Shipping to Singapore
Are you looking to move to Singapore but are not sure where to start? With visas to obtain, jobs to organise and living costs to account for, there is more than enough to be thinking about. One thing you most certainly will need to consider at some point however is how you are going to move all your belongings.
You have most likely moved home before at some point and can appreciate the massive amount of upheaval and planning that goes into such a move. Moving internationally is a whole new experience altogether and comes with added considerations and pressures. That is where choosing the right international removal company is crucial. With so many to choose from, it is not an easy task.
White & Company can help make the transition as smooth and worry free as possible. A family owned business established in 1871, and founder members of BAR, FIDI & Omni, White & Company have shipped thousands of people around the globe and should be your first choice for international relocations.
Why Move to Singapore?
Try and imagine a major world city where traffic flows freely, streets are kept sparking clean and birds can regularly be heard chirping from the trees. If you can’t, it’s most likely because you haven’t yet been to Singapore.
As one of the ‘Four Asian Tiger’ economies located at the foot of the Malaysian peninsula, Singapore has many exciting working opportunities and an exceptionally high standard of living.
The city blends an eclectic mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian ethnicities alongside a vibrant expat community, who co-exist peacefully in a safe and crime-free environment. This unique explosion of different cultures gives rise to a wide range of cultural and culinary delights, from Brickfields, AKA ‘Little India’ to Chinatown.
Parks, museums and educational facilities are also world class and with top of the range facilities such as Universal Studios and the stunning Gardens by the Bay you are never short of things to see and do with the family.
As with all cities, there are pros and cons to living there. According to ‘Mercers cost of living survey’ Singapore is among one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live. Regimented government control and restrictions placed on the media, as well as hot and humid weather all year round with little seasonal change can also make life burdensome at times.
Having said that the wages you are able to attract at a top job in Singapore can outstrip any concerns you may be having about the cost of living. According to the 2014 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, 45%, of expats, are paid more than US$183,295 annually. All together it is a truly globalised city that is largely clean and safe, making it an excellent place to base yourself and your family.
Working in Singapore
UK nationals need a valid employment pass to work in Singapore, which is usually through prearranged employment. UK citizens can apply to become a Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) by obtaining an Entry Permit. If you already have employment, your new employer should assist you with this as part of your relocation package.
There are a variety of passes, which one you need will vary according to your circumstances and qualifications:
• Employment pass — for high earners with qualifications at least S$3,6000 a month
• S Pass — for mid-skilled workers
• Work Permit for foreign worker — for semi-skilled workers in certain industries such as construction and manufacturing
• EntrePass — for foreign entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in the city
For more detailed information on how to obtain a work permit visit the following web site:
Investors or skilled workers are in high demand and will find it easier to obtain a permanent residency permit. Big named corporations such as Microsoft, American Express and banks such as HSBC and DBS Bank are also stationed in Singapore and offer lucrative positions with great perks. Singapore is also looking for skilled workers in the areas of marketing, finance, IT, Science and research.
At the other end of the spectrum, a new law requiring employers to seek local talent for two weeks before offering jobs to outsiders for positions paying under S$12,000 ($8,760) a month has now been brought in following resentment from local residents.
Securing a position ahead of moving to Singapore is therefore highly advisable to avoid disappointment later down the line. English is also the language of business here so this is unlikely to present itself as a barrier to working life.
Shipping My Effects to Singapore: the process
The whole moving experience can be incredibly stressful, especially so when relocating abroad. White & Company, with its 145 years of experience in the removal industry, can help make the process a lot smoother.
Upon arrival at your residence in Singapore, our trusted agents will place boxes and furniture in appropriate rooms as directed. They will unpack your belongings onto flat surfaces and dispose of all packing materials.
We can arrange a free no obligation home survey and quotation. Our experienced surveyor will visit your home to conduct a pre-move survey to ascertain the volume of effects being shipped. This involves him/her walking through the property room by room noting what items are to be exported and recording it on his electronic tablet. A quotation will follow within 48 hours.
Our partners in Singapore can offer you storage. You may be renting for a while and may not need all of your effects to be delivered immediately. You can arrange for certain items to be delivered and once settled in your new home, the rest can follow. Please note that storage rates may apply.
When our quotation has been accepted and a move date has been secured, the vehicle and removal team will arrive at residence. The removal team will proceed to export pack and wrap all items being shipped and load onto vehicle for delivery to our closest depot.
We use a modern range of environmentally friendly, purpose-made packing materials and can pack everything for you prior to your move. All china and glassware will be wrapped in special paper and then packed in double-thickness cartons. Furniture can be wrapped in bubble blanket for extra protection. Items requiring specialist care, such as antiques, can be packed in made-to-measure wooden crates.
The cost of property in Singapore is expensive and most expats choose to rent. The overall cost of housing will depend on your budget, local amenities and facilities, its location and space.
Many expats live in private condo units. These come with facilities such as playgrounds, security, and swimming pools. If housing is offered as part of your employment offer it is advisable to do some hard bargaining with your employer for the best possible package of additional incentives, such as help with tuition fees and healthcare costs.
Some popular districts in which to live include:
• The Orchard area – close to central business district and Singapore’s main shopping areas
• Central – the most expensive location but as the name suggests close to everything, including amenities, work and leisure
• Woodlands — ideal for families and has a calmer lifestyle with access to public parks and communal gardens
If you are renting, for a 3-bedroom apartment in the city, you can expect to pay approximately S$5310 (£2,871) per month. For a similar property on the outskirts of the city this drops to S$3,130 (£1,692).
If you intend to purchase a home. The current average cost per square metre in the city centre is S$24,861 (£13,444) on the outskirts S$13,063 (£7,064).
The following web sites have some very useful information and house hunting tips when you begin your search for property in Singapore.
Singapore is relatively small in size and so navigating it via its extensive transport network is relatively comfortable and enjoyable. It is easy to travel by bus or MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), which is the Singaporean version of the underground and is relatively cheap.
The following site will help you plan your journey:
Most people in Singapore do not drive as owning a car is incredibly expensive. For those who do own a car, driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Obtaining a driver’s licence is easy if you already have a valid UK licence.
If you are staying longer than one year, you will need to convert to a Singapore licence by the end of your first year. You are also required to pass a theory test and submit relevant documents.
Visit the Singapore Police web site for more information on how to obtain a driver’s license and for information on local driving rules and regulations:
Singapore has a good reputation when it comes to education. Education for primary, secondary, and tertiary levels is mostly supported by the state. English is the language of instruction in all public schools.
Having said this, the majority of expats choose to send their children to International schools. Most will follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. However, international schools in Singapore are expensive and it is advisable to secure a place well ahead of any move.
For a list of some of the best international schools in Singapore, fees and curriculums visit the following web site:
White & Company
Providing International Removals since 1871
We recommend a visit from one of our Surveyors for all International moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Singapore
Marina Bay Sands
Gardens by the Bay
Little India and Arab Street
Changi Chapel and Museum
Fort Canning Park
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.