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International shipping from California  


Posts: 58
 Bert
Premium Member
(@bert)
Trusted Member
Joined: 7 months ago

Good Morning, I am planning on moving to Portugal when I retire in 2022. I know many from this site move from other EU countries etc. I am wondering if there are any of you who moved from California and whether it is easier or more economical to sell all before moving or if not what recommendations would you have for movers from here? Many thanks, Roberta

4 Replies

Posts: 5
Community Member
(@danandber)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago

Roberta, best wishes and good luck. Portugal is a fantastic place to retire to - even during a pandemic. 

I retired in late 2019 and moved to Portugal for the New Year. I was in Colorado for the previous 13 years, and our shipment sailed from California. 

I am not sure what questions you may have, and I’d be happy to follow up if you have specific questions. Until then, I’ll make some very general suggestions:

 - Expect to have more than you expect. Since you’ll pay by cubic feet, and not weight, of your shipment. Prepare early moving anywhere, let alone halfway around the world, is a hassle. 
 - Pare down. Almost everything you want and need is available here. Electronics are especially important since you’re on 110V/60 Hertz cycle and it’s 220/50 cycle here. You can get transformers (the important thing here is the Wattage drawn by the device. In very loose terms, if it has a heating element it’ll draw higher W’s. You may find it easier to plan on buying new devices here. The good news is that things are often cheaper here, but for electronics that does not always apply. TV’s are especially important, if your TVis not dual 110/220 do not bring it. 

Our international shipping co. took us door-to-door (Denver to Alcobaça).  If you pay for them to box up your items it can jack your total cost considerably. 

Our shipment left Denver on 18 Dec. and had an ETA of mid-Feb. The actual delivery was late March. I think such delays can be par for the course, but the pandemic and a strike at Lisbon harbor were factors. The bottom line is to expect the unexpected and just roll with it. You’re moving someplace great; there’s no need to get roiled by routine aggravations. 

As an aside, this could be a golden opportunity for an American to buy property in Portugal. The pandemic has definitely made it a buyers’ market. 

I’ll leave it here for now. Again, let me know if you have questions. Perhaps we’ll meet one day in Central Portugal. 

Best wishes, Dan

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1 Reply
 Bert
Premium Member
(@bert)
Joined: 7 months ago

Trusted Member
Posts: 58

@danandberThanks soo much for your reply Dan. I used to live in Colorado too!! Arvada. I worked at the University of Colorado Aurora campus. Very small world isn't it. Yes I am planning on paring down. I have been getting more information from all of you Expats which has been enormously helpful. I recently found out there are some good opportunities to buy furniture used at a variety of places and there is a Portuguese Craigs list there, so all is coming together. May I ask which shipping company you used and did you like them? Also, I ask everyone which bank they use and do you like them? So what is yours? Funny even though I live in California my main bank is still in Colorado. Do you live in Sul, Centro or Norte Portugal? Who did you use for your visa application process or did you do it all yourself? That's it for now. Roberta

 

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Posts: 5
Community Member
(@danandber)
Active Member
Joined: 6 months ago

Roberta,

I’m happy to post a response here, especially since this is, de facto, an archive that may help others. But it may also help to go offline. Please feel free to email me at dan.sovocool@outlook.com

 

I will have to look up the name of my shipping company. They were based in NY. With the move and the pandemic some things are still a jumble for me. 

I found a ForEx (foreign exchange) company that I’d highly recommend if you wish to transfer funds from the USA to Portugal. They offer a (much) better exchange rate, and they handled things for me very effectively right when the lockdown was at its worst. 

We are in Central Portugal about an hour north of Lisboa (and about 15 minutes from the ocean) - specifically in Leiria. My guess is that you’re planning on the Algarve (southern Portugal). I’m just an old farm boy and was not looking for the tourist hotspots. Really, all of Portugal is great though. 

I’ll add that I’ve been to most countries in Europe and my wife is from Ireland. We feel we were in a position to be confident with our decision and are delighted we chose Portugal. Also, I was in Aurora; loved CO too. 

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Posts: 177
Community Member
(@peggyl)
Estimable Member
Joined: 6 months ago

Be careful who you ship with, be careful who you insure your items with. I have more to say but pictures are worth a thousand words. Our shipment was destroyed, and 40 of 400 boxes missing. Insurance (UNIRISC) paid $600 on $10,000 policy because of loopholes. Mover in us was RAINIER INTERNATIONAL and they would not take responsibility for the people they subcontracted with. We think the Portuguese movers GLOBAL RELOCATION, did the majority of damage when they blatantly did not follow our request. We do not recommend any of these businesses.

 

@peggyL

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