Do I need an International Mover? by:John Jo
This question, if you are planning to relocate overseas, is very relevant. You could probably handle this task on your own, but you must take into account all of the following factors before you make a decision:
An international move is a very complex procedure that requires more-than-basic knowledge; it will have you spending hours on the phone in search of moving companies (domestic and foreign), trucking companies, shipping companies etc.
Does it really require experience?
In addition to the knowledge required and the proper license to legally ship your belongings overseas, nothing can replace the amount of experience that an international mover has and that you, probably, lack. Even if you moved before it couldn't have been as many times as an international mover has dealt with these procedures. Think of it in more simple terms: even if you changed the oil in your car several times, that does not qualify you as a fully trained mechanic yet - you will still need to learn a lot and acquire enough experience before you will be able to be good at fixing your car, not to mention other people's cars. If we use this example, an international mover is a very experienced, highly regarded auto shop with a very good reputation, and one you won't hesitate to allow to fix your car.
How complicated can it be?
To help you grasp the extent of the complications you might need to overcome if you choose to do this on your own, here are just a few of the types of companies you will surely have to deal with when moving overseas:
1. A domestic moving company
2. A domestic trucking company if shipping an full designated container
3. A trustworthy shipping company
4. Foreign Customs Authority
5. Foreign moving company
Those are just the essential basic services that you will need to know how to find and deal with. Sound easy? Hold on
Finding a domestic moving company can be simple, but how will you know that they are really as good as they say? Do you have any experience with such services in an extent that enables you to be sure?
Same goes for finding a shipping company: do you know who is the best? Do you have the ability to negotiate with them on a good price?
Would you like to spend the time required to narrow the gap between the moving company and the shipping company? Someone has to make sure that all that left your home will be loaded on the ship. Someone also has to make sure that all that is unloaded at your port of destination, is loaded on a local truck and safely delivered to your new location.
Dealing with foreign Customs authorities is in itself worthy of a separate article. You will have to master all local laws and regulations and overcome, to some extent, the language barrier.
Now go find a local moving company in your destination country. If you thought finding a good one in the USA is a bit of a hassle, try doing it by phone / fax / e-mail in Italy, France or any other country where they probably speak less English than the local Customs personnel.
The bottom line - get a quote
In short, unless you have moved hundreds of times, it would probably be wise to let an international moving company that handles thousands of international moves annually take care of your move and allow you to make better use of your time in preparation for the big step.
Getting a quote is free, what have you got to lose?
About the author
Certified International Movers
Over the years, IntlMOVE has built up relationships and partnered with a network of reputable Origin Agents, On-Land Transportation Professionals, other NVOCC, Ship Lines, Customs Brokers, Overseas Destination Agents and other Relocation Professionals