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Moving To Hawaii

January 4th, 2016 - 10:15 AM

Frequently Asked Questions about Moving to Hawaii

Who wouldn't want to move to Hawaii? Lush flora, white sand beaches, and balmy weather are just a few of the benefits of calling Hawaii home. If you're considering a move to the Aloha State, the answers to these popular questions will help you plan your move.

Moving to Hawaii

Moving to Hawaii – your questions answered

1.       How can I move to Hawaii?​

Moving to Hawaii presents some unique challenges that moving in the mainland doesn’t. For one, you can’t just rent a U-Haul and drive there, so you’re going to have to find Hawaii movers. Typically, your options will include full-service movers or more DIY options like U-Pack®. With U-Pack, you do the packing and loading, and then we take your belongings and ship them to Hawaii. Our transportation partner, ABF Freight℠, is the largest transcontinental carrier operation on the islands – so you can rest assured that your belongings are in safe hands.

We offer two options for moving to Hawaii – ReloCubes and ocean containers:

  • Cubes are 6' x 7' x 8' (LWH) weatherproof metal containers. Use just one or several to complete your move.
  • Ocean containers are 40’ X 8’ X 8’ 6” metal shipping containers. You have the entire container available for your use.

Depending on your needs, your destination, the size of your home, and your budget, a moving consultant can help you choose the best equipment option for your move. Just call us at 800-413-4799 to discuss options.

2.       How long does it take to move my stuff to Hawaii from the mainland?

While the transit time to Hawaii can vary drastically depending on the moving company you use, U-Pack transit times top the list of the fastest ways to move to Hawaii. Shipments sail to Hawaii out of California twice per week, so your belongings should arrive in Hawaii approximately one week after it arrives in California. Your U-Pack moving quote includes the estimated transit time – if you haven’t gotten one yet, we recommend that you start there.

3.      How much does it cost to move to Hawaii?

Because the details of each move are different, the best way to determine the price of your shipping container is by requesting a quote online, or by phone. You'll provide some basic information about your move (where you're moving from and to, when you're planning to move, and how much you're planning to move). Once we have that information, you'll receive an email with prices (and transit time) within 24 hours.

Most online quotes will be emailed to you within a business day because we want a specialist to look it over and ensure you’re getting the best options. If you need a quote instantly, call a Hawaii moving specialist at 800-413-4799. When you get your quote, you’ll notice that the cost to move to Hawaii with U-Pack is calculated per container, not by weight or linear footage.

4.      Should I use an Ocean Container or ReloCube for my move to Hawaii?

That answer depends on how much you’re moving to Hawaii and your delivery preference. Customers moving a large home to Hawaii often choose the ocean container option. The maximum weight limit is 44,000 lbs. and it has a cubic capacity of approximately 2,395 cubic feet. If you have a smaller move, the ReloCube(s) are a great option for shipping to Hawaii. U-Pack space estimator tools are helpful for determining the best choice for your move, and our Hawaii moving specialists are a valuable resource, too.

We have two delivery options for Hawaii moves: door-to-door or terminal unloading. Door delivery is available on all islands with the ocean container, but Cubes can only be delivered to your door on Oahu and the big island. Terminal unloading is an available option on any island, but it's required if you're using a Cube to move to Maui or Kauai. The good news is that unloading at the terminal gives you major savings!

5.      How far in advance should I reserve if I’m moving to Hawaii?

Booking your move earlier is always better.  We can typically accommodate ReloCube moves on shorter notice. However, if you’re moving in the 40’ ocean container, your signed Bill of Lading (contract) must be received at least seven days before your move date. Because of this, we ask that you reserve your ocean container move at least one week in advance.

6.      How do I pay for my move?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. If you're using an ocean container, payment is required before delivering the equipment to your home for loading. If you're moving in ReloCubes, payment can be made while your shipment is in transit to your destination.

7.      What if I need storage? Can I do that with U-Pack?

Storage is available using ReloCubes (not ocean containers) on the island of Oahu. If you’re moving to an island other than Oahu and need storage, we can still help. You can store your ReloCube at the service center closest to your origin location, or at the service center in Los Angeles, CA (where Cubes sail out of). If you would like to discuss storage options for your move, call a Hawaii moving specialist directly at 800-413-4799.

8.      Can​ I do a door-to-door move to Hawaii?

Probably, depending on your moving equipment and your destination. We service all of the Hawaiian islands door-to-door using an ocean container. If you’re using ReloCubes, we currently service only Oahu and Hawaii door-to-door. If you’re moving to Maui or Kauai, don’t worry! We have the option to load or unload your items from the ReloCube at the service center on the island. If you choose this option, you would transport your items from our service center to your residence.

9.      Can I put my motorcycle or vehicle in the ocean container?

Motorcycles can be shipped inside ReloCubes or ocean containers as long as they’re used (rather than new), of personal use, and the fluids are drained. U-Pack doesn’t ship automobiles, but we do recommend uShip – a viable option for shipping automobiles to Hawaii.

10.      Is there anything I can't include in my household goods shipment to Hawaii?

Yes, just like shipments moving interstate in the upper 48, there are items that can’t be shipped to Hawaii. As you pack, make sure to check out the Do Not Ship list so you know what to leave behind when shipping household goods to Hawaii.

11.      What is the cost of living in Hawaii?

You may have heard that the cost of living in Hawaii is much higher than most comparable mainland cities. It’s true; the costs are high because most products available for purchase in Hawaii have to be shipped in – and that means the shipping costs are passed along to the consumer. If you’re trying to figure out your budget for after you move, try using a cost of living calculator.

12.  What is the job market like in Hawaii?

According to the latest unemployment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hawaii’s unemployment rate is 3.2% (November 2015), the 4th lowest in the country. Here’s what you can expect to make with some sample jobs:

Retail Salesperson – $-25,770
General/Operations Manager –$96,940
Construction Supervisor – $77,680
Customer Service Representative– $35,730
Administrative Assistant – $37,750
Registered Nurse – $88,230
Postsecondary Teacher – $43,460

You can search for jobs in Hawaii using the jobs and employment page on the Hawaii state website.

13.  Can I move my pets with me to Hawaii?

Yes, but there are some very strict requirements unique to Hawaii. You see, Hawaii is the only "rabies-free" state in the U.S., and they work hard to keep it that way – no exceptions. Your pet will have to be quarantined for a bit upon entering Hawaii. Some dogs and cats may qualify for the 5-day-or-less quarantine program. If the pet doesn’t meet the requirements, they’ll be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival. Once they are cleared, you’ll get to take them home. If you’re moving to Hawaii with pets, learn more about Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Law here.

14.  Can I move my plants with me to Hawaii?

Live plants are included in the Do Not Ship list, so you can’t load them in your moving container. You can take them with you, however, an inspection is required before entering the state. You can get more information by contacting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Insurance Service in Honolulu County.

15.  How do I become a resident of Hawaii?

To become a resident, you’ll either need to apply for a Hawaii driver’s license, register to vote, or register your vehicle. You can knock these out at the same time because you can register to vote as part of the driver’s license application process. Learn more in the Hawaii newcomer’s guide.

16.  I just received PCS orders to Hawaii. Now what?

If you’re a member of the U.S. military, U-Pack would be honored to help you make a DITY move to Hawaii. We provide direct service to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, MCB Hawaii and Schofield Barracks/Fort Shafter. Call us at 800-413-4799 and ask about our military discount!

17.  How much will it​ cost to ship my furniture to Hawaii?

Get a free moving quote online or by calling 800-413-4799 to see your cost. Whether you have a few pieces of furniture or an entire house, U-Pack can help you ship your belongings to Hawaii quickly and affordably.

More questions?

If you don’t see the answer to your question about moving to Hawaii listed above, let us know in the comments section below. We’d also love to hear about your experience if you’ve moved to Hawaii before – are there other things you think people moving to the Aloha State should know?

Enjoy the sunshine, and if we can help with your move, let us know!


*This post was originally written by Derek in 2008 but was updated by Brittney with current information in 2016.