6 questions to ask international movers

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Relocating across international borders is a significant life event that involves much more than merely transporting your belongings from point A to point B. The process is complicated, subject to regulatory oversight, and fraught with potential pitfalls. As such, it necessitates meticulous planning and careful organization. Employing the expertise of efficient and reliable professionals such as overseas removalists will be indispensable. Given the complexity and the high stakes involved in such a move, having questions to ask international movers will be crucial. Being well-informed will pave the way for a smooth, stress-free transition to your new home abroad.

The importance of asking your movers questions

Understanding your international move inside out is of paramount importance. Overall, it’s a critical step that begins by asking your chosen moving company, which will often be offering specialized overseas moving services, the right set of questions. Doing so will arm you with the accurate and detailed information needed to prevent any costly misunderstandings. Moreover, asking the right questions will assist you in budgeting effectively for the move. It helps you set realistic expectations for every aspect, including timelines and costs, making the entire process more transparent and significantly reducing the chances of unpleasant surprises.

A woman talking to her international movers over the phone
It’s important to ask as many questions as you can.

What are the questions to ask international movers?

Now that we’ve emphasized the importance of thorough questioning, let’s delve into the specific questions you should be asking. These questions are not just general inquiries. They are aimed at covering all the critical bases, from financial considerations to legal compliance. They will serve as a blueprint for assessing the capabilities and trustworthiness of your moving company. We will expand upon each of these in the subsequent sections. Here are the six questions that stand out, including:

  1. How is the price of the move determined?
  2. Is the company experienced in such moves?
  3. What kind of insurance does the company offer?
  4. Does the company handle the complete process of moving?
  5. Does the company have the necessary licenses?
  6. Do you offer customs brokering services?

How to determine the price of the move?

While an initial estimate can give you a ballpark figure of the moving cost, it’s essential to remember that this is often not the final amount. Let’s say you’re moving big and heavy furniture. Then you will need the help of international furniture movers to get that furniture to your new location. The weight and volume of those items can be a big factor in how much your move will cost. Also, don’t overlook additional charges such as destination port fees, customs inspection fees, delivery charges, and others when moving internationally. Overall, it’s crucial to inquire in detail about how the company calculates these extra charges to avoid unexpected surprises.

Is the company experienced in such moves?

Choosing a company with a specialization in international relocations is key for ensuring a smooth and reliable move. While many movers claim expertise in such moves, not all have the infrastructure, experience, or credentials to handle the complexities of an international transition. Vet your potential choices thoroughly by looking at their track record, customer reviews, and perhaps even case studies, if available. For example, how many people have been assisted so far by the international household movers you’re looking to hire? A company with a solid history of successful international moves is more likely to provide the high-quality service you need to make your overseas relocation as hassle-free as possible.

A mover holding a stool and a plant
The more experienced the movers, the easier the relocation.

What kind of insurance does the company offer?

Insurance is an indispensable aspect of international moving, given the higher risk of damage or loss to your belongings during transit across borders. Ensure that the company you’re considering offers comprehensive insurance plans that thoroughly cover your items against any mishaps. That’s why this will be among the questions to ask international movers. Don’t just take their word for it. Make sure to ask for detailed policy documents and read the fine print to understand the extent of coverage, as well as any conditions or limitations.

Does the company handle the complete process of moving?

It’s crucial to clarify whether the moving company will handle the entire relocation process or collaborate with third-party service providers. While partnerships aren’t inherently problematic, they do complicate the logistics and responsibilities. Especially in intercontinental moves, more than one company may be involved in different segments of the journey. To mitigate risks, read customer reviews for each company and understand the specific insurance coverage they offer for each part of your move. Being informed will provide you peace of mind, knowing who is accountable at each stage of the relocation.

Does the company have the necessary licenses?

Ensuring that your international movers are properly licensed is a critical step in vetting their professionalism and reliability. Authentic international moving companies should be registered with the Federal Maritime Commission to be trustworthy. Of course, such companies will need to have a valid FMC number. Additionally, inquire if the company holds any memberships with reputable international moving organizations. Among such are associations such as FIDI or the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), where they might have a Registered International Mover Certification (RIM). These credentials act as a further endorsement of their capabilities and adherence to industry standards, thereby offering you an additional layer of security and peace of mind.

A mover putting books in a box
One of the questions to ask international movers is about licensing.

Do you offer customs brokering services?

Navigating the maze of customs can be one of the most challenging aspects of an international move, often requiring a bunch of paperwork and formalities. Many international moving companies offer customs brokering services as an added convenience to streamline this complex process. A customs broker can prepare all required documents, calculate taxes and duties, and ensure that your shipment clears customs without any hitches when it arrives in the destination country. Opting for a company that offers this service can save you significant time and stress, making your transition smoother.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Asking the right questions to your international movers can significantly influence the success of your overseas relocation. These questions serve as a comprehensive checklist, helping you to do your due diligence in selecting a moving company that meets all your requirements. In turn, they can alleviate stress, providing you with a greater sense of control over the move. Ultimately, knowing which questions to ask international movers could make the difference between a smooth transition and a stressful ordeal.

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