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Moving to Indonesia

Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia and Oceania and consists of an archipelago of around 17,508 islands. Those moving to Indonesia will find the country borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Indonesia has other neighboring countries of Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Palau, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

When moving to Indonesia you will find the country covers a land area of 742,308 square miles. The land area of Indonesia is around eight times the size of the United Kingdom, and with a population of 242,800 million people this means there are 4 times the number of people in Indonesia than in the United Kingdom.

The country of Indonesia has main exports of oil and gas, plywood, textiles, rubber and palm oil. Imports to Indonesia include machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, and foodstuffs. With imports to Indonesia at $185 billion in 2012 and exports to Indonesia of $199.1 billion in 2012 this means the country has a trade surplus before taking into account the existing countries gross debt.

Those moving to Indonesia will find that Indonesia is split into 34 provinces, with these provinces being grouped into seven geographical units. These geographical groups are Sumatra, Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, the Maluku Islands and Western New Guinea. The capital of Indonesia is Jakarta, with a population of 9,607,787 people.

The largest 12 cities to be found in Indonesia all of which have populations of over one million inhabitants include Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Bekasi, Medan, Semarang, Tangerang, Depok, Palembang, Makassar, Pekanbaru and South Tangerang.

There are many locations worth visiting for those moving to Indonesia, the country has many sandy beaches, and tropical islands. Around 57% of Indonesia is covered in Rainforest which equates to over 225 million acres of forest. Sites worth visiting include the active volcano of Mount Bromo in the East Java province, along with other attractions such as Borobudur, Lake Toba, Tandah Lot and the National Monument in Jakarta.

Abels Moving Services have been providing discrete export packing and shipping services for discerning families and professionals relocating and moving to Indonesia for over 50 years.

balinese people in traditional clothes during religious ceremony at pura taman ayun temple bali in indonesia

Planning Your Move

When considering moving to Indonesia it is important to speak with a specialist international removal company (not your local domestic mover!) as there are pitfalls throughout the process that you will be glad of their assistance.

Before calling, consider whether you want to send all your possessions or just a select few personal effects. To speak to an advisor call our head office on +44 1842 816600 or email and you will be contacted shortly to discuss your move.

For full house moves / large volumes it is recommended that a home survey appointment is made so that an International Customer Service Manager can personally visit your home and discuss your moving requirements, allay any concerns you may have and advise upon the process, assess the items to be packed and how best to be protected these during there transit and make judgement on the access to your property to ensure that positioning a larger removal vehicle or shipping container is possible. A full list of all items to be taken will be made by our colleague at this time. A detailed door to door removal proposal will be sent to you shortly following the visit after all costs are collated (including origin, freight, destination services)

Smaller volumes can be discussed over the telephone, email or provided via our online service . Your volume, access, packing requirements and shipping method, will be assessed from the information you provide. A detailed door to door removal proposal will then be produced and either posted or emailed to you for consideration.

After you book with Abels you will be introduced to a Customer Liaison Move Coordinator (who will work on behalf of your Customer Service Manager) booking, organising and managing matters when moving to Indonesia.

Talk to our experts

Let Abels plan and coordinate your move to Indonesia or anywhere else in the world.

Export Packing

Abels Moving Services advises that Export Packing is a fundamental requirement for all your items and possessions when moving to Indonesia. So what actually is Export Packing, and how do I get advice on what will be required?

Export Packing is a way of protecting items when in transit. It utilises either a 6 ply paper blanket that has a wax inner and a water resistant outer or tough bubble blanket that has a soft cloth inner and robust outer to ensure corners are not exposed. Certain items will need to be card covered, put into a carton or an additional layer of the above wrap to add extra protection – items such as polished furniture, antiques, delicate legs, mirror and glass fronted units.

The level of protection that is needed when moving items for example by road is less stringent but for moving your items travelling thousands of miles in either 20ft Containers or 40ft Containers on their sea journey to Indonesia then they will need additional Export Packing protection. Please remember that the goods will be “handled” many times including wrapping, loading the container, road journey to the port, container hoist removes and stacks, container hoist moves from the stack to the loading area near the vessel, loading the vessel crane gantry, sea journey and then the same in reverse. So the protection is paramount in ensuring the contents longevity.

With Abels Moving Services the highest quality export materials are utilised. (ensure you do not use materials that are designed to stay within the UK, the contents of the container will be stacked up to 2 metres and you want the carton at the bottom to stay in shape throughout its journey and protect its contents.


Fine Art & Specialist Packing Services

Moving Fine Art needs great care and will involve Enhanced Export Packing when shipping to Indonesia. Items such as Fine Art Paintings and valuable pieces of furniture along with delicate items such as moving a Grand Father Clock, packing and shipping Barometers, transporting chandeliers all need careful handling while being packed in a specific way. The use of special cases built especially for these items needs to be utilised to give the highest level of protection.

Not only is the Export Packing of these items important, but also how they are dismantled prior to shipping to Indonesia. Grand Father Clocks will need their main components taken apart ensuring clearly the weights have been removed prior to casing the clock. Moving a barometer also need specialist packing services and careful handling to avoid any problem with the filled mercury, ensuring the tube is bunged to avoid spillage.

Training, training, training is the key to ensure all packing teams are fully versed in the correct handling and packing techniques. Find more information about how to move.


In Indonesia there are 17 International Airports these being Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK), Juanda International Airport (SUB), Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (UPG), Polonia International Airport (MES), Adisucipto International Airport (JOG), Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport (PLM), Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport (PKU), Achmad Yani International Airport (SRG), Minangkabau International Airport (PDG), Supadio International Airport (PNK), Sam Ratulangi International Airport (MDC), Lombok International Airport (LOP), Adisumarmo International Airport (SOC), Husein Sastranegara International Airport (BDO), Juwata International Airport (TRK) and Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport (BTJ).

The Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta in 2012 handled over 57,772,762 passengers per year. The airport has seen an 80% increase in passenger numbers over the last 4 years. To provide extra airport capacity terminal 3 was started to be built in August 2012 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

With sea transit times for shipping your possessions from the UK to Indonesia taking in the order of 8 to 10 weeks, you may consider to send some of your consignment by Airfreight. Items for Airfreight will need to be Professionally Packed (due to security restrictions not permitting owner packed cartons) and are then loaded into heat treated modules of various sizes and then waterproof covered for added protection against the elements.

Please allow 2 weeks transit door to door for airfreight to allow for UK and Indonesian Security and Customs assessments before delivery is permitted to your new home.

See More information about airfreight shipments.

Enjoy a stress-free move abroad

Get in touch with our removal experts to see how we can help with your move today.

Customs Information

The import of your personal items and household goods into Indonesia are subject to import and export rules and regulations. 

Your Abels Move Manager will provide you with tailored information to guide you through this part of the relocation process.

For now, here is a little breakdown of what to expect to help you start planning your move abroad.  

For your items to clear customs, you will need to provide some specific documentation. Our friendly team will discuss these requirements with you ahead of your move, the documents required at customs will depend on your status and personal situation. 

Explore the FIDI Customs Guide for Indonesia, for further guidance ahead of your move consultation with a trusted member of the Abels team.

Immigration and passport control at the airport woman border control officer puts a stamp in passport

panoramic view of broken beach in nusa penida bali indonesia blue sky turquoise water

Shipping Services

Larger volumes and full house moves will be shipped within a 20ft or 40ft shipping container. If access permits we always try and load the container outside your residence. This allows you to see our removal team’s skill and care of loading and stowing safely and the sealing of the container with our uniquely numbered container bolt seals. Where access is not suitable for this size of vehicle, goods may be loaded via Abels warehouse ( you are of course welcome to come and witness the loading ) or in a location close to your property utilising a small shuttle truck to ferry between your home and the container.

Shipping lines will offer some companies low cost freight yet there is a big risk to the quality of container that arrives and the transit time it then takes. Abels buy our containers through an organisation that negotiates for a supply of A1 class containers that are without fractures to the outer case, dry, clean, odour free containers on our behalf that have an almost guaranteed transit time. If goods stay within a container that has an odour this will remain on the goods when delivered, fractures in the outer will gain water ingress.

Smaller volumes can be shipped as LCL (less than container load). Your possessions will be taken to Abels warehouse for loading into heat treated wooden crates ready for shipping.

Transit times to Various Ports in Indonesia from the UK, ie from port to port is normally between approximately 30 to 40 days on the water. Vessels depart the UK weekly to ports such as Balikpapan, Belawan, Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya and Udjung Pandang in Indonesia. You should allow approximately 8 to 10 weeks door to door from your property in the UK to your property in Indonesia (times depend on delays due to weather, strikes, re-routing containers, vessel malfunction, customs inspections – however this guide is normally reasonably accurate)

Read more on these methods about shipping options when moving abroad.

Destination Services

Abels select our partners from those with the highest quality accreditations. These will normally hold the FIDI-faim quality award to ensure that the standards enjoyed with Abels Moving Services is continued to perform the Customs Clearance and Delivery Service. It’s too late to find that the agents selected are not of the highest standard, so we ensure we use the best on your behalf.

Our destination partners will be advised of your shipment shortly following the departure of the container from the UK. They will make contact with you near to when the container is due to arrive in Indonesia so that they can perform the Customs clearance process on your behalf.

Following Customs clearance our partners will contact you to arrange the delivery date of your possessions. Normal service includes delivery, unpacking, set up of normal furniture (not Ikea kit furniture unless agreed) removal and disposal of waste packaging materials and return of the shipping container to wharf. Should you prefer, arrangements can be made for a put away service / maid cleaning / relocation or settling in services – should you have specific requirements, please discuss with your Abels Customs Service Manager or Customs Liaison.

Our destination agent will have the professional experience and local knowledge to handle all the details of import documents, customs clearance and delivery of your possessions for you in Indonesia. Abels Moving Services endeavours to ensure your arrival at your new home overseas is smooth and trouble-free, to allow you to settle in as swiftly as possible.

bali pagoda  indonesia

Above all, we want you to think of Abels for your next move and the one after that, we don’t simply wish to buy your current move at the risk of losing your future business, goodwill and recommendations!

Abels Moving Services:
Telephone: +44 (0)1842 816600