Relocating overseas is a very exciting but very intimidating venture. International freight forwarders who specialize in moving household goods can reduce a lot of the anxiety associated with moving. But when hiring an international mover, it's important to seek detailed quotations that include a full description of the various service options they offer.
Choosing a Reputable Household Goods Mover
Most freight forwarders have websites where you can view their services and a description of the company on the "about us" page. You may also find a few testimonials from previous customers, but really there's no way to contact that customer for a review. Some companies may also embellish or falsify the testimonial in order to gain new customers. Thankfully, there are neutral sites that publish "actual ratings" based on the service received from the forwarder.
Good Migrations is one site that hosts actual moving company reviews. Once you enter your origin and destination on the site, they'll direct you to available forwarders in your area. You should note that the number of reviews is an important consideration. The rating categories are listed as:
- Transit time
- Condition of goods on arrival
Moving Scam is another review source, although they prefer to post actual reviews, good and bad, that are posted on directly to their site. You may find comments such as:
- "My large glass frames and mirrors were intact and the employees were professional and careful. I will definitely use them again on my next move."
- "Our TV frame was broken, a cabinet was inadequately packed and ended up in the garbage and they chipped corners and finish on several pieces of furniture."
It’s Time to Choose
After you've completed your reviews, it's time to select at least 3 different moving companies to provide an in-home quotation. Make sure that they're all quoting on the same terms of shipping, such as door-to-door. A few other things to consider:
- Professional packing services either in-house or from a reputable sub-contractor.
- Full "all risk" cargo insurance services. (Lower value shipments may choose a less expensive "total loss" policy.)
- Acceptance of major credit cards.
- Operate from a brick-and-mortar facility with a telephone land line.
It's also important that the household goods forwarder has professional accreditation from the National Forwarders Association and the International Association of Movers (IAM). Each of these associations have standard trading conditions that members must uphold.
If you follow your plan, you can relieve some of the anxiety of an international relocation. These websites also have checklists and guidelines that put you in a more informed position when you're interviewing potential movers. Be sure to be thorough….the more questions you ask the easier your choice will be.