For most families and individuals that want to move internationally, international moving is like something out of a mystery novel. There are countless details and decisions to be made, and it can get overwhelming quickly. Perhaps nowhere does this hold more true than when choosing an international shipping company. With so many different companies offering such wildly differing rates for such similar services, the task of finding the right international mover seems like a daunting one at best. But do not fear; you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will outline all the critical pieces of information you need in order to choose the right shipping line for your needs and budget!
Quality of Service
You should always be willing to pay for quality – and moving internationally is no exception! The professional team at PSS INTERNATIONAL REMOVALS advises that people should hire a company that has been in business for at least two years, has a long list of positive customer reviews, obtains certifications from leading international movers associations, and most importantly offer complete door-to-door services. Many companies will only handle the movement of your goods from their warehouse to the port, but if they are unable to provide complete door-to-door service it is safest to assume that they will subcontract this portion out. Oftentimes these mover “subs” may not even have received proper training on safe handling procedures, may not have proper documentation to prove their qualifications as an international mover, and/or will be less attentive to your shipment. None of these are things you want to have to worry about when shipping internationally!
One of the first things you should consider when looking for an international mover is how much you have to spend. While this may seem obvious, it can become a bit complicated. Many companies offer services across a wide range of budgets, but these budgets are rarely completely independent from one another. there will likely be several different options available to you as far as the size and type of container in which your belongings will be transported. Make sure when choosing an international mover you always look at all associated costs involved in order to ensure that you receive complete transparency. Some companies will advertise a very low rate but once you add in the price of insurance, fuel surcharges, duty fees, etc. it can end up being nearly the same as another company’s full-service quote! Compare all potential movers before signing any contracts to make sure that everything is clear and realistic. The bottom line is this: your company should provide all the information necessary to give you a complete view of the costs involved in the move before they begin working with you.
Cargo Type & Container
When choosing a mover based on cost, the type of shipping container you will need is one factor that can play a very large role in how much your move ultimately costs. To put it simply: the more space you use up with your belongings (and consequently the less space there is for other people’s belongings) the less likely you will be to receive a cheaper rate; oftentimes even if you do fit within weight restrictions or day rates. The reason for this is simple: most companies make their profit off of utilizing every square inch of floor space.
If you’re able to pack more tightly and remove some unnecessary items, you may be able to use a smaller 20ft container just as easily as a larger 40ft container without having to pay any additional fees. Oftentimes moving companies will offer incentives for using less space; such as reduced price per lbs., discounts on insurance premiums, etc. Be sure to take full advantage of these offers!
This may seem like an obvious one, but despite the fact that your shipment is likely to be handled by various people throughout its journey make sure you choose a company that offers quality packing services. These are individuals who have been specifically trained in the safe handling of fragile items and can prepare them for transport. Many companies offer free wrapping supplies which are less than ideal because they are low-grade materials that do not provide adequate protection against shock, vibration, etc. If there is damage to your goods it will most likely occur during this stage of the process so protect yourself by choosing a reputable mover who uses only premium cushioning materials such as corner blocks, foam peanuts, stretch wrap, etc.
Another important factor to consider when choosing an international mover is their level of liability. Many companies offer basic liability coverage which provides compensation for items damaged or lost during transit, but if your shipment contains extremely valuable pieces (such as jewelry or expensive art) you may want to look into obtaining specialized cargo insurance so that there are no unexpected expenses upon your arrival. One final piece of advice: be sure to retain copies of all paperwork throughout the moving process. This will provide proof of what company you chose, what services you paid for, etc. in case anything goes awry during transit or delivery.
In conclusion, when choosing an international mover or freight forwarder there are several factors that you should take into consideration. Use this article as a guide to help ensure that your pledge comes off without any problems and you receive the most cost-effective rate possible. Always look beyond the surface of what companies offer, ask questions, do your own research, etc. so that you know all costs involved in order to avoid any last-minute surprises!