Unless you are a minimalist and live out of a single bag, when moving overseas you will likely need an international removal company to help you ship your goods. International removals are more complex than local and national moves, requiring specialist experience and knowledge to ensure your goods arrive safely through customs to your destination at your new home on time. Picking the right removals company is important for any move, but for overseas removals it is vital.
In 2014 the international moving company, Global Moving Systems Ltd, went into liquidation leaving hundreds of customers without their personal belongings and out of pocket, having to pay third-party companies to get their items delivered!
The first step, when it comes to picking a reliable international removals company, is to check their credentials. Check that the company is a member of the British Association of Removers Overseas Group, if so, this means that should they go into liquidation, your belongings will still be delivered at no extra cost. You should also consider choosing with an international mover that has attaining the FIDI Accredited International Mover status, the highest level of service within the international moving industry.
You should also check prospective removal firms feedback on social sites and be extremely wary of any moving company which insists on cash payments or large deposits upfront. You should always try and get three or more quotes in writing before making a final choice. Also note that most international removals insurance will only cover your goods if they are packed properly by a reputable removals company.
In addition, for customs purposes, all items need to be correctly entered on the inventory to avoid problems and delays, this inventory is created during the packing process. So the best option is to choose an international moving company that offers a packing service for complete peace of mind.
To gather quotes, you should invite each company to visit and carry out a survey of your possessions, so they can discuss the various options in terms of the best way to transport them, which will depend on the volume/weight of the goods, how quickly they need to arrive, and of course your budget. There are a number of options including Sea Freight, Groupage, Airfreight, or simply using the removals firm vehicles for European moves. Sea freight involves loaded your possessions into large secure steel containers which are relayed by a container ship to the nearest container port.
The cost for this is calculated on the volume of a full container load. Groupage is where steel containers are filled with groups of possessions from different customers travelling the same route. You need to wait until a container is full so normally takes longer but is more cost effective. Airfreight consignments are secured in special airline pallets to be transported in the aircraft cargo hold and this option is significantly more expensive but much faster. European removals can often be done using the removal company vehicle with the goods being packed and boxed in the same way as a typical national move.