Domestic moves can have a lot of moving parts but international moves are another beast entirely. Every good moving plan starts with the right support from experts you can trust.
Whether you’re moving to Canada, Europe, Australia, or somewhere else new and exciting, the top international moving companies will be there for you every step of the way.
But where do you begin? We’ve taken the hard work out of researching dozens of moving companies by calling out notable pros and cons and identifying the most pertinent stand-out features.
Need to ship a car? We got you. Need custom crates for awkwardly shaped items? We got you there too. Need to know exactly how much you can expect to spend when all’s said and done? We’re there.
Let’s dive in.
Comparing the Best International Movers
Sometimes comparing apples to apples makes the decision process a lighter lift. Take a look at the table below to compare fast facts for the best international movers.
|Company||Best For||Services||BBB Rating|
|International Van Lines||Overall||
|Safeway Moving||Accurate Quotes||
|American Van Lines||Military Moves||
|JK Moving Services||Financing Options||
|North American Van Lines||Insurance Claims||
|Allied Van Lines||Vehicle Shipping||
|Atlas Van Lines||Customer Support||
Get a free moving quote from all our moving providers to choose the best company for your international move.
How We Picked the Top International Movers
The best moving companies didn’t earn that title through advertising alone. Our team has carefully vetted their international shipping services, combed through real-life moving experiences, and compared companies against each other until we developed a short list.
When we’re evaluating moving companies, we look at their available insurance options, global availability, and overall quality of their international moving services. We consider how easy it is to get a quote and how accurate that company’s quotes tend to be. Then we confirm our conclusions by drawing from customer feedback.
Our reviews are consistently updated when we come across new information, but we encourage all international movers to go with their gut instinct because only you know the right choice for you.
Best International Moving Companies
We’ve pulled the stand out features of the top international moving companies, so you can easily identify the company that fits your needs.
- Best Overall: International Van Lines
- Best for Accurate Quotes: Safeway Moving
- Best for Military Moves: American Van Lines
- Best for Financing: JK Moving Services
- Best for Insurance Claims: American Van Lines
- Best for Vehicle Shipping: Allied Van Lines
- Best for Customer Support: Atlas Van Lines
- Best for Self-Service: 1-800-PACK-RAT
Best Overall: International Van Lines
International Van Lines (IVL) has more than 20 years of international moving experience under its belt. While many moving companies tend to start by servicing domestic moves before expanding into international territory, IVL did it the other way around.
The result? They’re one of the most experienced international moving companies on the globe. In addition to the typical packing, loading, and transport services, IVL works with its customers to properly handle specialty items and coordinate auto transport.
If that’s not enough, the company further stands out by offering discounts to seniors and donating a portion of its proceeds to single mothers.
- Includes 30 days of free storage
- Services all 50 states and more than 180 countries
- Provides 24/7 customer service
- Offers free online quotes
- Can be more expensive than competitors
- Has limited physical locations
Best for Accurate Quotes: Safeway Moving
No one likes surprises during the moving process, especially where money’s concerned. Safeway Moving takes that priority personally by ensuring all pricing estimates go through a triple-check verification process.
The first part of this process is a self-assessment and inventory, but they don’t take your word for it. After receiving your initial estimate, Safeway will schedule a virtual or in-person survey based on your availability. Finally, they’ll confirm your price and send over a binding estimate. Binding estimates remain fixed as long as you don’t add items or services to your reservation.
- Provides triple-check verification to guarantee accurate quotes
- Price matches their competitors
- Donates a portion of proceeds to charity annually
- Requires a deposit at time of booking
- Doesn’t offer online quotes
Best for Military Moves: American Van Lines
If you work for the military, you know that international moves are a part of life. Plus, you know how complicated it can be to move your belongings and your family when you get deployed.
Make life easier with a military move using American Van Lines. Get a free in-home estimate and take advantage of full service packing, long- and short-term storage options, and valuation insurance. Best of all, they offer online shipment tracking for long-distance moves so you can see where your stuff is, every step of the way.
AVL isn’t just about military moves. They also specialize in corporate relocations and commercial moving. Need to move a piano or antiques? They’ve got you covered for that too.
- Can accommodate last-minute moves and tight deadlines
- Great storage options, which is useful for international moves where things don’t always go smoothly
- Experts at moving specialty items
- Some of the best pricing in the industry
- They often require a deposit when you book
- Their customer service and automated calls can be excessive
Best for Financing: JK Moving Services
JK Moving Services may be one of the more expensive moving companies on the market, but it makes an effort to remain accessible through its partnership with Enhancify. This third-party financing can reduce upfront financial demands, so you can enjoy a relatively stress-free moving experience.
Financing isn’t the only disruptive presence JK Moving Services brings to the industry. While other companies rely on scheduling in-person or virtual estimates, JK Moving Services uses Yembo, an AI software that streamlines the quote process.
- Offers financing options through Enhancify
- Recycles discarded items to reduce environmental footprint
- Uses AI technology throughout the quote process
- Is higher-priced than other options
- Doesn’t provide online pricing information
Best for Reputation: American Van Lines
American Van Lines is a full-service moving company that gives its customers complete flexibility over their international moving services. You can opt for total convenience by paying for everything from packing to custom crating or you can go more DIY with a moving container.
Either way, North American Van Lines ensures you have confidence your items are in good hands by offering a valued inventory program that helps you choose the best level of coverage for your needs. If anything happens to your items in storage or transit, North American Van Lines makes it easy to locate their claims forms and check in on their progress.
- Free online quotes
- Shipment tracking via satellite
- Several insurance options
- Clunky website
- In-home survey required for binding estimates
Best for Vehicle Shipping: Allied Van Lines
Allied Van Lines is among the oldest moving companies in the United States. In their 95 years of operation, they have grown to provide full-service moving and storage solutions in all 50 states and more than 130 countries.
Allied offers customers the convenience of booking without a deposit and tracking their shipment the entire time it’s in transit. But perhaps the company’s biggest claim to fame is how quickly it can ship vehicles. According to their advertisements and many customer reviews, Allied Van Lines can get your boat, RV, or car to its new home in less than a week in many cases.
- Doesn’t require a deposit
- Donates unwanted items to the Salvation Army
- Completes most vehicle shipments in three to seven days
- Doesn’t have 24/7 customer support
- Has received some customer complaints about damaged items
Best for Customer Support: Atlas Van Lines
Atlas Van Lines is another full-service moving company, but its due diligence goes a bit further than the average mover — to the benefit of its customers. While some moving companies will outsource their labor to third-party carriers, Atlas Van Lines keeps everything in house.
All new hires have to complete a standardized training program through Atlas Academy, plus a drug test and background check. The company has more than 75 years of industry experience and the facilities to handle moving and storage projects of all sizes. With well-trained staff and versatile services — all provided directly — Atlas supports customers through each step of the moving process.
- Screens and trains all staff
- Offers a mobile app and customer portal
- Provides virtual and in-person estimates
- Has a rigid cancellation policy
- May have limited storage availability, depending on location
Best for Self-Service: 1-800-PACK-RAT
1-800-PACK-RAT is the only international mover on this list that solely offers self-service moving containers. As such, it can be a cost-effective solution if you want to move overseas with more than you can take on an airplane but less than a freight trailer.
1-800-PACK-RAT offers three container sizes –– 8, 12, and 16 feet –– allowing it to accommodate a wide range of move types. Its containers are also durably constructed to resist weather and temperature fluctuations in storage or in transit.
- Is less expensive than full-service moving companies
- Offers multiple container sizes
- Gives you unlimited loading time
- Requires a 30-day minimum rental
- Doesn’t offer online quotes
How to Pick the Best International Mover
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when you’re looking for the best international mover for your needs. Instead, it helps to look at real life moving experiences, the company’s overall reputation, capabilities, service options, and pricing transparency.
We’ve broken it down further below.
Before choosing an international moving company, take your time to read through a large sample size of customer reviews on reputable review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and TrustPilot.
The best international moving companies assign customers a single point of contact to mitigate communication issues through the moving process. There are so many moving parts when you move to a new country and a moving coordinator signals that the company has their eye on the ball.
Many international movers understand the anxiety of trusting strangers to move your entire life to a new country. Online shipment tracking shows that the company invests in customer experiences and strives to facilitate a seamless moving process.
Does the company offer packing services? Will its movers dissemble bulky furniture and put it back together in its new home? Can you store your items indefinitely if you’re still looking for a home base in your new country?
A company with diverse service options will be able to adjust to your needs and reduce the hassle of hiring a third-party to fill in the gaps.
Years of Experience
There isn’t a hard and fast rule for the number of years of experience you should look for, but it can be helpful to know that a company isn’t new to the business. Experienced international moving companies typically have FIDI credentials demonstrating their commitment to a high-quality customer experience.
On the flip side, new international moving companies may have innovative solutions the industry veterans haven’t adopted yet.
Carefully weigh years of experience against the other factors we’ve described to find the best fit for your unique needs.
Request a Moving Estimate
Reputable moving companies will take the time to thoroughly evaluate your moving needs and estimate the total cost for those services. Some companies provide binding estimates, while others won’t finalize the bill until they’re onsite and actually doing the work.
Make sure you confirm the way each provider structures their pricing to eliminate any surprises. Experienced moving companies will patiently answer your questions, offer helpful moving tips, and set realistic expectations.
Factors Affecting Your International Move’s Cost
There are virtually endless factors that can affect the cost of your international move. As you set your budget, consider the following:
- Move size: Moving a one- to two-bedroom home will be cheaper than a large four-bedroom house with a multi-car garage. If you have a strict budget, consider downsizing, donating, or decluttering your belongings to reduce your move size.
- Door-to-door vs terminal-to-terminal: Some companies will deliver international shipments right to your door, while others will bring them to a storage facility. Door service generally costs more.
- Range of services: If you need packing, labor, speciality items (pianos, antiques, sports equipment), car shipping, white-glove, crating, or other add-on services on top of the typical moving process, your cost will increase. Consider the full breadth of your moving needs when pricing your move.
- Self-service vs. full-service: If you choose a full or partial DIY move, you’ll save more money than if you hire a full-service company.
- Insurance options: Some international relocation services include baseline moving insurance coverage with booking, but it’s not always enough to cover the full value of your items. Upgrading insurance can increase your total moving costs, but it can provide necessary peace of mind.
- Method of transportation: Ocean freight is known to be the cheapest, but air freight can be faster. Consider the method of transportation, and applicable customs clearances, when drafting your moving plan.
- Distance: Consider the distance between your current home and new country. The distance to your destination country can directly impact the methods of transportation available to you.
- Time of year: Peak moving season extends from mid-May to mid-September. Providers generally increase their prices during this time to account for the additional demand and reduced availability, so consider that when you set your moving date.
- Storage options: Do you need storage services while you iron out the logistics of your international move? Some companies offer 30 days of storage for free, but longer durations can increase your moving costs.
- Selected company: International moving companies aren’t created equally. Some companies may focus on affordability and accessibility, while others have a more impressive range of services. Get a quote from every company you’re interested in to compare costs.
FAQs About International Moves
What is the average cost of an international mover?
The average cost of an international mover can vary tremendously depending on the company you choose, the distance between the origin and destination locations, total weight of the shipment, any specialty items, and additional services. According to our research, the average international move starts at about $1,000, but it can cost as much as $15,000.
What is the cheapest way to move belongings overseas?
Ocean freight, or sea freight, is the cheapest way to move belongings overseas. With this method, you pack your household goods into a shipping container that will eventually be loaded onto a cargo ship. It can be slower than other methods, but it gives you the option to ship a large volume at a cheaper price.
How far in advance should I book an international move?
We recommend booking an international move at least 12 weeks in advance to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you are moving during peak season or you have a lot of specialty items, it doesn’t hurt to be even more proactive.
How do I ship a car overseas?
You can ship a car overseas in open or enclosed transport vessels. With either option, the vehicle will be loaded onto a cargo ship and directed to your intended destination port.
Enclosed transport protects your vehicle from the elements and debris, but it can be much more expensive, whereas open transport is the industry standard for manufacturers to ship even brand new vehicles.