International Moving Service for Expats

Hiring a reliable international moving service is essential, but finding one can be quite a challenge

It is critical that you spend time and do some research in order to find the
best international moving service for you and your family.

Why is it so important?

You wouldn’t want to find out on your moving day that the international moving company you chose right out of the yellow pages sent unprofessional people with unsuitable packaging materials to pack your most precious items.

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This alone can be really frustrating, but imagine arriving to your unfamiliar destination country and realizing that you have to start searching for a reliable international moving service to help you with custom procedure and delivery of the shipment to your new house.

This is certainly not the best scenario for starting a new life in a new country.

If you’re relocating overseas because of your job you’ll probably find that your company has an agreement with several international moving services that you can choose from. You might also be one of the lucky ones that their company pays all international moving costs for them. This is a real blessing.

In all other cases, you should be looking to find an international moving company as early as possible.


How to find a reliable international moving service

Your first step should be minimizing your selection of international moving services to those that:

  • Have been in the International moving services business for at least 10 years, and who have worldwide capabilities.
  • Have an OMNI membership – Overseas Movers Network International
  • Have RIM – Registered International Mover – Certification.
  • Are a FIDI Member – The largest global alliance of independent quality international removal companies.
  • ISO 9002 Certified.
  • Received a good moving company review online. However, don’t rely only on the online review; use it as a support for your final decision.
  • Will provide you references of customers that have used recently their services.
  • Can provide insurance cover; check what kind of insurance is offered, what is and what is not covered? Request to see the insurance copy documents.

After reducing the number of relevant International moving services, you should ask for quotes from at least three international household moving companies.

Actually, You can start right here – Request 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.

Methods of Shipping Household Items

Most shipments will be shipped via sea-freight mostly in 20′ or 40′ containers. Usually the container is loaded outside your home and then sealed for transportation.
Some of you might not have enough cargo to fill a whole container. In this case your belongings will go in a groupage container and shared with someone else. This can also take longer as you may have to wait for a suitable available container. But this is the most cost effective way for smaller households
Shipping your household items via airfreight is mostly not recommended as it is very expensive. However if you are relocating to a remote place and it would take a while for your container to arrive to the destination country, then you might want to consider the option of shipping via airfreight some items that you may need urgently. These items will be export packed and put in a securely airline pallets


International Moving Companies Quotes

international-moving-service Although you can fill out a questionnaire online and receive the quotation via e-mail, it is recommended that a representative from the international residential moving company view your household before giving you a quote.

Some International household moving companies might be able to handle the entire process of the move from your residence at origin to your residence at destination. This type of service is called a “door-to-door” service, which includes;

  • Packing and preparing all your household in your residence
  • Loading all your belongings into the container.
  • Transporting the container to the port of departure.
  • Port Handling at origin and loading the container on a vessel.
  • Export and import documentation.
  • Port/airport charges
  • Port handling at destination and clearance of your shipment through customs.
  • Delivering the container to your residence at destination.
  • Unpacking the container and removing the debris.

Most International moving companies’ quotes do not include charges for storage, custom duty, servicing of appliances, and extra pick up/delivery of personal belongings.

The advantage of a door to door quote is that you will have only one invoice, offering complete responsibility from point of origin to point of destination.

Some global moving services may only be capable of delivering your goods from one port to another port in the destination country. You must then arrange pick up of your goods from that port to your new residence. This means that you will have to search for a reliable international moving service at your destination country.

If you know no one at your destination country that can recommend a moving company for you then either you do some research and find a professional moving company before your relocate overseas, or just choose an overseas moving company that offers a door to door service. However, if you choose the door to door option, you might still find out that the international moving company at your destination is not as professional as the international moving service at your origin country.

Most global moving services quotes are based on;

  • Volume of your household (rather than weight),
  • If there are any unique items for shipment (piano, antiques, pets etc’).
  • The distance between the departure country to the destination country.
  • The time of the year that you have to relocate.
  • Any special local import regulations.

Important Tip:

Although your initial quote may not be the final price you pay, as it will be based on an estimate, it is very important to check if the quote includes all the required services and that there are no hidden costs associated with your overseas move.

Collaboration with the Overseas Moving Company

global-moving-company The moving day is actually the beginning of your expatriate journey. The way you start it might affect the rest of your journey. This is why it is important that you establish a good working relationship with your international moving company.

To achieve a good collaboration you must be assertive and finalize a few issues with the international moving service company:

Request your mover to assign you a coordinator to oversee your move from start to finish. Without this person, you will deal with a new employee at every stage of the move, increasing the likelihood of some aspect of your move falling between the cracks.

Ask the overseas moving company to provide you the tools to easily track your shipment online throughout every stage of the move.

Make sure that you understand fully the international moving company liability for your belongings, – what claims protection do you have, what kind of damage to your personal belongings does the insurance cover?

Check what will happen to your household items if they are not shipped immediately; where will they be stored? Does it have 24hr security?

Ask about packing procedures. Some international household moving companies will package your goods the proper way for container shipping. Others will require you to pack the boxes and secure the furniture before the belongings are shipped.

If your international moving service company requires you to pack, ask about the procedures, allowed packing supplies and total number of boxes allowed per container. Of course if you pack yourself then the moving company quote should be cheaper.

On the other hand it will have implications on your moving insurance, as you most probably won’t be able to request the “All Risk” marine cargo insurance.

If you chose a “door to door” service then it is recommended to speak with the contact person at your destination country before you relocate overseas. Ask about special requirements at your destination country etc’.

Arriving at the Destination Country

Once you arrive in your destination country, remember to contact your international moving service at the destination immediately.

Failure to make timely contact could result in customs delays and additional storage costs.

To avoid delays and additional costs, it is important to make contact with the local international moving service as soon as you arrive.