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An international relocation involving movement of your household goods can typically range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands depending on what you want to relocate and where. A lot of considerations go into making an international moving estimate viz., distance or shipping lane, volume or weight, packing requirements, port charges, destination costs and insurance. It is therefore worthwhile to seek expert advice from professionals who have experience and wherewithal to handle every last detail or challenges that come along.


An online research is the often the first step when searching for full service relocations service provider. You can directly call the company or check their website for client reviews and testimonials. Rather than offer to send a consultant to your home to discuss your needs, timing, special requirements and to view your items, there are some companies who will offer an estimate over the phone or online. So much easier, right? An online estimate is only what it is and can never substitute a considered advice of a relocation consultant visiting your home to provide all the relevant information on what to expect during packing, transportation and delivery at the destination. The consultant will survey all your belongings to be transported and will advise on specialized packing for goods that require special care or attention. By virtue of a physical survey, the consultant is better equipped to calculate exact volumes to be transported and provide an accurate and detailed estimate.

Beware of phone or online international moving estimates. You’ll find that some companies, either on the phone or online, will offer you the lowest cost – sight unseen – just to get you in the door, or worse, to sign on the dotted line.

Be aware

If you are in the process of receiving quotes from companies who do not offer an in-person consultation or have not been to your home, it is prudent to go through the fine print on the international moving estimates in detail to understand if it answers the following:

• What if volume or weight exceeds estimate? Do they charge extra?
• Are port charges included in the estimate?
• Is it a room-to-room service?
• Do they assist with customs clearance?
• Does the estimate include normal customs fees?
• Does the company manage their own insurance?
• Do they have their own office in the destination country?
• Are they using an agent? If so, make sure you research them as well.

With the advent and prevalence of digital technology, accepting estimates online seem easier, comfortable and a time saving option. Though an online estimate can appear time saving but in the longer run it may result in inaccurate costs and cost escalations due to the physical survey and consultation not being availed. Sometimes, the cost escalations can run up to as much as twice or three times the offer that was signed and your goods being held hostage until the bill is paid.

No matter who you relocate with, if your shipment is over the size of the contents of one bedroom, you should have a consultant visit you in-person in your home. And even then you should read the fine print and ask questions if anything is unclear. If there is a big price difference between companies, then there usually is a reason for it.

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