Ask the Moving Doctor

Our resident Moving Doctor, Mark Nash is in the house! Mark has been in the moving business for 33 years, originally from England; he has moved 5 times internationally and has worked in England, mainland Europe, The Middle East and for the past 19 years in the USA. If he doesn’t know the answer to the question, he has enough friends in this industry to find out for you.

He currently sits on the board of the International Shippers Association and the Commercial Affairs committee at the International Association of Movers.

Mark will always do his best to provide an answer honestly, professionally and treat this forum as a place where everyone can learn about moving overseas.

Ask your question below!

  • Teri
    Posted at 15:04h, 01 April Reply

    Hi Mark,
    I called Upak about an upcoming U100 crate move. I am planning 9n loading the cratein my garage and was told a pallet jack would be used to take them to the truck. I was told that there could be no lip or curb to the garage. Virtually ever garage in Texas a has a 1 to 2 inch lip due to settling. Ours is 1.5 inches. Friends have said it shouldn’t be a problem, but I perfer to be pro active and prepared. Can the pallet jack handle the 1.5 inch lip into the garage? If not, can I fill in that are with sand, dirt or something else?
    I also read no food items, but have been told by friends who previously used Upak that pantry items (canned and boxed food) were allowed. Some even said they packed liquids such as laundry soap without issues. I don’t want issues with the crate, but also would like to take some of those items if allowed.
    Thanks for all your great advice.

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:42h, 04 April Reply

      Hi Teri, thanks for the message. I have answered you on email but in case anyone else is reading this a 1.5 inch drop down from garage to driveway shouldn’t be a problem. Officially we will always say in writing no food stuff or liquids…….

  • Frank Biganski
    Posted at 06:16h, 30 March Reply

    Hi Mark,

    Likely due to overseas scheduling conflicts with the various shipping lines you work with, Dianne with UPak has had to reschedule my pickup date three times (to get our belongings loaded onto the 20-foot overseas container.

    But since my flight for the UK leaves before the next “scheduled” loading date, I’m going to have to entrust the loading aspect to a local muscle/moving company and handle this long distance.

    I’m considering Two Men & Truck as I’ll need to hire a company, who I can entrust to properly load the container without my supervision. If you know of any other moving companies in the Newport News/Norfolk/Hampton Virginia area that you recommend, please let me know.

    Anyway, can you tell me if the inside of a 20-foot shipping container has tie-down loops? All of my stuff will easily fit inside a 20-foot container as it’s presently in a 16-foot POD’s container and 98% of my stuff are boxes (see link below). But I’m wondering if the overseas containers has tie-down loops to help prevent my belongings from shifting.

    Here’s a pic of my belongings in the PODS so you can see the simple load I’m working with. The other images are for Two Men and a Truck so they can provide me with an estimate to load the container.

    Thanks Mark and by the way, my wife was born in Cambridgeshire, England, which is partly why we’re moving from the US to the UK — to spend our semi-retired years in east London.


    Hampton, Virginia

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:20h, 04 April Reply

      Hello Frank, thanks for the message, I have passed on to Devin in our office to contact you but in the meantime as a quick answer, yes shipping containers have tie down hooks every couple of feet at the bottom and top of the side walls.
      Regarding help for loading, I have heard good things about Hampton Roads Moving and storage up there.
      Also might be able to help you find a loading crew.
      Cheers and hope this helps

  • Mags bowen
    Posted at 22:54h, 24 March Reply

    Hi there. I’m already in Australia but need 12 boxes sending from Calgary Canada. On your website it states “ you provide the crate” does this mean we have to pick the crate up from somewhere or can it be delivered by you guys? Sorry I’ve never done this before and having to get a friend to do it and don’t want to put her out too much. Thsnkyou

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:13h, 04 April Reply

      Hello Mags, I’m sorry but we don’t have a service to Australia from Canada at this time. We only serve UK and Europe at present from Canada. Cheers

  • Ed Bednarz
    Posted at 17:03h, 28 February Reply

    How much time do I have to load the container? When it is finished do you wrap it in plastic to prevent water damage?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 11:55h, 01 March Reply

      Hello Ed, if you mean a 20 foot shipping container, you get two hours free then its about $95 per hour while the truck and driver waits, depending where you are in the world. If you are talking about our U Crates, then you have as long as you like to load them, they just need to be ready on the collection day that you schedule and they all come with plastic covers. Once they get back to our warehouse we then load them into a 40 foot shipping container.
      I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions or concerns with your International Relocation, Cheers The International Moving Doctor.

  • Tamilyn
    Posted at 14:50h, 06 February Reply

    I have used this company twice for moves. I want to ship only two or three boxes from the US to the UK. Is a small move worth it?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 11:37h, 07 February Reply

      Hello Tamilyn, our smallest service is a small pallet which is about twice the size probably of what you have so the answer is probably no. There are other options though like Fedex, the post office or look online for a service called “” which I believe is a good way to send 2 or 3 suitcases.
      I hope that helps and anything else let me know, cheers The International Moving Doctor.

  • Mirella Corazza
    Posted at 14:01h, 04 February Reply

    Planning to move from Phoenix, Arizona to Finland around June 2022. Willing to take with me my personal effects and furniture of 1 bedroom apartment. I am considering 1x20ft container which I think will not be full. Eventually considering a few of crates/pallets. I would like to compare prices. I would appreciate to get some information about. Thank you very much!

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 11:31h, 07 February Reply

      Hello Mirella, thank you for your post. At the moment container rates are very expensive due to the shipping crisis and overbooked ships, lack of empty containers, port congestion and shortage of truck drivers so to be honest unless your furniture is really good quality and you are sure its going to fit in your new place, I think you might be better to ship your smaller things in one or two U Crates and save yourself some money and buy some new furniture when you get there. I am passing this on to our customer service guy Devin to contact you though and give you some prices.
      Cheers the International Moving Doctor.

  • Marisol Greenwald
    Posted at 16:33h, 03 February Reply

    I am just now starting my inquiries. I will be inheriting furniture and other items in Malaga and Madrid Spain and will need to ship to Phoenix, AZ. How do I even begin to arrange this and are there different options for packing, picking up and delivering? Is the cost dependent on size or weight? What about Customs?
    Do you handle from Spain to US, or only the other way around? I am a complete novice at this.
    thank you

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:12h, 04 February Reply

      Hello Marisol, I will put you in touch with our local UPakWeShip manager in Spain called Steve Bridge, email Stephen Bridge
      He can definitely help you and answer all your questions, Cheers the International Moving Doctor

  • Chris
    Posted at 12:47h, 18 January Reply

    I am trying to find the cost of shipping 6 cubic metres of household items from Johannesburg to Perth.

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 12:58h, 19 January Reply

      Hello Chris, thanks for your message. At the moment we only service moves with our own operations in and out of the USA, Canada, Europe and the UK. So unfortunately we can not help you with this move. There are many fine movers in South Africa though that can help you with this move.
      Cheers The International Moving Doctor

  • Madeline A Tokach
    Posted at 15:37h, 30 December Reply

    Greetings – I notice the rates shown on your website are valid from 30 miles out from the nearest terminal. Although we are planning on our move to take place next year (probably in the fall), we were wondering if the extra cost to the terminal is priced by the mile. Since things right now are so very fluid, especially with the current Covid situation I am just wondering how this all plays out. Any assistance you can provide would be helpful. Unfortunately since I do not drive, getting the goods to the nearest terminal would not be a workable option. Thank you and have a wonderful New Years’

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:37h, 03 January Reply

      Hello Madeline, thank you. Happy and Healthy 2022 to you as well.
      Normally if you are a little over 30 miles it would probably end up an extra $100-$200 more depending on the size of the shipment. If you are way in the sticks or up a mountain then it could be a lot more or not serviceable by a large truck. If you need a more accurate quote drop Devin an email and he can get you a quote for now at least to give you a rough budget even though things might have gone up a little when you actually move.
      I hope that helps and let me know if you need anything else.
      Cheers The International Moving Doctor

      • Madeline A Tokach
        Posted at 17:43h, 03 January Reply

        Thank you very much for your prompt response. I will definitely get in touch with Devin when our plans are more concrete. Stay safe!

  • susan Stanley
    Posted at 22:17h, 28 December Reply

    What’s the address for your Boston location? We’re dropping off our shipment there and need the details 😊

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:44h, 29 December Reply

      Hello Susan, it depends what service you have booked. Once you have received your booking confirmation and booking number and paid the deposit, the address will be emailed to you. Please check with our customer service manager if you need more information. Hope that helps, cheers The International Moving Doctor (IMD)

  • Liz Polasek
    Posted at 14:38h, 26 December Reply

    Hello ,
    Is it possible to store my shipment in the U.S. until I am ready to have it shipped to Lisbon, Portugal. I am planning on securing a portion of a container from Washington state to Lisbon. I need to have the contents out of my home by January 20, 2022 and will not be going to Portugal until May 2022. Please advise. Thank you and Happy Holiday!

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 12:36h, 27 December Reply

      Hello Liz, if you are using our U Crate or pallet services we can certainly store for you until you are ready to ship over to Portugal. or can confirm storage rates for you. Cheers and Happy New Year to you, The International Moving Doctor (IMD)

  • NT
    Posted at 23:33h, 21 December Reply

    Hello The Moving Doctor! We are preparing a U-Crate 50 for shipping and are wondering how waterproof we should make our boxes. Would you recommend lining each one with plastic in addition to the plastic wrap that will cover the entire exterior of the U-Crate?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 12:42h, 27 December Reply

      Hello, if you have items that are priceless or irreplaceable like photos then I would say yes. If its just normal items its not normally necessary but if it gives you piece of mind and you have the time why not. Better to be safe than sorry just in case.
      The simple answer is I’m 99.5% confident items wont get wet but there is always a small chance!
      Hope that helps, cheers The International Moving Doctor (IMD)

  • Jana
    Posted at 09:48h, 20 December Reply

    Can we build our own crate (larger than your standard pallet or pre-made)? What size or weight restrictions are there for a self-built crate if we want it to ship from the US to Portugal via Rotterdam? How do we get an estimated shipping cost?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:11h, 20 December Reply

      Hello Jana, you can build your own pallet or crate. Just send us the dimensions and we will confirm the rate. Just bear in mind if you go much bigger than our U Crate 100 specs, it might be difficult to load and unload with a pallet jack at the origin and destination. The weight limit will depend on the crate size but generally 1000 lbs is about the mas to safely move on a pallet jack on and off a truck with a tail lift. I hope that helps and let us know if you have more questions on this or call our sales manager Devin for a quote or email
      cheers The International Moving Doctor.

    Posted at 08:52h, 07 December Reply

    Hello Mark, I am moving from USA to Sweden. I have minimal stuff and I am going to purchase 2 pallets for the move. Can you tell me if there is a particular pallet grade, certification, or material I should purchase for international moves? Thank you ~Jeff

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 11:03h, 07 December Reply

      Hello Jeffrey, any purpose built pallet from a manufacturer or heavy duty plastic pallets are fine on that route. Rules are more stringent to Australia and New Zealand though.You can often find a pallets or two on industrial estates or behind stores if you ask or buy them from Amazon.
      Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions, cheers The International Moving Doctor.

  • Deb
    Posted at 17:06h, 05 December Reply

    Hi Mark
    We will be moving to Portugal in Jan 2022 and we are looking at a U crate 200, we live in Tampa, Florida and I am checking to see how much we could save by driving our stuff up to the Charleston Terminal and packing it there. Thank you.

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 13:20h, 06 December Reply

      Thanks for asking Deb, I will ask our Sales Manager Devin to contact you by email and give you the options, cheers The International Moving Doctor.

  • Mohammed Ibrahem AlSobay
    Posted at 16:13h, 02 December Reply

    Hi My son is moving from VA to Saudi Arabia (Riyadh).He has his car and personal things (clothes, 2 TVs, kitchen small appliances and other things).
    Container is too big and expensive. how can I ship it cheaply.

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 13:15h, 03 December Reply

      Mahaba Mohammed. My advice would be then to leave the car behind and just take the personal things. A U Crate 100 would probably fit all the personal stuff so you would save a lot rather than shipping a container. If he still wants to take the car, look around for a roll on roll of service which you might be able to get from Baltimore to Jeddah or Dammam port.

  • Dave Y
    Posted at 12:48h, 28 November Reply

    Hello. My family and I are moving to Portugal. We want to ‘test the waters’ before actually moving too many of our belongings. I understand that Portugal has a ‘baggage certificate’ that is available to immigrants for up to 1 year after establishing residence. I’ve also heard that UPakWeShip will ship through The Netherlands so that the entry into the EU is not in Portugal. Does that mean that we could ship 2 years out instead of up to 1 and avoid the baggage certificate all together? Obrigado.

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 12:03h, 29 November Reply

      Hello Dave, you can ship 1 or two as many times as you want via Rotterdam using our pallet and U Crate services without the Baggage Cert but if you choose a 20 or 40ft container to load then that would be shipped into Lisbon direct and you would need the Baggage Certificate to clear through Customs in Portugal. I hope that helps and if you need more clarification, please email me at
      Cheers The International Moving Doctor

  • Don Beu
    Posted at 14:00h, 25 November Reply

    HI we are planning to use your services in the next month or two. I had read elsewhere, that the 100 container arrives flat, and can require 3 or more people to assemble. Is that correct? How hard is it to put together? Thanks. Don

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 11:58h, 29 November Reply

      Hello Don, yes it arrives flat and weighs a little over 100 lbs so if you needed to take it upstairs you might need two of you but for assembly you can do it yourself but it might be easier with two of you but not essential. Its only 4 pieces, a wood pallet bottom with a cardboard floor, two sides and a top. Then of course the straps and cover but all can be done with one person if need be. I found when loading myself, a small step ladder helps to get to the top layer but I’m only 5’8 so a little short! Hope that helps, cheers The International Moving Doctor.

  • Barbara Gary
    Posted at 05:13h, 11 November Reply

    We have a storage unit in NYC with clothes dishes glasses records prints rugs that we we want shipped to Cormons Italy near Trieste andvVenice. If it is collected in Feb what time frame for delivery? The unit is 5x10x7


    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 13:18h, 11 November Reply

      Hello Barbara, as you probably know, shipping logistics is a mess right now so estimating transit times is difficult but as long as we can get space in February on a ship then the transit time would be around 8-10 weeks. We would be able to confirm that more nearer the time but hopefully that help you for the moment.
      Cheers The International Moving Doctor

  • Bob Wenger
    Posted at 17:21h, 03 November Reply

    We are moving to Porto, Portugal, from Orlando, Florida. We are considering a pallet crate. Where would we need to get the loaded pallet to for shipping.

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