How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Four (International Moves)

It doesn’t take me to tell you that moving overseas is a bit more complicated than moving down the street.

An overseas move typically requires months of planning, including paperwork, finding accommodations and even getting inoculations. No matter where you’re moving, getting through customs is rarely a hop skip and a jump and it can be even more complicated for your belongings. That’s why it’s important to choose a mover who is familiar with customs in each country. For example, Ninja Movers is particularly expert in moves to Israel. We know the country. We know the ports and we know the customs. We can even suggest neighborhoods in many cities and villages.

The first thing you should do before moving overseas is figure out what you really need. Remember than American houses tend to be much bigger than in other places throughout the world. Your 96 inch sofa might not fit in other homes.

Before deciding to leave most things behind, however, you might want to inquire about the cost of replacement. In many cases, appliances are much more expensive than they are in the U.S.

That being said, you want to stick with the necessities. If you are moving to a place that doesn’t have winter, leave the winter clothes behind. Don’t take unnecessary furniture or accessories that might end up being useless in your new home. Many people, if they are going to be overseas for a limited amount of time, choose to rent a furnished home. In which case, belongings can be stored by your moving company while you are overseas.

Once you’ve decided what you are taking to your new country, as usual, you should contact three moving companies for estimates. The upside to overseas moves is that pricing is very simple. Your goods will be shipped in either 20 foot or 40 foot containers. You will be charged for the size and number of containers you use. A 20 foot container will fit between a 1-2 bedroom apartment and a 40 foot container will fit a typical 2-3 bedroom house.

The cost for each container includes the cost of packing. That’s right. By law, the mover must inventory and pack everything.

Once the mover has packed and picked up all of your goods, they will take the truck to the port, where they will pack the container. Organizing overseas moves is typically delegated to the most experienced of moving crews since the packing and inventory must be meticulous.

The hardest part of an overseas move is the wait. Because your items are being moved by ship, it can take several days to cross the ocean. Then, it can take time getting through customs. An experienced mover will make sure that all paperwork is in order, but that doesn’t always mean that border agents will cooperate. There is usually no reason to worry, though. Even though border agents might take their time, they will release them. You are generally talking about weeks, not months.

Some, but not all moving companies work with local moving companies at your destination. Make sure you are very clear on how your goods will get to you at your new home. At Ninja Movers, we make all those arrangements, but not all moving companies do.

If you are in a big hurry for part or all of your shipment, air transportation can be arranged but it’s much more expensive.

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Three (Short Hauls) 

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Two (Long-Distance Moves)

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part One (Local Moves)