Choosing the best international moving companies can be challenging due to the peculiarity of the move. International moves are not just local or short distance move that any mover can handle. Many things are involved to ensure a smooth and successful move. Why is it essential to choose the best international movers for the job?
It is important to choose a reliable international moving company to securely transport all your belongings to your new country of residence as stress-free as possible. Remember, there are a number of requirements for handle this type of move, and if your mover doesn’t meet these criteria, you are at the risk of losing your valuable items you are moving across the country.
We have created this list to highlight the best moving companies for you to review as there are many international moving companies to choose from. This list will evolve to reflect who we believe are the best moving companies available, as we regularly research the international moving industry. We receive no income of any kind from the moving companies listed here, unlike other websites, and this helps us to remain unbiased and independent. Read on, as you discover more about this topic.
Best International Moving Companies of 2020
There are thousands of moving companies out there, but only a few can stand the test of time when it comes to international moving service. Some movers are good for local moves and out of state moves, but don’t possess what it takes to handle international moves. Today let’s take a look at top 10 of the biggest and most reliable national moving companies in the United States of America.
1. Mayflower Transit
Overall Rating 4.8 / 5
This company has been in the moving industry for more than 80 years. The company is known for providing excellent value services at competitive prices and has been relocating families across the country since 1927. Mayflower Transit offers standardized techniques for safe packing and cargo loading, and they have over 500 agents and 650 locations to date.
Mayflower provides some unique packages – Precise Track and MayTrack, and innovative technologies for inventories and tracking the shipment of their customers. Their accessible online claims process is also a plus.
2. United Van Lines
Overall Rating 4.8 / 5
United Van Lines is one of the largest national moving companies in the country today with their Headquarters located in Fenton, Missouri. The company has a wide network of long distance moving companies covering more than 400 agents in various locations around the United States. This nationwide moving company specializes in various types of moves, including corporate relocations, storage services, international moves, full-service moves, and moving containers services.
3. North American Moving Services
Overall Rating 4.8 / 5
North American is a respected brand both in the United States and the whole world. The company has representatives in more than 175 countries around the world, including every state of the United States of America. Their customers testify to the great long distance moving services offered by North American’s crew. Most if not all of their previous clients choose to hire them again and again.
4. Arpin Van Lines
Overall Rating 4.8 / 5
Arpin Van Lines is a privately-owned moving services company that specializes in domestic and worldwide moving and storage services. The company which is under the Arpin Group has over 330 domestic agents and strategic service centers all over the globe and has its headquarters in Rhode Island. This company has been in the national moving industry for over 100 years now, and that is a confirmation to their expertise and passion for the job.
5. Wheaton Worldwide Relocating
Overall Rating 4.8 / 5
This globally renowned national moving company started with simple moving services from Ohio to Michigan in 1945. The company has since that time grown and evolved into a global phenomenon with more than 250 agents nationwide with 4,000 employees worldwide – spread into 52 nationalities. Not only do they have a proven track record of good service, but they are also striving towards going green and reducing their environmental footprint.
Overall Rating 4.7 / 5
John and Martin Bekins established Bekins in 1891 in Indianapolis, Ind. Back then, they only had 12 employees and 3 horse-drawn carriages. Today, they are considered one of the biggest moving companies in the country with their presence in over 250 United States locations. One of their core specialties is relocating belongings and has been introducing various innovations in this field until today.
Overall Rating 4.7 / 5
Graebel has its headquarters in Aurora, Colorado and today have about eight hundred and twenty-eight (828) moving trucks to its name. It has been recognized by 2013 Moving Baker’s Dozen. This relocation company specializes in corporate and employee relocations. They always try their best to move both people and belongings across the countries. A list of best international moving companies cannot be complete without mentioning Graebel.
8. Atlas Van Lines
Overall Rating 4.7 / 5
Atlas Van Lines is a part of the Atlas World Group which comprises of various companies dealing in the delivery and transport business not just in the United States but also the rest of the world. It has its Headquarters in Evansville, Indiana. The company has over 500 agents to date. Atlas Van Lines also makes waves in their Specialized Transportation Services (STS) when they transport special products like exhibitions, electronics, fine art, store fixtures, and other high-value goods, apart from their basic moving services.
Steps to Find International Moving Companies
To find a reliable international moving company that will provide safe transport of your belongings across a country of your choice, there are few important steps you must follow, even though the search for the best international moving companies is not overly complicated. To avoid getting lost in all the steps leading to a successful move, it might be a good idea to use a checklist.
Below is a checklist for a successful selection:
1. Read International Relocation companies Reviews
Highly rated and reputable international moving companies really seem to value their reputation and try their best to handle their customers’ belongings carefully and usually prove their professionalism during international moves.
In reality, international moving companies work hard to maintain a good track record of keeping people’s belongings safe during the cross-country relocation in order to gain the solid reputation required for securing more jobs and having more and more clients happy with their international moving services.
Checking online reputation of moving companies in the form of customer reviews – the highly prized feedback that consumers leave after they reach their new place is one of the proven methods of finding reputable international moving companies.
International moving company reviews include an overall performance rating starting from 1 to 5 stars depending on how professional the mover has been and how professional the moving companies have been from the beginning to the end.
2. Get International Moving quotes
Before you can decide on an international moving company, ensure you get several international moving estimates from country-to-country. After you get contacted by moving companies via phone or email, you have to get several in-home moving estimates so that you can select the offer that will be the perfect fit for your budget.
In-home moving estimates are important because they will give you a very good idea of how much your international relocation will cost.
Apart from getting an in-home estimate after getting contacted by international relocation companies, ensure that all the moving estimates you receive are in writing to avoid possible disputes with your international relocation company or even unpleasant misunderstandings.
3. Negotiate In-Home Moving Cost Estimates
When it comes to securing a dependable international moving company for your belongings, the reviews and ratings of international relocation companies will definitely help you make the right decision, but deciding factors will be the price you are quoted.
As mentioned above, you should do everything in your power to cut the moving costs and expenses as much as you can, as moving to another country is the most expensive type of household relocation.
4. Prepare Questions to Ask International Relocation Companies
The perfect chance for you to ask all the questions that have been weighing on your mind is during the in-home surveys performed by some of the top-rated international moving companies.
It is their job to answer your questions confidently and to walk you through the details of your cross-country move, so do not hesitate to ask the international moving companies all your questions as required. Now is the time for them to prove that they are the right international moving company for you.
Below are some of the most important questions to ask international moving companies:
- How long have you been into international move?
Wealthy experience in successfully handling international moves is a must.
- Are you licensed for performing international moves?
You must find out that the Federal Maritime Commission properly licenses the international shipping companies.
- What extra moving services will you provide and how much will you charge for them?
The international moving cost will be based on the distance to the new country, the weight and the volume of the things to transport, but also on any extra services required for the completion of the job.
- How will you protect my belongings?
Request specific information about how the international moving companies plan to protect your belongings during the relocation.
- Can I pack my things by myself?
This is an important question because packing your belongings on your own will let you save money, but you may not be liable for moving insurance that way, because the moving companies cannot know how well you have packed up your belongings.
- What are my insurance options?
You must have adequate insurance coverage when relocating household belongings to another country because the risk of bad incidence to your highly prized items is much greater.
- Which moving company will handle my belongings in the new country?
The international moving company you select will most likely use a partner moving company to pick up your shipment and deliver it safely to your new home. This is why you need to know who will handle your belongings in the new country.
5. Compare the International Moving Companies
No two moving companies are the same; of course, and that goes for local moving companies, cross country moving companies, and international moving companies.
The effective comparison of each company’s relocation offers and the mandatory research to find out their reliability is ultimately the trick to hiring the best international moving company for you.
It’s time to sit down and take a good look at the international moving company quotes in your hands when you have it with you. You should analyze how the final charges have been calculated and the individual costs of each extra service, even though the bottom prices will probably be the first things you notice anyway. However, this may not be the best for you. Some prices are too good to be true; hence, beware!
6. Research the International Moving Companies
Doing a little research on the companies you have shortlisted is another way to compare international moving companies. It’s time to find out their licensing information as you have already checked their online reputation in the form of moving reviews. Don’t ever rush to pick a mover without researching their reliability, competency, professionalism, and reputable.
How Much it Cost Moving Internationally?
If you are moving across a country’s border, know that your move is international. Hence, you should agree with me that such a move is going to be an expensive one compared to interstate or local moves.
Unless you choose the wrong mover, an international moving company will charge you accordingly. If you receive a lower quote that is good to be true – think twice. Generally, the international moving quote is based on a number of factors. This is not limited to the following:
- The moving distance: The international moving company will confirm the distance between your country and the country you are moving to. The farther the distance, the higher the cost of moving.
- The volume of items to be shipped: The amount of items involved in the move also plays a significant role in determining your moving cost. This will determine the cost of space your belongings will occupy during shipment.
- Door-to-door delivery: While this option is the most convenient for the consumer, it is the most expensive. You don’t need to stress yourself, as the mover delivers directly to your doorstep. The company charges you to ship your belongings from doorstep at your current home, to your door at your new home abroad.
- Door-to-port delivery: This shipping method involves other parties other than the moving company. The moving company ships your items from your doorstep to the port overseas, and you continue from there to your home. With this option, the importer is in control of the shipment and at the same time cheaper and faster than a door-to-door delivery option.
- Port-to-door delivery: This shipping option offers additional savings. Your items are shipped from your home to a port where the mover will pick the cargo up and deliver to your doorstep. With this method, you will get your items faster and cheaper.
FAQs About International Move
How does mover calculate the cost of international move?
The cubit-foot is the factor that determines the cost of international shipping and not the weight of the shipment. The shipping method you choose (air freight or ocean) and the number of additional services such as storage, customs clearance, insurance also play a major role in calculating your moving cost. Kindly make sure you fill out the quote form or better request for an in-home survey so mover can access your inventory and document your moving needs, so they can issue you a more accurate international moving quote for your upcoming move.
Will the international mover include all charges in the moving quote?
The country you are moving to, the weight of your belongings and the duration of your move will determine the cost of your international move. Additional services such as customs clearance, packing, insurance, door-to-door delivery, and storage will increase your total costs. You will receive an accurate moving quote when you arrange for an in-home survey with any of our moving agents. The agent will visit your home, access your inventory, discuss with you your moving needs and all the services they offer, and also will attend to every of your questions concerning the international relocation process.
When can I contact a moving company?
It is best to start contacting moving companies as soon as you decide on moving, especially if it’ll be done during summer, which is the busiest period for movers. Wait for 8 weeks in advance before you make a reservation for a moving company. However, it is important to give more time for yourself and the moving company if you are planning an international or cross country move. Contact your movers at least 8 – 4 weeks before the international or interstate relocation. If you are planning to move during summer, make sure you book a mover at least 12 weeks, if allowed.
How can I determine the reputation of an international mover?
Before you hire a moving company, it is important to conduct proper research and go through the customers’ reviews on them. Be sure to verify the mover’s license with the appropriate authorities. All international moving companies must be properly registered with the Federal Maritime Commission as they will all be issued an FMC number.
Below are other factors that indicate the reliability of an international shipping company:
- The company must be a member of the FIDI ( Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux) which is a federation for worldwide international moving companies and must be registered with the RIM (International Mover Certification) which is issued by the AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association).
- It must have high rating on BBB.
How should I prepare for an international mover?
You are probably prepared to move if you have been given a new job in your new town of residence. Just make sure you prepare important things in advance as it might give you a headache if you fail to prepare. Check the status of your passport, visa requirements for your family members, and the new country’s requirement on your official documents.
It is also important to register your relocation and your duration of stay in another country with the United States government. This will make sure you don’t get disturbed for taxes in the process. Your accountant can easily and properly arrange this.
What are the non-essential items to leave behind?
The customs law of the country you are relocating to will determine the types of items that are not allowed into the country. You will receive guidance on what item you can or cannot move into the destination country from an expert from your international moving company. For further information on this, contact the consulate office of the destination country. However, items like flammable materials, explosives, illegal narcotics, firearms, fake goods, and so on are not allowed into overseas countries.
When will I pay charges for my move?
You are required by most moving companies to pay 50% of the estimated costs before the packing and loading. This is to make sure you have already secured the required shipping equipment or any special packaging tools needed before the actual day. You will be paying the balance only when the loading is done, and they have the accurate calculations of the weight and services rendered in place. You will make a final payment of the remaining balance after releasing your belongings for shipping.
Can international movers provide insurance for my relocation?
Insurance coverage will be provided for your household and personal belongings by every reliable international moving company all through international move. There is no guideline as to what coverage should be set as a standard for international move. With this in mind, it is advisable to go through the coverage policy to determine its capacity, the type of exclusions, and the deductible involved as well as the process involved in filing a claim.
What are the varieties of services/costs I can opt for?
There are many moving services at your disposal when embarking on an international move. There is a basis on which you can choose your moving service, such as transit time, the port of exit, transportation type, etc. The cost associated with each option will determine how much you will pay. Generally, choosing a direct route with reduced handling is advisable. You must partner with the agent from your mover to determine the moving services that best suit your needs and budget.
To receive an update on my shipment status, whom do I contact at my destination?
A contact sheet for your destination country should be provided for you by your international mover before departure. You will find the information on whom to contact during arrival at your oversea country in the contact sheet.
What is the difference between moving and removal services?
Relocation services provide the supports required by your move from one location to your destination home in a different country while removal services are basically the physical removal of your possessions from one location to another. There are many things involved in relocation services, such as purchasing a new home in your preferred location, language, and cultural training, moving pets, bank accounts, medical procedures, etc.
You will also have to deal with work permits, finding a school for your kids, visa requirements as well as immigration services. You will easily get help from international moving companies on these services, or they partner with other international companies to get these done for you most smoothly and easily.
Why should I hire moving service providers for my international relocation?
There are lots of challenges associated with an international move. The stress will be reduced drastically when you hire the service of an expert that has deep knowledge about the country you are moving to. There are a number of things you might have forgotten that will never escape your moving agent. These include having your utilities already connected by the time you get to your destination. They will also provide you advice on insurance requirements, nearby schools, customs clearance, and housing programs.
Who gains the most from moving services?
Those who knows little or nothing about their destination and also do not have anyone to help with their relocation are the ones that benefit the most from moving services. To make sure the employee get settled in their new country of residence purposely for work, the companies can use moving services. Those who don’t have any home waiting for them in a new country or a family sending their child to a school in another country can all benefit from relocation services. It is also important to opt for the service of a moving consultant so you don’t end up breaking rules of the country, as you might not know anything about their laws, culture, or even speak the language.
While local moves can be handled by any moving company, international moves are not something an inexperienced mover can do. Apart from packing and loading the moving truck, international movers need to be well connected with the country you are moving to. Leaving your hard-earned, valuable items to a stranger cross country requires more commitment than being an ordinary moving company. International of special licenses may be required by some country to operate in their land.
The truth is that these are not new to international moving companies. This post has discussed in-depth about steps to take to select the best international moving company of your choice. We have as well listed out our top picks for international movers to make work easier for you. Have you moved internationally before? What is your experience? Share it with us in the comment box!.