Moving home and hearth across the ditch isn’t as simple as ringing a friend and stealing a few banana boxes from Countdown. Luckily, there are plenty of companies who can help you move all your belongings to your new home. But how do you pick the right one?
As is generally the case, services will vary between companies. Some may not work for your specific needs and it’s better to identify them at the beginning so you don’t have a difficult experience. With this simple guide, you can narrow down your choices and pick the company that best suits your requirements.
This checklist lets you know what you should be looking out for when zeroing in on an international relocation company.
Go by referrals, ratings and credentials
Ideally, your initial list of relocation companies should consist of referrals from trusted friends and family. If they have used the services of a company earlier and had a pleasant experience, you’re more likely to be in safe hands.
If you’re short on recommendations, then turn to the internet—but don’t put down just the top names that the search engine throws up. Take a look at the ratings and user reviews. If you have the time and patience, it would be ideal to reach out to certain reviewers to understand their experience better.
No matter how you got in touch with the relocation company, always check their credentials such as insurance. This is key to know that you’re with a company you can trust.
Get an estimate
Reputable companies will be able to give you an estimate on how much the entire job would cost only after seeing the items that you want shipped. Most companies offer this assessment free of charge. When they do come to quote for this, take note of the experience you have. Were they easy to get in touch with? Did they arrive on time? Do they have their own equipment? Did they arrive in a rented van? Watch out for red flags.
When it comes to the estimate, it is recommended that you get quotes from three different companies. But you should be suspicious of markedly low offers. This may mean that they will take less responsibility in case there’s a mishap with your belongings or they will tack on extra charges like terminal/port charges, packing and unpacking charges later on. Make sure you ask about these hidden charges.
The best way to go about it is to identify a fixed price or a ‘not exceeding x amount’ agreement so, there are no unpleasant surprises later on. It should be noted that estimates are time sensitive, generally for about 30 days. If you move your shipping date, the quote may change depending on current conditions.
Are they specialists?
Are you shipping motor vehicles or just household goods? Or both? Some companies are specialists in a certain type of shipment. It is definitely beneficial if they are specialists in the type of shipping that you are looking for.
While you may not know the specifics of the shipment process, your moving company should be well-versed on the subject. Besides noting the number of years they have been in business for, interacting with them will give you a feel on how comfortable they are with the whole process.
Don’t forget to ask them if there are any restrictions on any of your belongings and about liability coverage – especially if you are transporting any collectibles or family heirlooms.
Transparency is important, so ask a lot of questions
Since you’re entrusting this company with your life’s belongings, it’s only fair that you are clear on their process. If it’s a door-to-door relocation service, some companies rely on third-party companies to deliver your products from cargo to your new home. So ask them if they would be and if yes, are you comfortable with that?
Other key points to find out are – how long the process will take? How many scheduled trips do they make? How and who does the packing of your belongings? If they are not able to give you exact dates, ask for a time frame. Do they offer insurance?
Make sure that you are clear on how to get in touch with them for updates while the shipping is happening. If you have any specific requests, how accommodating are they of this?
It is a very good idea to visit their offices and warehouse as well so you can be assured that they are a legit company that is accessible should you have any grievances.
Moving can be quite stressful but having the right company help you with this transition can make all the difference. Taking a little time beforehand to identify the best company for the job is absolutely worth it to make the beginning of a new chapter that much easier on you and your family.