General tips when planning an International move
Moving overseas can be exciting, nerve wracking and chaotic, all at the same time. Below are some tips that will help and hopefully, minimise the potential for disaster on an international move:
Search for an overseas specialist remover. Sometimes companies will advertise themselves as international removers when they are not. True specialists will:
a) Have a financial bond similar to ABTA, this ensures delivery of goods in case the removers have financial difficulties either in the UK or in the destination country if used.
b) Spend at least an hour in your home when surveying, and discussing your requirements with you.
c) Personally know their overseas agents and their procedures, if one is to be used.
Consider a mover that will assist in planning and coordination. There are companies who will research into the area you are moving to and compile information on the area such as housing, schools, leisure facilities and health facilities. This will make the whole transition much easier.
Choose your method of transit carefully. Your specialist mover should be able to advise on the best method depending on your requirements. There are four main types:
a) Exclusive container – this is packed and loaded at your home then security sealed and taken to the port for shipment. The normal container sizes are 20ft or 40ft, and the cost of transport depends on the size used and volume packed. There will be a predetermined schedule which, excepting unusual happenings, means the customer will know exactly when the goods will arrive.
b) Groupage by container – your belongings are loaded with others in one container. The disadvantage is that often companies delay shipment until they have a full load, meaning they cannot specify exactly when you will receive your shipment. Furthermore, the customer cannot access their goods except through an agent so although this is a cheaper alternative, the customer does not have as much control.
c) LCL via a freight container – LCL means less than a container load. Essentially this ensures there is no delay waiting for groupage, however, you have to be careful how packed as port labour, which may be transloading your goods, is usually unskilled in stacking furniture and breakables.
d) Airfreight – This is best taken advantage of if you need goods quickly whilst waiting a shipment. The cost is dependent on size or weight, however, there can be the risk that fragile goods are not handled with due care increasing transit damage.
Good packing therefore is essential. If you can, leave it to the professionals who will ensure that every item is packed carefully and securely. Create an inventory of all the items packed, and label each of boxes accordingly.
Accidents can happen anywhere en-route. Ensure that insurance is covered door to door. It is also important to declare the true value of the goods to prevent a reduction in the claim based on undervaluation. Finally, read the small print, it may seem obvious now but when you are stressed and tired it is easily forgotten.
Check carefully the transit time and regulations of the destination country. Adhere to them exactly, providing all the required information in a timely manner. Any deviation will undoubtedly lead to a significant delay at the point of entry, and additional cost.
There are also many items which are not allowed to be despatched as unaccompanied luggage, your selected mover should give you guidance and their packers should decline to include in the consignment. This should avoid delays or confiscation by the authorities.
Select the right professional mover and you will be able to relax because you are in safe hands.