International Moving Guide

Moving house can be a stressful time, and when you're moving overseas, the pressure can sometimes be even greater.

You can certainly make the task of moving to another country easier and less stressful by choosing the right moving company. Our guide is written to help you make the right choice.

Preparing for your move

The sooner you speak to a removal company, the more prepared you will be. Moving overseas can prompt a number of questions unforeseen problems can sometimes arise. Talking to a relocation company as soon as possible can avoid trouble later on.

One example of this, is that some items in your home may not be permitted to travel to the part of the world you are moving to. Your mover can help you decide what to take with you and which items to leave behind. A professional removal company will also be aware of the rules and regulations in each country and will advise you accordingly. Remember, they help families and businesses move international many times a week and it can really pay to use their experience.

Your Overseas Remover should do everything possible to make sure your things arrive when you want them as timing is very important. Make sure your mover discusses with you the best and most economical method of transit for your possessions whether this is by sea, air, road, or perhaps a combination of all of these.

Once your overseas removal company understands the methods and timelines to which you want your items sent they will then be able to tell you how much it will all cost and give you an estimate of the expected time of arrival at your new home. Most good international moving companies will assign you a Move Co-ordination so you have a single point of contact and can explain to you your options at every stage of the way.

Your removals company should advise you if there are any common delays at the country you are moving to, and should always advise you of these and take all precautions to keep them to a minimum.

Getting the packing right

Ensuring you make the best use of space and ensuring your possessions are properly protected is a highly skilled task. Your remover should have the expertise and materials to do a professional and thorough job. When moving to another country, your personal items are usually packed in a shipping container for the journey. The cost of your move will be calculated on the volume of space you use, therefore a poorly-packed container can waste space and money which will increase the probability of your precious possessions being damaged during the long transit to your destination country.

Once you have discussed with your removals company which items to take, and what to leave behind, your moving company will arrange to 'export pack' your possessions ready for transit.

A good removal company should ensure all packages and cartons are listed this enables them to be counted in to the container and counted off at the new destination. Your belongings will probably be loaded at your house and taken straight to the ship if you use the whole container. Your items may go back to the warehouse for loading as a 'part load' if you have fewer belongings.


Sometimes it's a good idea to send a few items by air to arrive in advance of the longer sea shipment. Airfreight is expensive and is usually based on the weight as well as the volume of your belongings. However, some items such as office equipment, child's clothes or anything you use on a daily basis, may best be sent by air if you don't want to be without them for a long period. Even by air it can take items several days to reach the other end, so it is generally not advisable to send anything by air that you may need immediately on arrival.


Your overseas removal company will pay the freight costs to the shipping line and so will ask you to settle your account in advance of the shipment being collected. This advance payment policy generally is standard practice throughout the overseas removal industry.

When you get to your destination

Your overseas removals company will appoint a 'Destination Partner' to look after your items once they arrive. The Destination Partner will arrange customs clearance and deliver your possessions to your new home. The company can usually arrange temporary storage if required.

Insurance and extended liability

Even though your overseas relocation company will take great care to protect your possessions during a move, there can be risks associated with moving to another country, some of these risks will be beyond the control of the removals company, and adequate insurance cover is highly recommended.

A good removals company will offer insurance and an even better one will provide extended liability (sometimes for an additional cost). Make sure you are aware of exactly which service you are being offered and the insurance cover that it provides. In most cases you should cover your items against all risks of physical loss and damage in transit.

To talk to one of our overseas moving specialists fill out our online quote form.