International Moving (United States)
International moving companies that offer to ship your household goods or automobiles to or from the U.S. via ocean vessel must be licensed or registered with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC).
All IAMTrusted and IAMX-Validated Movers presented in search results at IAMTrusted.org provide links directly to the FMC database showing current licensing status, insurance company and bonding details.
Obtain Written Estimates
International moving companies usually base their cost upon the volume or the weight of the goods that are shipped. Some moving companies may offer online volume calculators or telephonic estimates based upon the number of rooms moved or a listing of items moved. However, such estimates are often inaccurate. To avoid problems involving online or telephonic estimates, ask potential movers to provide you with a quote based on the mover’s onsite inspection of your goods. A good general rule of thumb is to obtain written estimates for service from several different international moving companies prior to selecting your mover.
Read the Fine Print
Read your estimate and contract for service. Make sure that you understand and agree with all terms and conditions. Note the services and charges that are included and whether any services or charges are excluded. For example, port terminal handling charges are often excluded from international moving estimates, and result in additional costs later. Also, note whether there are any guarantees or disclaimers with regard to the date of delivery. Despite promises made by sales people, promises may not be enforced unless they appear in the terms and conditions of the international moving contract.
Review Insurance Coverage & Terms
Generally, international moving companies limit their responsibility for loss of or damage to your household goods. As such, many companies offer insurance coverage policies at an additional cost. Make sure that you request a copy of the insurance terms and conditions from your mover prior to obtaining insurance. Read all terms and conditions of any insurance coverage offered by your moving company to determine whether such coverage is desirable. Make sure that you receive a signed insurance document. Note that many moving companies will not provide insurance coverage for your goods unless they are packed by the moving company.