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International Moving

Transit times for International Moving

By March 22, 2021September 16th, 2022No Comments
Transit Times for International Moving

Average Transit Times for International Moving

Lets’ face it, moving abroad is exciting, nerve-wracking, and stressful. However, the right international moving company can help put you at ease. A common question that we get is, “when will my stuff arrive”. Understanding the average transit time for international moving is essential for planning & budgeting.

Although ocean and air freight can be tricky, we’ve put together the average times it will take to get your stuff from A to Z.

Transit Times for Container Shipping

Ocean freight is the most common method of transportation when moving overseas. The alternative is air freight, but that can get costly.

When moving overseas, there are two options. The first is a Full Container Load (FCL). With an FCL, you will get an exclusive container. The container would most likely be loaded at your door and then shipped to its final destination.

Container shipping is the fastest for ocean freight because it goes direct. Imagine, the container will be brought to your door for loading. Then to the seaport for shipping, then the destination port for clearance, and off to your new home.


Our moving overseas checklist will also help you prepare for your move.

Destination Continent Door to Door Door to Port
Asia 25-32 days 22-27 days
Africa 27-36 days 24-30 days
South America 18-25 days 14-22 days
Europe 22-28 days 21-26 days
Australia 30-40 days 25-32 days
North America 30-40 days 25-32 days

Transit Times for Consolidated Moves

A consolidation, also known as a less than container load (LCL), means that your stuff will be placed into a container with others. Everyone in the shared container will go to the same or nearby destination.

Once the container arrives at the destination port, it will be off-loaded and delivered on pallets. LCL shipments are geared toward smaller moves, such as boxes or a few small pieces.

Although an LCL is a great way to reduce international moving costs, it also takes longer to reach its destination.

Since you’re essentially sharing a container, you would need to wait until the shipping company has enough volume to fill a full container load. Below are some averages for transit times for international moving.

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Destination Continent Door to Door Door to Port
Asia 32-40 days 22-27 days
Africa 30-37 days 24-30 days
South America 25-30 days 14-22 days
Europe 35-45 days 21-26 days
Australia 35-40 days 25-32 days
North America 30-40 days 25-32 days

Transit Times for Air Freight

Airfreight is the fastest transit time of them all. However, with that comes a higher cost. You can expect double the costs of ocean freight transportation.

If you’re in a hurry and don’t mind the cost, then air shipping is the way to go. Unlike ocean freight, your final price is based on volume/weight, whichever is greater.

You will have the same options in terms of service. You can drop off at the port or go with a full door-to-door move.

Below are some general averages for transit time on international moves vis air freight. You also want to make sure you find top-rated moving companies that will star you in the right direction.

Destination Continent Door to Door Door to Port
Asia 12-16 days 7-12 days
Africa 15-20 days 10-15 days
South America 12-16 days 8-15 days
Europe 14-18 days 10-15 days
Australia 16-20 days 10-15 days
North America 15-20 days 10-14 days

Understand Transit Times for International Moving

Information in this article is for planning purposes only. Transit times for international moving can vary based on several factors. The time of year, what you’re moving to, and the company you chose can all play a role in the outcome.

It’s always best to speak directly with the company of your choice.

International moving companies can provide you with accurate information and what you can expect when moving abroad. However, transit times are always estimated. If there’s an act of God or something beyond the control of a freight forwarder, they can not be helped liable.


If you have any questions about international moving, feel free to contact us at any time.