International Moving Company – How to Ship Less Container Load (LCL) ?

What if you are moving and relocating overseas on your own, or were offered full furnished housing in your new country?
If this is your situation then you won’t need to ship your entire household, and you won’t have enough belongings to load into a full container.
However, shipping less container load (LCL) can be a little tricky…
Let me explain with a story:
My cousin repatriated after she finished her P.H.D. She had only a few boxes to ship back home. Obviously it was not enough for a full container. My cousin decided to use the services of an International moving company that quoted a rate from her house to port of destination. She accepted the quote and paid their invoice in advance.
self-pack-moving At destination, the agent of the international moving company charged her a huge amount for local expenses – port fee, trucking, storage and custom clearance fees.
How come?
She was told that the weight and dimensions of her belongings are actually higher than what the international moving company at origin measured.
You can imagine how angry and frustrated she was.

Avoid being Overcharged by the International Moving Company

Moving companies’ charges are based on weight and measurement according to the higher between the two.
This means that if you are shipping light cargo that has big volume, you will be charged according to the volume, as your stuff occupies space that could be used for other shipments. This is very reasonable.
Usually the people from the international moving company are the one who measures the cargo. If you pack yourself or even if the international moving company packs for you, ask the people who collect your shipment to measure it in your house, and to provide you with the exact weight and measurement of your cargo.
This way you will know for sure how much the weight or measurements are and according to how much you should be charged.

What else is important?

Ask for a full and comprehensive international freight shipping quote. This quote should include the following:

  • Pick up charges of the cargo from your house to port of departure.
  • All relevant charges at port of origin and at port of destination, such as: Terminal Handling Charges (T.H.C), custom clearance, storage, etc’.
  • The international shipping company handling and documentation fee (at origin, and at destination).
  • Sea-freight charges from port of departure to port of destination.
  • Delivery charges of shipment from port of destination to your house.

The custom clearance taxes and V.A.T (If you must pay them) should be paid at destination.
Ask for freight shipping services quote in advance. This will leave no place for unpleasant surprises at destination.
In here you can requests quotes from pre screened international moving companies.

Just fill in the form to receive a list of companies that can move your furniture & possessions overseas.
Or you can go to Movers and search the worldwide movers directory. Including a useful moving guide and tips.

Should you pay prepaid or collect for the freight shipping services?

international-moving-companiesI would suggest following a few guidelines:
Remember that you are not a commercial company. You are an expat relocating abroad, and therefore you do not ship cargo on a regular basis.
Moreover if you are not working for an international corporate who signed a contract with an overseas shipping company than you are what is called a random customer, who has no credit history or any credit arrangement with the international moving service company.
Therefore many shipping companies will request that you pay in advance all charges from your house to port of destination. This usually covers the international moving company expenses for inland truckers, port charges and sea-freight charges.
Most overseas shipping companies have an agent that represents them at the destination country. In many cases this is a totally different company that has only business relations with your shipping company at origin.
So, if you were a random customer for the moving company at origin than for the agent at destination you are even less than that. Therefore the local moving company might take advantage of this situation and overcharge you for the local charges at the destination.

How to protect yourself?

overseas-moving-companiesThere are a few ways you can protect yourself from being overcharged.

First – Use only the services of a professional and reliable international freight shipping company .
Don’t try to save money by using cheap moving companies; it will eventually be more expensive.
Try to look for a worldwide shipping company that has its own offices in your destination country. This way only one company will be dealing with your personal belongings, you will minimize the chances of being overcharged, and you will pay only for one company.
But, if you can not find a worldwide shipping company then ask for a door to door freight shipping quote; from your house in origin to your house at destination.
You will most probably have to prepay all charges in advance excluding custom taxes, V.A.T and maybe storage at destination. But you can relax and avoid all the unpleasant arguments and extra charges at destination from a company you did not choose and don’t even know.
And one last thing – Do not forget to apply for a moving insurance