Its all in the planning and preparation
Tips for a smooth move
An international move can be a major and emotionally demanding experience for individuals and their families. You will have to make difficult decisions such as selecting your service provider, packing goods, choosing insurance coverage, and more besides.
The best advice we can give you is: Be prepared
Wisely use one thing that is probably already in short supply – time.
How you use your time during the weeks leading up to your move will influence how well prepared you are for your relocation. In turn, being prepared will save you time and money, and will help keep stressful situations to a minimum during the move.
Here are some suggestions that will help you when starting your preparations and making informed decisions concerning your moving and transportation needs.
Even if a professional mover will take care of your move, it is best to prepare yourself by understanding everything that a move involves beforehand and planning accordingly.
Schedule your move
If you can choose in terms of the time of the year when you can move, and the time during a given month, then we firstly recommend moving outside the peak season.
The summer is usually the busiest time of the year for the moving industry in the Middle East but the world in general, since most people with families choose (or need) to relocate during the school holidays. In addition, the end of the month is also usually busier because the conclusion of a house lease and other business practices is generally on the last day of the month.
Given the ever-changing Covid 19 situation and the effects, this is having on the international moving front is – let’s just say – it’s a mess. Rates are through the roof; Shipping vessels are stuck around the world in ports they’d rather not be in waiting for weeks in some instances to dock and offload their precious cargo. Add to that, the general lack of haulage companies and drivers, because of Brexit and company closures it’s a recipe for disaster and forces many additional costs.
What we will tell you is typically moving companies would have absorbed some additional costs 100 – 200USD, without you even knowing. Now those charges are in the thousands the charges must be passed on to the shipper – THAT’S YOU … and regardless of what we think is right and wrong, the liability lands solely with the consignee.
Select your professional moving company
Maybe your move is being arranged by your employer who works with an approved provider. If not, it is important for you to find a reliable international moving company, and some research will be needed. We recommend approaching a few companies and comparing the services they offer before selecting the international mover with whom you trust your entire worldly possessions.
How to choose an international moving
If your move is not arranged by your employer, it is important for you to find a reliable international moving company, and we would like to help you in your research with some recommendations:
Our suggestion – Get at least three separate estimates for your move.
As a move management company, we will do this on your behalf. We know the right people.
We will compare prices, services provided, and the mover’s availability. Although price is an important component, it is important to also, consider, the years of service, the services provided as well as other people’s recommendations if they are available. For instance, packing materials may vary, some movers may offer specialized fine arts and antiques moving services, and so on. Choose the company that best fits your budget and service requirements.
Make sure you compare like with like!
When you compare quotations between international movers, make sure you check what is and is not included to avoid any nasty additional charges later. Often, quotes that look inexpensive may cost you more in the end. Do ask, therefore:
· Is the shipment method the same?
· Are your personal items being moved in their own container, or are they consolidated with other peoples’?
· Have terminal and port handling charges been included?
· Is packing/unpacking included?
· Have they accounted for accessibility?
· Is customs clearance included?
· What time frame is quoted?
Are they a FIDI Accredited International Mover (FIDI FAIM)?
FIDI is the primary association for international movers providing quality services worldwide.
To be a FIDI Accredited International Mover, the moving company must prove that they comply with very strict quality requirements, and they must be periodically assessed by an independent auditor. They must have protection measures and insurance in place to protect the customer.
Who will be providing the service at the other end?
The person that visits you in your home and conducts the pre-move survey may be excellent and the packing crew at origin is wonderful. But ask them who will be the international mover that delivers the services at the other end.
Personal ones… with so many moving and packing companies around and those recommendations coming from friends, relatives, and paid partnerships it’s hard to know whom to trust.
Ask your friends, family members, and co-workers about international movers they have used in the past and you will soon gather a list of trustworthy international movers. Check reviews about their credibility and if you’re unsure ask for testimonials from previous customers.
Additional Service Requirements
Consider the additional services you may require from your international mover. Do you need immigration assistance, currency transfer, a professional carton packing service, house cleaning, pet transport, car transport, or a full unpacking service upon delivery? Perhaps even a handyman service to hang pictures, re-assemble playground equipment, and so on.
Get everything in writing
It is unwise to proceed with any international mover if you do not have full terms and conditions and a detailed contract. Ensure that you obtain a no-obligation written quotation and check all details are fully listed and all costs are clearly illustrated.
Don’t risk unexpected charges or surprises on your moving day.
People often worry about packing their household goods for export. But in principle, the professional mover will do most of the work for you. Here are some tips and recommendations anyway to help you and the mover make a smooth move.
Do not pack anything yourself
(except for perhaps a few personal items).
Leave it to the professionals. You may choose to pack less valuable or less fragile items yourself, but your carrier will not usually accept liability for damage to items in boxes that have been (PBO) packed by the owner.
Decide in advance exactly what you want to take
– and what you will leave behind. It’s a very therapeutic and cathartic experience offloading the years of accumulated memorabilia (we have many other words for it) but let’s just go with “stuff”. Given the high cost of shipping, think about this properly – is your 16-year-old bed and mattress from the build-it-yourself company going to make the journey? What about the 60 cups? 1000 glasses? This will ease the packing process on the moving day itself. It’s lovely unwrapping all of those bits and pieces and leaving them stuffed back in the drawer from where they came, but let’s get serious – Anything that does not bring you “”Absolute”” joy, should be offloaded, donated, or gifted. You’ll thank us later …
Different countries have different regulations, it is important to be aware of items you can or cannot ship to your new country.
In general, we do not recommend moving items such as hazardous materials (paint, articles of explosive nature, and so on), perishables, flammables or corrosives, alcohol and food products, or weapons
Electrical appliances may not work in another country. We will provide you with the import regulations for the country you are moving to, it clearly defines what’s allowed and what’s not. Complacency is not an option. We ensure your shipment is well within the guidelines to avoid it being pulled for inspection.
Be present when your goods are being packed.
Packing services crews will arrive at the date and time agreed with you and go through your home with you, so that you can indicate what needs to be packed and point out anything particularly fragile.
Do not move goods into one area
Leave everything in situ in your house (such as pictures on walls and glasses in cupboards), it is easier for the packers this way.
Keep your personal items that you need for your journey
Keep your passports, tickets, flight bags, etc. separate from the goods that are being packed for shipment.
You don’t want your personal items to be packed by accident!
Check every cupboard before the packers leave
… and make sure nothing is left behind.
If you still wish to pack some personal items yourself, here are some further information and tips:
· Owner-packed goods cannot usually be insured for damage. Check with your mover to establish the terms of the insurance cover.
· Make a list of everything you pack into every carton.
· Do not pack goods that are prohibited or restricted in your destination country. If in doubt, check with your mover.
· Do not pack anything that is flammable or corrosive.
· Do not pack heavy boxes: they are difficult to handle and can be damaged more easily than lighter packages.
· Never use cartons that have previously carried foodstuffs.
· Keep keys for trunks and suitcases with you and have them available at destination for customs officials if they need to inspect them.