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How Did I Find A Reliable International Shipping Company

Jun 5, 2008
I have just received an offer to work abroad. The salary is too good to refuse, so my wife and I are seriously considering moving overseas.

I realize that furnishing a house anywhere would cost a fair amount of money, so I would rather send the contents of our house for overseas shipping, instead of starting from scratch and buying everything. It's a pity I can't bring my house as well.

What should I look for in a shipping company? Where do I start, and how can I tell if a company is a good choice or no?

Wouldn't it be neat if you could ship your entire house without having to pack anything, and have it delivered to another country? That's easier said than done, though.

When You are looking for an international shipping company you should make a list of possible companies that specialize in overseas shipping. You'll find listings of these in the Yellow Pages or on the internet.

Check each company's credentials. Visit the company's office to make sure it's a legitimate operation, and ask to see their licenses and insurance policies. An experienced international shipping company would have been in business for at least ten years.

For an international shipping company to be considered an expert in overseas shipping, it should be approved by the Federal Maritime Commission, and be a member of one or more international agencies such as the AMSA, FIDI or OMNI. AMSA (American Moving and Storage Association) is an organization that provides RIM (Registered International Mover) certifications to international shipping companies that have passed its training and testing.

A RIM certification ensures that a company is knowledgeable in all aspects of overseas shipping. The FIDI (Federation Internationale des Demenageurs Internationaux) is a Belgium-based global alliance of independent international shipping companies, while OMNI (Overseas Movers Network International) is a UK based organization of 260 shipping companies from 70 countries. A good international shipping company would also be ISO 9002 certified.

Also, it will be smart to get in touch with your local Better Business Bureau and check each of the companies with them, to find out whether any of these have had a history of customer complaints.

After you've narrowed down your list, invite the companies to come over your house to do an onsite estimate of what has to be moved. Never settle for an online quotation where the company hasn't physically seen the things to be moved. Relocation costs, especially for overseas shipping, are based on the weight and measurement of the goods after they are packed for shipment. Without a prior physical assessment, the company's actual price might be way off from their price estimate.

Discuss your needs and concerns with each company, in order to ascertain that they can do your overseas shipping according to your requirements. Also, always remember to read the fine lines of the company's contract before you sign anything.

A good international shipping company should be able to take care of your worries about suitable packing for your belongings, ensure that your possessions are properly insured, and guarantee door-to-door service from your current home to your planned destination.

After getting information about each company, comparing prices and services, you'll now be able to make an informed choice. If you did your research right, cross-checked your international shipping company's reputation and discussed everything you need and want to know with them, you shouldn't have any problems relocating.
About the Author
Nir Dotan is a writer and promoter of Internationnal Moving services, and
International Shipping Local as well as International Moving Company.
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