current, please direct me!

I'm in Toronto and am looking at costs to ship my personal effects to the west coast.

Not planning to bring any furniture, just a few costly-to-replace kitchen items and my clothes and books. I'd love to hear what others have done/plan to do, so that I can budget for this realistically.

If it is just a few kitchen items, clothes and books then I don't suggest that you ship it.

Specifically, I'd love to know how you went about getting quotes, since so many of those are based on weight/volume and I honestly don't know how to calculate how many square feet my stuff takes up!

email or call them if you've only used the calculating tools that some websites provide, an agent can give you a better estimate. If you can list the items esp the big ones that will take some space, estimate the number of boxes your clothes, books, miscellaneous you will ship (some items are taxable depending on when you purchased it)

I looked at the upack website and the quote there was $2250USD or so for their smallest option and I am mostly wondering if anyone moving a similar distance found a significantly cheaper option.

well you are moving from toronto to west coast so expect to pay that much. email u-pack they respond quickly.

Thanks all & happy Canada day!

Happy Canada day!


 
 
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Have you considered a freight service from DHL? Since they're international it's worth a shot.

Just at the research stage now so I will consider absolutely anything! Hoping that folks who have done this before me can say "We moved x amount of stuff with y company for z dollars" because that would be supremely helpful.

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We currently have two 16 foot PODs in our drive way.. So far we are very pleased dealing with PODs! We recently called US Customs with some questions about requirements for pets, our cars, and fumigating mattresses, and when we told them we were using PODs, they said it was great choice, and they rarely have problems dealing with them.

Small consolation since we still don't have our visas. PODs will store the container until we get our visas and cross into the US. They only do goods to follow, but all the paperwork, Power of Attorney, etc., is all sent to us to fill out and return.

You get the PODs for one month. Cost for us to ship two 16 footers from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, Florida is about $6K. Since we don't have our visas, we may need to pay another months rent; about $500, so the flexibility is key for us.

You can get a quick quote on line pods.com

Good luck!

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If it helps anyone else - I called PODs and their quote for a fall move is currently $4500 from TO.

They were very friendly on the phone but the person I spoke to got very pushy when I declined to give my cc to hold a reservation. I am sure that was scripted but it was really offputting.

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I used U Pak and loved them. I did terminal to terminal shipping which lowered my cost to about $1400 USD for Edmonton to Minneapolis. Check your quote that you for terminal to terminal instead of door to door.

ANother option I have seen is people just using Canada Post, UPS, DHL etc. I am not sure how you would get a good quote from them though, but say if you knew the approx weight, size, and number of boxes they may be able to estimate.

U haul does pods as well, but I found all the Pod companies similar in pricing...


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05/29/2014: NOA2 via email

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04/01/2015: Married!! (L)

04/11/2015: Submitted AOS / EAD / AP

10/09/2015: Green Card Approved

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We planned to bring a lot more than we actually did, because it was so expensive. Upak and things like that don't even service NB, so we ended up getting rid of everything nonessential and shipping 6 boxes through UPS. One was about 50 pounds, the other 5 were around 20. I think in total it was about 500$.


 

~12-25-2006: met online (a blog site)
05-01-2013: FINALLY MET IN PERSON! in Canada
05-04-2013: finally became a couple
06-14-2014: got engaged
08-08-2014: got married in Canada
09-18-2014: sent I-130 via UPS, 142 pages in total
09-19-2014: I-130 arrived and signed for
09-24-2014: NOA1 text & hard copy received same day, Vermont Service Center
11-20-2014: NOA2 (I-130 approval!) hard copy received, 57 days from NOA1


12-08-2014: NVC received case
01-14-2015: case number and IIN number received via email
01-14-2015: DS-261 submitted
01-14-2015: AOS fee paid
01-22-2015: IV fee paid
01-24-2015: DS-260 submitted
01-25-2015: AOS and IV documents submitted electronically
02-18-2015: petitioner's proof of US domicile submitted electronically
02-25-2015: email confirmation received (31 days after sending!), scan date of 01-26-2015 <--60 day wait starts
03-24-2015: email confirmation received (34 days after sending!), scan date of 02-18-2015 <--60 day wait starts (a 2nd time)
03-31-2015: case completed at NVC! 2/18 documents got reviewed with the 1/26 ones, 64 days from original scan date

 

04-07-2015: case complete email received
04-22-2015: interview date email received
05-13-2015: medical in Montreal

05-19-2015: picked up medical results
05-20-2015: interview in Montreal --- APPROVED!, 238 days from NOA1

05-25-2015: passport/visa received!

05-30-2015: POE, Calais/St Stephen land crossing, 248 days from NOA1

06-03-2015: paid ELIS fee

06-10-2015: SSN received

07-02-2015: green card received!


03-13-2017: sent I-751 via USPS to Vermont Service Center, 156 pages in total 
03-14-2017: I-751 arrived and signed for

03-23-2017: NOA1 received, dated 03-16-2017

04-07-2017: biometrics appointment letter received 
04-18-2017: biometrics appointment 

02-05-2018: I-751 approval received!, dated 02-01-2018

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I think I have about the same amount of stuff as you are saying way less than a 1000lbs. The two moving companies I contacted have a minimum weight to cross the border of 2500lbs. From Regina SK to Houston TX the door to door quote without packing was $3800. There is also some coordination required as your stuff can't cross the border until you do with your visa.

So I think our plan now is for us to Uhaul my stuff down to North Dakota and cross the border and drop it off with a shipping company there and then fly the rest of the way. I'm not sure if this will work and I don't have any numbers yet but it HAS to be cheaper than nearly 4 grand.

I have a question for those that mentioned sending it via postal or regular freight. How is it linked to your being allowed to move to the US? By that I mean as someone who is immigrating to the US we are allowed to bring our belongings but if I were just to ship all my stuff without it wouldn't I be charged duty or refused at the border? Sorry I'm a little fuzzy on how this works.

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I think I have about the same amount of stuff as you are saying way less than a 1000lbs. The two moving companies I contacted have a minimum weight to cross the border of 2500lbs. From Regina SK to Houston TX the door to door quote without packing was $3800. There is also some coordination required as your stuff can't cross the border until you do with your visa.

So I think our plan now is for us to Uhaul my stuff down to North Dakota and cross the border and drop it off with a shipping company there and then fly the rest of the way. I'm not sure if this will work and I don't have any numbers yet but it HAS to be cheaper than nearly 4 grand.

I have a question for those that mentioned sending it via postal or regular freight. How is it linked to your being allowed to move to the US? By that I mean as someone who is immigrating to the US we are allowed to bring our belongings but if I were just to ship all my stuff without it wouldn't I be charged duty or refused at the border? Sorry I'm a little fuzzy on how this works.

At the urging of the UPS employee (and not seeing another way around it) we declared all the items as "used gifts." The first 4 boxes cleared customs no problem, but the last 2 got held up. UPS called us and sent over the form to fill out and needed a copy of the visa. Emailed that back, asking if we should've done the forms beforehand or something different and she said no people always do it that way and once customs has the forms they release it.

Looking back I'm wondering if once we got the visa we could've sent them off the right way? We needed the boxes gone before that though. No duty paid since everything was old and used.


 

~12-25-2006: met online (a blog site)
05-01-2013: FINALLY MET IN PERSON! in Canada
05-04-2013: finally became a couple
06-14-2014: got engaged
08-08-2014: got married in Canada
09-18-2014: sent I-130 via UPS, 142 pages in total
09-19-2014: I-130 arrived and signed for
09-24-2014: NOA1 text & hard copy received same day, Vermont Service Center
11-20-2014: NOA2 (I-130 approval!) hard copy received, 57 days from NOA1


12-08-2014: NVC received case
01-14-2015: case number and IIN number received via email
01-14-2015: DS-261 submitted
01-14-2015: AOS fee paid
01-22-2015: IV fee paid
01-24-2015: DS-260 submitted
01-25-2015: AOS and IV documents submitted electronically
02-18-2015: petitioner's proof of US domicile submitted electronically
02-25-2015: email confirmation received (31 days after sending!), scan date of 01-26-2015 <--60 day wait starts
03-24-2015: email confirmation received (34 days after sending!), scan date of 02-18-2015 <--60 day wait starts (a 2nd time)
03-31-2015: case completed at NVC! 2/18 documents got reviewed with the 1/26 ones, 64 days from original scan date

 

04-07-2015: case complete email received
04-22-2015: interview date email received
05-13-2015: medical in Montreal

05-19-2015: picked up medical results
05-20-2015: interview in Montreal --- APPROVED!, 238 days from NOA1

05-25-2015: passport/visa received!

05-30-2015: POE, Calais/St Stephen land crossing, 248 days from NOA1

06-03-2015: paid ELIS fee

06-10-2015: SSN received

07-02-2015: green card received!


03-13-2017: sent I-751 via USPS to Vermont Service Center, 156 pages in total 
03-14-2017: I-751 arrived and signed for

03-23-2017: NOA1 received, dated 03-16-2017

04-07-2017: biometrics appointment letter received 
04-18-2017: biometrics appointment 

02-05-2018: I-751 approval received!, dated 02-01-2018

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At the urging of the UPS employee (and not seeing another way around it) we declared all the items as "used gifts." The first 4 boxes cleared customs no problem, but the last 2 got held up. UPS called us and sent over the form to fill out and needed a copy of the visa. Emailed that back, asking if we should've done the forms beforehand or something different and she said no people always do it that way and once customs has the forms they release it.

Looking back I'm wondering if once we got the visa we could've sent them off the right way? We needed the boxes gone before that though. No duty paid since everything was old and used.

Did you send the boxes before you got your visa on hand? Does UPS do that?

I'm sending some of my personal stuff, mainly winter clothes and books. It's probably about 40 lbs.

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