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When it comes to moving overseas, there is so much planning, preparation and saving that you can easily feel overwhelmed. This is especially true for the actual movement. How do you safely move all your belongings from the US to another country?
It's actually easier than you might think, and working with the right international shipping company will make all the difference. However, you need to do some homework to find the best mover for your needs. Read on to learn how to find the best international shipper and make moving a breeze.
Related: How Living and Learning Abroad Makes You a Better Entrepreneur
Be clear about what you are sending
Before you can even shop for a shipping company, you need to know exactly what you are taking with you. Are you planning to keep your car? How big is the room you are moving from? Keeping these aspects in mind will help you prepare for your budget and comply with shipping regulations.
When moving internationally, many people opt for a significant downsizing, but this also depends on your price range. Take some time to really think about what to bring and what to leave behind. When you have a near-accurate estimate of the total weight and size, you will receive an accurate quote when you shop.
Look at your goal
Not all shipping companies deliver to the same destinations, and even if they do, they do not offer the same prices. That said, knowing where you are going is important in choosing the right one. Your goal will not only affect the number of shipping options, but also the cost. The longer the distance, the more you have to invest in shipping.
Think about your time frame
How fast do you need your things? Not only that, when is your ideal moving date? Each international shipping company offers their own time frames and shipping methods. The slowest and most commonly available option is the boat. This is also the most cost-effective option.
If you need something in less time, some moving companies even offer international air freight for faster turnarounds. Narrow down an exact schedule for your move and decide what your budget is so that you can choose the best shipping method.
Understand the shipping cost
Of course, cost is probably the first thing you consider, but that doesn't mean you should automatically pick the cheapest option you can find. Unfortunately, some shipping companies offer you a really low price at first, but you end up paying more than the more expensive offer.
This is because other fees are factored into the final price. There is more to shipping than just moving your items from point A to point B. There are insurance costs, packaging costs, and other costs that you may not be aware of. So if you get a quote, read the fine print before contacting a company.
Don't be afraid to carefully examine the written details; ask them the following questions as well:
Does the tariff include packing and unpacking? Can the tariff you specify change? Are there any additional fees you should be aware of? Is insurance included or do you have to pay extra for third party coverage? Are you just moving from port to port, or will you pick up and deliver at your residence?
Do some research
Before you make concrete plans with an international shipping company, do your research. Not all moving companies offer the same services. For example, it is best to work with a company that can help with customs regulations. This is pretty common, but it's still good to check out.
You also want to find a shipper that is fully licensed, insured, and tied. This increases the security of your belongings in case something happens during the move. It is also a sign of a credible, trustworthy shipping company.
Weigh your size options
The number of things you move obviously affects the size of the container you need, which has a direct impact on your budget. Larger containers cost a lot more, but you can fit more in them. This is especially good when you are moving out of a house or want to ship a vehicle along with your belongings.
Don't bring much? Some international moving companies or general shipping companies like DHL or UPS allow you to pay for a smaller space inside a larger, shared container or freight shipment.
Choose an experienced international shipping company
Finally, make sure that the company you choose has a great reputation for communication, expertise and service. You should feel comfortable working with a shipper and trust them 100% of your property.
In addition to reading your own interactions with a company, read the reviews and see what previous customers have to say. Look for reviews that state how responsive and knowledgeable they are. Were their prices reasonable or did they discover hidden fees? This can help build your confidence in a company and let you know if they're even worth talking to.
Related: How to Live Abroad and Save More Money
When planning an overseas move, don't underestimate the difference the right shipping company can make. When you work with an experienced international moving company, you don't have to worry about customs, hidden fees, tracking your shipment or when it will arrive.
As long as you do your homework and are clear about your needs, finding the right international shipping company is a stroll in the park. Just take your time and plan the smoothest international move accordingly.