While moving internationally is no small feat, it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelm you with costly hidden fees. You should expect your mover to provide a detailed estimate so there are no surprises. The bulk of the cost of moving internationally is based on estimated weight and volume, which will almost certainly change upon completion of your move once actual weight and volume are determined. The following are some other things you should be aware of when you receive estimates for your international move.
Getting an Accurate International Move Quote
When you’re moving internationally and taking your belongings, don’t rely on just a ballpark or online quote—ensure someone comes to your house to do a customized survey or performs a video survey for the most accurate estimate possible. Be sure to discuss potentially costly things that may not be apparent during your survey by considering these questions:
- Do you have heavy items like a riding lawnmower, a piano or pool table, and if any of those items need to be disassembled?
- Do you have delicate items such as a marble top, large glass piece, a statue or a high definition television that need extra care or attention during packing? Custom-built crating is the best method for safe transportation of these types of items.
- Will the international movers have any special circumstances to deal with at your current or new home, like narrow streets, a longer than normal walk from the truck to your new home’s front door or the need to climb many stairs or use an elevator?
- Is your international mover of choice loading your goods directly into an exclusive shipping container at your residence, or are the goods being moved somewhere else for consolidation into a larger container with other people’s belongings? Be sure to understand your chosen shipping method and how that might affect your transit time and price.
- Do you understand the destination port fees and terminal handing charges? Be sure that these items have been noted in your estimate and that your international mover understands the process. You don’t want to be surprised at what might come up at your destination.
- Do you understand the potential customs charges that can arise if you are furnishing a second home or have brand new items? Again, check with your chosen mover to determine the exact customs regulations for your new country of destination to ensure that you understand your options.
- Have packing and loading services been accounted for in your international move estimate?
- Is the quoted weight and volume close to going over what can comfortably fit in the container size you are considering? If not, what options are available on the day of your move if everything doesn’t fit? Making sure you know your options will help with budgeting.
- What international transit options are available to you? Often, longer transit times allow for less expensive pricing.
- If you are choosing a shipping container, has your mover advised of a limited number of hours for waiting time while the crew load your belongings?
- Has your mover of choice included weight verification regulations, such as SOLAS compliance fees in their estimate? If not, who will be paying for those services?
Pay close attention to the “What’s not included” portion of your international move estimate. While some international moving companies may try to hide extra fees here, you will also find legitimate costs for unpredictable items like customs fees including X-ray or physical inspections and quarantine exams, custom crating and force majeure (unpredictable occurrences like natural disasters, inclement weather and acts of war).
Our move counselors are available to help with any and all questions you may have when moving internationally. From pet relocation to wine and fine art shipping, contact us to find out how we can help make your international move a simple one.