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What do International Removal Companies do?

Posted by By Bournes International Moves - April 1, 2022

International Removal companies pack, load transport and deliver your household furniture and personal belongings so they arrive safely and securely at your new home with as little stress for you as possible. 

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Exporting and importing your household goods is far more complex than the simple move most of us are used to in the UK. There are rules, regulations and of course paperwork! Whether by sea or air, international removals companies take on most of the hard work that goes into making your physical move and guiding you on everything else to take away that stress for you.

Whether household goods, personal effects or larger items, we strongly recommend researching a moving company that uses expert packing materials, door to door service and who prioritise moving your personal belongings as critically important. Moving to a new country is hard, so to make your move overseas while you save money, you'll need to get assistance from expert removal companies. 

Your movers will typically help with the following:

Before the move

  • Carry out a pre-move survey to understand what your move involves and make sure you have the right resources for it to run smoothly in the time you need it to happen. For example the right size truck, the number of moving crew and packing materials. Read our guide: What services do international removal companies provide?
  • Help you plan everything for the move and coordinate your dates so everything runs smoothly.
  • Provide packing materials including crates for anything valuable or fragile. 
  • Give you advice and assistance in preparing for the move from booking parking to telling you what items you might not be allowed to take with you and help you complete all the documentation and customs forms for when your goods arrive. 

On packing day(s)

  • A trained and experienced team of professionals will arrive at your house and (depending on the company you choose) usually, they will be in uniform and in a liveried truck.
  • The team will introduce themselves and walk around the property to make sure they understand everything that's important to you and to explain how they will work.
  • Protect any part of your house that might be at risk of damage, for example putting down floor protection if it's needed. 
  • Pack and wrap your furniture and effects. Smaller move items will be wrapped and loaded into shipping cartons and if you've asked for the service to be included some special items may be overcased in a wooden crate for extra protection. 
  • Depending on how your items are travelling to the destination the crew will then load ready for transport, for example:
    • Your sea shipping container could be loaded directly on-site, heading straight from your home to the port. 
    • Items could be loaded into the removal company's lorry to be loaded into a shipping container at their depot (typical for shared container moves or where your home doesn't have good access for the container lorry). 
    • Items could be loaded into the vehicle for transportation by road if you're moving in mainland Europe. 
  • Provide insurance in case of any accidental damage during the move.

During Transit

Once your shipment is on route (by road, sea or air) your removal company will typically:

  • Keep you up to date with progress and keep you informed of key milestones like your shipment is arriving when moving to a new country, clearing customs and potential delivery dates.
  • Some companies may have systems so you can track your own move online or through an app. 
  • Make arrangements for your belongings to clear customs (if this is required for your destination) and to be delivered to your home if this has not already been arranged in advance. 

At destination

  • Clear your items through customs
  • Deliver items to your new home
  • Depending on the services you have selected they may unpack items from cartons for you and take away all the used packing material and debris. 

ready to find international moving companies?

Check out our ultimate International Removals Guide

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