Planning an International Move

Moving internationally should be a very exciting, life changing experience. With the help of the right overseas mover, it can be easier than you think!

Lao Tzu, a sixth century B.C. philosopher known as the Father of Taoism, once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” The same applies for international moving – the first step to battling an international move is assessing your move. Where are you moving to and why? What is the best course of action for getting there? How can I get the best deal for my international move? What moving services should I look for?

Professional international moving companies like Graebel Van Lines® can answer all of your questions when it comes to finding the right mover. When it comes to moving overseas, the best option is finding a mover who can take care of the entire process.


To start, research moving companies in your area and see if they offer international moving services. If they do, be sure to ask if they sub-contract any part of the move. Knowing whether or not the moving company you hire is going to sub-contract any portion of your move is important. This means that there is a second-party that you have to research and make sure is reputable. Research international movers in your area and check for licensing, insurance, reviews and complaints through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA), the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT), and FIDI. Those four sites can give you enough information to make a decision on whether the international mover in question is a decent choice. Along with the aforementioned sites, you will also want to make sure that the mover is a Registered International Mover (RIM) or RIM Certified.

After you have found a respectable international moving company, find out who they use as a forwarder. An international forwarder will handle arranging the move from the United States to another country or vice versa. Also known as international moving coordinators, they will manage every aspect of your move. This includes packing, loading, coordinating with international carriers, and making arrangements with customs.

International Moving Quotes:

It is important to keep in mind that international moving quotes are much different than that of traditional residential quotes. An international moving quote will most likely say “door-to-door” packing and unpacking, which denotes a full service international move. That way, you do not have to worry about any of the physical moving aspects. Also, keep in mind that international rates are not regulated, so they can be highly competitive and vary.

Insurance for an International Move:

Like all other aspects of international moves, insurance for an international move is much different than that of a typical domestic move. Your forwarder is going to limit their liability to anywhere between $.10 and $.60 per pound of the weight of your shipment. Because of this, seeking an additional coverage plan and/or “itemized” plan is suggested.

Additional coverage for an international move should include either paying the value of the lost or damaged item, paying for the repair of an item, or paying to replace the item.

Paperwork to be Completed before an International Move:

In order to avoid complications once you reach your international destination, you should have documents such as passports, any certifications of registration, US export forms, medical and immunization certificates, and marriage certificates completed and available.

If you are not already a resident of the country that you are moving to, you should make sure to have your visa, residence and work permits, and an international driving permit finalized.

Graebel Van Lines® has been helping people complete their international move with ease for over 60 years. We are the first and only United States moving company with nationwide certification from the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI), so whether you are moving your family or your business internationally, Graebel Van Lines® holds an international guarantee of excellence to put your worries at bay.

Grabel Van Lines® has expert international coordinators/forwarders that handle every aspect of your international move, giving you the “door-to-door” moving experience that you need. Our forwarders will make sure that your belongings are wrapped and sealed properly before being loaded into custom crating and moved to your new global destination.