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Tips on Moving Internationally and Hiring a Mover


Even if you're moved dozen of times stateside and think you're a pro, international moving will challenge you in ways you've never been challenged before.

Moving internationally is almost always a complex: 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 -- not to mention the packing -- needed for an international move is much more involved than for a domestic one.

So it's important that when planning your international relocation you pick a moving company that will 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. And forget about a do-it-yourself move: Most countries won't allow a shipment into the country that has not had the packing and inventory of the goods performed by a professional mover, because the mover must adhere to a strict list of items that cannot be shipped, as well as a long list of rules about how to inventory your items.

Given the high level of coordination for an international move, begin planning several months before your actual move date so you can be sure to get all the paperwork and arrangements set. Once this documentation is in order, and you have had your items picked up at the point of origin, you'll probably see transit time in the range of 30 to 60 days depending on the final destination and time of the year.

In a nutshell, here's the basic process for your move:

• Everything will start with your mover of original, who will pack and load your items and transport them to the appropriate port.

• Next, a freight forwarding company handles the arrangement of a container to be shipped (usually by ship) to the port closest to your final destination.

• Once your stuff have arrives at your international port of call, another moving company will receive your items and clear customs with the foreign customs office.

• Finally, after 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 can provide you the complete tracking of your shipment from beginning to end. If not, it can be hard to get accurate information about your shipment and long delays are more probable, 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 at least three estimates from professional international moving 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.

How much will you pay? It will be considerably higher than a domestic move because of the nature and complexity of the 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.

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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