Selecting a Mover



Check out what are the services that the moving company provides. Some international movers offer one-stop-shop solutions – from the packing process to settling in your new home abroad. Others may only provide the essential services. It is advisable to secure a complete menu of services that include packing, loading, unloading and unpacking. These may seem like simple tasks for experts, but can be overwhelming for most.

Most importantly, you will want to get a reliable mover that protects your items properly, charges reasonably, delivers timely and insures you against any mishaps. In this section, we run you through the things to look out for.


All international movers should be registered with the Federal Maritime Commission. You can tell that the company is reputable if they have one or more of the following:

As the last safety net, check the reviews and ratings online to get a sense of the general public sentiment.


Examine in detail what is included in your quotations and keep a lookout for hidden costs such as charges for terminal and port handling, customs clearance etc.

Beware of the phrasing. Is it an “estimate” or a guaranteed, flat rate? One of the most common tactic by scam movers is to demand for extra charges at the point of the move, after you have committed and are at their mercy because your goods are with them. Your alarm bell should ring if they just ask you for your budget and give you an attractively low price right away over the phone. A professional mover will usually send someone to pay you a visit and evaluate your goods, before giving you the final figure.

For shipping, what kind of terms did they quote you on?

  • Liner – all-inclusive freight
  • Free In/Out – beyond freight, additional costs are incurred for loading, carriage and discharge

Collection & delivery

To suit consumers’ needs, many international movers provide flexibility in the collection and delivery points nowadays. You may select your house, named port, or a specified place as the location. The collection and delivery locations may also differ (door to port, port to location etc). Lastly, remember to ask for their delivery lead time, and their policy for delays.


Here is a quick run-through of the transportation process – a local mover packs up your belongings and transfers them to a freight forwarding company. It will then make arrangement with a third party to move your boxes into a shipping container or a cargo plane, depending on the type of freight you have chosen. The container is then shipped to your destination, where another company becomes responsible for clearing your goods through customs. A local moving company then picks up the shipment and reunites you with your personal property.

You have to make sure you have an insurance that covers all parties involved in the process and find out which company is liable for every step. If you are loading some items that are not packed by the moving company, they may not be covered by the insurance– this is something that you need to take note and check directly with your mover. Insurance also protects possessions from damage or loss, catastrophic events and other unfortunate circumstances.

Ask any international moving company about available insurance options or browse the internet for insurance providers. Most insurance policies provide cover for the country of origin to your new home abroad. The insurance might be a bit pricey at first but you can always check with your mover if there is any discount he can get you, or maybe ask for a breakdown of the costs.


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