International Moving

International Moving

Extreme excitement and anxiety are probably your best friends right now. This is a big life change and starting off on the right foot with a decent moving experience would go a long way in making your move easier. Making sure it goes right feels like the set up for whether you will start your life in that new country off right.


iMoving knows how difficult an international move can be and partners with some of the best movers in the US and abroad to help create seamless moving experiences for brave travelers like yourself.


Whatever you choose to do, just know we miss you already and good luck with the move!

What is international moving?


In the simplest terms, an international move is when the person that sends the shipment at the origin country (the shipper) is the same person that receives it at the end destination (consignee). In an international move, you are both the shipper and consignee. You are responsible for the legality of everything being shipped, import duties and charges that may arise.


That’s as easy as it gets. Now for all the other people who aren’t you that are involved.


Freight Forwarder


This person helps you and keeps you updated on the shipment process, including organizing the transportation of your belonging from the origin to the final destination. This person handles all your documents and is your liaison for the many parts required in the moving process. Though the process of moving internationally involves many different companies, you only need to have one point of contact.




These are the people who pick your shipment up and transport it to the port for shipping once you’ve loaded it. They will also unload your shipment container and bring it to your new address.


LCL Consolidators


These are the companies that put shipments together. If you have fewer items that may not need a full container, you may share space with others.




They drive the ships transporting your shipment container.


Destination Agents


Welcome to your new home! These people are here to help you get your documentation in order to avoid problems with customs and make sure your personal belongings are released. They advise you on the taxes you need to pay when your shipment arrives at the port.


Customs Authorities


They control the import and export of each country. They will verify the information on the documents you submitted to retrieve your shipment.


How to find international movers?


Shipping your things overseas is not cheap. If you are going to move out of the country, do it the right way; cutting corners and looking for deals is too big of risk during relocation.


Be Resourceful – Seek out Knowledgeable References


You are not the first person to make this journey so why not tap into existing knowledge.


  • Facebook groups or Reddit forums are a good place to start to look for people who have traveled the same origin/destination route you’re about to undertake.
  • Human resources department at your job (in origin or destination country).
  • Take advantage of our resources here at iMoving. Many of the moving companies in our network have the experience and logistical systems needed to accomplish a smooth international move.


Contact an international moving consultant


You want a moving company with lots of experience, good reviews and fully insured. Choose at least 3 decent prospects and get quotes and visual surveys. If anyone tries to fight you on this run!


Things to know about international moves


Packing Your Freight Shipment


The sea is unpredictable and your belongings will be at its mercy. Sudden movements due to rough waters are very common for ocean vessels. Keep in mind, that your container may be exposed to extreme temperature and humidity changes as it makes its way to the destination port.


Use quality materials to protect your belongings. Your risk damages to your property if you have not properly packed and secured your items. You are fully responsible for packing and securing all of your belongings.


Types of International Moves


Door-to-door: this is exactly what it sounds like and is the easiest way to go. Your belongings are picked up at your front door and dropped off at the front door of your new residence.


When using this method there is no need for a destination agent. Your freight forwarder handles custom clearance in both countries.


Door-to-port: your belongings are still picked up at your home but this time they are dropped off at the port in your destination country. You have to pick them up from there.


Air or Freight


Depending on your needs, you can ship you belongings by air or freight. You will get your things faster by air, but are allowed to send far less than if you used freight.


Full Container Load (FCL) or Partial Container Load (LCL)


When shipping FCL, you benefit from more security because you do not have to share space with anyone. The chances of your items being hurt is lower and is less likely to be detained by customs.

What you can send overseas


  • Clothes
  • Cars
  • Furniture
  • Appliances and household items


Be warned: cars typically have restrictions imposed on them. Check if your car is allowed to enter the destination country or risk paying heavy fines.


What you cannot send overseas


  • Plants
  • Food or tobacco
  • Live animals
  • Medicine
  • Cleaning products


How to save money on an international move?


When making an international move, there are options that are more convenient but cost more. By knowing your priorities you can choose the services that are right for you.


Ship by Freight


Sending your belongings by air costs substantially more money.


Ship using a Partial Container (LCL)


Depending on the number of things you are moving to your new home, you can share a freight container and benefit from lower international moving costs.


If you are sending furniture, cars, and lots of boxes, you may have to use a Full Container Load (FCL).




The smallest mistake can lead to higher moving costs. Make sure you research the import laws of your destination country, buy moving insurance and have all your required documents ready. Delay fees can pile up quickly. Spending some time researching rules and regulations should ease some of the stress.


Moving internationally is a complicated process. Let iMoving do most of the work for you by putting you in contact with high-quality local movers that can guide you through this complex experience, allowing you to take in more of the exciting part as we deal with the headaches.