MovingtoNewZealandWith the return of Kiwis across the ditch with the latest economic switch, there appears to be a more discerning New Zealand mover.  Years in the international moving industry has taught me that moving is definitely a grudge purchase.  People don’t hand over many thousands of dollars and get a nice shinny new something to play with.  They get the delivery of their same old stuff in a new place, they get the privilege of not having to spend many more thousands of dollars on new furniture and effects and they get the privilege of having the familiar around them in a different home. So the cost savvy or what we call in the industry the “price sensitive”, try to get the deal done as cheaply as possible without having the distress of ruining all their valuables.

Two Cheapest ways to Move to New Zealand

Is there a way? Well there are two ways when moving to New Zealand to get away cheaply.  The first is to find the cheapest mover than money can buy.  Get yourself six or seven quotes, have them all traipse  through your home and go for the bottom dollar offered.  You know what I am going to say! This is a false economy.  I am going to say that moving to New Zealand with the cheapest mover will not only put your goods at risk of being subject to cheap and unskilled labour, but the international mover will sting you unbelievably at the other end.  I am going to say what you already know.  That what you save here they will make up there.  How could this be true when they are often different companies?  Well I will tell you how.  The New Zealand Mover will give the Australian mover an excellent deal to secure the move but will exclude Primary Industry Fees and customs fees, which they will “load up” on the other end. The Australian mover will use unskilled labour, probably back packers in the process. There I am revealing publicly the great secrets of the Trans Tasman moving industry. Here is another, there is no “moving made easy”, there is no “stress free moving” there are only well planned moves and well secured and packed goods, and frankly you can do both yourself.

The second way to move to New Zealand cheaply or on a tight budget is to move yourself.  Just as you can book your own holiday, with our help you can book your own move.  YouFr8 have a service where you can book the container to come to your door and pack it yourself and they will take it to the port, book it on a vessel and send it to your destination port of choice.  From here you can chose to use a YouFr8 agent or you can shop around for your own company.  The moving industry in New Zealand is increasing dominated by a few operators but there a bunch of smaller independent operators that can clear your container for you, and you can use your own transport company to pick the goods up.  Again it is a bit more running around but with the thousands you save you could go on an international holiday, buy yourself a Tiffany bracelet or just, you know, feed your family for a few weeks while you set up the new home.

Transit Insurance?

Can you get transit insurance when shipping your own container?  Absolutely you can. Goods you pack are not subject to the same level of damage cover but with the money you save that may not bother you much.

Check out our online rates and contact us here!

CLICK HERE for our base rates to New Zealand ports.  or CONTACT US for more information on how to plan your own move.



Packing your own shipping container when moving overseas is not a practical option for all people but if you think you may be up for saving thousands on your international move read on, you may be happy you did.

Just as you have an option to use a removalist for a local move, so you also have an option to manage your own move for an international move.  When you drill the costs down to ocean freight, transport and administration it can be quite a big savings.  Therefore as a tribute to the global downturn we now offer a stripped downed international moving options called “you pack, we ship”.

Is it suitable for you?
Do you?

  • Have access to labour and expertise to pack a container, (this includes family, labour hire or local furniture removal companies),
  • Live in a major city or with reasonable access to a port (shipping companies don’t like their containers traveling too far from the port)
  • Have the ability to pack your own boxes
  • Want to save money and are prepared to do a little more work

If the answer is yes this may be a viable option for you.

ShipNZWho is it not suitable for?

This service doesn’t suit people who are prepared to pay extra to have their move organised and performed for them.  Some people will happily hand over 3-8 thousand additional just to be able to relax and have your cartons pack and your container loaded by a professional company.  It also doesn’t suit people who do not have access for a container or have no ability to source a facility with container access.  It is also not suitable if you are in a remote location as shipping lines don’t like to send their containers too far from the port, unless you send your goods to a port location.

What is the process?
Our physical involvement in a You Pack We Ship move is fairly limited we are the co-ordinator and cheer leader.    We drop the container at the residence with a sideloader, we leave it there for a few days and we collect it, put it on a ship and send it to your desired port.  We have a world wide network so we can include destination services or even give you a list of recommended company’s you can get quotes from at the destination port.

Other considerations when you pack your own container
There are a few concerns that most people have when you pack your own container, the first is maintaining the condition of your furniture and effects and the second is making sure the goods are delivered without incident to your destination home and is cleared through customs.

When furniture is packed into any container for shipping it requires protection and appropriate loading so that it is protected during transit.  You can use furniture blankets for this, regular blankets, or packing material such as bubble wrap.  You can get hourly assistance from a local furniture removalist for around $120 per hour.  Usually if you plan everything well, pack your own cartons and wrap your own furniture you can still get a local mover to pack your container and be thousands of dollars ahead on your international move.

Whenever you import something into a country you need to be aware of the restrictions and we can advise you on some of this.  Ultimately you are responsible for the contents of the container but we can certainly give advice on where this service is great to and where it may not be such a good idea to.

How do I know what size container I need?
A 20 ft container will hold the basics of a household but not a large family household, but it is a much more manageable piece of equipment then a 40ft container to have at your house.  Ask us for our estimated spreadsheet, it is a useful tool that can help you work out the volume of your household goods.  A 20ft container will hold about 28 cubic meters of household goods and a 40 ft about 60 cubic meters.

What are the costs.
Of course the costs are going to vary, but for instance a container to New Zealand can be less than $4,000 from door to door service when you pack your own container compared to 6 or 7 for a full service option.  We can get a quote for you but it may be the difference between you affording to take everything with you and having to replace it all in your destination country.

What is the first step. 

Request a quote online


Call Ocean Sky Express /YouFr8
Toll Free: 1800 232 490
Phone: +61 7 3890 6800





When you need to send goods above the airline allowance overseas it can be a nightmare working out which service to go with, how the rates are calculated, whether there are additional charges, door to door , door to port, air or sea.

The usual pitfalls of excess baggage!

If you look at the consumer sites about the excess baggage services the biggest complaints are as follows.

-          Additional charges at destination

-          Additional charges for weight

-          More complicated clearance than expected

How do you avoid the pitfalls?

People often get a per kg price on excess baggage that seems cheap without understanding that there is always a fuel surcharge and a airline terminal charges at the other end.  Because the goods to thousands of different airports there is no standard charges and they can vary.  People taking this option who have not been advised of the destination charges will often just pay the money and be done with it rather than complain, even thought the end price is far in excess of the original quote.  A transaction on an international service is also not covered under consumer law so there is no cheap way to gain recourse anyway.

For example a client recently gave me a per kg rate from a competitor to London Heathrow that seemed competitive and on face value looked like a cheaper excess baggage service than ours, however they were told there would only be a minor charge at the destination terminal.  Unfortunately this was a bit of a lie.  When I added up the charges for the terminal and the rate and then the quoted delivery rate within the M25 limits they would have been better with a door to door premium express service.  We could have certainly given them a better rate to the terminal but London Heathrow is such a maze I would always recommend paying the additional for the door to door service.

Make sure you get a written quote with all the inclusions and exclusions and read it very well.

Another issue is the additional charges for additional weight.  When something is air freighted it doesn’t go on actual weight but volumetric weight which is calculated based on the cubic volume multiplied by between 167 and 200.  Confusing huh?  The difference between a good service and a service that you will latter regret is that they can explain all of this to you when you talk to them.  If it seems too good to be true it probably is.

Which way would I go?  To all of the major destinations like London, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong etc I would take a “door to door” service and not even bother about an airport rate.  I think this is especially true in countries where you are not fluent in the language.  We have both a budget air service and a premium air service and the difference is usually about a week. But if you are confident and you have experience in clearing goods at the airport, feel free sending to the airport, we have excellent deals.

The final word is about clearance.  Talk to us and we can give you good general advice about shipping anywhere.  But the key is do your research.  Alcohol and tobacco is restricted in most places, and some places have restrictions based on your visa time, so as well as talking with specialists like us it is important to google google google for the very latest information on your destination requirements.

Feel free to give us a call we are always happy to chat.


I love Ikea and I’m fortunate enough to live in Brisbane, Australia where there’s an Ikea store (well, mega-store really!) very close to us. However rumours abound that people living in New Zealand don’t have the same luxury!

We quite often get customers who are wanting to ship Ikea goods to New Zealand and this definitely can be done. Ocean Sky has performed this service for many Ikea Customers living in various parts of New Zealand.
Ikea Brisbane

Usually the most cost effect way to ship Ikea furniture to NZ is in our Groupage containers via sea freight. The rates are excellent and include delivery to your door. You can choose for Ocean Sky to collect the items from Ikea at Springwood, or you can have Ikea deliver them to our depot in Tingalpa.

Anyone importing new items into New Zealand should check with as there most likely will be Customs Duty and GST imposed by them and it’s best to know in advance what they may charge you.

The idea way to obtain a quote from Ocean Sky for this sort of shipping, is to either ring us on +61 7 3890 6800 or email us at with the dimentions of the boxes that you are looking at purchasing, (this should be available on the webiste), where you would like it shipped to, and if you would like us to collect the items. As far as we know Ikea don’t accept phone orders so you will need to get someone to go into the store and purchase the items for you.

Ikea shipping to New Zealand. Definitely possible and still cost effective. Happy shopping!


Whether you want to send that little bit extra back home or you are moving overseas and you want to ship your personal effects, it can be confusing and expensive. So read on and hopefully it will become a little clearer.
What is excess baggage?
Excess baggage means different things to different companies. For airlines it is if the traveler wants to send more than the designated allowance. They usually charge a certain amount per KG and it is usually very expensive. This kind of excess charge is responsible for the scenes many of us have seen at airports where people open their bags and dump goods rather than pay the additional fee.
For companies like ours who are specialists in personal shipping it is any shipment under 2 cubic meters or about 14 standard cartons, and shipments that consist of items that can be carried by one man.
Should you send excess baggage via sea or air?
We send excess baggage via a variety of methods depending on the volume and the requirements of the client. For us it is impossible to use an easy price calculator because we need to take a variety of things into consideration to see whether sea or air is the best method. For instance if a client had 4 boxes to send it is usually cheaper to send via sea than air. However if the goods have to go to India or China the destination costs will far exceed the shipping costs and may cost additional costs in bribes or penalty fees. So it is best to speak to a specialist on the phone. We also offer a variety or sea and air options including port and door express and budget.
Where are the typical personal shipping pitfalls?
When you look at the online reviews for companies the no 1 complaint is that there were charges at the destination or regulations at the destination that were unexpected. Everyone loves a good surprise but shipping has few nice surprises. Some companies will offer a great shipping rate only for the client to find in the end it would have been cheaper to send the goods via air, because the destination charges are prohibitive. A few things can be learned here. The first is never ship only to the port unless you get a good idea of the charges involved. Shipping to the port can be a good idea to some destinations, like Canada where the clearance process for personal effects can be simple and economical. But shipping to the port to Australia can be a nightmare with the quarantine regulations involved. While shipping to the Airport is often a really safe option.
Surely you have 5 top tips for shipping excess baggage? Why yes we do! Here are my 5 tips for sending Excess baggage from Australia.
1. Never ship via sea to the port for less than 1 cubic meter
2. Go to a company that can give you a variety of Air freight and sea freight options not just one airline and one service
3. Check out the destination customs and quarantine regulations thoroughly
4. Talk to the company that you are using and ask a lot of questions. The biggest problem people get into is with bad a advice
5. Use sturdy packages and measure and weight your packages carefully.
For a quote and advice on shipping your excess baggage please go to our excess baggage quote page


Many customers who are sending small shipments are surprised to learn that, depending on their destination, the rates for Air Freight are actually very similar, if not cheaper. There are a few reasons as to why this is the case.

Sea Port Charges

All sea ports in the world will charge you for handing your freight. The costs to get the container moved off the vessel, the cost to provide paperwork, the cost to unpack and process your shipment will all be charged to you. In countries that have higher levels of regulation the costs can be reasonable however this is not always the case and Sea Port Charges can run into several hundred dollars, even for just a couple of boxes. Our Air Freight rates to the door will include these charges and are usually at a much more reasonable cost.

Minimum Charges in your Destination Country

The majority of agents who handle shipments in overseas countries will charge based on minimum volumes. This means for your 2-5 boxes that are not quite 1m3 in volume, you will be charged as if your shipment is around 3-5m3. That’s a big difference! Our Air Freight shipments to the door includes this cost and minimums do not apply.


As with all shipping when you’re moving overseas, it’s a good idea to remember the inconvenience factor. Air freight is a much faster service than sea freight and delays due to poor weather or rough seas are much less likely. Air Freight can be diverted through a variety of airports to avoid such delays whereas it’s much more difficult for a container ship to change their course. If your shipment is going by sea, and you’re waiting quite a few weeks, what is is going to cost you to replace items that you need urgently? Spend a little more on Air Freight and you might save yourself some unnecessary purchases.

Ocean Sky’s impressive Air Rates

Ocean Sky has worked together with a variety of Freight Consolidators and Shipping Lines to be able to offer you the best possible rates for your shipments, whether sent by Air or Sea. Our rates have resulted in some excellent bargains to be had in sending small shipments by air, and larger shipments by sea and we pass those savings onto you.


Many times clients may ask us to ship their items to the port only.

What does this mean? Generally Ocean Sky will ship your items to the closest sea port or airport and from there, you’re on your own to arrange the Customs Clearance, any quarantine inspections (if necessary) and delivery or collection.

For some clients this is a great idea. If you’re familiar with the country you’re moving your goods to, and have knowledge of how shipping and customs clearances work, then this is an option to consider. However for the majority of our clients, we don’t recommend this option.

Firstly, if you ship to the port only, you will have to pay port charges (sometimes also known as Destination Terminal Handling Charges), document charges, and customs clearance charges, all before your goods are even cleared. For sea shipments, this can run into the hundreds of dollars which can sometimes mean your ‘cheap’ sea shipment becomes more expensive than the door-to-door air option!

Secondly, each Container Freight Station in each port in the world can charge pretty much whatever they like. In some countries this system is regulated so there are safeguards in place to ensure the fees aren’t too high, however in some countries there is no regulation and you can be charged any amount for all sorts of fees, while they have your items.

Beware of companies who offer only shipment to the port and don’t explain the additional charges. Nasty surprises aren’t welcome in shipping so make sure you know what you can expect on the other end of your journey.


Ocean Sky International is moving premises!

From 17th December, our new depot location will be 2/30 Millenium Place, Tingalpa Qld 4173.

All other contact details will remain the same.

Excess Baggage

 Excess Baggage  Comments Off
Nov 082012

Excess Baggage

All the ins and outs

The limited baggage allowance on airlines inevitably leaves thousands of people with excess baggage and most want to avoid paying the airlines excessive rates. A couple of options are available for you depending on where you live, how much you have and the time frame you are working on.

Air express is the quickest way to send excess baggage and also the next most expensive (next to the airlines). This is an extremely fast service and usually door to door, so your goods can arrive a day or two after you right to your door. An added bonus is that if your paperwork is in order and you are not carrying prohibited goods the cargo is usually cleared in the air.

The other way is sending excess luggage via an Air Consolidation method. This is cheaper, a little slower and usually just to the airport. So it can be very convenient if you want to say a few dollars and you don’t mind taking a little while to go and collect the goods and present the necessary documentation at the airport.

Then there is the sea method which can be cheaper and take a few months. Often if you are putting your winter or summer stuff in the excess luggage you won’t need it in another time zone for a few months. However it is only usually a lot cheaper if you have more than two or three pieces of luggage. If you have four or five boxes then the savings will really show. Be careful with this method to avoid sending the goods to the port only as port charges in some countries can be massive and in the end you may end up spending more than sending it by air. Try to get a door to door price, it is well worth it.

As a final word make sure the contents of your goods complies with the customs and quarantine regulations of the destination countries as well as the Airline and Sea Freight company.

For an instant quote on your excess baggage and small shipment contact our staff at Ocean Sky for all the options.


More and more the international labour market is getting smaller and people are considering living and working abroad as a viable short term or long term option. We are finding that people often don’t find it economical to send their furniture and only want to send a smaller amount of goods that will fit into boxes. If you can rationalise your goods in this way you can access big savings on freight but a few tips will help you get the price right down.

  • Keep the weight down to 22 kg per standard carton.
    I know this sounds like a made up number but it is actually both the Air freight and courier weight allowed for a standard shipping (tea chest size) carton and will mean that your options are wide open for the cheapest options in all directions.  This is for overseas services as well.  Often we receive containers from England packed with cartons for delivery throughout Australia where they have been sold no weight restrictions.  This not only means the goods are often in poor condition due to the boxes splitting with the weight, it also means that the best value couriers are not an option for quick delivery.  Most courier companies, removal companies and airlines have workplace health and safety guidelines for lifting.  If you have books you should pack them in smaller “book cartons”.
  • Use good quality shipping boxes.
    At Ocean Sky we use the best quality double fluted specially engineered cartons that are both light weight and strong.  This means that we have not had an insurance claim due to the box crushing for more years than we can remember.  This also means that anything that will fit in a carton will be safe in transit. This also means that when you access the cheaper avenues of freight transport you can feel secure that you goods are protected.  We all know that especially Air freight baggage handlers may not always be as careful as a removalist, but we have found with our cartons air freight gets their not only quickly but safely.
  • Try to avoid shipping anything large or odd shaped.
    At Ocean Sky we are very flexible and can secure and ship things of great value and of the strangest form, but when you are looking for the “cheap seats” in shipping conforming to a box is the way to access all the cheapest local and international courier lanes.  No one likes to be ‘put in a box’ but for people as for freight it is just convenient.  But by all means if your goods will not conform, talk to our consultants we can get anything anywhere.
  • Ship with a personal effects specialist
    When you can access a personal contact to help with your tracking not just a computer program you will be at less risk of losing track of your goods and having them go into storage.  Being in freight we can assure you that these tracking systems can sometimes be out and there is no substitute for a human to trouble shoot a problem.  We use dozens of different courier, removal, shipping line, airline and general transport carriers and can look across solutions to get you not only great rates but know where exactly where everything is at any one time.

With these tips in mind you are on your way to getting your goods anywhere in the world, safely, quickly and with money spare to enjoy your new adventure.