Moving to Hawaii? You’re in for a huge adventure. Everything about Hawaii is different from life on the mainland, from the climate to the cost of living. Things that are cheap and easy on the mainland are often more expensive and complex in Hawaii. But the amazing natural beauty and the weather can easily make these difficulties worth overcoming.

Preparing to make the big move is a long and complex process. Mainland retailers charge much less than retailers on the islands, so it’s definitely worthwhile to bring things that you will need, whether your current furnishings or newly purchased necessities. But how will you get things like appliances, couches and tables across the ocean?

Enter Hawaii shipping companies. Having your belongings shipped to Hawaii is a difficult process, but fortunately there are whole companies devoted to exactly this. Freight shipping is a complicated process that is not designed for individuals, and port authorities and customs can make your life difficult if you try to arrange this yourself. Hire a shipping carrier to take care of your shipping to Hawaii.

Hawaii Shipping Companies: Container Shipping

To move all your belongings to Hawaii, contact a Hawaii shipping company to bring you a container. Load the container with everything that you can, from dressers to your refrigerator to boxes of clothes and filing cabinets. Typically the shipping carrier will leave the container for a week, giving you time to get everything loaded up. Then the truck will return and take the container to port.

First Things First: Loading a Container for Freight Shipping

Shipping to Hawaii depends on standard sized shipping containers of the kind that you may see on trains and on tractor trailers. These giant metal boxes are designed to be stacked in ports and on ships, and are strong and sturdy. Shipping services provide you with a container, which they drop off at your mainland home.

As with any move, it will pay to be careful in loading your container. Pack dishes and antiques with packing materials in sturdy boxes, and protect delicate furniture with moving blankets. The container will be loaded onto and off of trucks and onto and off of ships using giant fork lifts and cranes, so there could be tilting and jostling going on; careful packing will pay off when you open the container and find all your valuables intact.

Crossing the Pacific Ocean

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The full container load will be taken to the port and loaded on board a large container vessel, a giant barge that regularly makes the journey from the mainland to Hawaii and back. The shipping company will then keep track of your container, making sure that customs doesn’t cause any trouble for your possessions.

When the container ship reaches Hawaii, your container load may need to be ferried to a different island, depending on which island your new home is on. After that it will be placed on another truck and brought directly to the door of your new home.

A Happy Reunion: Unloading Your Belongings in Hawaii

The journey across the Pacific Ocean could take as long as a few weeks, so when the container load arrives you will be happy to see it. Generally the company that helps you with shipping to Hawaii will give you about a week to unload all your belongings. When you are finished they will return with their truck and take the container back to the port, ready to move the belongings of someone else who needs to move away from the island state.

Why Ship Your Belongings to Hawaii? The Cost of Shipping to Hawaii

At first glance all this may seem like a lot of effort. Why not just purchase new things when you reach your new island home?

What’s the Damage?

The fact is that while many of the items you need are available to purchase in Hawaii, they are substantially more expensive than they would be on the mainland. You must realize that since Hawaii lacks substantial manufacturing, container shipping is included in the cost of every item available in retail stores.

Typically the cost of shipping services for a 20′ container from California to Hawaii runs between $5000 and $10000. If this sounds daunting, again, don’t forget that it would cost much more to replace all your necessities upon arrival. Moving expenses are also deductible on your federal taxes, so save those receipts.

Can I do This Myself to Save Money?

You may think you could make this happen yourself for less money, but dealing with customs, port authorities, and ship captains is a substantial learning curve for one person to navigate on their own. Companies that specialize in shipping to Hawaii have decades of experience in all this. They also typically have several containers to ship at a time, making it less likely for individual containers to get lost somewhere along the way.

The right shipping carrier will know exactly how to deal with all the complications and difficulties of your move to the Hawaiian islands. They will negotiate with the freight shipping companies, assure compliance with any weight limit, and ensure a timely delivery of your goods.

Side Note: Don’t Forget your Car

In addition to your furniture, appliances and belongings, you will need a car when you arrive. Like everything else, you will be best off if you bring a car from home, as car purchase in Hawaii is marked up substantially. Follow this guide if you want to know more about shipping your car to Hawaii.

At Home in Hawaii

When you finally arrive in Hawaii your new house will be waiting for your touch and your belongings to make it a home. You will have a new job to figure out, a new area to explore, and a new culture to make your own–not to mention all the necessary tasks of becoming a permanent citizen of your new state. The last thing you want is to spend weeks sitting on the floor eating room temperature food because you don’t have a fridge or stove or chairs.

A life of adventure awaits, and a part of your life that you will always remember as being marked by exotic beauty. Don’t let silly shipping logistics put a damper on your enthusiasm; leave those concerns to people who handle them every day and know exactly what to do to ensure a painless process.

Hire an experienced company that has spent years shipping to Hawaii so that you can be sure that your items will arrive as quickly and safely as possible.

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