Storage Container Guide - ISS Relocations

Storage Container Guide for Moving to Switzerland

Relocating to Switzerland is an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning and organization, especially when it comes to transporting your belongings. Storage containers are an essential solution for ensuring the safe and efficient movement of your items. This guide explores the various types of storage containers available, their benefits, and best practices for their use. With the expertise of ISS Relocations, your move to Switzerland can be smooth and stress-free, allowing you to focus on the new opportunities awaiting you.

Understanding Storage Containers

Types of Storage Containers


20ft Containers

  • Dimensions and Capacity: The 20ft container is one of the most commonly used for household moves. It measures approximately 20 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height. This container has a capacity of about 1,170 cubic feet, making it suitable for a small to medium-sized household.
  • Common Uses: Ideal for moving the contents of a two to three-bedroom home, including furniture, appliances, boxes, and some outdoor equipment.


40ft Containers

  • Dimensions and Capacity: Measuring 40 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8.5 feet in height, the 40ft container doubles the capacity of the 20ft container, providing around 2,390 cubic feet of space.
  • Common Uses: Perfect for larger households or for those who need to ship a significant amount of belongings, such as a four to five-bedroom home.


High Cube Containers

  • Dimensions and Capacity: Similar in length and width to standard containers, but with an extra foot in height, providing a total height of 9.5 feet. This increases the capacity slightly, making them useful for bulky or tall items.
  • Common Uses: Suitable for items that require extra height, such as large furniture, machinery, or oversized goods.


Specialized Storage Containers

  • Refrigerated Containers: These containers, also known as reefers, are equipped with temperature control systems to transport perishable goods.
  • Open-Top Containers: Designed for items that cannot be easily loaded through the standard container doors, such as heavy machinery or construction materials.
  • Flat Rack Containers: Used for oversized cargo that does not fit into standard containers, featuring collapsible sides.


Choosing the right type of container is crucial for ensuring your belongings are transported safely and efficiently. ISS Relocations offers a range of container options to suit various needs, ensuring your move to Switzerland is tailored to your specific requirements.

Needs Storage Container in Switzerland?

Begin Your Stress-Free Relocation Journey Today – Request A Quote Now!

Why Choose Storage Containers for Your Move?

Benefits of Using Storage Containers


Security and Protection of Belongings

  • Durable Construction: Storage containers are built from robust materials such as steel, providing a strong barrier against theft, weather, and physical damage. This ensures that your possessions are well-protected during transit and storage.
  • Weather Resistance: Equipped with weatherproof seals and structures, containers guard against moisture, dust, and extreme temperatures, maintaining the integrity of your items.



  • Affordable Solution: Opting for a storage container can be more cost-effective compared to other moving options. It minimizes the need for multiple trips and reduces handling, which can save you money in the long run.
  • Flexible Rental Terms: Storage containers offer flexible rental periods, allowing you to rent them only for the duration needed, thus controlling costs better.


Convenience and Flexibility

  • Door-to-Door Service: Containers can be delivered directly to your home, packed at your convenience, and then shipped to your new location. This eliminates the need for repeated loading and unloading, simplifying the moving process.
  • Versatile Usage: They are suitable for a wide range of items, from household goods to vehicles. You can choose a container size that fits your needs, making the process more efficient.


Choosing the right storage container can greatly enhance your moving experience. ISS Relocations offers tailored solutions to ensure your move to Switzerland is as smooth and efficient as possible. Their expertise ensures that you select the most appropriate container type for your specific needs, providing peace of mind throughout the relocation process.

What Can You Store in a 20ft Storage Container?

Capacity Overview


Volume and Space Utilization

  • Dimensions and Capacity: A 20ft storage container offers approximately 1,170 cubic feet of space. Its interior dimensions are about 19.4 feet in length, 7.9 feet in width, and 7.8 feet in height.
  • Space Utilization Tips: Maximizing space involves careful planning and organization. Disassemble large furniture, use vertical space efficiently and pack items tightly to avoid shifting during transit.


Typical Items That Fit

  • Household Goods: Perfect for a small to medium-sized household move, a 20ft container can hold:
      • Furniture: Sofas, beds, dining tables, and chairs.
      • Appliances: Refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers.
      • Boxes: Numerous moving boxes filled with personal items, kitchenware, and books.
      • Miscellaneous: Bicycles, outdoor equipment, and smaller pieces of garden furniture.


Example Scenarios

  • Small Apartment: For a one to two-bedroom apartment, this container size is ideal. It can fit items from the living room (sofa, TV, coffee table), bedroom (bed, dresser), and kitchen (appliances, boxes).
  • Specific Rooms: Alternatively, it can be used for specific areas of a larger house. For example, it could store all the items from a large living room and bedroom combined.


By understanding what a 20ft storage container can hold, you can better plan your move and ensure all your essential items are safely packed and transported. ISS Relocations provides detailed guidance and support to help you make the most of the space in your container, ensuring a seamless and efficient move to Switzerland.

What Cannot Be Stored in a Storage Container?

Prohibited Items


Hazardous Materials

  • Chemicals: Flammable liquids, toxic substances, and corrosive materials are strictly prohibited due to their potential danger.
  • Explosives: Items such as fireworks, ammunition, and other explosive materials cannot be stored in containers.


Perishable Goods

  • Food Items: Perishable foods, including fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products, are not suitable for storage in standard containers as they require temperature control to avoid spoilage.
  • Plants: Live plants cannot be stored because they need light, air, and appropriate temperatures to survive.


Personal or Irreplaceable Items

  • Valuables: Items like jewelry, important documents, and family heirlooms should not be stored in containers. These items are best kept with you to ensure their safety.
  • Sensitive Electronics: Certain high-value electronics may be sensitive to extreme temperatures and humidity, making them unsuitable for container storage without proper protection.


Ensuring Compliance and Safety

  • Check Regulations: Before packing, check the regulations for both the origin and destination countries to ensure all items are compliant with local laws and customs requirements.
  • Proper Labeling: Clearly label any items that might require special handling to avoid issues during transit and customs inspections.


Choosing the right items to store in your container is crucial for a smooth and hassle-free move. ISS Relocations provides expert advice to ensure you only pack appropriate items, preventing any issues during the shipping process and ensuring the safety of your belongings.

Can a Car Fit into a 20ft Container?

Vehicle Storage


Dimensions and Suitability

  • Interior Space: A standard 20ft container has internal dimensions of about 19.4 feet in length, 7.9 feet in width, and 7.8 feet in height. This space is generally sufficient for storing most standard cars, including sedans and small SUVs.
  • Considerations for Fit: Ensure the vehicle’s dimensions (length, width, height) fit within the container’s interior space. Additionally, there should be enough room to open the doors and maneuver around the vehicle for secure tie-downs.


Preparation Tips for Storing a Car

  • Cleaning and Maintenance: Thoroughly clean the car inside and out to avoid attracting pests. Check fluid levels, tire pressure, and battery condition to ensure the car is in good shape for storage.
  • Fluid Levels and Battery: Drain the fuel tank to a safe level and consider disconnecting the battery to prevent any leaks or damage during transit.
  • Protection: Cover the car with a high-quality car cover to protect it from dust and potential scratches. Use wheel chocks to prevent movement and secure the car with tie-downs to keep it stable during shipping.


Additional Tips

  • Documentation: Keep all necessary documents (registration, insurance) handy, and ensure compliance with import regulations in Switzerland.
  • Professional Assistance: Utilize the expertise of ISS Relocations to help with the proper preparation and secure loading of your vehicle, ensuring it arrives safely at your new destination.


Using a 20ft container to transport your car can be a practical solution for your move to Switzerland. With careful preparation and professional guidance from ISS Relocations, your vehicle will be securely stored and transported, ready for you to hit the road in your new country.

Steps for Packing and Loading a Storage Container

Preparation Tips


Planning and Organizing Your Items

  • Create an Inventory: List all items you plan to move. Categorize them by room or type to keep track of what is packed.
  • Prioritize Essentials: Pack essential items last so they are the first to be unpacked upon arrival.


Protecting Fragile Items

  • Use Quality Packing Materials: Invest in sturdy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, and moving blankets to protect your belongings.
  • Wrap and Cushion: Individually wrap fragile items and place cushioning materials between them to prevent movement and damage.


Efficiently Utilizing Space

  • Disassemble Large Furniture: Take apart large items like beds, tables, and desks to save space. Keep screws and small parts in labeled bags.
  • Pack Vertically: Utilize the container’s height by stacking boxes and items vertically. Place heavier items at the bottom and lighter items on top.
  • Fill Gaps: Use soft items like pillows, blankets, and clothing to fill gaps and prevent items from shifting during transit.


Loading the Container


Heavier Items First

  • Bottom Layer: Start with heavy items and large furniture pieces. Place these items along the walls to create a stable base.
  • Distribute Weight Evenly: Ensure weight is evenly distributed to prevent the container from becoming unbalanced.


Mid-Weight Items Next

  • Middle Layer: Load mid-weight items like appliances and larger boxes next. Ensure they are stable and do not crush lighter items.


Light and Fragile Items Last

  • Top Layer: Place lighter and more fragile items on top. Ensure they are securely packed and cushioned.


Securing the Load

  • Tie-Down Straps: Use tie-down straps to secure items and prevent shifting. Attach the straps to the container’s built-in anchor points.
  • Final Check: Walk through and check that all items are secure and well-protected before closing the container.


Final Preparations

  • Lock and Seal: Use a high-quality lock to secure the container. Ensure it is properly sealed to protect against weather and tampering.
  • Label and Document: Clearly label the container and keep a detailed inventory list for reference during unpacking and customs inspections.


Packing and loading a storage container efficiently is crucial for a successful move. With careful planning and the expert guidance of ISS Relocations, you can ensure that your belongings are securely packed and transported to your new home in Switzerland.

Customs Regulations and Documentation for Moving to Switzerland

Essential Documentation


Customs Forms and Declarations

  • Import Declaration Form 18.44: This form is required to declare household goods and personal effects. It must be filled out accurately and completely to avoid delays.
  • Inventory List: Provide a detailed inventory of all items being shipped, including descriptions, quantities, and estimated values. This helps Swiss customs authorities assess and verify your shipment.


Supporting Documents

  • Proof of Residency: Documents such as a lease agreement, work contract, or registration certificate in Switzerland to prove your intention to reside.
  • Identification: A valid passport and, if applicable, a visa or residence permit.
  • Shipping Documents: Bill of lading or airway bill, packing list, and any other relevant shipping paperwork.


Compliance Tips


Ensuring All Items Comply with Swiss Regulations

  • Restricted Items: Be aware of items that are restricted or require special permits, such as weapons, certain medications, and cultural artifacts.
  • Duty-Free Allowances: Household goods and personal effects can be imported duty-free if they have been in your possession and use for at least six months and will continue to be used in your new residence.


Assistance from ISS Relocations

  • Expert Guidance: ISS Relocations provides comprehensive support with customs documentation and compliance, ensuring all paperwork is correctly completed and submitted.
  • Streamlined Process: Their expertise simplifies the customs clearance process, reducing the risk of delays or additional charges.


Navigating customs regulations and preparing the necessary documentation are critical steps in a smooth move to Switzerland. With the professional assistance of ISS Relocations, you can ensure that all your paperwork is in order, allowing for a hassle-free transition through customs.

Cost Considerations

Factors Affecting Cost


Distance and Shipping Method

  • Distance: The farther the distance between your current location and Switzerland, the higher the shipping cost due to fuel, time, and logistical considerations.
  • Shipping Method: Choices include sea freight, which is more economical for large shipments, and air freight, which is faster but more expensive. ISS Relocations offers both options, helping you choose the best method based on your needs and budget.


Container Size and Type

  • Size: The size of the container (20ft vs. 40ft) directly impacts the cost. Larger containers hold more items but are more expensive to ship.
  • Type: Specialized containers like high cube or refrigerated containers cost more due to their specific features and the specialized handling required.


Additional Services

  • Packing Services: Professional packing services ensure your items are securely packed, reducing the risk of damage. This service adds to the overall cost but can be invaluable for protecting valuable items.
  • Insurance: Opting for comprehensive insurance coverage provides peace of mind in case of loss or damage during transit. The cost of insurance varies based on the value of the shipped goods.
  • Storage Solutions: Temporary storage solutions may be needed if there are delays in moving into your new home. ISS Relocations offers flexible storage options to meet your needs.


Tips for Managing Costs

  • Plan Ahead: Book your move well in advance to take advantage of lower rates and availability.
  • Compare Quotes: Get detailed quotes from ISS Relocations and compare the costs of different services to find the most cost-effective solution.
  • Optimize Packing: Efficient packing can reduce the need for multiple containers, lowering overall shipping costs.


Understanding the factors that affect the cost of your move helps you budget effectively. ISS Relocations provides transparent pricing and detailed quotes, ensuring you have a clear understanding of all potential expenses involved in your relocation to Switzerland.

ISS Relocations: Your Trusted Partner

Why Choose ISS Relocations?


Expertise and Experience

  • Proven Track Record: With years of experience in international relocations, ISS Relocations has built a reputation for reliability and professionalism. Their expertise ensures that every aspect of your move is handled with care and precision.
  • Knowledgeable Staff: The team at ISS Relocations is well-versed in the intricacies of international moves, including customs regulations, logistical challenges, and best practices for packing and transporting goods.


Comprehensive Services

  • End-to-End Solutions: ISS Relocations offers a full suite of services, from initial planning and packing to transportation and unpacking at your new home in Switzerland. This all-inclusive approach simplifies the moving process and reduces stress.
  • Customizable Options: Services can be tailored to meet your specific needs and budget. Whether you require assistance with packing, need temporary storage solutions, or require help navigating customs procedures, ISS Relocations has you covered.


Choosing ISS Relocations as your moving partner guarantees a seamless and efficient move to Switzerland. Their extensive experience, comprehensive services, and dedication to customer satisfaction make them the ideal choice for your relocation needs.

Get A Free Moving Quote

"*" indicates required fields