Moving overseas is a huge ordeal, but the stress of the situation can be very much alleviated if you plan ahead and take the time to find the best company for your move. The following steps are by no means all-inclusive, but they will give you a great jumping off point with your search for a reputable international moving company.
- Compile a List of Possible Options: Begin your research by reading up on expat blogs, specifically those written by people who ended up in your destination country. These are the people with the most reliable firsthand knowledge of who is the best in the industry, especially if they have multiple positive experiences with a certain company. A simple search will yield innumerable results, but narrow it down by making a note of those that cater to your specific needs. For instance, if you are looking for full-service movers, make sure your selections include full-service options. If you are in need of auto transport, add that to your list of requirements. A bundled moving package will often be much more affordable than enlisting services from a variety of different companies.
- Consult Online Review Websites: When you first begin your search for the perfect company, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of companies operating in the relocation industry. A quick way to narrow down the competition is to immediately cross-reference a consumer review website when you find someone who looks decent. Yelp and Angie’s List are both great options for real reviews, although the former is sometimes corrupted by competition and the latter costs money. An even better, more reliable resource is the Better Business Bureau, because the reviews, complaints, and resolutions are regulated more strictly.
PRO TIP: Make sure the company you are researching is approved by the Federal Maritime Commission before moving forward with a quote.
- Obtain and Compare Quotes: Once you have less than a handful of companies that check out on paper, you will need to start contacting them to obtain quotes. Make sure you are upfront about your needs, so that you will end up with accurate quotes that cover all the services you require. Spend this time evaluating the professionalism of the companies as well, since the agents you speak to are true representatives of the people in charge of your international move. Also, make sure not to fall into the trap of committing to a contract upon first contact. It is always in your best interest to look over the quotes before deciding on any one company.
PRO TIP: Compare insurance limits across the quotes to make sure they are all offering the same amount of coverage, and that it is adequate enough to cover the value of your belongings.
- Make Your Final Decision and Place Your Deposit: Usually, at this point in the process, you will have a strong opinion as to which is the best company for your international move. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you haven’t yet found one, in which case, go back to square one and try again. If you have found the best possible company for your personal move, then go ahead and make arrangements. Remember that the actual moving process can take a long time, especially when dealing with international customs and import laws, so be patient. Oftentimes, the company has no control over the amount of time it takes in transit.