If you think that moving from one city to another or even moving long distance to a different state is hard, wait till you start planning your international move. Planning an international move is always an incredibly complicated and daunting process. When you are moving internationally, prepare to deal with many different entities in different parts of the globe. There will be one company that picks up your shipment (the origin agent), a freight forwarder that transports it to your destination country, and another company to receive it and deliver it to your new home (the destination agent). It may seem overwhelming, but good planning and professional service delivered by experienced international movers will help you plan and execute your move successfully.
To start the process, U. Santini moving and storage compiled this list of questions that you need to ask the companies who you are considering for your move.
1. How long has the company been in operation and what is the company background with International moving?
Not every moving company handles international moves or offers overseas shipping services. Most local companies tend to shy away from the International side of the business, as it is Paperwork heavy and it takes time till they get paid for the pickup labor. Even if you locate an international shipper, check the company’s credentials. Not every international moving company is a trustworthy and dependable one. Before you make your decision, take some time to vet the overseas shippers that you want to use and make sure they have a solid background and plenty of experience in handling international moves.
2. Does the company provides in house, written estimates?
Don’t move with ay company who is unable, or unwilling to send a professional estimator to your house or apartment and provide you with a written estimate for the price of your international move. Spend as much time as needed with the estimator, so he/she can have all the details needed for the price calculation.
3. How do you determine the price of the shipment?
It is hard to provide the client a guaranteed price for an international shipment. The estimator should be able to provide you with a a good understanding of the cost, but there are often additional charges levied on top of the primary cost of shipping your goods. Make sure to ask detailed questions about your shipment and remember that the cost of international moves is usually calculated by the volume and weight of your shipment. Additional costs could be destination port fees, custom inspection fees, delivery charges, packing material costs, and terminal handling charges, among others. So be sure to inquire about how the company charges for extras.
4. Does the price of the move include shipping my goods door to door?
You can choose if you would like your belongings shipped to your new home in your new country, or you can opt to move your belonging yourself from the destination port to your new address. Shipping “door to door” is when the moving company typically hires an agent in the destination country. this agent will pick up your belongings in the destination port and will transport them to your new address. This part of the journey will be reflected in the total price of the move. If you decide to move your belonging yourself from the destination pot to your new place, than the original quote should reflect it and the total price of the move should be lower.
5. Do you carry insurance for international moves?
International movers are required to be licensed and registered to perform overseas relocations. Every overseas shipping company should be registered with the Federal Maritime Commission and have a FMC number. This will ensure that the company is a professional and reliable moving company and is subject to regulation. Regarding the insurance of your belongings – Insurance is not required for overseas shipments. However, we strongly recommend that you purchase insurance prior to their move. Overseas insurance includes a full replacement option. You will be required to prepare an inventory list, declaring the value of each item that needs to be covered.
6. Do I have to be present when my belongings clear customs?
This will vary from country to country, so it’s a very important question to ask prior to your move. Some countries will require the customer who is responsible for the shipment to be present at customs in order for the goods to be cleared. If the customer is required to be present and fails to show up, they will often keep the shipment at the port until it clears customs, which can potentially cost you hundreds more dollars in port fees. Make sure that you verify this detail before booking your move and travel arrangements.
7. Do you offer storage for my belongings?
Most international moves have some storage component in them Whether it is in the origin or the destination port. Ask the moving company about their storage policies and fees. Make sure that the storage charges, (if any) are mentioned in writing on your estimate form.
8. How can I pay for the move?
Most international moving companies require payment either in cash, cashier’s check, money order, traveler’s checks or a certified check.
9. What will I be charged for?
International moves usually involve a full door-to-door service from your home in the United States to your new location abroad. The price of your international move is based on the size of your shipment, destination country and on the amount of packing that is required.
Packing and packing materials – there is a charge for both labor and materials. However, the full pack option includes all packing materials and labor.
Insurance – the insurance charge is not included in the initial estimate provided. The final charge is based on the value declared by the customer and is calculated as 2.5% – 3.5% of the declared value, depending on which deductible you choose.
Destination delivery charges. The estimate includes the charges for “normal access”, which is a street that is wide enough for the container / truck to fit in and up to a certain number of outside stairs. If access is not normal, there will be additional charges.
THC – Terminal Handling Charges.
10. What are the shipping options for my goods?
There are two types of freight for international shipping—air freight and ocean freight.
Air freight is the quickest method, usually reserved for essential items such as clothing and small shipments that are needed promptly when you arrive at your destination. U. Santini Moving and storage will help you schedule and expedite your air shipment and prepare all carrier documentation required to expedite your goods.
Ocean Freight is a more economical method with a longer transit time. There are three methods of ocean freight shipping:
- Lift vans (for small amounts of household goods)
- Exclusive containers (Sealed steel containers for larger shipments)
- Shared containers (an economical option for shipments too small to fill an entire container– your belongings will be consolidated with other shipments)
U. Santini moving and storage is a family owned moving company with vast experience in moving our clients across the corner and across the globe. Call us at 718-768-6778 to get your International move started.