As the number of individuals relocating over long distances continues to increase, it is essential to have a trustworthy international moving company by your side. With the expert help of international movers, you can navigate the complexities of international relocation and ensure a smooth and seamless transition to your new home.
How to Find Reputable International Moving Companies
Finding a reliable international shipping company is necessary to successfully move overseas. Here are some of the most helpful steps you can take to find the right company for your needs:
Get referrals: Ask friends, family members, or co-workers if they have availed of international moving services in the past and if they have any recommendations.
Request quotes: Contact several international moving companies and request quotes. The information will help you compare services and appropriately plan a budget.
Check credentials: Before checking the shipping services of different international movers, verify if the company is licensed and insured.
Ask questions: Feel free to ask about their international services and policies so you can better understand what to expect during the move.
To help you choose the best international moving company for your needs, we’ve analyzed and compiled a list of 5 international moving companies.
Allied Van Lines
Allied Van Lines is a well-known international moving company founded in 1928. As one of the most recognized movers in the international moving industry, Allied Van Lines has the expertise and resources to handle moves of any size and complexity, providing customers with peace of mind knowing that their important household belongings are in good hands.
No deposits required
Offers virtual surveys and online shipment tracking
Online moving quotes are not instantly available.
No 24/7 customer support
Recent negative online reviews
JK Moving Services
JK Moving Services is an international moving company based in Washington, DC. They are one of the largest independent international movers in the United States that provide local, long-distance, and international moving services for residential and commercial customers. The company has been in the international moving business for over 35 years and has gained an outstanding reputation because of its highly personalized additional services and exceptional client support.
Offers affordable financing options through Enhancify
24/7 customer support
Climate control storage options
Online quotes are not provided
White & Company
White & Company is a privately-owned removals and storage company specializing in European removals, house removals, international removals, and other storage solutions. Established in 1871, White & Company has become one of the largest and most respected European removal companies, with a network of branches in European countries and nations worldwide.
Best for a corporate European move
Founder members of FIDI, OMNI, and the British Association of Removers
Free home virtual survey
A high volume of negative Trustpilot online reviews
International Van Lines
Since its establishment, International Van Lines has built a reputation as a premier international moving company and expanded to offer interstate and local moving services. With a history dating back to 2000, International Van Lines continues to operate as a full-service provider, overseeing every aspect of the moving process through its network of agents.
Wide range of payment options
Provides a lot of helpful online resources
Short- and long-term storage
May not accommodate short-notice moves during hectic seasons
Deposit is required
North American Van Lines
North American Van Lines has been offering comprehensive moving assistance since 1933, serving clients throughout North America and other countries abroad. North American Van Lines is known for its meticulous hiring process, with professional movers averaging 10+ years of experience.
Moves high-value personal belongings overseas
Every international mover is thoroughly background-checked
Moves high-value personal items
Professional movers are thoroughly background-checked
Moving APT has been a broker and coordinator for cross-country and international moving services since 1999. Working with a moving broker means you can get a cheaper rate than if you were to work directly with a moving company.
The company is also registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for all interstate moves, which can provide extra protection for your belongings.
Accommodates customer complaints 24/7
Partners with reputable national carriers
Outsources all services
Doesn’t operate its own trucks
When it comes to European moves, speed is paramount, and Lopa Removals is the perfect team for the job. They strive to complete all moves within 3-7 days, an impressive feat. Lopa Removals’ partnership with Currencies Direct also allows for effortless and rapid international money transfers with competitive exchange rates and no hidden fees.
Self-survey application for an easy volume estimate
Other well-known international movers include Atlas Van Lines, United Van Lines, Crown Relocations, Schumacher Cargo Logistics, and more.
Other International Relocation Services They May Offer
Most international moving companies typically offer services beyond just transporting your belongings to a new country. These services may include:
Moving insurance options
International shipping companies are required to have both business liability insurance and the appropriate licensing to operate. To meet international moving service standards, they must ensure the protection of your items through basic insurance. Basic insurance may be included in a moving quote, as well as other more comprehensive coverage.
The best international moving companies provide valuable resources for assistance during the moving process. They can provide important information about meeting customs requirements and offer support in various aspects of relocation, such as obtaining a driver’s license, getting immunized, finding health insurance resources, obtaining a passport and visa, and more.
International movers sometimes encounter unexpected delays or require special shipping arrangements for certain items like cars, boats, and other heavy equipment that cannot fit into a standard shipping container. International shipping companies typically offer interim storage solutions to accommodate such valuables.
Tips for Choosing an International Moving Company
Choosing the right international moving company can be difficult, as you entrust them with very valuable possessions. Here are several tips to help you make your decision:
Moving overseas is a very elaborate process, so starting your search as early as possible is important. Doing so will give you sufficient time to review sites, carefully analyze different options and find the best one that meets all your personal needs and requirements.
Check with the Better Business Bureau
Check with the BBB)Better Business Bureau to find accredited international moving businesses. On the BBB website, you can search for moving companies by state and review their licenses and certificates. If the company you chose is not listed on the BBB website, it’s best to consider other options.
Choosing the first international moving company you come across might save you time and energy, but you need to compare removals service, price, and on-time delivery to other options first to know what you might have missed out on. That is why it’s advisable to obtain an estimate from at least three major moving companies before making a final choice.
Don’t make a decision solely based on price
If a quote seems significantly lower than others, it’s important to be cautious as it could result in additional costs. These costs may arise due to poor planning, damages caused by subpar packing methods, and hidden fees that are only disclosed after your goods are already in transit.
Focus on specific experiences
Make sure that the company you choose is credible and has a wealth of experience in international relocations so you can have peace of mind and confidence that your belongings are handled effectively.
Carefully review all of the moving documentation before signing anything
Make sure to read all the necessary documents and verify that all agreed-upon terms, required services, their corresponding charges, the expected time frame for the move, and the final cost are clearly stated in the contract. You must sign the contract once you fully comprehend and accept all of the terms, and you should never sign an incomplete or blank document.
To avoid being overwhelmed with the intricacies of moving abroad, it’s always wise to ask questions. Listed below are the important questions you should ask your international mover.
Important Questions to Ask
A reputable international moving company should take the time to answer all your questions and offer detailed information about their services, so you can confidently trust them to handle your belongings during the move.
How do you determine the price?
When determining the cost of your move, getting transparent pricing beforehand is a helpful starting point. However, you have to keep in mind that there may be additional charges beyond the primary cost of shipping your goods.
To avoid surprises, ask the company about how they charge for extras. Ask them detailed questions about your shipment, as the cost of international moves is typically based on the volume and weight of your goods. Other fees to watch out for include destination port fees, customs inspection fees, delivery charges, packing material costs, and terminal handling charges, among many others.
How long will it take to ship a full container load?
While a precise handling and shipping time frame may not be possible, it’s important to have a general idea of how long the process will take. The timeline will be determined by various factors such as the origin port, destination abroad, and the frequency of shipments to that destination.
It’s important to discuss these factors in detail with your international shipping expert to ensure that you’re adequately prepared and can hold them accountable in the event of late deliveries.
How will my items be transported?
It’s essential to clearly understand how your possession will be shipped. For moves across the border, a simple truck might suffice. But for a more complex international move, several modes of transportation such as a truck, port, ship, and train may be involved.
The shipping method impacts both the cost and speed of your move, as well as the risk of damage to your belongings. Ideally, you would want to avail of moving services with fewer modes of transportation to provide an extra level of protection for your items.
What are the things I need to do before the date of my overseas move?
Moving companies often provide assistance to help you prepare before your move, along with additional service and advice on packaging materials and how to protect various items. Having this kind of comprehensive support can be invaluable when planning all aspects of your relocation.
Can I track my items in real time?
Until recently, it was common to have little to no information on the whereabouts of your package during the moving process. However, with the advent of the internet and GPS, tracking your goods in real or near-real-time is becoming increasingly common, using only your computer or phone.
This feature can provide peace of mind and assurance that your items are en route and have not been lost during transport.
What are the restricted items?
It is crucial to complete a thorough packing inventory that lists all the items you plan to bring. Different countries have restrictions on what you can and cannot bring. Some of the categories of things that are commonly not allowed include:
Alcoholic beverages and other liquors
Perishable foods, such as fruits and vegetables
Live animals and plants
To ensure that your shipment meets the customs requirements at your destination country, you must have your boxes, vehicle, and other container load specifically approved. Your mover should provide you with a packing inventory, which lists your shipment’s contents. This inventory is then presented to the customs officials for customs clearance purposes
Is insurance included?
If your chosen moving company doesn’t provide insurance, run. Reputable movers will always have insurance, and it’s crucial to understand the extent of their coverage.
For instance, if you opt for a shipping company, their insurance may only cover your items while they’re in transit but not while being loaded or unloaded in port. Additionally, a policy may cover damage to your belongings but not theft or loss.
Checking the coverage amount is essential. If you’re moving valuable goods worth $200,000, but the maximum coverage is only $20,000, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise if something goes wrong.
Is your service door-to-door?
When moving internationally, choosing a company that offers a complete door-to-door moving service is important. International shippers may only provide shipping between two ports, so it’s essential to understand this difference when comparing costs between companies.
While shippers may seem cheaper, it can be more of a hassle as you’ll have to make arrangements to get your items to and from ports. Movers, on the other hand, will take care of everything for you, albeit at a higher price.
Are packing services included in the price?
Doing the packing yourself is generally not recommended. Most governments require a declaration or manifest of household goods and effects to be submitted along with your belongings to prevent the movement of illegal or illicit goods. Moving companies can provide you with a declaration of household goods to expedite the customs process, but they need to pack your items to do so. If they do not pack your items themselves, they could be held liable for any illegal items you may be shipping.
Therefore, it is crucial to know if packing services are included in your quoted price, as they can significantly add to the total cost. Lastly, if you don’t want to unpack your belongings, you cab also inquire about unpacking services.
Is it possible to speak to previous clients?
Finally, if you want to ensure the credibility of an international moving company, you can ask them if it’s possible to connect with any satisfied clients they’ve served before.
They can provide you with a list of references to speak with. While reading customer reviews is recommended, speaking with previous clients allows you to ask specific questions from someone who has gone through a similar experience.
All of the international movers listed above bring something valuable to the table. Whether you’re moving for work, study, or personal reasons, we hope this blog answers your question about the best international moving companies, how to find them, and how to decide which one is perfect for your preferences and needs.