Seasoned expats know that the secret to moving internationally without a lot of stress is to make a detailed plan. Be sure to gather as much information as you can about your potential international removal company before you entrust them with transporting your treasured possessions abroad. It makes sense to evaluate several companies and then select the one that is most suitable for your needs. Here is a list of questions to ask that will help you make an informed decision.

What Will It Cost?

Clearly, the estimated cost for the move will vary between international removal companies, but it’s best to receive a complete breakdown of costs rather than just a single number. Basic shipping costs are just one component of the move, Customs duties and handling fees at terminals can be significant, so be sure to read the quote in its entirety to ensure it covers all aspects of the international move.

How Long Will The Move Take?

Your international removal company may not be able to specify the exact date when your possessions will arrive at your new location, but they should be able to provide a close ballpark estimate. Shipping times will depend on your port of origin, your destination, the mode of transportation and how frequently shipments travel on that route. Some routes may have regular weekly shipping schedules, while others could be less frequent.

Does The Company Provide Insurance?

It is crucial that the removal company provides insurance for your possessions for the duration of the trip. While all international removal companies must provide mandatory marine insurance, the devil is in the details, so be sure to check the fine print to determine the limits of the cover they provide. If you are not satisfied, ask if the company can provide higher limits. Also, be sure to itemise any items of high value on the insurance policy.

Will The Company Provide Door-To-Door Service?

When you compare the prices quoted by different international removal companies, check to see if the company is offering door-to-door service or port-to-port service and decide which type of service you prefer. While door-to-door service may appear to be costlier initially, port-to-port service has the disadvantage of placing the responsibility on you to arrange for the handling of your shipment at the destination port and transporting it to your new residence.

Will The Company Also Provide Packing Services?

Some international removal companies will include the cost of packing your belongings as a line-item in your quote. While you could most likely save money if you did the packing yourself, the benefits of having a complete packing service are substantial. Professional movers can pack your possessions much faster and more securely than you can, and they will also prepare the itemised manifest of household goods required by most international ports, thereby saving you even more time and hassle.

How Will The Company Transport Your Shipment?

The shipping method used will affect both the cost of your move and the time it will take to receive your belongings. Shipping via air freight is the quickest but also the most expensive, while shipping by boat is much less expensive but takes more time. The trade-off between time and money is an important consideration when planning your international move, however, freight shipping is typically the go-to for most removals companies.

Will The Company Track The Shipment?

Online tracking has become more common for international moves and having it available will certainly give you peace of mind as your possessions make their way to your new home. Not only will online tracking give you a better idea of when your shipment will arrive, but you also won’t have to spend a lot of time on the phone asking your international removal company for the status of your belongings.

If you are planning a move abroad, contact us here at 1st Move International for a free quote and answers to any questions you may have. We offer packing and removal services to most major countries worldwide and can give you expert advice to make your move go smoothly.