Moving to Japan: Shipping Options

Hi, I am back again. Currently, I am waiting to receive my Certificate of Eligibility (COE) so for now, no updates regarding visa processing.

Instead, I will share with you the information I have collated on this one tacky issue that I absolutely hate to spend time on, which is… shipping.

Now, I’m not talking about shipping shopping goods or limited edition Nissin Cup Noodles from Japan (lol) but rather, shipping of belongings and even some household items for my move to Tokyo.

If you are like me, a regular female Singaporean, you would probably agree that relocating is not as simple as travelling for weeks, where a bigger luggage of belongings will suffice. I do not just need to cater for summer, but also for autumn and winter as well. Not forgetting the household items I need for survival, like the trusty thermo pot or your favourite mug and chouchou that will remind you of home when you are living overseas. However, at the same time, we are not moving a family or the whole house over, and there is no sponsorship for the move, so we can’t take advantage of better pricing from international moving plans.

So, we will need to ship our belongings like we would usually ship parcels, which is obviously, costly, when it is going to be bulky and heavy.

I consolidated a list of items I would want to ship over and based off the standard industry shipping dimension restriction, I figured I’d minimally need to ship over a 50cm(L)x40cm(w)x40cm(H) box of around 25-30kg. This is going to be the basis for the shipping options I will list below, so do take note and reference accordingly for fair comparison.


This is one of the most ridiculously priced one (worst one is TNT). Based on the measurements above, the cost will be:
– Delivered by 2 days: $725.40
– Delivered by 5 days: $605.48

Obviously way too expensive. I can literally buy myself an air ticket and fly down with the items myself. And no, they do not have sea shipment option, which would have cost lesser for sure. So, out.


By the time I reach DHL’s website (after Fedex), I already concluded that shipping companies’ website is a pain to navigate in. After keying in all the main information, I received two quotes from DHL site, which is:
– Delivered by 3 days: $307.89
– Delivered by 3 days: $834.98

I read through the quotes 5 times and can’t figure out what’s the difference in the 2 pricing. Again, no sea shipment option.


Tadah, behold. The most exorbitant shipping option.
– Delivered by 2 days: $799.48
– Delivered by 5 days: $680.05

To give them credit, their website was a breeze to navigate and I absolutely loved how easy it was to get a quote. But I guess convenience comes at a price. High price.

Singpost Speedpost

I never expected Singapore to offer anything cheap but I have to say, Singpost is really, really, really, amazingly affordable. Pricing below, based on 30kg (25kg is cheaper, of course):
– Standard (air), delivered by 5 – 7 working days: $290
– Economy (surface/sea), delivered by 3 – 5 weeks: $169

*How Singpost state restriction for the parcel is by ‘volumetric’ measurement, which is L+2W+2H and it is not suppose to exceed 3m in total.

Singpost actually wins by it’s option of economy shipping by sea, which takes a bloody long time but in return, you pay a really low price for it, almost half price compared to air option. Great for people like me, who can afford the wait because it’d mean I can literally double my shipment with the same price of ~$300.

If we compare standard (air) though, DHL does offer better value for money because it is just approximately $10+ more and you get to cut your shipment duration to a mere 3 days, including weekends.

By the way, navigating Singpost website is an absolute pain in the ass. Their website links go in circles, never arriving at the info I need, which is dimension restriction and pricing quote for Speedpost. To spare you the agony, you can go to this link and avoid spewing ten ounce of blood while trying to reach the right page. You can take up the challenge and go ahead and try. You’ll just end up in this cycle: Singpost website –> Speedpost website –> ez2ship website –> Singpost website blahblahblah (repeat like a broken record).

Yamato aka Ta-Q-Bin

This is a very good option for those who are moving more items over to Japan, so I will include the info I have gathered here. Yamato is a big company so they kinda specialise in moving plans, perhaps for big families or expats. I looked at mainly 3 types of plans: Self-Pack Sea Plan, Self-Pack Air Plan, as well as the standard parcel shipping, called International Ta-Q-Bin on their website.
– Self-Pack Sea Plan (Tanshin): $1000 for 4 BIG boxes OR 6 SMALL boxes

– Self-Pack Air Plan (Besso): $350/box, cap at 25kg, 160 cm (sum of breadth, width, height)
The above plans include insurance, and a whole chunk of procedure that’s too complicated for me to want to find out, including declaration upon arrival in JP before they actually deliver the things to your home. I guess this works for people who do not have somebody or a specific address to receive their parcel in advance?

– International Ta-Q-Bin (Courier): $300, cap at 25kg, 160 cm (sum of breadth, width, height)

Don’t ask me why anyone would choose Self-Pack Air Plan over International Ta-Q-Bin. I’m sure there’s value added service for the extra cost but in my email correspondence with Yamato, they told me these 2 services are the same, though its indicated differently on their website.

In conclusion…

I will be going with Singpost! I am going to start packing and see how many items I can fit into one box. Hopefully it can include my wok and erm, chilli sauce, lol.

That’s all for now!

Till then,




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