Shipping and Removals in Houston


Expats shipping goods to Houston will be hard-pressed to find another city as convenient when it comes to importing household items.

The Port of Houston is the largest (foreign) tonnage port in the US, and the seventh-largest container port. It’s been operating Shipping to Houstonfor decades, handles all types of cargo, and is well-known for its commitment to secure and efficient service. Furthermore, it services all counties in the greater Houston Metropolitan area.

Even if you don’t decide to ship by sea, Houston claims two airports in close proximity – George Bush Intercontinental (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Shipping by air is generally more expensive than shipping by sea, but transport time is less, and it’s a good way to bring the bare necessities across without too much hassle.

An impressive assortment of shipping service providers, many with international connections, are located in Houston. It’s highly recommended that expats shipping goods to Houston by sea utilise one of these reputable companies, as these industry experts are familiar with the customs logistics and requirements, and can often offer door-to-door services.

It’s generally best to get quotes from a number of service providers, as prices can vary substantially. Costs are usually based on minimum weights (in pounds), or the number of cubic feet of materials being shipped; however, fees for extra services are numerous and can be tacked on quite easily – be mindful of this last point.

Customs information for shipping to Houston


In line with US policy, expats importing household goods to Houston will need to complete certain paperwork, and will need to create a detailed inventory of those possessions they’ll be bringing into the country. Household goods, inherited goods and personal effects can be imported duty-free.

Customs forms for shipping to Houston

  • Customs Form 6059B for accompanying goods
  • Customs Forms 3299 for free entry of unaccompanied articles
Once goods arrive in Houston, expats must make arrangements for the goods to be removed from the port to their residence, if this has not previously been arranged through a shipping or removals company.

Certain items are prohibited in the US and include:
  • Absinthe
  • Lottery tickets,
  • Narcotics and dangerous drugs,
  • Drug paraphernalia,
  • Obscene articles and publications,
  • Seditious and treasonable materials,
  • Hazardous articles (e.g. fireworks, dangerous toys, toxic or poisonous substances),
  • Products made by prison convicts, forced labour, or indentured labour under penal sanctions, and
  • Switchblade knives.

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