international moving faqs

When planning an international move, you’ll have many questions. It is a significant life event and you should make sure to do your research and cover all aspects of the move from planning, to delivery. Luckily, our international moving agents are experienced professionals who can assist in every step of the way. Below are some frequently asked questions when moving abroad.

This depends on the type of moving services that you’ve purchased. If you request a door-to-door move, then all transportation charges should be included in the price that’s quoted to you.

However, even on a door-to-door international move, you’ll be responsible for customs clearance charges plus any applicable taxes or duties on your shipment.

Review your quote with your  International Moving Service representative to make sure you understand the terms of your quotation, particularly when you’re comparing a number of different service/price options.

When moving overseas you have a number of moving services available to you. You may select a moving service based on the price, transit time, method of containerization, routing consolidation opportunities, sea or air freight, port of exit, etc. Each option’s cost component determines the amount you’ll pay.

In general terms, it is advisable to select the most direct route with a minimum amount of handling. However, every move and personal budget is different so it is important that you work with your International Moving Service representative to determine the best moving services to meet your personal needs.

Remember, when calculating the cost of your international move, you should be aware of the total cost including the amount of time you’ll have to wait for the arrival of your goods at destination. If you’re going to have to stay in a hotel or other temporary housing until your household shipment arrives, you’ll need to consider these costs as well as the cost of the shipping charges. Many people have made the mistake of selecting the slowest transit time (cheapest price) and then had the expense of two to three weeks of hotel costs while they awaited the delivery of their shipment.

As soon as you know that you’re going to be moving overseas, contact your international moving company.

In addition, begin to think about separating items to be sold, stored, disposed of, given away, moved by sea, moved by air or delivered to another family member before your departure. You should have a clear idea about these categories before completing the pre-move survey.

As you approach moving day, think about which items will accompany you when moving overseas, specifically travel papers, immediate clothing, passports, medical documentation and records, family papers, valuables, jewelry, medication, school records, etc.

Timely preparation is the key ingredient to a successful international move. You should contact your international mover approximately seven to 10 weeks prior to your intended date of departure. This will allow sufficient time to confirm documentation requirements, pre-book international transportation services and pre-advise the destination agent of the forthcoming international shipment.

It’s important that you verify the credentials of any moving company, but particularly for an international move.

International Movers Network, Inc is a Fully Licensed and Bonded OTI (Ocean Transportation Intermediary – No. 023564N) international mover, licensed by the FMC (Federal Maritime Commission) and member of the IAM ( International Association of Movers).


Use common sense when thinking about what to include in your international shipment. You should avoid perishable goods and anything that could leak during its journey,and cause significant damage to the articles surrounding it.

You should NOT include the following:

  • hazardous materials such as paint, matches, aerosol cans, gas canisters or other flammables
  • materials such as wood, bricks, cement, rocks and soil of any type
  • firearms and ammunition
  • plants of any kind
  • corrosives and explosives

If you have any doubt as to what should and shouldn’t be included in an international shipment, consult your International Moving Service representative as soon as possible.

All reputable internationalvmovers will be able to provide you with coverage for your household and personal effects during an international move.

There is no one standard international moving coverage available that all international moving companies utilize. It is important, therefore, that you check any policy to determine the extent of the coverage, the nature of any exclusions, the amount of any deductible and the procedure in the event that you have to file a claim.

If you would like more information about International Movers Network Inc’s insurance program, please contact your local agent at (844) 413-2200 or e-mail us.

International Movers Network, Inc has developed a comprehensive network of corporate overseas agents based on their quality of service and experience. 

Our overseas offices and agents provide moving services and expertise in the following areas:

  • port of arrival and customs clearance procedures
  • transportation from the destination port of arrival
  • temporary or long term moving storage if required
  • delivery to residence
  • full unpacking services
  • removal of all related packing debris and moving supplies

Prior to your departure, your international moving company should provide you with a destination contact sheet. This will contain information about who to contact when you arrive at your final destination.

When you move with International Movers Network, Inc, we’ll provide you with the contact names and details of either our office or agent in the destination city to which you’re moving. In most cases, we’ll have already sent your information to your office/agent and they’ll contact you when you arrive. 

Due to the frequency in which paperwork requirements change, it’s important (and ultimately your responsibility) to contact the local embassy or consulate to verify the documentation that is needed to obtain duty-free entry of used household goods and personal effects.

Although a reputable international moving company will have a list of the most recent documentation requirements, it’s still your responsibility to make sure that you have the correct documentation for your personal situation.

We have two separate main modes of overseas shipping by sea freight. They are Consolidation, and the Exclusive Container.

Consolidation is best suited for smaller moves that may not fill an entire international shipping container. During your international move, your items will be loaded into a steel container in the following methods:

Goods are set on pallets and shrink wrapped, and then loaded into our steel international shipping container. This is the best option if your international shipment contains mainly boxes, and is called a Palletized shipment.

A standard (or custom) sized wooden crate, created to protect your belongings. This method is known as a Lift Van, and is considered one safest way to ship any personal belongings for overseas shipping.

Automobiles are shipped via FCL, or RO/RO (Roll On/ Roll Off). When using RO/RO, our overseas movers will drive your automobile onto our shipping vessel, and then secure it for transport and against weather elements. Upon arrival at your automobile’s destination, it will be driven off of our vessel and parked at port.

When selecting the FCL option for international auto shipping, your automobile is placed into an exclusive steel container, and prepared for transport. You have the option to ship any other belongings of yours in your exclusive container along with your automobile.

The Department of Transportation ruling states that automobiles may NOT be loaded with any items, while loaded into an auto carrier.  This rule also applies for international auto shipping. Items loaded this way risk being lost at inspection, and are not eligible to be covered by the carrier’s insurance in the case of damage.

Please do not pack personal belongings into your automobile during an international relocation.

We base your international shipping costs on total weight or volume (measured in cubic feet). Your move will typically consist of three phases: Origin, Ocean, and Destination.

Origin costs in the USA are measured by shipment weight or volume. Normal rates are calculated by rounding up to the next 100 pounds or nearest cubic foot.

Ocean costs are calculated by volume. International shipping lines charge by container size, meaning that your household items will never exceed the weight limit

Destination costs are calculated by your destination country at their own specifications by volume or weight.

Finding your total international shipping cost within a day cannot typically be done responsibly, as all phases of the move must be calculated separately. To avoid error and give you the most accurate possible, we will always wait until we have each individual rate and can convert them to one single shipping cost estimate.

Always use new packing boxes and materials. Never use old or pre-used boxes to ship your items! Old supermarket boxes may cost nothing, but they are not well padded nor strong enough to withstand international shipping, and will often be responsible for damage to your items.

Ensure our overseas shipping crew is aware of your boxes containing your fragile items. Our team will inform you if your valuables should be packed in more protective boxes. Generally speaking, the heaver the item, the tighter the box around it should be. Label all fragile item containing boxes “FRAGILE”.

Your boxes should be loaded in reverse order of need. That means the last boxes you load should be the first boxes you need to unpack upon arrival at your destination. Always read your inventory forms very closely, and identify anything you do not understand as a question to be answered by our overseas shipping team leader. Always write down your Shipment Registration #, and ensure your Bill of Landing is easily accessible.

You have the responsibility of making sure that all of your items are loaded, so we request for you to please remain on site until loading is complete. Always take a final look around the site for any items left behind. Never sign release forms without completing your final site check.

Expect the following documents to be required to clear your container for customs:

  • Passport
  • Immigration Certificate
  • Detailed packing list with value of contents
  • Receipt for appliances and new furniture
  • Tenancy contract or title of your new home
  • Proof of tax exemptions
  • Delivery order notice
  • Copy of carrier agreement
international moving support specialists

do not hesitate to contact us with any additional questions

We have highly trained and experienced support specialists on que waiting to assist you and answer all questions you may have regarding your international move.