Moving to Asia

Moving - Particularly when it’s an entire household emigration - can be a full-on, time-consuming process. Our team at Transworld are here to relieve the pressure and make the move as easy and stress-free for you as possible.

We are experienced in relocating individuals and families to China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and other destinations throughout Asia.

Certified and knowledgeable moving specialists, we’ll take care of every detail, from start to finish - always available to answer questions, offer advice and keep you up-to-date with what’s going on.

Free Moving Quote

Shipping Your Personal Belongs: Your Options

We have a range of shipping options for you to consider when relocating to destinations in Asia. To ensure you make the best choice, there are a few factors you should evaluate before making a decision:

How much do you want to take?   /  What's your budget?   /  How fast do you want your goods to arrive?


FCL: for when you’re moving everything

For those moving to an Asian destination with their entire household, we strongly recommend a full container load (FCL).

An FCL is a fast and efficient way to transfer all of your possessions in one go. As you do not share the container, once it has been loaded and checked, it will be taken directly to the port and shipped on the first available boat. This ensures you get the fastest possible shipping time.

Transworld ships to destinations throughout Asia, so wherever you will be based, we’ll ensure you get your items delivered to your door.

Key benefits:

  • Greater capacity: our full containers can generally accommodate a whole household of items.
  • Speedy shipping: with only your items to get loaded and checked, FCL is the fastest way to transport goods. Once they’re loaded, they can get on their way.
  • Shipping to any location: full-containers can be shipped to anywhere in Asia.
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Groupage: for when you don’t mind sharing

If you’re moving with a small number of household items, sharing a container on a groupage basis is a great choice.

By picking groupage, you will only have to pay for the space you use. While this is a more cost effective option, please keep in mind that this will take a little longer since you are sharing with others.

Key benefits:

  • Cost-effective: as you are sharing a container, rather than using a FCL or air freight, costs are greatly reduced.
  • Space flexibility: as pricing is determined by the cubic volume of your items, you only pay for the space that you use.
  • Ship all over Asia: our groupage services ship to any location in Asia.
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Air Freight: for when you need it quickly

While air freight is the fastest of the shipping options, it is the most expensive. This service is best for small shipments of essential items that you need immediately (such as extra baggage).

If you are considering this service, ensure you have weighed up all of your options - if the shipping is not particularly urgent, it may not be worth the cost of the air freight.

Key benefits:

  • Rapid delivery: air freight is the quickest way to get your items to Asia.
  • Ideal for those all-essential items: this option is perfect for flying a small quantity of items that you can’t do without.
  • Fly to anywhere in Asia: wherever you are, we’ll get your items to you.
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Why You Should Choose Transworld

Part of the service we provide is taking care of all of our customers shipping needs, from door-to-door. That means we’ll handle packing up your goods, safely shipping them, managing customs and getting your items safely delivered to your doorstep at your chosen destination.

Throughout the entire process, you’ll have your own dedicated team member - on-hand to keep you updated, answer any questions you may have and ensure your items are delivered safe and secure.

Our team at Transworld will do everything they can to make your move to Asia easy and stress-free! Get in touch today for a free quote!

Free Moving Quote


This depends on the country you are shipping to. Below are some approximate times for shipping to popular destinations such as China, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

  • FCL: with your own container, shipping takes approximately 4-6 weeks.
  • Groupage: with slightly longer shipping times due to the container being shared, transportation takes between 10-12 weeks.
  • Air Freight: the fastest option, shipping typically takes 2-3 weeks.


Due to the slightly different nature of Singapore customs as opposed to other countries, there are some areas that you need to be aware of before shipping your items. These include:

  • Alcoholic beverages: a reasonable amount may be imported for personal consumption, but items must be declared and are subject to custom duties and current GST. Items must be packed together and listed. Due to the high custom duties, we don’t recommend importing alcohol.
  • Video tapes and discs: the import of tapes is allowed but discs are subject to screening (US$4 per hour per tape). Kids tapes are generally passed through screening, but tapes with nudity or violence will be subject to editing (additional charges for this).


Due to the strict rules and regulations and the considerable cost, we don’t generally advise shipping vehicles to Singapore.

Both automobiles and motorcycles are subject to custom duties, at 20% and 12% of market value, respectively. Likewise, there is an additional registration fee of 110% of the market value for automobiles, and 15% for motorcycles.

Imported automobiles are further subject to securing a Certificate of Entitlement - attained with a successful bid in an open bid price auction - which then allows the owner to register, own and use a car in Singapore for 10 years.

If you must take your vehicle, these are some of the requirements:

  • Registration certificate from country of origin
  • Insurance papers
  • Owners passport
  • Inward declaration permit
  • Customs duty payment receipt
  • Certificate of Compliance with Exhaust Emission Control Standard (standard specified in the USA code of federal regulations)
  • Temporary certificate of entitlement (COE)
  • Only cars under 3 years old

In line with our door-to-door service, Transworld oversee and take care all of the customs and quarantine requirements involved in relocating.


As well as managing your items, we’ll take care of all the necessary paperwork.

We take care of:

  • Packing and checking your shipment, with an inventory of each item
  • Giving you the Singapore Customs form and list of prohibited items

What you need to do:

  • Provide a photocopy of your passport
  • Supply an Employment pass (no longer than 6 months from date of issue)

There are certain items that are prohibited from being shipped to Asian destinations and penalties if you don’t comply can be very severe. Before you begin planning your move to it’s important to be aware of what you can and can’t take with you.


Items that are prohibited from shipping, include:

  • Chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes or vaporisers
  • Chewing gum
  • Firearms
  • Illicit drugs (prescription drugs allowed with doctors certificates)

  • Obscene articles, pornographic material
  • Reproduction of copyright publications, video tapes, CD’s, DVD’s, records or cassettes

Unsure what you can take to Singapore? Give us a ring - we’re more than happy to answer any questions and offer advice.