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International Moving

Best International Movers in San Francisco

By October 13, 2022December 12th, 2023No Comments
Best international movers in San Francisco

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, over 72,000 people have migrated from San Francisco since the beginning of 2020. Those numbers don’t include international relocations estimated to be in the high thousands. 

Unlike an out-of-state move, international moving requires a skill set only a trained company can perform. Additionally, a mover that offers ocean freight services must maintain a valid license and bond. 

Below you will find a list of the best international movers in San Francisco, along with tips on saving money on your international relocation. It’s best to conduct your research, but you can use the tools here to find what you’re looking for. 

Who are the best international movers in San Francisco? 

Snapshot: The best international movers in San Francisco are International Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, Atlas Van Lines, and United Van Lines. 


Best Overall

Commerical Relocation

Excellent Reviews

Best Add-Ons

Most Exeprience

Each company has a location in or around San Francisco. They offer ocean & airfreight services and additional international moving services such as packing, customs clearance, and insurance. 

Additionally, each international moving company listed has been in business for years with a successful track record and thousands of positive reviews and consumer feedback. You will find more company details below. 

Most affordable international moving companies

International Van Lines

1672 Delta Ct. 

Hayward, CA 94544

Federal Licence: 021051


IVL is ranked as the best international moving company in the US by third-party consumer groups, including Forbes and US News. With locations in San Francisco, IVL can offer local, long-distance, and international moving services. 

In addition, IVL offers a weekly consolidation service to Europe and affordable container shipping rates worldwide. IVL has contracted directly with the ocean carrier, unlike many competitors, eliminating the middleman. 

International moving companies

Allied Van Lines 

3129 Corporate Place

Hayward, CA 94545

Federal License: 076235


Allied Van Lines is a leading provider of international moving services. 

They offer worldwide door-to-door moving services to individuals, families, and businesses. Their international shipping services include packing, shipping, storage, insurance, and more. 

They are committed to providing customers with the highest quality service and satisfaction. If you’re looking for the best international movers in San Francisco, you can’t go wrong with Allied Van Lines. 


Atlas Van Lines

1334 San Mateo Avenue

S San Francisco, CA 94080

Federal Licesne: 125550


Atlas Van Lines is an international moving company with over 70 years of experience. They provide door-to-door moving services to individuals, families, and businesses worldwide.

Their experienced professionals will work with you to ensure that your move is handled smoothly and efficiently from start to finish. Atlas Van Lines understands that every move is unique, and we will tailor services to meet your needs. They’re considered one of the best international moving companies in the US. 

North American Van Lines

North American Van Lines

3146 Corporate Place

Hayward, CA 94545

Federal License: 070851


North American Van Lines offers a full range of international moving services to help you relocate overseas. They can provide you with a custom quote for your move, and their experienced team of international movers will work with you to ensure your move goes smoothly. 

North American has a network of over 500 agents in more than 40 countries, so they can help you find the right agent for your needs. They also offer a full range of packing and unpacking services and can even allow you to ship your car or motorcycle overseas. 


International movers in San Francisco

United Van Lines

1555 Zephyr Ave

Hayward, CA 94544-7835

Federal license: 077949


United Van Lines is one of the largest moving companies in North America. The company was founded in 1929 and had its headquarters in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. United Van Lines operates a fleet of over 4,000 trucks and trailers and employs more than 2,000 people.

The company has a long history of service to its customers. In addition to providing local and long-distance moving services, United Van Lines offers international moving services from San Francisco. 


How much do San Francisco international movers charge? 

Quick answer: The best international movers in San Francisco charge an average of $3,500 to $15,000 for an international move. The most significant cost factors are the size of your move, service, and final destination. 

Move Size: San Francisco Bay Area International movers charge based on cubic feet or container size. The volume of your move will have the most significant impact on cost. 

Destination: Some countries are more expensive than others. For example, moving from San Francisco to London is less costly than moving to Australia. 

Service: You will have options. The most expensive international shipping option is a door-to-door service, whereas a port-to-port service would be the least costly. Your household goods will ship out of Oakland Port

It’s best to speak with moving companies in San Francisco about your shipping options and ways to reduce the cost of your move. You can also use an international moving calculator to estimate your cost. 


You can also read The cost of moving overseas.

What is the cheapest way to move overseas? 

The most economical international shipping method is ocean freight services. The size of your move will determine the size container, or for smaller moves, you may ship in a shared container, also known as less than container load. You should learn more about the cost of moving abroad from San Francisco


Packing for an international move

How can I reduce the cost of my international move? 

The best international movers in San Francisco can walk you through saving money. However, you can use the below tips at any point to reduce the cost of your international relocation. 

Self-packing: Most professional movers will offer packing services. However, you will have the option to get your boxes and self-pack. It will help save about 10% on your moving costs. 

Purge: International moving services and costs are based on volume, so the more you have, the higher the price. Consider getting rid of unwanted stuff to help reduce the cost of your move. 

Service: You will have the option of a door-to-door or port service. You can consider picking up your household goods from the port to save money. However, it would help if you spoke with your San Franciso international mover about the moving process. 

These tips will help you save money on your overseas relocation. 

How to find a reputable international moving company 

Below are five tips for locating the best international moving companies in San Francisco: 

  1. Check the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) website: San Francisco international movers must maintain an active lisenced with the FMC, which is the governing agency for maritime. 
  2. Check online reviews: Online reviews can help give insight into international movers, but you should also consider time in business and the volume of moves. 
  3. Knowledge is critical: International moves services vary, so finding the right company with experience with your final destination is essential to a positive outcome. 
  4. Response time: If you are dealing with a company that seems too busy or not interested, move on. Moving to a new country requires a sense of comfort that you should get from your mover. 
  5. Don’t price shop: We all want a good deal, but international moving requires skills that cost money. Don’t price shop movers. Get three moving quotes and then make a comparison. 

These tips will help you find the best San Francisco international movers.


Also, check out: The best international movers in New York.

What are my storage options when moving overseas? 

If you’re moving from Bay Area and require storage, you can store your household goods at the origin or destination point. However, storage in the Bay Area may be less expensive than storing your household goods overseas. 

The average cost for storage in the United States is 65 cents per cubic foot, and overseas about 90 cents per cubic foot. If unsure of your volume, you can use a cubic feet calculator or speak with your international moving company about the details when you request a free quote.


How does international moving insurance work? 

The best international moving companies offer insurance through a third-party such as Lloyds of London. Insurance costs vary, but you can expect to pay an average of 2% to 4% of your household good declared value. Below are examples of your insurance options: 

All-risk insurance: If professional movers pack your household goods, you can get all-risk insurance. It will cover the good’s total declared value.

Total loss insurance: if you’re self-packing, you can only get total loss moving insurance which covers the shipment as a whole. 

It is best to speak with San Francisco international movers about their insurance options and costs. 

International moving services for vehicles

How do I ship a car from San Francisco overseas? 

Several methods exist to ship a vehicle from San Francisco to another country. You can consolidate your car with your household goods or send the vehicle separately as a stand-alone international shipping service. Below are the auto-shipping options: 

Cheapest option: Roll-on roll-off, also known as RORO service, is the least expensive way to ship a vehicle overseas. However, you will be responsible for dropping off and picking up your car from the ports. 

Consolidation: Companies like International Van Lines offer consolidation services from the port of Oakland. You will share a container with others shipping to the same destination port. 

Container shipping: If you have a high-end vehicle or want your car containerized, you can use a 20′ or 40′ container for exclusive use. 

Most local movers in San Francisco offer international auto transport. However, it would help if you spoke directly with your company. 


What are international shipping time frames from San Francisco? 

Quick answer: Ocean freight can take an average of 4-8 weeks, whereas air freight averages 2-4 weeks. The destination country and service you choose will have the most significant impact on shipping time frames. Your international mover can provide more details. 

The best international movers in San Francisco will provide shipping details when getting a moving quote. Shipping time frames and dates can be shifted based on your moving needs. 

People also ask: 


How much does it cost to move from San Francisco to London? 

Quick answer: The average cost of an international move from San Francisco to London is $3,000 to $8,000. Your final destination and move size will be the most significant cost factors. However, the service and international mover can also affect the cost. 

How long does a move take to Australia from the Bay Area? 

The average shipping time to Australia from the Bay Area is 5-8 weeks via ocean freight service. You can get a quicker transit time by utilizing air freight transport. 

Is air freight more expensive than ocean freight? 

Yes, airfreight is the most expensive mode of transportation and tends to be double and sometimes triple the cost of ocean freight services. 

What forms does an international moving company need from me? 

International movers in San Francisco will request shipping information, an inventory list, insurance forms, and a copy of your passport. 


Should I get a visual or virtual international moving estimate? 

The best international movers in San Francisco will offer a virtual or visual survey for accuracy. It’s recommended that you ask your mover for a survey. 

What are other good international moving companies in the Bay Area? 

Sunset international shipping and North Star Moving Company are also quality international movers in San Francisco. 

Can I get insurance on valuable items? 

You can get insurance on high-valued items, but you will need to declare the values and may have to show proof of value to the insurance company. 

Will I pay tax on my household goods? 

No, if you’re moving to a new country, you will not have to pay tax or duty on your household goods. 

The best international movers in San Francisco conclusion

Moving abroad requires attention to detail and knowledge of your destination country. You must research any international moving company you may be considering. 

Get up to three international moving quotes for comparison, but read the fine print and possible charges. Moving overseas is exciting, and we hope this article helped with the process. 


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