Think you’re a moving veteran, unfazed by any moving challenge that might come your way?
Try moving internationally.
Moving internationally is almost always a complex, even if you've moved often within the US. There are different rules set by each country on what you are allowed to bring into the country, and the amount of planning and coordination needed for an international move is much more involved than a domestic move.
So it is important that when planning your international relocation
that you pick a moving company that will not only handle your move professionally, but will also help you navigate all the requirements for the country you are moving to -- obtaining the right documents, and giving you the right advice to prevent problems for you when you arrive in a new country.
Given the high level of coordination for an international move, start planning several months before your actual moving date so you can get all of the proper paperwork and arrangements in place. Once your documentation is in order, and you have had your items picked up at the point of origin, you will likely see transit time in the range of 30 to 60 days depending on your final destination and the time of the year.
There are number of different contact points with your household items during the international relocation process:
- You move will start with your origin mover, which will pack and load your items and transport them to the appropriate port.
- Then a freight forwarding company will handle the arrangement of a container that will be shipped by ocean to the port closest to your final destination.
- Once your goods have arrived at your international port of call, another moving company will receive your items and clear customs with the foreign customs office.
- Finally, when your goods clear customs, a local moving company in the country will deliver your items to your new destination and handle unpacking and unloading, if needed.
You are going to want all of these service providers to be closely coordinated throughout the international move process. To do this, you will want to have one point of contact with your U.S-based international moving company.
Who Should I Choose?
Your international mover
should be a reputable and experienced company that has good relationships with all of the other points of contact, and should be able to provide you with complete tracking of your shipment from start to finish. If not, it will be hard to get accurate information about your shipment and long delays are likely, causing a lot of unnecessary anxiety and concern.
You will want to do a lot of research on the international moving company you choose and verify its ability to handle all of the details, as well as its ability to be a single source of contact for you. Get 3 to 5 quotes from licensed, professional companies that have proven experience handling moves to your chosen destination, and make sure they come to your home to see EXACTLY what you have to move so you can get an accurate estimate.
One of the most important things to verify is whether a prospective international moving company has recent experience with moves to a particular country and/or region of the world. This prior experience and its answers to your questions about how your move will be handled will help you gauge your chosen moving company’s capabilities to handle your move.
Moving internationally can be expensive given the number of parties involved and the distance your goods will be traveling -- your cost per pound will be considerably higher than a domestic move. The charges for your move are based on the weight of your goods, and are priced at a flat rate that will include full services.
Most countries will not allow a shipment into the country that has not had the packing and inventory of the goods performed by a professional moving company – that’s because the mover must adhere to a strict list of items that cannot be shipped, as well as a long set of rules as to how they must inventory your items.
Then the moving company must supply certified documents as to the contents of your container and complete inventories documents for each item.
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