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Are you looking for a reputable international moving company? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are over 5500 registered moving companies in the country. However, only about 2% are qualified to handle international moving services. 

 

This article aims to provide information about what to look for in an international moving company, the best international moving companies, the cost of international relocation, and how to save money. 

How to find a reputable international moving company? 

 

Chances are you’re searching for “international moving companies near me.” If so, you should follow a few steps to ensure you find a reputable international moving company. Below are some tips that will help you locate the right international mover for you: 

 

Check license information: If a company offers international moves, it must be licensed by Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). You should check the FMC website to ensure you’re dealing with a company in good standing. 

 

Look at reviews & referrals: Google is a great source to find reviews. It can give you some insight into an international mover. However, you will also want to consider years in business and company size.

 

Ask for a visual or virtual survey: Although it’s not mandatory, you should request a visual or virtual tour, especially if you have a significant move. It will help with cost accuracy when moving overseas.

 

Check their Knowledge: If you are in a situation where your questions aren’t answered, you may want to consider another moving company. International moving requires expertise and experience they should know about your destination country.

 

Follow these steps, and you will be on your way to finding the best international moving companies.   

Who are the most reliable international moving companies? 

 

According to three major publications such as Forbes and US News, International Van Lines, Allied, North American Van Lines, United Van Lines, and Atlas Van Lines are the best international moving companies in the US. 

5/5
4.5/5
4/5
4/5
3.5/5

Best Overall

Commerical Relocation

Excellent Reviews

Best Add-Ons

Most Exeprience

It’s always best to research international movers on your own accord. However, as a global moving company, we want to provide you with factual information about companies with a proven track record, years in business, and knowledge of most destination countries. 

International Van Lines global moving services

 

According to the INC500, International Van Lines (IVL) is one of America’s fastest-growing companies. We employ over 200 staff and have a location in California, Florida, New York, Texas, and IL. However, we cover the entire country and over 140 foreign destinations. 

 

International Van Lines is an industry leader and one of the US’s most reputable international moving companies. Our global moving services include professional packing, ocean freight, air freight, and customs clearance. We also provide a complete destination service, which includes offloading and debris removal. 

 

Each customer gets an exclusive international moving specialist to walk them through the process. They will be your single point of contact, answer any questions, and update you on status and customs updates. Our international moving consultation takes about 15 minutes. 

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How much does an international moving company charge?

International moving company services

Source: International Van Lines

 

International moving costs are $2000 to $12,000 on average. The size of your move, service, and destination is the most significant contributing factors to cost. Additionally, the time of year and international moving company you chose can affect the cost: You can use the moving cost averages below to budget:

International Moving Company Cost Averages (door to door)

Destination

One-Bedroom

Two-Bedroom

Three-Bedrom

Asia

$2,500-$4,000

$4,500-$7,000

$8,000-$13,000

Africa

$3,000-$5,000

$5,000-$9,500

$8,500-$14,000

South America

$2,800-$4,000

$4,800-$8,000

$9,000-$13,500

Europe

$2,500-$4,500

$4,000-$7,000

$8,000-$13,000

Canada

$2,500-$3,500

$4,500-$7,000

$7,500-$12,500

Australia/New Zealand

$3,500-$5,000

$5,000-$8,000

$9,000-$14,000

 

It’s always best to go through the international moving quote process to get an accurate cost of moving overseas!

You should check out: How much will it cost to move to another country

What’s the most affordable way to move overseas? 

 

The most affordable mode of transportation for an international move is ocean freight services. Your move size will determine if you need a full container load (FCL) or a less container load (LCL). You can use the below chart to help you find the right service for your move: 

Full Container sizes:

Container Type

Internal Dims 

Cargo Weight

40' Standard

12.05 x 2.35 x 2.36M

26,500kgs

40' High Cube

12.05 x 2.35 x 2.69M

26,500kgs

20' Standard

5.89 x 2.35 x 2.36M

21,700kgs

20' High Cube

5.89 x 2.35 x 2.69M

21,700kgs


 

Generally speaking, if you have less than 600 cubic feet (less than one bedroom), chances are you will ship in a shared container, less than the container load. It would be best if you spoke with the international moving company of your choice about the best mode of transportation for your move size. 

How do I save money on my international relocation? 

 

International moving services can be costly, so educating yourself on reducing costs is reasonable. You can do several things to save money on your international move. Use the tips below, and you will be on your way to cutting costs. 

 

Lighten your load: Moving overseas is a great time to purge. Consider getting rid of items you don’t use. You can donate them to a non-profit or sell them online for some extra cash. 

Consider self-packing: Although packing boxes may not be in the plans, it would save you about 10% on your international moving costs. However, it can affect your insurance options. 

Ask for a discount: The best international moving companies understand budgets. Speak with the international moving company of your choice about any discounts.  

Ask about more affordable options: If you’re on a tight budget, you can consider a port-to-port or door-to-port shipping option, which would significantly impact costs. 

We all want affordable options, but looking for the cheapest international movers is not the best. Moving overseas requires a lot so invest in a company that will perform well; it’s worth it!

Check out:  the most affordable international movers in the US:

Pro tip: You should save at least three months’ expenses before moving overseas.

Why should I have an international moving company pack for me?

 

International moves can be on the ocean for days. The waters can be choppy and unexpected things can arise. Packing your household goods is an option, but you should understand the risks before committing. Below you will find the reasons why you should let the international movers pack for you: 

 

Experience: An international professional mover has experience in export packing.  

Time-consuming: Self-packing can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. If you’re in a hurry or have a bad back, it may be best to leave it to the movers. 

Insurance options: Packed by owner (PBO), moves are not eligible for premium insurance coverage. 

 

These are a few reasons why letting a mover provide packing services makes sense. If you’re unsure of what direction to take, speak with the international moving company of your choice.

Ocean shipping consolidation services

 

What are international consolidation services?

Moves under 600 cubic feet generally ship in a shared container, also known as a less than container load (LCL) shipment. 

 

Your household goods will be palletized, shrink-wrapped, and then loaded in a container with others going to the same final destination. 

 

An LCL is standard for small international moves, and most relocation companies can offer it. Transit times may vary based on the size of your move, destination, and the company you work with. However, you can expect an average of 6-8 weeks.

 

International moving insurance and how it works 

 

Most overseas moving companies provide insurance through a third party like Unirisk Insurance. You will have owner-pack and professional pack options, and the price averages between 2% to 4% of your good’s declared value. Below is the breakdown: 

 

  • Professional pack: If you hire a professional to pack for you, you are entitled to all-risk insurance coverage. It covers the declared value of your household goods.
  • Packed by owner (PBO): If you decide to pack your household goods, you are entitled to total loss insurance. It covers the total loss of your move only.

 

It’s best to get moving insurance, but if it’s unaffordable, you should speak with your international moving company about alternative options. 

 

Do international movers offer vehicle transportation? 

 

The best international moving companies offer vehicle transportation. Your vehicle can ship in a shared container with your goods or as a stand-alone service. Below is a list of auto transport options you can choose from: 

 

  • Least expensive: Roll-on roll-off (RORO) is the cheapest mode of transportation for shipping a car overseas.
  • Middle-of-the-road cost: You will have the option to ship your vehicle in a shared container with others moving to the same destination. 
  • More Expensive: If you have a high-end vehicle or don’t want your car exposed, you can purchase an exclusive container. You can also use the container to transport your household goods if needed.
  • Very expensive: If you’re in a hurry to get your car, you will have the option of air freight services. However, the costs can be very high. 

 

Major moving companies like International Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, North American Van Lines, and United Van Lines offer international vehicle transport. It’s best to speak with the moving company of your choice about the details of your move. 

Does an international moving company offer storage services

Storage Options

 

What do storage services international movers offer? 

 

If you require storage services, you’ll have the option to store your goods at the place of origin or your new destination. However, you should ask your international moving company about their storage facilities. Below are storage services you can choose from: 

 

Long-term storage: If your storage requirements are more than three months, consider long-term storage. You can store your household goods at your origin or destination. Once you’re ready, the international moving company will deliver for you. 

 

Short term-storage: If you don’t need storage services for an extended period. You will have the option of short-term storage. 

 

Temperature-controlled storage: If you require long-term storage and have painting or high-valued furniture, you may want to consider a temperature-controlled storage unit. International Van Lines, Atlas Van Lines, and North American Van Lines can accommodate you.  

Is air freight service for moving overseas expensive? 

 

Air freight services are more expensive the ocean freight services. International moving costs for air shipping can be double or even more than ocean shipping. However, air freight is helpful if you need your stuff quickly. 

 

The best international moving companies in the US offer ocean and air services. If you’re curious about the costs, you can ask for comparison quotes to help you make an informed decision. 

What are the best corporate relocation services? 

 

Many different corporate relocation services are available, and it can be challenging to determine which one is best for your company. When deciding, it is crucial to consider the type of move you are making and your budget.

 

If you are moving internationally, there are a few things to remember. First, you will need to find a company with international moves experience. It will ensure that they are familiar with the laws and regulations in your destination country and can help make sure the move goes smoothly.

 

Second, you will want to find a company that offers a comprehensive package. It means they will handle all aspects of the move, from packing and shipping to unpacking and setting up your new office or corporate clients.

 

Finally, you will want to find a flexible company that can work with your schedule. Some companies may only be available during certain times of the year for corporate relocation, so it is crucial to find one that can accommodate your needs.

How to choose an international moving company

 

How to choose between international moving companies? 

 

International moving services can be costly. However, going with the lowest price is not always the way. After getting your free international moving quote, you must look at the services included, including exclusion and volume. An international mover may seem less expensive if they’re not including everything you need. 

 

Assuming all companies are licensed, you can start by looking at the services included. If you request a door-to-door, ensure that’s what you’re getting. Take a look at any exclusions that may cause a price increase. 

 

Next, take a look at the cubic feet. If a moving quote seems low, there may be a possibility that they estimated the wrong volume. However, if you end up with more, you will pay more. 

 

Lastly, look for hidden charges like customs clearance, port charges, and terminal handling fees. If they’re omitted, they can make a company more expensive. 

 

An international moving company should walk you through the quote and explain everything included or not included. Make sure you ask the right questions to avoid additional charges. 

How do I avoid additional charges on my international move? 

 

Asking the right questions and knowing what to look for in an international moving quote can be the difference between a smooth experience or additional charges. Here is how you avoid paying any extra costs: 

 

Ask for a visual or virtual survey: For an international moving company to provide an accurate quote, they need a clear understanding of what you’re moving. Request a visual or virtual survey to ensure an accurate inventory list. 

Be clear about your expectations: Explain precisely what your mover is looking for during your pre-move planning. If you need a complete door-to-door service, make sure they understand that. 

Ask about additional costs: Check the fine print! Other international movers may leave certain charges out of your moving quote. Ask about any port-related charges or possible taxes. 

Understand the moving process: When speaking to an international moving company, you should ask about their moving process and what to expect. It’s good to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenarios. 

 

Follow these steps, and you will avoid paying additional costs. 

What is a door-to-port service, and how does it work? 

 

A door-to-port service is when a shipper picks up their household goods at the destination port. Say you are moving from New York to London, you can pick it up from the container freight station at the port. However, you will be responsible for clearing customs, documentation, and port-related charges like terminal handling fees. 

 

A door-to-port service may save you money, but you should weigh the pros and cons. If you have no experience, dealing with customs and the port can be challenging. However, the best international moving companies can walk you through the process. 

 

Best sites for international moving company reviews

 

Where can I check international moving reviews?

 

Moving to a new country is expensive. The last position you’ll want to be in is dealing with a rogue international relocation company. Below you will find a list of the top sites to check online reviews: 

 

 

These international moving review websites will give you some insight into a company. However, looking into years in business and the volume of moves handled is also helpful. 

 

It’s not uncommon for a large company like United Van Lines or Allied Van Lines to have bad reviews. They handle a large volume of business, and with that comes issues. 

 

It’s always best to go with your gut instant when choosing an international relocation company. 

Use an international moving cost calculator for budgeting

 

Most major van lines charge based on cubic feet and weight. To estimate the cost of your international move, you can use an international moving cost calculator. It will help you determine the best international moving services and a rough idea of what you will pay. 

 

An international moving cost calculator is only used for planning and budgeting, so it’s best to get an accurate international moving quote when it’s time to reserve your moving date.

 

An international moving checklist will help you stay on task

 

There’s a lot to think about when moving from the US abroad. Using an international moving checklist will help you stay on task. You can check the boxes as you have a task completed. 

 

International moving checklists are free; you can download them in a printable version to make it easy. Don’t risk getting lost in the shuggle; use a list for your planning. 

 

How to find international moving companies near me

 

Most van lines like International Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, and North American Van Lines have offices in most major cities. You can check their main website or do a quick Google search. 

 

When looking for international moving companies near me, it’s also essential to conduct the proper research. You can check reviews but also look into experience; that’s the most important thing. 

Overseas relocation company payment process

 

What’s the payment process for international moving companies?

The best international moving companies accept all payment forms, including credit card, ACH, wire, or PayPal. International Van Lines also just started taking Zelle for payment. 

 

Most international shipping companies will ask for a deposit on a credit card, which is refundable if you need to cancel for any reason, but it’s best to check with your mover. 

 

The final balance is due before sailing and would need to be paid in the form of ACH or Wire. Most movers won’t accept credit cards to avoid chargebacks for the final balance. 

People also ask: 

 

 

FAQ

 

Where can I get moving supplies? 

If you’re self-packing, you can get packing supplies from Home Depot, Uhaul, or Walmart. You can also post a Facebook post to ask if any of your friends have leftover boxes from a recent move. 

What are the most common customer complaints? 

The most common complaints about international moves are delays and damages. Delays are sometimes caused by “an act of God.” However, damages can be avoidable if you pick the right international moving company.

Who are the best international moving companies to Europe from the US? 

International Van Lines offers weekly international moving services from the US to Europe. You will have the option of a shared container or a full container load. 

What’s the shipping process from the US to Canada? 

Your goods ship to a customs bonded warehouse nearest to the entry port. You will be responsible for going to the warehouse to fill out customs documentation before your goods are released and delivered to your home in Canada. 

Do international moving companies ship to the Middle East? 

International Van Lines and Atlas Van line offer international moving services to the Middle East. You will have the option of ocean freight or air freight services. 

What’s the insurance claims process? 

You must file a claim if you purchased insurance through an international mover. You will have to fill out some basic forms, which can take a few weeks. 

Who are the best international movers in New York? 

International Van Lines, Allied Van Lines, Mayflower, Atlas Van Lines, and North American Van Lines are the best international moving companies in New York.  

Who are the best international relocation companies in Los Angeles? 

International Van Lines, Allied International, Atlas Van Lines, North America, and United are the best international relocation companies in Los Angeles.

What if I only want to ship boxes? 

IVL offers parcel shipping services, an economical solution to ship boxes overseas. 

Who’s the best international relocation company to South Africa? 

International Van Lines offers ocean and air freight services to South Africa. However, Allied Van Lines and Atlas Van Lines are also fine choices. Make sure the international mover you choose has experience shipping to South Africa; if not, you can face issues. 

Why is International Van Lines the best international moving company? 

Several third-party consumer groups mention International Van Lines as the USA’s most reliable international moving company. International Van Line’s costs and quoting process are superior to its competitors. Due to the volume of moves handled, IVL can pass along significant savings. 

How do I get an international moving quote? 

You can start will a call or fill out an online form. An international moving specialist will ask you for the move details and inventory list. Once received, you with either get a verbal quote followed by an email, or it may take up to 24 hours. It depends on how complex your international relocation is. 

Do I have to pay taxes or duties on household goods? 

Most countries offer duty-free entry as long as you’re permanently moving. However, it’s always best to check the customs website in the country you’re moving to for confirmation.

Have a successful international relocation

 

Moving household goods overseas can be costly and requires a lot of effort. Choosing the right company can differentiate between a positive experience or a disaster. 

 

Spend some time and research each international moving company you’re considering. Check the proper sites for licensing and credentials but most importanlty, go with your instinct. 

 

There are plenty of companies that maintain an excellent reputation and can provide quality service. You can use any companies listed in this article or choose your own. 

 

We hope that our international moving tips guide you in the right direction. If you have any questions about the moving services we offer or want a quick international moving quote, you can fill out an online form or give us a call.