In 2022, my hubby and I decided to move to Tokyo, Japan. Since we couldn’t get rid of some of our carefully selected furniture mentally, we decided to ship those to Japan. And for those that we had to keep but couldn’t be used in Japan (such as wedding photos LOL), we decided to rent a storage unit (we sign up with StorHub) in Singapore. This post is to share the experience and process of how I move with Asian Tigers.

Asian Tigers Group Relocation Service

Asian Tigers Group (Official Site Here) has several services. My Filipina colleague mentioned that back in her time in the Philippines, her ex-companies all used Asian Tigers for office moving. But the main reason I choose Asian Tigers is it is recommended by hubby’s new company. So if anything goes wrong, I know whom to complain with. But after this moving experience, I would say I may work with them again next time I need relocation.

Process of relocating with Asian Tigers: Onsite visit → Confirm quotation, sign back and make payment (including insurance) → Packing → Sea shipping and confirming final price → Prepare documents for custom → Custom clearance → Shipping to the new home

  1. Onsite visit: After approaching Asian Tigers via email, they called to arrange an onsite visit. It’s to understand your needs and check the items you want to ship physically so they can suggest you the shipping plan and prepare for the quotation. This viewing can be done on Saturday. General Manager, Kelvin, is the person who came on that day. He is very friendly and happy to answer all my questions. He also explained the paperwork and procedures required for moving (varies by country). Because we wanted to ship our sofa, we decided to go for the cheaper option which is sea shipping. He also immediately help us to arrange for the packing schedule after he knew that we want to have our belongings in Japan as soon as possible.
  2. Confirm quotation, sign back and make payment (including insurance): We got the quotation, import guide, and risk management guide a few days after the onsite visit. The documents are long but it’s important to look through everything. It helps you to understand their service and the regulations of the country you are moving to.
    Insurance is optional but I still opt-in and I even pay for the mould insurance because I want my furniture can be properly taken care of.
  3. Packing: The service provided by Asian Tigers included packing. But if you have some personal items (such as underwear) you want to pack yourself, they will send you some packing materials (cartons, tapes, and desiccant) before the packing date. Please note that you can pack the items but you can’t seal the carton boxes as all the items should be checked and sealed by the packing crew.
    And on packing day, a packing specialist will come to confirm with you what to pack first, and the rest of the team will come and start packing. After packing, the specialist will also make and confirm the packing list with you. 5 people came to my house and they packed everything in about 2 hours. The packing crew is very professional. With one cutting knife, they can cut the carton into the shape they want and I really want to ask where they bought their blades.
    Below is the snapshot of part of my belongings, I believe you can tell there is a chair inside!
    Asian Tigers Packing Service
  4. Sea shipping and confirming final price: Because sea freight is calculated by volume, the final amount will be confirmed after packing. I ended up shipping less volume than estimated, so Asian Tigers asked me for a bank account and I got my refund without a hitch.
  5. Prepare documents for custom: Asian Tigers will do the clearance for you but you need to provide the documents. Take Japan as an example, except for relevant passport and visa documents, you also need to provide the C5360 form with a custom stamp. C5360 is the CUSTOMS DECLARATION form. You need to fill in 2 forms and declare you have unaccompanied articles. Hand those forms to the custom and you will have 1 form with a stamp back. You need to send to Asian Tigers the form for clearance.
  6. Custom clearance: Not many things to do at this stage unless the custom asks you for more supporting documents. For me, because I use a Taiwan passport but depart from Singapore, I was asked to provide more documents to explain my living in Singapore prior to Japan.
  7. Shipping to the new home: After the clearance, Asian Tigers approached for the shipping schedule and they also help to contact the management office of the apartment for relevant communication which helps me a lot since I am not good at Japanese. On the day of moving, 2 people (they can speak very good English!) came, they also helped me to unpack and brought back all the packing materials.

Asian Tigers Relocation Experience

Generally speaking, I quite enjoy the hassle-free experience of relocation with Asian Tigers. They really pay attention to your needs and point out when you miss anything. For example, I actually forgot to list my speaker in the insurance form, Asian Tigers actually noticed that and remind me of it. Kelvin also pays attention to our needs at any time. He continuously checks our status. On the day I flew to Japan, he even remembered it and sent me a safe flight message.

But there is one thing I feel a bit troublesome is there are a few people who send you emails for different topics. But I can understand it’s due to different offices handling different parts of this relocation. For example, the Singapore office handles the contract and payment and the Japanese office handles the customs clearance and shipping in Japan.

Tips I learned from this relocation

Except for hiring a relocation service, one thing I did it right in this relocation is leveraging with post-it! I wrote down the articles I want to ship on the sticker and pasted it on the surface of the items or cabinets. For instance, I pasted a post-it of “Ship 3 shoes” on the shoe cabinet. Or a “Ship the first layer” on the kitchen shelf. The post-it really helps during the onsite visit and packing. There were several times that the team noticed and reminded me of the items I want to ship but never mention it.

It’s my first time doing a large-scale relocation. Fortunately, I found a professional team and now I am ready for my new life in Japan!

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