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International Moving

International Moving Company in San Francisco

By October 17, 2022March 8th, 2023No Comments
International moving company in San Francisco

Moving abroad from San Francisco is exciting, but it can also feel like a daunting task. Relocating to a new country requires attention to detail, preparation, and an international moving company with extensive experience and knowledge of your destination country. 

There are many San Francisco international movers, but a few particularly stand out. This article provides detailed information on the international moving process, money-saving tips, and how to get the best international moving quote for your move. 


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

Quick answer: The cost of an international moving company in San Francisco will average $3000 to $12,000. Your final destination, move size, and international moving service will be the most significant cost factors. You can use the below chart to get an idea of costs: 













South America












Australia/New Zealand




Other factors that can affect the cost of your overseas move are the international mover you chose, time of year, and storage if required. It’s always best to speak with San Francisco international movers to get an accurate estimate for your move. 


Also read: Cost of moving overseas from San Francisco


What’s the least expensive way to move overseas from the Bay Area? 

Ocean freight is the most economical and standard way of transporting household goods overseas. The least expensive option would be a port-to-port move. However, there will be some legwork involved. 

Port-to-port moves are precisely that. You would be responsible for bringing your household goods to the Port of Oakland and picking them up from the port in your destination country. 

The downside of a port-to-port shipment is you will be responsible for clearing customs and any port-related charges. Additionally, you will need to arrange your transportation from the dock. An international moving company in San Francisco can assist you with arrangements. 


What’s the best way to save money on my international move? 

Ocean freight transportation is based on volume, service, and the destination country. A sure way to reduce the cost of your international move is to declutter and consider self-packing your boxes. Below are several tips you can use to reduce the cost: 

Declutter: Moving overseas is a great time to purge. The less you have, the less your cost will be. It will also help with time management and organization. Consider getting rid of unwanted items to save money. 

Self-packing: Self-packing boxes will save about 10% on international moving costs. You can purchase boxes from any local Home Depot in San Francisco. 

Service: You can consider a less expensive service like a door-to-port or port-to-port move. However, make sure the international moving company in San Francisco has knowledge of the moving process and your destination country. 

Lastly, don’t price shop. International moving is a niche industry because of the licensing and knowledge required. Look for the best international movers in San Francisco to ensure you have a positive experience.


Who are the best San Francisco international movers?

Based on time in business, online reputation, and cost – International Van Lines, Allied, Van Lines, and Atlas Van Lines are the best international movers in San Francisco and the Bay Area. 


Best Overall

Commerical Relocation

Excellent Reviews

Best Add-Ons

Most Exeprience

Each company maintains the proper licensing, owns assets such as trucks and warehouses, and offers customs clearance in over 140 countries worldwide. 

It’s always best to conduct your research and go with the international moving company in San Francisco that makes you feel comfortable. 


How do I find a reputable international mover? 

A San Francisco international moving company must maintain the required licensing and bond and have skills that local or long-distance moving companies don’t have. You can use the tips below to find the best overseas movers in the Bay Area: 

  1. Check their license: The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the governing agency for ocean freight transportation. A mover that sells offers or claims to provide international moving service must have a valid FMC license which can be checked on the FMC website
  2. Check online reviews: Reviews are a great way to get insight into how a company conducts itself. Remember that every company receives complaints; however, how they handle the complaint separates them from the rest. 
  3. Experience and knowledge: Moving overseas can be daunting, so make sure the international moving companies in San Francisco you’re dealing with have knowledge of the moving process and your final destination. 
  4. Don’t price shop: Searching for the least expensive international moving quote can get you in a bind. Instead of looking for the cheapest company, look for the best international movers in San Francisco. 
  5. Go with your gut: If you feel uncomfortable with the mover you’re dealing with, you should consider moving on. Always listen to your intuition when choosing an international relocation company. 


Follow these tips, and you will be o your way to finding a great overseas mover!


Do international movers in San Francisco ship boxes only? 

International Van Lines offers international parcel shipping. Not everyone wants to move everything to their new destination, so we only have a small move program in place for boxes. 

Customers will have the option to consolidate using an ocean transport method or by air freight. Both international shipping options are economical and make sense for people shipping 5-20 boxes. 

International moving company near me

Port of Oakland


International auto transport from the Port of Oakland

As an international moving company in San Francisco, we aim to provide all services related to moving overseas, including auto transport. Below you will find several ways to transport your vehicle overseas based on cost: 

Least expensive: Roll-on roll-off (roro) is the least costly transportation method when shipping a vehicle. It’s a port-to-port service, so you must bring your car to the Port of Oakland and pick it up at your destination. 

Mid: A consolidation service is a great way to save money and have your vehicle in a container. However, you will share container space with others shipping to your destination. 

Expensive: The most costly way to transport a car overseas is by container. However, you can put your vehicle and household goods in the same container. 

It’s best to speak with Bay Area international movers regarding the details of your overseas move. 


What are third-party international moving services? 

Third-party international moving services are custom crating, hoisting, bulky or oversized items, and special handling. You may need third-party services if you have a large, safe piano or an expensive painting that requires special attention. 

Not all Bay Area international movers offer third-party service. However, International Van Lines offers a suite of moving services that require special handling. It’s best to discuss the details with the international moving company in San Francisco you’re working with. 


How long does overseas shipping take from the Bay Area? 

Transit times from the Bay Area abroad average 3-7 weeks. Your destination country, move size, and international moving service will be the most significant factors in shipping time frames. 

An international moving company in San Francisco that ships high volumes will tend to have quicker transit times. Additionally, if you have a minor move that requires a shared container, it may take longer than a full container. 

A San Francisco international move is pretty standard, so the estimated arrival time should be accurate. It’s best to ask the moving company of your choice when you’re in the free estimates process.


Do international movers in San Francisco offer insurance? 

Yes, most international movers in San Francisco offer insurance through a third party. However, insurance is an additional cost that ranges from 2.5% to 4% of the household good’s declared Value. 

International moving companies may work differently, so you should get the details of their insurance coverage when you request a free estimate for your move. 



What are the payment terms? 

You will pay a 25% deposit (refundable) which can be placed on any major credit card, Zelle, or ore wire. The final balance is due before shipping in the form of an ACH or wire transfer. 

What documents does an international moving company in San Francisco need? 

  • Shipping Information form 
  • An inventory list with values 
  • Insurance forms 
  • Copy of passport 
  • Total Value for move

Your international mover will email you the required documents, which can be filled out online. 

Can I change my moving date? 

Yes, you can change your moving date at any time. There is no cancellation or date change fee. 

How long have you been in business? 

International Van Lines has been in business since 2000 and is one of the US’s most prominent and well-regarded international moving companies.

What is your Federal Maritime Commission license number? 

FMC#: 021051


Moving to a new country should be a time of excitement, not stress. Finding the right international moving company in San Francisco can differentiate between a positive outcome and a disaster. 

Please spend some time and international research movers near me. Check online reviews and ask the right questions. With a bit of time and effort, you will find the right company for your move and have a positive outcome. 

International Van Lines specializes in overseas moving. It’s always best to speak verbally about your move but feel free to fill out an online form, and we will have a representative get back to you promptly. 


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