Shipping Household Goods to Ecuador (Episode 139)

We interviewed Paul Wilches, founder of Relocation Services of Ecuador, to learn about shipping household goods to Ecuador. He discussed the logistics, process, import regulations, timeframes and costs with us.

Relocation Services of Ecuador Container Options

The container size you’ll need varies by the number and size of household items you’re planning to bring to Ecuador. For entire houses, you may need a 20 or 40 foot express container.

20 Foot Shipping Container

20 Foot Shipping Container

40 Foot Shipping Container

40 Foot Shipping Container

You can also ship a pallet or a lift van for smaller loads. A pallet is a wood base stacked with boxes and shrink wrapped. It’s the least secure option. A lift van is a wood box that can be sealed shut.

Wood Pallet

Wood Pallet

Lift Van

Lift Van

Relocation Services of Ecuador Shipping Process

It takes 3 to 4 weeks from date of order for a container to be delivered to your house or storage unit for loading. If you live in a congested area, such as downtown in a big city, you may need to move your household items to a storage unit because there may not be enough room to park a large container on the street near your house.

You will need to pack your household items and keep a VERY detailed inventory of what is in each box. It needs to be VERY specific. For example, it needs to list the number of mens shirts, womens shoes, neck ties, underwear, number of DVDs, number of kitchen utensils, etc. Simply stating that it contains clothes is not specific enough. EVERYTHING needs to be on the inventory list.

It currently takes 32 to 35 days from the time the container, pallet or lift van is picked up in the States to deliver it to your new home in Ecuador. If you are unable to be in Ecuador when the container is set to be delivered, it will need to be stored in the States and shipped once you’re able to come to Ecuador and sign the customers paperwork to accept your shipment.

You have 180 days from the date of your last immigration stamp in your passport to bring your container into Ecuador duty free. If you have been in Ecuador longer than 180 days when your container is scheduled to arrive, you will need to fly out of Ecuador and return to Ecuador to get a fresh stamp in your passport.

Express Containers

Paul offers a home-to-door service for express containers. This means the container will be delivered to your house or storage unit in the origin city, and you’ll be responsible for loading it or hiring a loading crew. You’ll have about 4 hours to load it so you may want to hire a few guys or invite the friends over to help.

Once it’s loaded, it’ll be driven to the nearest port city and shipped to Ecuador. Once it clears customs in Ecuador, it will be driven to your house and unloaded into your house. You’ll be able to tell the crew where to put things, but they won’t unpack boxes or setup furniture.

Pallets and Lift Vans

For pallets and lift vans, Paul offers a door-to-door service. This means a crew will deliver the pallet or lift van to your house, load it, secure it and take it away.

When it arrives at your new home in Ecuador, Paul’s crew will unload it into your house, but they won’t unpack boxes or setup furniture.

Items You CAN Bring to Ecuador (and Legal Limits)

You can bring most household items to Ecuador, but there are a few legal limits on the number of items you can bring. A household item is anything used to fill or maintain a house or apartment. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Major Appliances: Stove, Oven, Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Washer, Dryer (Limit 1 Each, New or Used)
  • Small Appliances: Blender, Microwave, Mixer, Coffee Maker, Toaster Oven, Toaster, Cooktop, etc. (Limit 2 to 3 Each)
  • TV, DVD Player, Stereo, Air Conditioners, etc. (Limit 1 Each per Person + 1 for the Family)
  • Computers (Limit 2 per Person)
  • Dishes, Silverware, Glasses, etc.
  • Tools: Hand Tools, Tablesaw, Electric Generator, etc.
  • Furniture: Beds, Sofas, Tables, Chairs, Patio Sets, etc.
  • Holiday Decorations, Paintings, Rocks, etc.
  • Lawn Mower (thoroughly cleaned of all grass and dirt)
  • Gas Grill (without the propane tank)
  • Clothing and Shoes (Limit 200 Kilos/440 Pounds per Person)
  • Empty Safe (without Money)
  • Alcohol/Liquor (Limit 23 Liters per Family)
  • Commercially Packaged Food in Sealed Containers

Items You CANNOT Bring to Ecuador

You can bring all your household goods, except for the following types of things. It’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you don’t bring anything that might trigger an inspection. In the States, port inspections cost $3,000 to $4,000.

  • NO Guns, Weapons or Ammunition
  • NO Flammable Items: Propane Tanks, Hair Spray, Gasoline, WD-40, Turpentine, Aerosol Cans, etc.
  • NO Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, Golf Carts, etc. Nothing with a motor that’s used for transportation (unless you’re an Ecuadorian citizen)
  • NO Cash, Gold, Silver, Jewels, etc. (carry them on the plane and declare them at airport customs if the value exceeds $10,000)
  • NO Incandescent Light Bulbs (only CFL or LED light bulbs)
  • NO Agriculture Products: Seeds, Plants, Trees, Fruit, Herbs, etc.

Cost of Shipping a Container from the US to Ecuador

As a rough estimate, Paul said a 20 foot container shipped from the US to Ecuador will cost between $7,200 and $8,500. This cost includes:

  • The Container, Pallet or Lift Van
  • Delivery of the Container, Pallet or Lift Van to the House or Storage Unit
  • Pickup and Loading of Boxes (for Pallets and Lift Vans)
  • Transportation to the US Port
  • Ocean Freight from US to Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • US and Guayaquil Port Fees
  • Guayaquil Inspection Fees
  • Legal Expenses to Legalize the Shipping Inventory
  • Inland Transportation from Guayaquil to Anywhere in Ecuador
  • Unloading Into the House or Apartment

If you would like us to connect you with Paul at Relocation Services of Ecuador, drop us a note through our contact form and we’ll send an email introduction.

Full Disclosure: After we recorded this interview, Paul offered to give us a commission for everyone we send his way who becomes a client. It would really help us out if you let us do the introduction or at least mention us to Paul.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

VIP Home Healthcare of Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 136)

We get a lot of questions about home healthcare and elder care options here in Cuenca Ecuador, so we interviewed the founders of VIP Home Healthcare of Cuenca to get some answers.

The Team

VIP Home Healthcare of Cuenca Team sm

VIP Home Healthcare of Cuenca was founded by Bruce, Pauline and Vinu. Bruce and Vinu have the business experience; Pauline is a registered nurse who performed more than 50 heart and lung transplants back in India before moving to Cuenca.

Since living in Cuenca, Pauline has provided in-home nursing services on her own, and now as the manager of a team of 15 to 20 doctors, nurses and other staff members.

The business started with Bruce as a client of Pauline’s. Bruce’s wife has advanced dementia and requires constant care. The demand for Pauline’s nursing services sparked the idea for VIP Home Healthcare of Cuenca.


VIP Home Healthcare provides a whole range of services, from nursing and homecare, all the way through to end of life.

Here are some of the services they provide:

  • Implement doctor’s instructions
  • Medication
  • IVs
  • Prescription Pickup
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Escort to Appointments
  • Post-Op Recovery
  • Short and Long-term Care
  • Dementia Care
  • End-of-Life Services – Legal Docs, Power of Attorney, Cremation
  • Language Translation
  • Errands
  • Housekeeping
  • Cooking
  • And more…


The cost of services varies depending on the type of care needed, days per week and hours per day. However, you can expect to pay roughly 1/3 the price in Cuenca compared to a similar level of service back in the States or Canada.

Insurance is currently not accepted, but they are investigating options.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!