An expat who moves from one place to another, finds the whole process of
international relocation a very complex and stressful activity. Not only do
these expats need visa and permission for emigrating to other country but
they also need to find accommodation apart from school/college for their
children, job for the trailing spouse and other facilities like hospital for
emergency services- just to begin international living in a decent manner.
Some of the issues concerned with international employees moving overseas
like those of housing
is taken care of by expert international realty agencies.
However, living abroad not only means finding a proper house. Many other
issues have to be addressed so that relocating and working abroad proves to
be a wise decision.
International Relocation Process
To make international moving a smooth experience, many international
relocation services are available worldwide. The relocation companies, apart
from providing basic services, also provide certain specialized services
like those of custom clearance, immigration & visa services, and not to
mention, the very essential cultural/language training and area orientation
etc. They follow a well organized relocation
to help persons moving overseas.
- Notice for relocation: Most of the international relocation
companies prefer a notice of about 4 to 6 weeks prior to the relocation
date so that they can schedule in-house survey, prepare initial
quotation and pre-plan the move management of international shipment.
- Preparation of moving estimate: The agents of the relocation
company conduct a pre-move survey
at the client's home to prepare a moving estimate. Generally, the
international moving estimates are quoted as a
relocation service with all-inclusive rate.
- Specialized Packing: The moving company representatives
prepare the shipment for a safe international transport. Special care is
taken of the high-value items. They are documented and security seals
are placed on the cartons for added protection. Lift vans, steamship
containers and air freight boxes are the main
packing supplies for an
international move. Lift vans are large wooden shipping crates that can
be handled with a forklift. Steamship containers are the steel ocean
containers having a capacity of about 1100 cubic feet to 2400 cubic
feet. They come in specific sizes that are matched to specific packing
needs of each customer. Airfreight boxes are prepared in the case of
smaller or more time sensitive shipments.
- Transportation to the Port of departure: After
packing, the company transports the
client's belongings to the port in case it is scheduled to go by ship or
to the airport if it has to be transported by air. The containerized
shipment is loaded onto the ocean vessel or aircraft respectively.
- Shipment arrival in the destination country: The transit
time to various international destinations differ. The moving company
provides the clients with a more accurate transit schedule based upon
their specific situation. However, on an average, a sea borne shipment
is delivered between 4 and 6 weeks while an air freight shipment is
delivered between 1 and 2 weeks.
- Customs Clearance: At the port of arrival, the
household goods shipment is
examined by the customs authority of the destination country.
- Shipment Handling by Destination Agent: After customs
clearance, the shipment is handled by the destination agent who is, in
most of the cases, a partner of the hired moving company. The
destination service provider is assigned with all the responsibility for
delivery of the belongings to the client's new residence.
Additional Services Offered by the Moving Companies
Apart from the
basic services required in an international relocation, many moving
companies provide certain additional services for the benefit of their
If a client is not permanently moving overseas,
s/he may leave some of the household goods in storage provided by the moving
company. Moreover, If it is not possible for an expatriate to take
possession of items at the arrival destination abroad until a certain date,
most of the moving companies arrange for
point till the time the client is ready to take final delivery of the
many moving companies provide
coverage through different
policies. The clients can buy full replacement value coverage for the full
value of their belongings which includes protection for any damage incurred
during shipping. Alternatively, they can go for released value coverage.
Released value means that in opting for no insurance coverage, they receive
the base coverage provided, generally in the range of $0.30 to $0.60 per
pound per article.