Compare International Moving Quotes
Moving to a new country can be very exciting but also stressful at the same time. There’s a lot of planning, prepping, and research to moving abroad. However, understanding how to compare international moving quotes can distinguish between a good or bad experience.
This article will provide the essential tips and questions you should ask international moving companies when seeking quotes. We will also share the costs that you can expect and how to research moving companies.
10 Questions to ask your international mover
It’s essential to ask your moving company the right questions. You can eliminate unforeseen issues, hidden charges, and additional documentation that can be a nightmare.
Here are the questions you should ask your mover:
- What’s your Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) license number? (if they don’t have one, move on)
- Do you offer insurance, what does it cover, and how much does it cost?
- Do you offer packing services? If so, what’s the cost difference?
- Are you familiar with my destination and how customs work?
- Will your cost include everything, or are there hidden or additional charges I will have to pay?
- Are there any ways for me to save money on my move?
- Are you the carrier picking me up, or will you subcontract to a third party?
- What services do you offer?
- How long have you been in business?
- Are port and terminal handling charges included in the cost?
The best way to compare international moving quotes is to print each moving estimate and read the fine print. Make sure you’re comparing apples and apples.
How to compare international moving companies
If you’re looking for an international mover, you should look for the proper licensing and check accreditations. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 5500 registered movers, only about 5% handle overseas relocations.
- International Association of Movers (IAM)
- Federal Association of International Movers (FIDI)
- American Trucking Association (ATA)
The accreditations are not a requirement, but licensing is. You can use the above links to research the best international moving companies.
What’s the cost of hiring an international moving company?
Hiring an international mover will cost $1500 to $12,000. The destination and the size of your move will be the most significant cost factor. However, the service and mover you choose can also affect the price.
The best way to compare international moving quotes is to ensure they’re all in line – meaning offering the same service. You should request an onsite or virtual tour to get an accurate estimate.
Lastly, if you get a moving quote that seems too good, it probably is. When requesting quotes, make sure you do some basic research first. The last thing you want to deal with is a move that has gone south.
Also Read: How much does it cost to move overseas
How many international moving quotes should I get?
You should get up to three international moving quotes, but no more than five. Getting too many quotes can confuse you.
After getting quotes, you will want to make sure that all international services are comparable.
For example, if you choose to ship your household goods door to door, you should check for any port-related charges like customs clearance, taxes, and duties.
One mover may seem less expensive than another if they don’t include the requested moving services.
Is international shipping insurance worth it?
You should consider getting insurance if you’re moving or shipping household goods overseas. Your goods are handled multiple times, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
International moving insurance explained:
- All Risk Insurance: If you hire a mover to pack your household goods professionally, you can request all-risk insurance. The cost is between 2% – 4% of whatever you declare the value to be. So, if you need $30,000 worth of insurance, you can expect to pay about $900. You will also want to check on deductibles.
- Total Loss insurance: If you choose to self-pack your personal belongings, you can request total loss insurance. The cost for total loss insurance is between 1% -3% of the declared value. However, you will only be covered for the complete loss of your shipment, not individual damage.
Helpful Link: Insurance Forms
If you don’t purchase additional coverage, you will be covered for 60 cents per lbs per article which is basic insurance coverage. Many companies get customer complaints because they don’t explain the process well. However, a company can’t be held liable for damage if you do not purchase insurance.
What are customs duties and taxes?
If you’re moving internationally, there are a few things you need to know about customs, duties, and taxes. Depending on your destination country, you may be required to pay import taxes on your belongings.
You’ll also need to make sure that everything you’re bringing with you is allowed into the country. It’s best to do some research in advance and plan accordingly. You can use Simply Duty to try and get a better idea.
Each country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to customs. In some cases, you may be required to obtain a permit or license before importing certain items. For example, if you’re planning on bringing a pet with you, you’ll need to check with your destination country’s embassy to see if there are any special requirements.
You’ll need to be aware of two main types when it comes to taxes: import taxes and value-added taxes (VAT). Import taxes are levied on goods brought into a country from another country. On the other hand, value-added taxes are applied to goods and services consumed within a country. Depending on your destination country, you may be required to pay one or both of these taxes.
How are international moving costs calculated?
International moving costs are calculated based on cubic feet and or weight, service, and destination country.
The size of your move will have the most significant impact on the cost. To properly compare international moving quotes, you want to make sure the volume of your move is calculated accurately across the board.
Below is a list of house international moving costs are calculated:
- Move size
- Service – door to door, port to port, etc.
- Professional packing
- Shipping method – Air freight or ocean freight
- The mover you chose
- Insurance costs
- Destination country
How can I reduce my international moving costs?
There are several ways of reducing the cost of your overseas move. You can consider self-packing, service, and downsizing.
- Get rid of stuff: Moving to a new country is a great time to downsize. It would help if you went room by room and got rid of things you don’t need. It will also help reduce your moving costs.
- Self-pack: An overseas move can be costly. Consider self-packing your items. It will help shave about 10% off the cost.
- Service: If you have some basic knowledge of customs and how things work, you can consider a port pickup option. It will help save money on delivery and destination costs.
- Pick the right mover: Although it may seem obvious to pick the best international moving companies, there are many scams. Make sure you do some research before committing.
- Ask for a discount: It never hurts to ask your mover for a deal.
Who are the most reputable international movers?
Here are the top 10 most reputable international movers. Anyone of the movers listed below can do a great job if you’re looking to compare international moving quotes.
- International Van Lines
- Allied Van Lines
- Atlas Van Lines
- JK Moving & Storage
- United Van Lines
- National Van Lines
- Wheaton Van Lines
- North American Van Lines
- Arpin Van Lines
International Van Lines
In business since 2000, International Van Lines is amongst the youngest of the bunch. However, several third-party consumer groups, including Forbes, Move.Org, and Better Homes & Garden, rank IVL as the number one international moving company.
Mayflower Transit is a moving company based in the United States. The company was founded in 1927. a. Mayflower Transit has over 500 locations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The company offers various services, including local, long-distance, international, and military moves.
Allied Van Lines
Allied Van Lines is one of the largest moving companies in the United States. Founded in 1928, Allied Van Lines has been helping people move their belongings for over 90 years. With over 500 agents across the country, Allied Van Lines can provide service anywhere in the United States.
Atlas Van Lines
Atlas Van Lines is one of the largest moving companies in North America. Founded in 1948, Atlas is a leader in both residential and commercial relocation services. With a global network of over 500 agents and partners, Atlas provides door-to-door moving and logistics services to customers worldwide.
JK Moving & Storage
JK Moving & Storage is a professional moving and storage company serving the Washington, DC area for over 30 years. They are a family-owned and operated business and pride our reputation for providing quality services at competitive prices.
United Van lines
United Van Lines is one of the largest moving companies in the United States. The company was founded in 1929 and is headquartered in Missouri. United Van Lines has a fleet of over 4,000 trucks and offers a wide range of moving services, including local, long-distance, international, and corporate relocation services.
National Van Lines
National Van Lines is one of the largest moving companies in the United States. They have been in business for over 90 years and have helped people move all over the country. National Van Lines offers various services to help make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Wheaton Van Lines
Wheaton van lines is a family-owned moving company that has been in business since 1945. The company was founded by Walter Wheaton and his son, David Wheaton. Today, David’s son, Michael Wheaton, owns and operates the company. The company has its headquarters in Warrenville, Illinois.
North American Van Lines
North American Van Lines is one of the leading moving companies in the United States. With over seventy years of experience, they have helped countless families and businesses relocate. They offer a wide range of services to meet your specific needs, and their team of professionals is dedicated to making your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Arpin Van Lines
Arpin Van Lines is an American moving and storage company founded in 1900. The company is headquartered in Rhode Island and has more than 500 locations across the United States. Arpin is a family-owned business that offers various services, including residential and commercial moves, international moves, storage, packing, and more.
What are the different international shipping options?
When moving from the US abroad, ocean freight, air freight, and parcel shipping are the three options. The size of your move and budget will determine the best mode of transportation for your move.
The moving process will be similar for the ocean and air freight. However, if you’re only shipping boxes, you may consider using a parcel carrier like FedEx or DHL. An international mover can handle your shipment and offer a discount in some cases.
What are good review sites for international moving companies?
It’s crucial to search the suitable review sites when comparing international moving quotes. There’s also a method to ensure you’re getting accurate information. Sometimes the internet doesn’t tell the whole story, so you may need to dig deeper.
Trusted Review Sites:
Method to follow:
- Years in business: A company with years of experience may have more negative reviews than a new moving company. Always look into the years a company has been in business before you decide.
- How big is the company: A company that handles thousands of international moves per year will also deal with more customer service issues than a smaller company.
- Licensing: Check the FMC website for company licensing and credentials.
- Read reviews: Take a look at some of a company’s bad reviews and see how the issue was handled.
It would help if you went with your gut. If you feel that a sales rep is pushy and trying to get you to commit, move on. Many quality international movers will respect your time and walk you through the moving process.
What are other costs I should consider when moving overseas?
Moving from the US abroad can be expensive. There are many costs to consider when moving to a new country. Below is a list of expenses you should consider.
Accommodation: Where will you live when you move? Will you need to buy or rent a place? How much will this cost?
Cost of living: Besides your accommodation, you’ll need to budget for day-to-day living costs like food, transport, utilities, and entertainment.
Language barriers: If you’re moving to a country where English is not the primary language, you’ll need to factor in the cost of learning the local language. It can include hiring a tutor or taking classes at a language school.
Visas and paperwork: Depending on your nationality and the country you’re moving to, you may need to obtain a visa before entering the country. Other paperwork may also be required, such as getting a work permit or registering with the local authorities.
Shipping costs: These costs can vary significantly from country to country, so it’s essential to do your research in advance.
Travel costs: Depending on the distance between your current location and your destination, you may need to budget for travel costs like airfare or fuel for a road trip.
Miscellaneous costs: There are always unexpected costs when moving to a new country, so it’s essential to have some extra cash set aside for things like emergency expenses or unforeseen delays.
How far in advance should I prep for an international move?
You should start preparing for an international move at least three months before your moving date. Leave yourself time to find a moving company, secure a visa, and make living arrangements.
Some of the things that you will need to take into account when making your preparations include:
Your Visa requirements: Make sure you are aware of the visa requirements of your destination country well in advance of your travel date. It will ensure that you have enough time to obtain the necessary documentation.
Your travel arrangements: Book your flights and accommodation in advance to get the best deals and avoid any last-minute stresses.
Your finances: Make sure you have your finances in order before making a move. It includes ensuring that you have enough money to cover your relocation costs and setting up a new life in your new country.
Your belongings: Start packing your belongings well before your travel date. It will give you time to sort through everything and decide what you need to take with you and what can be left behind.
Your family: If you have a family, make sure they are on board with your plans. It includes sorting out childcare arrangements and making sure everyone has their passports in order.
Making preparations for your move to a new country can seem daunting. However, if you start early and plan everything carefully, it will be easier than you think. So, don’t delay – start making your preparations today!
What is the typical transit time on an overseas move?
Ocean freight can take anywhere from 12 to 20 days, whereas air freight takes 5 to 10 days. You should also consider the customs process, adding a few days to the moving process.
If you’re looking to compare international moving quotes, you should speak with your preferred mover about the typical transit times. The best global moving companies will be able to provide that information ahead of time.
Avoid companies that can’t provide transit times—doing a container load or less than a container load and providing you the essential documents should be an easy task.
Compare an FCL and LCL shipment
An FCL or LCL shipment is a shipment that is either fully containerized (FCL) or less than container load (LCL). FCL shipments are typically used for larger shipments, while LCL shipments are used for smaller, less time-sensitive shipments.
LCL shipments may be less expensive than FCL shipments, but they may take longer to ship and are more susceptible to damage.
An FCL shipment is a fully containerized shipment, meaning that all of the goods being shipped are packed into a single container. FCL shipments are typically used for larger loads, as they can be more expensive than LCL shipments. However, FCL shipments may be faster and less susceptible to damage.
LCL shipments are less than container load shipments, meaning that the shipped goods are not all packed into a single container. LCL shipments are often used for smaller, less time-sensitive shipments.
What is the payment process for an international mover?
There typically is a deposit that can be placed on a credit card. The deposit is also fully refundable if you cancel. The final balance is due when your shipment is ready to sail.
Can I pay using a credit card?
Yes, you can pay using any major credit card. You can also pay via ACH, Zelle, or wire.
What if I have damage?
You can file a claim directly with the international relocation company. If you have insurance, you may need to pay a deductible.
What if my shipment is delayed?
If your shipment is delayed for unforeseen circumstances, you may not be entitled to compensation.
What are the important documents I will need?
You will need to fill out the shipping information form and the inventory list and declared value.
Is it worth self-packing for a move?
There are pros and cons to self-packing for a move. On the one hand, it can save you money on your moving costs. On the other hand, it can be time-consuming and stressful.
Helpful Resources to help compare international moving quotes
- Key International Moving Costs
- Get a Moving Quote to Europe
- Cost of Moving from the US to London
- Cost of Moving from the US to Canada
- International Moving from New York
Compare international moving quotes
You will find the best international movers that fit your requirements with the proper research.
Moving to a new country is a lot. There are many things for you to think about and consider.
Use this article as a tool for your to find and compare the best international moving companies.
If you’re looking for an international moving quote or just have some questions, you can contact us at any time.
Thank you, and we wish you the best with your new venture.