Off topic: International moving
Thread poster: Signe Golly

Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:30
Danish to English
+ ...
Jan 27, 2011

Does anybody have experience with international moving that they can share?
I am originally from Denmark and after 10 years in the US, my (American) husband and I are planning to move to Norway in early fall.
I am specifically interested in information on how to move our STUFF! We're still debating how much we want to take with us, partly because I haven't been able to find any really good information about international moving companies, etc. Has anybody moved all or parts of an established household from the US to Europe? How long did it take? Was the price based on SQFT or weight? What was the mode of transportation? How much did it cost? Did you have to deliver your things to a central location? Any recommendations or tales of caution?
I figured this group is a fairly international bunch and perhaps less tied down than some, so someone must know something, right?
Appreciate the help, guys!


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Anna Spanoudaki-Thurm  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:30
Member (2009)
German to Greek
+ ...
intercontinental household transport Jan 27, 2011

Try these keywords!

I know someone who moved with two small children, two dogs, two horses and a LOT OF STUFF, from Europe to the US. They rented a container. The stuff were there within a couple of weeks and there were no problems.

Serious problem if you move in the direction US->EUR: The houses/appartments are much smaller!!


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Alexandra Pirotte  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 05:30
English to French
+ ...
Why not try a relocation company? Jan 27, 2011

I'm currently doing an internship at a company that coaches expatriates. This is a question we often hear. I also have some experience moving internationally. The most sensible piece of advice I could give you is to contact a relocation company. It's not the cheapest option, but it has the advantage of being hassle free. You'll have more than enough issues / "administrivia", etc., to worry about while moving family, belongings (thank God I'm a minimalist!) and business halfway across the globe.

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SBlack
French to English
+ ...
Airline freight Jan 27, 2011

I recently moved from Canada to France and was pleasantly surprised to find airline freight cheaper than container shipping.

My household effects (books, dishes, photos) arrived in two days by Air Canada. Did not ship any furniture.

I was quoted a per kg amount for airline freight, whereas container shipping was by volume and a minimum volume had to be reserved.

The estimated arrival time for container shipping was six weeks, plus I would have had to pay for the special packing (the humidity and salt requires special packaging for goods shipped this way).

All the best!


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
My experience Jan 27, 2011

If you are in the US, you could try "Mailboxes, etc." - it is after all an American company, more than just a private post office (as it were). Very competitive, and very good service was my experience, moving back home after a stint in the Basque Country. This at a time when time and options for me were fast running out. All the other so-called "removal companies" - including the ones who advertised things like "No job too small" and "Distance is no object" - either flatly refused to entertain me and my plight, told me they were "fully-booked" (not that old chestnut...), or else quoted a price that was astronomically out-of-this-world, designed one for one thing only: get someone else!!

So I did. They delivered 2 days ahead of schedule, by the way, (5 instead of 7), and I was able to track it all online.

The price was based on a mixture of weight and size, but they did their damndest to keep the price down for me. The result was one-quarter the price of the next nearest quote. No-brainer.

[This company is connected in some way to Fed-Ex, and uses their services too.]

HTH.


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Suzanne Deliscar  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 23:30
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Moving Links 4 You Jan 28, 2011

Try Mary Lascelles at Moving Links 4 You - http://www.movinglinks4you.com. She is one of my LinkedIn contacts. She has a lot of information on her LinkedIn profile as well - http://www.linkedin.com/in/relomary.

Good luck!


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Ben Hickman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 05:30
Dutch to English
Just to give you an idea... Jan 28, 2011

I moved from Florida to the Netherlands 11 years ago. I called several shipping companies and found one that was willing to give me a fixed quote based on cubic meters. I stacked my stuff in a tight cube in the airplane hanger I was living above and it came out to be half of a shipping container. They came and picked it up with a moving truck, took it from Gainesville to Jacksonville, put it in a container and shipped it to Rotterdam. I then rented a moving truck and picked it up there myself. It took about 6 weeks to arrive. I paid about $1200 in 1999. Most everything arrived undamaged, and I didn't even do a very good job packing things protectively. The only thing that got damaged was my professional auto-mechanic's tool box, which was on wheels. Even though they strapped it onto a pallet it was so heavy that it must have shifted back and forth from the motion of the ship. The fronts of the drawers got all mashed up. Everything else was perfect. Sorry I can't give you the name of the company. It was so long ago that I no longer have the documents. I did have to fill in a bunch of paperwork for the customs agents in Rotterdam, and as I recall I had to pay quite a bit for the pleasure ($100 or so). My wife and I will be emigrating to Sweden next year, so we'll be neighbors soon!

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Cecilia Di Vita  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:30
English to Italian
+ ...
bad experience with Mail Boxes etc Jan 28, 2011

JPW wrote:

If you are in the US, you could try "Mailboxes, etc." - it is after all an American company, more than just a private post office (as it were). Very competitive, and very good service was my experience, moving back home after a stint in the Basque Country.



Mail Boxes etc. is a broker, not a shipping company. When I moved to the UK from Italy a couple of years ago, I went to them because their offer was the most competitive I had received. To be noted that I didn't have to move any furniture, just lots of boxes with personal belongings such as clothes, books, etc. They quoted me a price based on the weight, but forgot to mention that if the volumetric weight of the shipping was higher than the actual weight, than I would get charged on the basis of the volumetric weight. So they came to pick up my stuff (27 boxes which were comfortably stacked on a pallet, around 350/400 kg in weight) and after a few hours they rang saying that they didn't expect the boxes to be so big and that the volumetric weight exceeded by far the weight I had initially been quoted for. I protested about their sloppiness and lack of clarity and we reached an agreement - but I still ended up paying about 3 times what I had initially been quoted. I didn't have much choice as my outbound flight was in a couple of days and I didn't have any time left to shop around other companies. My stuff was sent by lorry with DHL and arrived here about 6/7 days later, nothing was damaged despite being packed in a very unsatisfactory manner (the only positive about Mail Boxes is that the packing is their responsibility, so they are liable for any damages) and despite the fact that the DHL driver delivered 1 day later because he couldn't allegedly find my house (!!!), I had to spend a whole morning looking out of the window to see if the DHL lorry was coming... ridiculous!!

So my piece of advice is: go with someone reliable, not necessarily with the cheapest option. I got so stressed about the delivery of my stuff, I really wouldn't want to do it ever again!! Or if I do, I'll pay someone who really knows what they're doing...

Good luck!


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:30
German to English
Contact a major US moving company Jan 28, 2011

Try contacting an affiliate of major moving company (Allied, Mayflower, United, North American, etc.). Although the local companies are franchises, they're networked, and can handle an international move. They have contacts with movers in your destination country. Make sure you get several estimates, as the rates can vary. You might want to do your own packing, as that will save money. The mover should provide several options, each with a separate cost.

It may take a month to 6 weeks for your container to be transported. The mover in your destination country should also handle the paperwork, but be prepared to provide an inventory with an estimated (used) value of your items. You should do this for insurance purposes anyway (with a list of replacement costs which will be higher, of course than the used value of your goods).


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Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 13:30
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
PSS Removals Jan 28, 2011

We used PSS Removals when we relocated from the UK to Australia. We shipped our complete household (3-bedroom house) and paid just under £4000 for a full container, plus customs fees. The whole process was very straightforward. The packers arrived at our house and spent only half a day packing everything, we didn't need to lift a finger. Then the container pulled up, our stuff disppeared and ten weeks later we were reunited with our belongings on the other end when their local partner company delivered it to our doorstep and unpacked everything. Much to my surprise nothing was damaged or lost, apart from a couple of minor scratches on some furniture.

It was a seemless process and we were surprised how easy it all was. But not a cheap exercise obviously.

Good luck with your move!

(Oh and the price was based on cubic feet, but we opted to pay for a full container rather than sharing one.)

[Edited at 2011-01-28 23:33 GMT]


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Signe Golly  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:30
Danish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone Jan 31, 2011

Thank you to all of you for submitting your suggestions, ideas, and experiences! I very much appreciate it and will definitely be looking into several of the options mentioned

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