How Much will International Moving Cost You?

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How Much will International Moving Cost You?

Staff Writer · Apr 13, 2010

International moving is extremely different from moving within the United States. In an international move, the method of packing and moving your belongings is more thorough, making the cost of your move more expensive.

The Size and Weight of Your Belongings

Moving companies will calculate the cost of your international move on the weight and size of your belongings after they are packed for your move. This differs from interstate or intrastate moving which bases the cost of your move only on the weight of your possessions. Because in an international move the weight and volume cannot be determined until after packing, the estimates you receive initially may not be exact.

International moving rates are not regulated by the United States Department of Transportation and therefore can vary greatly between companies. Because of this, each company independently sets the amount they will charge for a cubic foot of your belongings. It is therefore impossible to calculate the cost of your move before knowing this amount.

The Services You Request

The cost of your move will change depending on the services you choose from your moving company. Service options include, but are not limited to: the transit time, transportation method, route of transport and the container used during transport. The more services your request, the higher the cost of your move. Storage at either destination or at port and insurance will also add to the cost of your move.

Transporting Your Automobile

If you are shipping your car, you can choose between containerized or roll-on, roll-off shipments. In containerized shipping your car is loaded inside a metal container and strapped down to prevent it from moving. Roll-on, roll-off vehicle shipping requires the owner to drive the port where the port authorities will load it onto the designated ship. This method is less expensive than containerized shipping but exposes your car to more damage.

Temporary Living Costs

Because your belongings will not arrive at your new country of residence for several weeks, you must include the costs of a hotel, food and other necessary expenses until their delivery. Depending on the country and length of time until delivery, these costs can be quite expensive, significantly adding to the expense of your move.

Export Documents

Customs, taxes, port fees and other necessary documents can drastically increase the expense of moving. Your moving company will know which documents you must procure prior to your move and their average cost. The cost of these documents will change depending on your destination and the swiftness of transport you choose. Additionally, be prepared for unexpected paperwork and their accompanying costs.

Because of the length and intricacy of transporting your goods internationally, moving overseas is expensive. The method of shipment, speed of delivery and customs payments increase the cost of your move. While international moves are not regulated by the government, make certain to choose a member of the International Association of Movers to ensure that the company is reputable and reliable.

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