Compare the Best International
Moving Companies of 2023

Moving can be an exciting new chapter of your life. However, most of us might find it incredibly stressful, expensive, and time-consuming. It can even be tougher when relocating internationally. Besides closing the deal for your dream home, you also need to organize and facilitate the logistics of the process. Moving has too much to do from moving furniture to settling up new utilities and canceling others. Fortunately, you have a choice to make it less of a frustrating chore. Partnering with a reliable moving company can take the weight off your shoulders and make the process much easier and more enjoyable.

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Allied Van Lines
North American Van Lines
Bekins Van Lines
American Van Linesand brokerage
Arpin Van Lines
Author: Helen McKenzie
January 11, 2023

Writer & Researcher

8 Min Read

How to Choose an International Moving Company

1. Due Diligence is Key

Take enough time to learn about the prospective moving company before engaging them. Seek recommendations from your friends, family, and co-workers and find out if they can recommend the company for the moving process. If you cannot get recommendations from family and friends, you can seek reviews online. Also, do not hesitate to ask the movers for references from previous clients. These references should be from local clients who relocated at least three months ago for the most accurate information. Contact the referrals and find out about their experience working with the company, how they handled their items and whether they would recommend working with them.

2. Have Options

Do not settle for the first company and estimate you get. Instead, reach out to at least three international moving companies and get an in-person estimate. Note that no mover can provide you with an ultimate estimate until they see your stuff and get the specifics of the moving process.

3. Your Mover Should be licensed and Insured

You can have your friend or relative help with the move down the road or across the street, but keep in mind you are responsible for the safety of your items and the people helping you with the move. Working with a licensed and insured company guarantees you a safe, reliable, and hassle-free relocation. Damage will then be the least of your worries when packaging, loading and transporting your items. While any moving process can have its fair share of unexpected complications, partnering with a licensed company gives you the confidence your items are in great hands.

4. Do Not Overlook the Red Flags

Do not ignore any red flags you might notice during the estimate. For instance, the most reputable companies will not demand a deposit before the relocation. If the movers push you to make upfront payments, you might want to double-check and confirm it is a legit business. You might also want to pay attention to how professional or unprofessional the moving company seems during negotiations and estimates. Unprofessional movers might be late for your meetings or use a rented van or moving equipment. On the other hand, professional movers are always on time, equipped with their moving equipment.

How Much Does an International Move Cost?

Most people moving abroad are shocked about how costly the process can be. While every moving company might have its cost policies, the entire process may cost you anywhere from $800 to $10,000. Several factors will impact your final billing, including the distance to be covered, the quantity, nature, and dimensions of your items, the need for specialized services, etc. Calculating the total costs must be done carefully and accurately to ensure everything is done according to the specified budget.

What Factors Impact Quotes

1. The Volume of the Stuff You Need to Transport

The weight and volume of your items are two of the most significant factors affecting the total cost of your international move. Expert movers will conduct a pre-move study, collect necessary data, and calculate the total volume of your items in cubic meters. They will then record the total volume of your stuff in your quotation. If you are moving many or oversized items, expect that your movers might quote a higher estimate than a client with fewer or smaller-sized items. Ideally, your goods’ volume, weight, and dimensions determine the resources needed to execute the moving process effectively. Likewise, the size directly determines the workforce required for the job, the moving equipment, and the packaging materials required.

2. The Need For Storage Space

For two reasons, a client might need to hire a storage facility during the international move. First, they might want to fly out one or two days before the shipment. Secondly, they might need to leave a few items they can’t carry yet can’t dispose of. If they do not have people to take the weight off their shoulders, storage space is one of the most reliable options. The cost for storage space will depend on the size of the area you are hiring and how long the item will be in the facility. Fortunately, the best international moving companies will offer discounts when you use the storage space for an extended period.

3. The Relocation Distance

The greater the stretch between the pick-up and delivery points, the higher the movement costs. Moving your items over a long distance will require more time and extra fuel. Besides, the moving team will need accommodation and food during the long-distance travel.

4. Packaging Material, Equipment, and Other Necessities

For safe transportation, your items will require packaging materials such as bubble wrap, moving boxes, and corrugated cardboard. Most companies will leave these materials with the clients once they get to their destination country. Sometimes, you might be shipping delicate items that require specialized packaging materials. Similarly, heavy loads will require special machinery such as cranes for the easy and safe loading, transportation, and offloading.

5. Ease of Access

Suppose you live on the 7th floor in a building with no elevator. Moving your items will require much more effort than a client living on the ground floor. Similarly, a rigger will be needed to hoist the items through the window if your house has tiny doors and hallways. In this case, a client will need to include a hoisting fee to their total cost of transportation. Other times, the road to your residence might be too thin for large tracks to pass through. Therefore, the moving company will need to deploy a smaller van to shuttle your items, adding to your total transportation cost.

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Other Services International Moving Companies Offer

An international moving company plays a plethora of roles. The moving team has to be strong and physically fit to handle the heavy tasks such as navigating the building stairs, different road conditions, and traffic. Besides, they must understand road regulations and have all the necessary documentation required for the moving process. Here are other services that international moving companies offer:

Before the Move

The moving company must first visit your home to assess the nature and amount of items you intend to transport. They will then create an inventory list of all your items and then use this data to estimate the cost of transportation. Taking an inventory also helps the movers to keep track of your items in transit.

Make sure the firm provides an accurate binding estimate before you partner with them. Binding estimates clearly define the moving services offered and their estimated costs. This way, they will not surprise you with hidden charges that might significantly increase the transportation costs. 

Finally, the moving company and the client will decide on the best moving date. Some clients may prefer to move during the weekdays while others might want to move on weekends. The company should not force you to move on a particular day. Do not hesitate to choose what works for you and your family. The best companies will provide you with some crucial documents that you need to sign, including:

  • An analysis of the company’s arbitration program
  • A document titled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.”
  • A description of the moving tariff used in the moving process
  • The company’s method of filling for disputes

Movers’ Roles and Responsibilities During the Move

The moving company will be responsible for transporting your goods from one place to another. They will ensure your items are carefully handled and safely delivered to the ultimate destination. The team will keep you updated about the conditions of your items and the status of the journey. Remember that even with the best international moving companies by your side, anything can still go wrong. That is why renowned moving companies offer insurance coverage which is a legal requirement. A PIP (third-party insurance) covers any destruction of your property during the move. It also protects you against any issues that may arise in transit.

Movers’ Roles After the Move

Once they get to the destination, the movers will safely unload your belongings, carry them to the new home and unpack them. They will then arrange them into their desired rooms if you opt for full moving services. If you are operating on a tight budget, you can work with partial movers who only specialize in loading, unloading, unloading, and sometimes handling delicate items.

Tips on Preparing for An International Move

Moving abroad can be quite an adventure, especially with a professional team of international movers at your service. However, if you want to make sure everything moves smoothly, you must start preparing early. The following tips will guide you through the planning process and help make your move as seamless as possible.

Understand Your Needs

Take time to analyze everything you need for the entire moving process before anything else. Define your target, expectation, and time required to complete the process. Do not hesitate to communicate with your movers and let them know your needs and preferences. Here are some of the documents you need to acquire before the moving day:

School Records: As you move abroad, make sure you have your children’s school records, including transcripts, transfer, and recommendation letters from their previous institution.

Health Documents: Acquire all the essential dental and other medical records before traveling. You might also want to have updated transcriptions that you might need in the new country. It is also crucial to ensure every family member has received an immunization shot before moving abroad.

Legal Documents: Have all the essential legal documents before looking for a moving company. These documents include birth certificates, Power of Attorney, passports, and marriage certificates.

Save Enough Money For the Moving Process

Nothing would be as frustrating as starting your moving process and getting stuck halfway due to insufficient funds. Relocation to an international country might be more expensive than you think. Besides the obvious moving costs, you will also need to pay for visa applications, flight tickets, and emergency cases. Other than these, you should save enough money to get you through the first few months of relocation. By doing so, you will be ready for anything that comes your way.

Set a Budget

It would be crucial to set a moving budget way in advance. Some of the expenses you might overlook in your planning include hotels and meal expenses as you travel. Also, consider the intermediary costs once you get to the new destination, such as renting a car. Finally, remember to notify your bank about moving abroad. Your bank might conduct international transactions at no additional charges if you are lucky. However, not all banks do this. Find out how your bank operates to avoid being charged every time you have to purchase or pay for something.

Always Partner With a Professional Moving Company

Your entire moving experience can only be as good as your moving company. As mentioned earlier, the logistics for moving abroad are pretty complex. Luckily professional movers are equipped with all the knowledge and experience required to navigate the operation seamlessly and professionally. These experts will also guide you in making your moving process affordable. Sometimes, you might be moving delicate items that need additional services, such as special packaging or temperature-controlled storage. In this case, you need to trust nobody but the best international movers for safety and quality assurance.

Author: Helen McKenzie
January 11, 2023

Writer & Researcher

8 Min Read

Helen McKenzie is a writer with more than 10 years of experience. She has always loved writing and started writing for her school newspaper and eventually became a staff writer for a major metropolitan publication. More recently, Helen has been a member of the iMove Research Team, where she seeks to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about products and services available to consumers. In this role, she has conducted extensive research on topics such as moving companies, storage solutions, and real estate.

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