If you're moving your life and/or business overseas, here are some tips for the big move.

Starting new abroad is already stressful enough – let’s make that transition easier:

Believe me, I know ALL about the stress and pain of moving ones entire livelihood across the globe. Not only have I spent the last 30+ years of my life helping people and businesses with their international moving needs, but I too made that transition once upon a time.

For you there is a much easier and less expensive method to ship your office or household goods internationally than when I made the move back in the 1980s, but not many people realize this.

Believe it or not, but a freight forwarder rather than an actual moving service will everything about the way you view international moving. How about spending half or even LESS on your costs for one?


HELPFUL TOOL: Free Household moving checklist




Freight Forwaders vs Movers



1. Costs

A typical mover would bring a regular truck & a crew to pack on-site, and the average rate is $ 90 & up per man-hour. Plus, they mark up their packing materials far above cost & do not always fit the bill, so to speak. For example, they may end up crating when you can boxing up an item or paper-wrap is more appropriate.

An international shipping company with a division that specializes in office, household goods relocation would bring your exclusive ocean container (20’ or 40’) to your residence & a packing crew.

The average rate is $ 49 per man hour. The packing material is purchased at cost & sold by to the shipper with 5% margin to cover the time to purchase the materials.

2. Process

With a freight forwarder the loading of the shipment is made in front of you & right into the ocean container, the crew will pack the cargo, load it, block it, & brace it to prevent any shifting during the transportation.

With a mover, they’re going to pack your goods into a truck, which means they’re going to have to off-load them and load them again into the shipping container once they get to the shipping hub. Not only does this add another expense, but you won’t be present when the second transition occurs, which means you won’t have oversight to the quality of their packing job or even to make sure that everything made it aboard your container. You may also end up sharing a container or go out on multiple containers without knowing it until after the fact.

What’s that they say about the power of repetition? Do something 10,000 times, and you become an expert. 

3. Licensing


Movers are not freight forwarders and do not always carry the licensed to handle the export declaration & customs paperwork. This means another company, possibly located overseas and out of reach, will have to assist in this, or it will heavily fall on you to navigate through challenges that occur.

An approved freight forwarder will be able to handle everything for you, because they’re licensed and TSA Known Certified.

4. Routing

Movers do not always have volume ocean contracts with the steam lines to obtain lesser ocean container rates.  This is a big deal not only do you might pay more in transport with a mover, but, you add a layer between the mover & the steam line to fulfill the declaration.

Licenses not only open the doors to cheaper rates, but more routes as well, which means timing is more controlled, as is security.

Once your container is overseas, not many movers have their own freight network to support the overseas customs clearance, the port at destination as well as avoiding bringing your container to a warehouse, unload & reload into a truck for the residential or office delivery.


With well networked freight forwarders, it doesn’t matter which corner of the planet you’re relocating to, because we spend all day every day dealing with situations JUST like yours.

As a side note, those principals can apply to less than a container load as well air our air freight weekly consolidation.


One company, one freight network from door-to-door, one contact person from start to finish, one international shipping company = less pain and lower costs, so you can focus on learning your new language. 

Helpful links:

Whether you need to relocate your office or your home & vehicles, we have you covered from the very beginning. Get a free free quote for your residential or commercial relocation today!

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