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International Container Shipping to Barcelona

Congratulations! You’re off to stunning Barcelona, destined for a lifestyle change that should involve more sunshine, more paella, and more sangria. Whether yours is a retirement move or a work-related relocation, it’s a relatively short-haul move that allows you several good options for moving your belongings.

By Air or by Sea?

Sea shipping is possibly a no-brainer for this relocation, especially as Barcelona is a busy port city with the ninth busiest container port on Europe. Put simply, your destination is well-placed perfectly for sea cargo arrivals. Nevertheless, if you think you’re only going to bring a small and light amount of stuff with you, air cargo might be the smarter choice. It’s less carbon-friendly of course, but it’s much quicker than going by sea.

Air carriers tend to charge by weight rather than volume of goods. If you’re moving out to Barca for work, for example, your company might have your apartment and furniture covered, allowing you to bring a small and light consignment more suited to air freight.

Shipping your Car

Do check out the financial implications of shipping a car – sometimes it’s better value to buy something new (or used) when you get there. In Barcelona you might not need a car at all, and get by perfectly well on its great Metro system. If you think you will bring the car with you, discuss the following with your cargo company:

- Do they have liability insurance exceeding the value of your vehicle?
- Can they assist with customs clearing and unloading?

Get a written quote before you agree to anything and check that it states addresses of origin and destination, plus a complete a breakdown of all services included in the price.

Tracking and Insurance

Plenty of cargo companies offer a goods tracking service through their website. They’ll give you your container numbers which you can use to log in at any time. From here you can check out where your container is at any moment. For air freight where travel time is normally less than a day, this isn’t a feature you’ll need.

Cargo companies work loss, damage and theft insurance into the price they charge you. They’ll take responsibility for your shipment until it passes over the ship’s rail in its destination country. This is the most common shipping package service and it’s known as CIF (cost, insurance and freight).

How is the Cost Calculated?

If you want a shipping service that offers loading and unloading at both ports and a door-to-door service, this will make an impact on your overall moving costs. Spare cash should be kept aside for anything not covered by your transporter’s insurance policy.

If you’re bringing particularly high value or unusual items you should discuss these with your cargo team and make sure you itemise everything carefully. Containers are also sometimes subject to customs inspection fees and import duties. These costs should be absorbed by your shipping supplier and the fee they charge you, so check with them before committing. Put simply, though, the cost of moving your belongings abroad relates to the size of your shipment and the distance it’s travelling.