International Moving Companies
International Moving
Because international moving can be much more complicated than moving domestically, finding the right international moving company is critical to the success of your relocation.

When moving internationally, plan well ahead, look into lots of international moving companies, and do plenty of homework about your new country. Our International Moving Guide can answer any questions you have about international moving, or shipping overseas for that matter.

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Getting Organized For Your International Move

By Staff

Moving internationally is complex process, even if you consider yourself a pro at moving.

With an international move, there are different regulations, work permissions, passports and visas required--depending on the country--which will determine the amount of planning and coordination you will be involved with. You should also take into enough time to organize school transfers, open a new bank account, obtain a new drivers license, learn new languages and learn as much about new country to avoid a culture shock.

This begins by choosing a professional moving company that will not only handle your move, but will also help you navigate all the requirements for the country you are moving to -- getting the right documents, and giving you substantial advice to prevent problems for you when you arrive in a new country.

Most countries will not allow a shipment into the country that has not had the packing and inventory of the goods performed by professional international moving companies, because the mover must adhere to a strict list of prohibited items, as well as a long set of rules about how your items are inventoried.

Because of the high level of coordination for an international move, begin your planning several months before your actual moving date, so you can get all of the proper paperwork and arrangements in place. Once all of the documentation are in order and you will need to have 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.

What to Expect with an International Move:

  • You move will start with your origin mover who will pack and load your items and transport them to the appropriate port.
  • A freight forwarding company will handle the arrangement of a container that will be shipped to the port closest to your final destination.
  • Once your belongings arrive at your international port of call, another moving company will receive your items to be cleared in customs.
  • When your goods clear customs, a local moving company in your new country will deliver your stuff 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.

Your international mover should be reputable and experienced with good relationships with all of the other points of contact, and should be able to provide you with complete tracking of your shipment from beginning to end. If not, it will be tough 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 their ability to handle all of your moving details such as obtaining boxes and packing, as well as their ability to be a single source of contact for you. Get three to five quotes from licensed, professional companies that have handled moves to your chosen destination. You should also ask them for customer recommendations to back up their claims.

One of the most important things to verify is whether a prospective international moving company has any recent experience with moves to a particular country and/or region of the world where you are relocating. 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.

They also should offer you insurance; however keep in mind that your cost per pound will be considerably higher than a domestic move and you may want to consider an extended policy that covers more of your belongings, as well as any valuables. The moving company must also supply certified documents as to the contents of your container and complete inventories documents for each item.

Moving internationally can be expensive given the number of parties involved and the distance your goods will be traveling. The best way to prepare for this type of move to do your research and give yourself enough time and before you know it you will be on your way to your new country.

Moving internationally and no idea what to do? We'll help. Our moving tips and guides will help you every step of the way, from choosing moving companies to packing up your goods.