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Relocate to Shenzhen
For many foreigners the first time they hear about Shenzhen is when their employer wants to send them here. Everyone knows Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau, but Shenzhen is still a big unknown in the West. That was part of the reason why I started this website over 4 years ago, and I've received many emails from expats over the years asking questions about life in Shenzhen. Most of them were planning to move here, and were trying to gather information, or just arrived in the city and trying to find their way. It occurred to me today that I never wrote an article about relocating to Shenzhen.

The major reason why I never wrote this article before, is because I never really thought of myself as "relocating" to Shenzhen. After I graduated from university in the Netherlands, I just applied for a tourist visa, got some travel insurance, packed a suitcase, put my PC + clothes inside and I flew to Shenzhen. So all I took was one - albeit very heavy - suitcase. When I arrived in the city, I had a girlfriend waiting for me, so housing was also no issue for me. For most people it will be more complicated though, so let's start by giving an overview of what you should take care off:

In this article, I will focus on the last point. Read more about the other important areas in the linked articles. So for moving your stuff to Shenzhen there are a couple of options:

  • take only one suitcase with you in the airplane
  • hire a specialized company to organize moving your stuff (and additional services)
  • arrange shipping by yourself

Relocating companies

There are a couple of relocating companies, who can do just about everything for you. For example arrange shipments of your belongings to Shenzhen, arrange hotels, long-term housing, provide transportation, hire ayi/maids etc etc. This of course comes at a price, but it's convenient; especially if your employer will pay for the relocation costs I would recommend going this way. I don't have experience with any companies, but have seen the 'Dial-an-Angel' office in Shekou before and it looks good. You will obviously be paying some extra fees, but you get a great deal of comfort in return.

Some companies:
  • Dial-an-Angel : they provide lots of services, specifically for the Shekou area + Futian district
  • Let me know if there are other good ones!

The dial-an-angel office in Shekou

Shipping to Shenzhen

You might also want to arrange the shipping of your personal belongings by yourself. Obviously you should only take things that you are really attached to, as the costs of shipping are quite high and oftentimes it can be cheaper to buy new replacements here in China. I know one guy who sold all his furniture in the Netherlands, then bought everything new in China. He said he even earned some money that way; but it's only an option if you plan to live in China for a very long time. You should always go for transport per boat, as airplane is very expensive.

Some companies:

When you pick a shipping company, make sure you inform good how your freight is insured. Most of these shipping companies hire other companies to do the actual transport, and those hire again others. When something is lost or damaged, they might blame each-other and it will be hard to get a good compensation. I read one person only got 20$ per kg after they finally admitted his belongings were missing. So make sure everything is insured well!

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3.26 Copyright (C) 2008 / Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 December 2010 )
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