The first step to hiring a moving company is to get quotes from a number of reputable movers. You should get estimates from at least three companies and it is recommended you start this process about 2-3 months prior to your move date. Use GoodMigrations to locate international movers either in your current home location or your destination location and request quotes from the ones you like.
If the moving company accepts your quote request they'll contact you to schedule a visual survey of all the stuff you're shipping. This is the best way to get an accurate assessment of everything, which is the best way of getting an accurate quote.
The mover will not only take an inventory of what you're shipping, but also assess access to your home and other things that might make the move a bit harder. For example, if you're on the fourth floor of an apartment building with no elevator, or if they have to park the truck a couple blocks away so they won't block traffic, it will cost more. Do not use any company that says an in-home survey is not necessary and do not use any company that wants to charge you for this assessment.
This in-home visit also provides you with a first chance to evaluate the company: did the person show up on time, were they knowledgeable, did they make you feel comfortable? The person will take a detailed inventory of the items you'll be moving and then will post your quote using our standardized template on your GoodMigrations account a few days later. International moving quotes are typically only valid for specified amount of time. That is why requesting moving quotes too early might prove to be a waste of time.
The quote cost is typically based on the weight or volume of the goods you're shipping, and can sometimes be based on both. It also captures what services are included.
Your quote will include the estimated time it will take your stuff to reach its destination once it's been packed up. Shipments will differ in the frequency they go out, depending on the company you've hired, where you are shipping from, and where you are shipping to. For example, on a busy route like New York to London, your shipment should leave the port fairly quickly. If you're heading from New York to Fiji it might sit in a warehouse for a while until there's enough to fill a whole container. Make sure you ask the company when it's likely to ship out.
Note that a quote is not always the final price you'll pay: you won't be charged until your goods are actually picked up and weighed/measured at the mover's warehouse. If the final price does end up being more than the quote, the mover should have a legitimate reason for the increase (for example, you added some items to the shipment that weren't included in the survey).
The next two sections, Shipping options and Container options, provide more detailed information about how you ship your goods and what you ship them in. These options will have an impact on your overall cost, so it's important to understand them.