How to Ship Auto & Personal Items to Hawaii


A large number of people retire or simply move to Hawaii in the hopes of relaxing and getting away from the hectic, big city life. One of the more common questions asked by these individuals relates to shipping their car, clothes and other personal items to the state. If you’re interested in moving to Hawaii, there are things you can do to make the process easier.

Go through your things at least two months before your planned move, since it often takes one to two months for companies to ship items to Hawaii. This gives you the chance to toss out broken or damaged things, get others replaced and know what you have to ship.

Decide on the type of shipping that you want. There are two different types of companies that help people move to Hawaii. The first packs up all of your things, places the boxes in the container and all you have to do is pay. The other company is less expensive because you do all the packing and bring the items to them.

Consult the four main companies offering shipping to Hawaii: Horizon Lines, Pasha Hawaii, Matson and Universal Transportation Services. Ask each company for an estimate on the shipping costs, as well as the length of time it takes to ship the items. Keep in mind that most companies charge one amount for the car and another amount for personal items, based on the size.

Set aside the items that you’ll need following your move such as clothing, dishes, pots and anything else you’ll need before the container arrives. You can take some of these items on the plane with you, or arrange to have them shipped separately.

Arrange for the type of shipping that you want. If the company packs for you, you’ll need to grant them access to your home and have everything ready for packing. If you opt to pack yourself, then you’ll need to pack the boxes and prepare each one for shipping. On the day of departure, drive your car to the container, along with your personal items and let the company inspect those items before shipping.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider selling some of your items before you leave, especially things that you don't use. Not only will it help save on shipping costs, but you'll make money in the process. Clean out your car before you ship it and make sure you have everything you need since you won't see the car again for at least a month.
  • Keep in mind that the cost of shipping your personal items to Hawaii is significantly more than shipping in the continental states. The prices are much higher because it involves flying the items over by plane, or shipping through a container.

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