Relocating to the Big Island of Hawaii (Part 2): Frequently Asked Questions

In Part 2 of our ongoing series Relocating to the Big Island of Hawaii we’ll be answering some of the more specific questions focused on the actual logistical aspects of moving to Hawaii, including:

  • Shipping Companies for Vehicles and Personal Belongings
  • Big Island Job Market

Let’s look at these topics from the view of the typical single individual or family moving a vehicle, furniture, and personal belongings while performing a job search in and around their chosen Big Island location.

Matson has been serving Hawaii & the West Coast since 1882.

Moving To the Big Island

Q: How do I move my vehicle, furniture, and personal belongings to the Big Island?

A: Moving date, timeline, budget, number of vehicles, and total amount of personal items intended for shipping should all be taken into account during your initial research. Shipping items from the Mainland can typically take up to a month, so planning and working closely with your shipping agent of choice are essential. The furnishings of an average 3 bedroom home will usually fill a 20 foot container. There are several companies that specialize in moving whole households from ports on the West Coast to Hawaii, and offer “Door to Door”, “Door to Port”, and “Port to Port” service.

Mainland to Big Island Moving Checklist

  • Create a master “to do” list to keep all contact phone numbers, appointments, and critical notes.
  • Pack similar items together. Pack books with CDs and DVDs, kitchen dishes with utensils, etc.
  • Important and precious items, such as passports, family heirlooms, and valuable breakables, should stay with you.
  • Use the correct size box for each item. Ill-fitting or loose items encourage breakage.
  • Put heavy items, such as books and electronic equipment in small boxes so they’re easier to lift. If possible, try to keep weight under 50 lbs.
  • Wrap fragile items separately and pad the bottom and sides of  those boxes.
  • Label every box on all sides! Arriving in your new Big Island home without a clue what items are in what boxes is a potential nightmare.
  • If possible use color coded labels to indicate which room each item should go in.
  • Provide a detailed map or diagram of your home to the movers showing what items/boxes go where.
  • Always back up your computer files before moving your computer.
  • Inspect each box and all furniture for damage as soon as it arrives. Note any damage to items that might have occurred and contact the moving company immediately.

Moving and Shipping Company Recommendation

The two most experienced and recognized shipping companies offering full moving and shipping services are Matson Navigation Company (Matson) and Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines (Pasha). Standard vehicle shipping service starts at $1,072.00 for cars, and quotes for motorcycles and even boats are available. Either company will be more than happy to work closely with you to provide a total bid for vehicles and personal belongings.

Big Island Job Market and Job Search

Looking for a job on the Big Island of Hawaii?

Q: How is the Big Island Job Market and where do I begin my Job Search?

A: While Hawaii is experiencing a steady economic recovery, there are many people who are still unemployed or under-employed. This is especially true of  the construction and trade industry.  The Senate has made job creation, and creating a sustainable economy, a top priority through its recent initiative, The Invest in Hawaii Act of 2012.  To accomplish this goal, the Senate was able to include $414 million for repair and maintenance projects in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) portion of the budget for fiscal year 2013, pursuant to House Bill 2012.  This funding will allow for the creation of more than 4,000 shovel-ready jobs for the construction industry, and help put money in workers’ pockets and give companies the confidence to begin hiring again.

There are several companies and online classified websites that offer job search services. Some of these services are available at a small fee, while others such as, are completely free. Here is a list of companies offering online job search services:

You may also find it helpful to see if your current company or employer has an employee exchange program, parent or sister company, or even a vendor company that may also have positions available on the Big Island. While email can be convenient and expedient, try to place a phone call when inquiring about a job here on the island. You’ll soon find that even though we are the “Big Island”, it very much operates like a “small” community.

Moving an Established Business to the Big Island

If you are considering moving your established business from the Mainland to the Big Island of Hawaii, remember to first perform a Business Name Search to see if there is another already existing business with the same name in Hawaii. Also, make sure to register your business with the State of Hawaii, and fill out the appropriate General Excise Tax documentation, as well as other state forms.

Relocating to the Big Island of Hawaii – Part 3 Preview

In “Relocating to the Big Island of Hawaii – Part 3″ I’ll be answering more questions focused on actually living here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

  • Transitioning Your Pet
  • Buying vs. Renting
  • Big Island Schools

Helping people realize their dream of living in Hawaii is my passion. If you are considering relocating to the Big Island of Hawaii, or are in the market for real estate anywhere along the sunny Kona coastline, please contact me anytime for a no obligation “talk story” about why I make Kona home. Let me help you to live your best Hawaii life!

Please feel free to contact me anytime at:

Todd W. Barrett, Realtor(S), ABR
Direct:     808.937.1629

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2 Responses to “Relocating to the Big Island of Hawaii (Part 2): Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. TIana
    January 22, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    We are moving to HI from Guam. My husband is leaning towards the big island because of lower housing costs. He priced shipping the car to there from Guam. It would cost less to ship the car to the mainland and then back TO Hawaii. What is up with that?!

    Have you ever worked with people coming from Guam? Any advice?

    W/a Smile, Tiana

    • Todd W Barrett, RS, ABR
      January 23, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Aloha Tiana! Thank you for taking the time to read my “Relocating to Hawaii” blog post, much appreciated. Shipping a car to the Big Island of Hawaii can be costly from the islands of Guam and Siapan. It’s certainly more cost effective to wait until you arrive, or line up the purchase of the temporary used car prior to your arrival. I have worked with several Buyers seeking relocation from Guam and Siapan.

      Please feel free to contact me anytime at:

      Mahalo nui loa!

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