The process of moving abroad is complicated and stressful, to put it mildly. You have to make crucial decisions, and planning will involve many factors.
- Are you moving abroad?
- Do you know where to start?
- Do you have to go by air or sea?
- Are you in need of a full container or a partial container?
- Do you know what are your options?
Understanding what international shipping is and what it requires is a journey in its own right. International shipping companies can help you.
However, there are a few things that you will need to know before getting in touch with any vendor.
Understanding The Basics Of An International Move
What is an international move?
An international move is when a person or family moves to another country and transports their personal belongings to the country of destination by sea.
This process involves placing items such as furniture, cars, motorcycles, and household items in a container on board a transport vessel and transporting them across the ocean.
Who is who in an international move?
The shipping industry is known for its complexities. There are many parties involved in this long and complicated process of delivering your personal belongings. For your benefit and understanding, it is best to get to know them all.
Here are the main factors that are involved in your international move:
- Shipper and Consignee – In commercial transportation, the shipper and consignee are two different people. The shipper is the shipper, and the consignee is the consignee. In international traffic, it’s the same thing: you. The person who sends the goods from the country of origin must be the one to get them to their destination.
- Freight Forwarder – The role of the freight forwarder is to inform and help you with the details of the shipment process.
- LCL Containers – These are companies that combine different cargoes into one container. This option is better if you are carrying smaller amounts and do not need a full container (also known as LCL).
- Carriers – Carriers operate ships that will carry your personal belongings to your new home. You will need to get confirmation from them if there is room for your container on their ships.
- Destination agents – These are specialists in customs clearance, documentation, payment of taxes, and specific rules and regulations of the country.
- Customs – Customs authorities control the import and export of each country. They will receive and check the information about the documents you provide. They will then make sure that they match the cargo, as well as determine if there are discrepancies and if clearance is necessary.
Choosing The Best International Moving Company
There are many important decisions that you will have to make on this journey. Choosing the best international moving company is the main decision you will have to make. Other important decisions include:
- Whether to choose air or sea transportation
- Full (FCL) or partial (LCL) container
- 20-foot, 40-foot or tall cube container
- door to door or door to port
International Moving Requirements
Required documents for an international move
Depending on the destination, you may be required to provide additional documents. This is a general list of the documents you will need to provide, no matter where you move to:
- Packing list
- Power of attorney form
- A copy of your ID card/passport
- Terms and conditions
- If you take the car with you, there are additional documents that will be required. Again, specific documents may be needed depending on your port of origin and country of destination (more on this later). In general, these are the documents that you will need to produce.
- Original name or type of the vehicle
- Import Permit/Certificate of Exemption: Some countries have strict restrictions on the entry of vehicles. That may depend on the age or type of vehicle.
Bill of Lading: one of the essential documents in an international move
Another critical document that you should be familiar with is the bill of lading. The bill of lading lists the owner of the goods being transported. It must be presented to collect your personal belongings upon arrival at the final destination.
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What can you not send in an international move?
Here is a list of prohibited items in international transport:
- Live Animals
- Any other kind of food (duh)
- Cleaning agents
- Flammable products
The Right Insurance For Your International Move
As a rule, cargo transportation insurance covers everything connected with shipping lines. That means that from the moment you load your household goods until they arrive at your destination port, they need to be insured. Marine insurance covers:
- Any damage caused during loading at the port and/or when transhipping by crane.
- Any damage caused in the shipping container.
- Any damage caused by the sinking or loss of the vessel.
Coverage ceases as soon as your household goods arrive at the port of destination, which means that any losses incurred during unloading will not be covered. However, there are insurance policies that cover such damage and loss. That must be purchased directly from an agent at the destination point.
Note: Damage caused by incorrect packaging is not covered by insurance.
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Bonus: Common Mistakes In An International Move
Below are the eight most common mistakes made in international movements:
- Not researching the import laws of your destination country.
- Not reading the fine print before signing or paying.
- Not getting insurance.
- Failing to prepare all the necessary documents on time.
- Not checking if a pickup truck can fit in your street.
- Not hiring a licensed freight forwarder.
- Lack of respect from destination agent.
- Lack of sufficient research of the international shipping process.
Moving households, things, and cars internationally is hard work and requires detailed research to be done to select the most reliable and trusted shipping company. By following the advice given in this article, this complicated process can be made more accessible.