Comparing Quotes from International Movers

Relocating overseas can be exciting but also challenging and costly, especially when it comes to moving your belongings. However, moving internationally does not have to be stressful or overwhelm you with costly hidden fees. You should expect your international moving company 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 the actual weight and volume are determined.

Suddath is here to help and make your international move as stress-free and smooth as possible. If you are looking for an international moving company you can trust, contact us for a moving quote today at (888) 903-7695.

Requesting Quotes from International Movers

Before handing over sometimes many thousands of dollars what types of companies should you consider? Below are some of the key characteristics you should watch out for.

Accreditations, Memberships & Attributes


  • IAM
  • FIDI


  • FMC license
  • C-TPAT Accreditation
  • ISO 90001


  • Secure Credit card payment link
  • Well established with a long history of managing international moves
  • Global footprint
  • Financially stable

While a local or long-distance move can be stressful and costly too, moving within the same country tends to be much easier to organize than moving internationally. The simple act of requesting quotes from international moving companies can be challenging and full of pitfalls as not all quotes are equal.

There are many variables and factors to consider:

  • What is included and excluded?
  • What potential additional charges could apply?
  • How do I insure my goods?
  • How do I know when my goods will arrive?
  • What about customs, duties & taxes?

Prices for moving your items can also vary drastically depending on the size and weight of your entire shipment, the level of moving service you desire, and your specific destination.

Suddath helps over 6,000 customers move overseas every year and we can provide you with a door-to-door quote that includes everything, preventing any unpleasant surprises. Our international moving team can create a custom quote that is tailored to your unique needs and circumstances.

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 handling 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).

Consider the Cost of Insurance or Valuation Protection

Adequate insurance for your belongings is essential when you move internationally. Make sure that when looking at quotes from international moving companies, you are comparing like with like. Most international movers DO NOT include insurance in their quotes. The most basic level of insurance, legal liability insurance, should be included in your international moving quote. However, this type of insurance generally does not cover partial loss or damage. If any of your items are damaged but not destroyed during the move, they are generally not covered.

Make sure you are aware of your additional insurance costs exceeding the basic moving quote. Confirm that the insurance covers the whole moving process, from packing up your old home to delivering or unpacking in your new home, depending on the level of service you require.

Is the Company Licensed and Insured?

When comparing quotes, make sure that the international movers you are contacting for a quote are adequately licensed and insured. Ensure your moving company is legitimate and licensed for the purposes of international relocation. If they are unable to provide you with this information, it is best to stay clear and work with another company.

If you are moving internationally, your movers should be licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). The FMC requires insurance in case of loss or damage. Unlicensed international moving companies may not be properly insured, which means you could be out of luck if something unforeseen happens during the move or your belongings are destroyed.

How Much Does an International Move Cost?

Getting a quote from an international moving service will only deal with one part of the costs you can incur with an international move, namely getting your belongings from A to B. However, you could be facing various other expenses, including but not limited to:

Moving Insurance Costs

Any costs other than basic insurance, which, as mentioned above is generally included when working with international moving services, can add a significant expense to your overseas move. Look for a policy that covers the full value of loss, theft, and damage of your items.

Storage Costs

Moving internationally can be a logistical challenge. Coordinating a move with shipping dates can be tough and, in some cases, you might need to store your items to bridge the time between your move-out date and shipping date. Moreover, if the move-in date is delayed or you are still looking for a place to live, you might also require storage.

While some international moving companies can store your belongings in unforeseen circumstances, storing items can add to the cost of your international move. Suddath can arrange storage of your items internationally for as long or as short as you require at either origin or destination.

Miscellaneous Costs

Depending on your unique situation, you could incur a variety of additional costs that will not be included in a moving quote, for instance:

  • Potential visa costs
  • Customs duty & taxes at destination
  • Flights
  • Buying new furniture
  • Buying new appliances
  • Pet transportation
  • Replacing and automobile
  • Getting new clothes if moving to a different climate
  • Temporary living while your shipment is in transit

The additional moving costs above and beyond a moving company’s fees can run into thousands of dollars and more. For more information on moving internationally, check out our Complete Guide to the International Moving Process.

Tips for Getting an International Moving Quote

The sooner you start planning your international move, the better. Planning and scheduling in advance gives you plenty of time to get quotes from 2-3 qualified international moving companies and to inform yourself of the process and any additional costs.

Some steps you could take include:

  • Ask for a video survey or in-home estimate & copy of the cube sheet
  • Clearly identify any items for crating or those in need of 3rd party services
  • Ask for any tips sheets, fact sheets or glossary of terms to educate yourself on the process
  • Shuttle, warehouse handling and storage costs at both origin & destination
  • Request FIDI country customs forms & regulations to see if any duties and taxes would apply.
  • Be prepared to reduce shipment size to fit into the most appropriate container 20ft 0r 40ft
  • Inquire about any hidden fees not mentioned in the quote THC or DTHC
  • Ask about the expiration date of the quote – 7 days or 30 days?

 What is the estimate & final billing based on?

Make sure the quote you receive states the total cost of your international move based on the volume & weight of your belongings surveyed and the services you desire, for example, the crating of artwork. Also, make sure it clearly states what is included and what is not.

Why Use Suddath’s International Moving Services?

Suddath can help to make your overseas move as smooth and as hassle-free as possible. Ways in which we can assist with moving internationally include but are not limited to:

Transparent and Competitive Prices

International moves can be expensive. When we handle your move, you can rest assured that our prices are competitive without any hidden fees

Personalized International Moving

When you hire us to carry out your international move, you can expect highly personalized service. You will have access to a personal move counselor who will oversee your move and will be at hand if you have any questions during the process. Your counselor will also deal with the necessary paperwork and logistics for the move.

Flexible Shipping Options

We provide transportation via sea, air, and land, depending on your needs and the location you are moving to. When it comes to shipping, you could have several options such as:

  • Less than container load shipment
  • Full container load shipment
  • Custom crating options
  • Check out the link to our container fact sheet

We can also help you with packing and unpacking, inventory preparation for customs, and preparing the necessary documents to make your international move seamless.

Experience with International Relocation

We have helped our customers move since 1919 and perform approximately 16,000 international moves every year. We have won International Mover of the Year five times and can assist with all aspects of your international move. You can count on our experienced and professional move counselors to help make your international move a success. When you work with us, you get to focus on your new home while we are dealing with the logistics of your move.

Get an International Moving Quote Today

If you are looking for a dependable and trustworthy one-stop-shop international moving company, Suddath is here for you. 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. Contact us now for an international moving quote at (904) 647-2750.