How-to December 22, 2022

How to Choose a Moving Company When Relocating Across the World

Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

When you’re planning a move to a new country, there’s a lot to think about, and one of the most important things you have to figure out is how to choose a moving company. There are a lot of factors to consider when making this decision, and it’s important to do your research so that you can find a company that will meet your needs.

Picking the right international moving company can be a bit trickier than you might think since there are numerous companies in the moving industry. You have to ensure the one you want to hire is reputable, licensed, and has all the needed services. To do that, you should start by asking family and friends for referrals and request from at least three relocation teams for quotes and compare them. Keep in mind all the red flags and check businesses online on FMCSA and BBB websites. Wrap up the investigation by checking if there are any hidden costs and reading online reviews of their clients.

How to Choose a Moving Company – Start by Getting Referrals

If you are wondering how to pick a moving company and have seamless relocation, ask your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors to suggest a relocation crew. You never know whether someone has an amazing recommendation, or at least they may be able to tell you which relocation scams to avoid. Although this is a basic step of every relocation, many people tend to overlook it and hire the first choice they run into.

This is one of the biggest relocation mistakes, though. If you want to move efficiently, you have to explore your possibilities since there are many relocation firms out there. Naturally, not all of them specialize in international moves and are as reliable as they should be. That’s why asking your loved ones for recommendations is the perfect start – you’ll be sure to choose one that has experience with shipping items overseas and won’t scam you.

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Ask at Least Three Companies for a Quote

There are many things to consider when planning a move across the world. One of the most important is getting quotes from at least three different companies. This will help you compare prices and services, allowing you to choose the best option for your needs. This way, you can be sure that you are getting the best possible price and packing service that will make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible.

In fact, it is one of the best relocation tips you can get since you’ll be able to determine the approximate price of the move and create a relocation budget. With more quotes, you can compare the prices and services the relocation crews offer and decide which one suits you the best.

When you are requesting quotes, be sure to have all of the information about your move ready. This includes the date of your move, the origin and destination addresses, a list of items to be moved, and any special instructions. Once you have this information, you can contact each company and request a quote.

Woman holding a laptop in her lap and a cup of coffee learning tricks for moving overseas
Don't hesitate to ask for a free quote

Keep an Eye on Red Flags

During the estimate, keep in mind there are some red flags to be aware of. For instance, most reputable movers won’t ask for a large deposit before the move. If they, however, seem desperate to get paid right away, it may not be a real business. Also, take note of how qualified or unqualified companies seem during the estimate. If they are late, don’t seem sure of what they can do, or can’t answer your questions, you should look for another firm. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with unnecessary relocation stress and worry whether you’ll get scammed or not.

Verify the Company’s Accreditations

There are certain minimum standards that all professional relocation crews must meet in order to operate legally. However, there are also a number of voluntary accreditations and certifications that companies can choose to pursue. When you’re considering hiring a mover, it’s always a good idea to inquire about the personal accreditations and certifications that the company holds. Doing so can give you a better sense of the company’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Here are a few reputable agencies that can help you verify the company’s status and accreditations.

American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA)

One of the most important accreditations for moving companies to hold is from the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). AMSA is the primary trade association for the moving industry, and it sets high standards for its members. In order to become an AMSA ProMover, a moving company must adhere to a strict code of conduct.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The next task on your to-do list is to look up the firm’s track history with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online for free. Stick with relocation crews that have good ratings or are BBB-accredited. If the international movers aren’t on the BBB’s list, you might want to find one that is.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is part of the US Department of Transportation, gives each licensed and insured company a USDOT number. So, if you are wondering how to select a moving company, you can also check the company’s license by going to their webpage and simply searching the name of the company.

If you have problems with the mover, you can submit a complaint using the USDOT number. When you look up the company on the FMCSA website, you can find out more about it, like its phone number, address, what kind of cargo it is allowed to carry, how many trucks and trailers it has, and how safe it is. So, it doesn’t actually matter if you’re moving abroad alone or not, the possibility of getting scammed is always open, but luckily, you can prevent it.

Check the Services They Offer

When you decide to live in another country, you will need professional relocation help that will prevent things from breaking and get your belongings overseas. So, one of the things you need to have in mind while picking the right crew for the job is the services they actually offer.

Deciding that will start with where and how far you are relocating. Consider whether or not you need services like packing fragile items and some of your relocation essentials. You might also need to ask what movers won’t be able to move and get rid of that stuff (if it’s still in good shape, consider visiting the Goodwill website and donating everything you won’t keep when relocating).

Besides packing services, check whether a relocation team can ship your car overseas. Having your four-wheeler with you in a new country could be a lifesaver. So, it’s best to check everything about this service and get the best offer there is unless you want to deal with your car getting damaged or lost in transit.

Two movers carrying packages down the stars
Check all the services a relocation team can help you with

Investigate and Ask Around About Additional Charges

When relocating for the first time, the entire process can get a bit too overwhelming. However, it’s just something you must do to avoid any inconvenience and live on your own without a fuss after the overseas move. That’s how you’ll have to watch out for extra fees that can make hiring movers more or less affordable. These costs can be for things like:

  • Administrative fees, such as the cost of giving your building a Certificate of Insurance (COI). A COI is a document that proves that the company has insurance. This can help if anything gets broken in the building during the move.
  • Extra mileage fees, like if your move is farther than a certain distance from the movers’ base rate.
  • Complexity fees, like if moving companies charge more if your house has a lot of stairs.
  • Cost of nonessential services such as packing or storage that aren’t part of the move itself. So, when you compare moving rates, look at the whole list of fees, not just the headline fees.

As you can see, there is even more information to think about, especially when it comes to finances. But don’t let this discourage you because once you take all the needed precautions, you’ll find the right team that will transport your belongings professionally.

Read All the Reviews You Can Find

Reading about all the steps you should take in order to ensure the relocation team is reputable, you get why last-minute relocations aren’t such a good idea. To be more precise, you’ll need a bit more time for research and investigation on how to find a good moving company. This includes reading online reviews on different crews.

Luckily, there are a lot of reviews of moving companies online from people who have used them. This allows you to find out if the movers are honest, good at their jobs, safe, and have any other traits you may be looking for. After that, you can be reassured of other tasks that are essential when moving overseas – for example, picking the best time of year to move.

Check How to Properly Read an Online Review

Look for all customer testimonials and reviews on the website of the international movers you’re considering hiring. It’s important to find reviews that are good and honest. Customer reviews that are very short or that only talk about the pros or cons of relocating abroad with the company may be made up and fake.

So, you shouldn’t just believe the testimonials on the company’s website. After having checked the website, you should look in other places. You can also search for the company’s name and “reviews” or “complaints” on the Internet. It’s a good way to read more reviews that are honest and fair. Sites like Yelp and the Better Business Bureau are good places to find a review you can trust.

Schmidt International Relocations
Reviews can be a game changer when looking for a reputable mover

Get Everything in Writing

Thinking about the benefits this relocation will bring you and considering all the reasons to move can make you forget the final but still essential step you should take – getting the written contract from a relocation team you want to hire.

So, once you’ve chosen a mover, be sure to get everything in writing before signing any contracts. This includes the price of the move, the date your belongings will be shipped, and the delivery date. This will protect you in case anything goes wrong during the move.

people signing papers
How to find a moving company? Check whether you'll get a written confirmation

Ensure Professionals Are by Your Side When Moving Internationally

Relocating internationally is a big undertaking, but with careful planning and preparation, it can go smoothly. Be sure to do your research, compare prices, and choose a reputable company specializing in international moves – this will help ensure that your belongings arrive safe and sound at your new home abroad. And finally, don’t forget to get everything in writing before signing any contracts.

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