International Moving Questions and Answers
I like the idea of packing myself, but can I get help carrying the boxes and loading?
Absolutely! There is a company in the USA called Movinghelp.com that is a great resource to find local help. If not call a local independent mover to quote you on providing a loading crew.
What the cheapest way to move overseas?
Obviously the less you send the less you spend. If you have nothing fragile then the UPakWeShip Pallet service is a very economic way to ship but its not as safe and secure as UPakWeShip’s U Crate service. Always go for a door-to-door option, thinking you are going to save money by collecting your things at the port is often a false economy. You will have to pay a bunch of extra fees before you are allowed to collect it and its probably going to be in a yard in a shady part of town you wish you were not in, let alone your belongings!
Do I need insurance?
Would you not insure your car or house contents? The chances are slim right, but you still insure them just in case. It’s the same with shipping insurance. 99% of the time everything is perfect but just in case something happens you will be pleased you got your money back on the shipping cost as well as being able to buy some new things to compensate for your losses.
Shall I ship everything including all my furniture or just the personal stuff?
If you company is going to pay for everything you might as well ship everything but if you are on a lump sum relocation meaning you have a budget then may be consider just shipping your essential items like clothes, pictures, hobby stuff like your guitar, golf clubs, fishing poles, books, gaming chair etc and leave the rest behind. With the money saved, buy a new bed and sofa at your destination, and treat yourself to an upgraded flight!
Which companies should I get quotes from?
Using google, search for international moving companies that specialize in the are you are shipping to. For example, there is no point asking a company that specializes in South America if you are moving to London. Also, if you are paying your self and only have a few hundred cubic feet or 2500lbs for example there probably isn’t the need to use an expensive corporate mover however great their red carpet VIP service is!
Check out Facebook recommendation groups like Americans moving to Portugal or Brits in LA, or NY or moving to Costa Rica group for example. Many people will share their experiences and recommendations as well as other helpful advice.
Google reviews are also important but don’t be put off if a company has just a few bad ones. Sometimes they are written by competitors and sometimes you just can’t please everybody however hard you might try.
Ask other expats who you meet at your destination who they used for shipping their personal effects and household goods. May be others at the same company you will be working for or same school or may be a local expat group or realtor.
What should I be looking for in a quote?
Check to see everything that can be is included. Some companies might miss out port charges or terminal or handling fees that you would have to pay at the destination. Your best bet is to prepay everything door to door in your quote. If its too good to be true, don’t book it! There are still some unscrupulous companies out there who will take your money and run! Bottom line you are looking for a decent door to door all-inclusive lump sum price.
Questions to ask the mover.
Once you have narrowed it down to a few movers, ask them some questions. How long have you been in business? Do you have a license and what’s the number? Do you have references? What’s the transit time? Who do you use overseas at the destination you are moving to? Do you have your own warehouse? How many employees do you have? I’m all for small business support but you don’t want to have all your treasured belongings being taken care of by a one-man band working from their basement, do you? Ask the company about the destination you are going to. If you are moving to Edinburgh but they have no idea where that it and can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not the right fit for you. Do they know about local customs regulations or at least can find out for you?
This is written by UPakWeShip’s International Moving Doctor. We hope this helps when you are looking for an International Mover to ship your things overseas. If you have any other questions, click here and ask the International Moving Doctor.