One choice that you have to make when deciding whether moving overseas is whether to choose air shipping or ocean shipping. Both come with their advantages and disadvantages. What’s the right choice for you?
Why move by sea?
Ocean shipping is, by far, the cheapest option. That is probably the reason that 90% of world trade is done by ocean shipping so why should your personal move overseas be any different?
Additionally, ocean shipping is 36 times more carbon efficient than air freight shipping. If the environment is important to you, this may be an important consideration.
Naturally, there is a trade-off for the lower price. It will usually take your goods 3 times longer to be shipped to your destination by ocean-based shipping. This means that if air-based shipping would take 7 days then ocean-based shipping will take around 3 weeks.
Moving by sea – container loads
If you choose ocean shipping, you can either use a full container, a shared/groupage consignment, or a LCL (less than container load).
With a full container service, you will have the use of a whole shipping container to yourself (there are three sizes – 20ft, 40ft, and 40ft HC. The container is brought to your home, filled up, then driven to the port where it is loaded on to the actual ship. When at the point of arrival, the container is then unloaded at your destination – ready to be delivered to your new home.
With a “groupage” container, you share the cost of a full container with other people who are moving to the same destination. Groupage services are normally only available in high volume destination areas.
“Less then container loads” (LCL) is similar to groupage and it’s offered to homeowners moving to locations that are not high-volume destination areas. Your items will be stored in the same container as commercial cargo.
Why move by air?
Typically, air freight deliveries can take between 7-10 days, from door-to-door delivery.
The price of air shipping is usually calculated by the actual weight of the shipment or by a minimum weight calculated on a set weight to volume scale (which is 167kg per m3).
If this sounds confusing, ask your international removals company representative to show how air freight works. They will be able to provide you with estimates based upon the items you show them that you’re wanting to take overseas by air.
Why you should get a professional international removal company
As you can see, there is a lot of logistical work that needs to be done when moving overseas. From gathering all of your belongings to organising the containers at the docks, everything needs to be managed carefully.
That’s where you gain real value from using a professional international removal company. By using a company with all of the necessary experience you need, the whole process will be a lot smoother with a much smaller chance of delays or disruptions to your moving into your new home.
We can help
InstantVan connects you with up to three companies local to you. These companies have helped both homeowners and business relocate overseas over many years. They offer the expertise, knowledge, and guidance you need to decide whether air shipping, sea shipping, or a combination of both is right for you.
You’ll receive three detailed and itemised quotes from our partners. We don’t charge you for this service and you’re under no obligation to accept any of the quotes you receive.
Choosing a new country to live in is harder. Finding the ideal home to call your own in a new country is harder. You’ve already gone through so much in your quest to give yourself a better quality of life. So it’s best if you choose a international removals company which is experienced and knowledgeable in helping Brits make the smoothest move possible to their new place in the sun.
In this article, we will explain what you should look for when selecting the right international removal service for you.
Find somebody with experience
This should go without saying. Your international removals expert needs to be an actual expert.
Successful international removals needs a great deal of logistical planning that you can only get from someone with years of experience and practice. So, don’t let somebody who isn’t well versed in all the nuances of international shipping handle your valuables.
Is the company reliable?
You can find this out by search the internet for reviews of the company and seeing what people have been saying about them. If you come across an international removal service that has received mixed reviews across the board, by all means invite them to quote you but make sure you get as many written guarantees from them as you need to give you peace of mind.
The best removals companies will come with glowing customer recommendations and testimonials from a variety of different customers. These reviews are proof that these companies understand the needs of their clients and tailor to their service to meet those needs.
Do they offer their services both in the UK and at your new destination?
When you are looking at potential removal companies that you could choose, look for the ones who have kept long-standing relationships with their partners overseas. Because you never know when you will need their services again.
By choosing a company the maintains these relationships with their partner companies, you can gain a good insight into the standing and reputation of the firm within the industry. An added bonus is that some companies might be able to give you some pointers about your new destination, such as, where to get your supplies from, or popular places that you might want to consider expanding to.
Make sure they include a packing service
Many overseas movers will be asked the question “Would you like us to pack your items for you?” and think “Is it really worth the cost?” Yes. Yes, it is.
Save yourself the time and the effort that it will take to pack all of your equipment and let a professional do it. After spending all that time carefully selecting the right removal company to use in the first place, it would be shame to do it yourself because they will, as professionals, be able to do it a lot quicker.
A professionally packed item is also far less likely to break in transit. This brings us onto our next point…
We can’t say this enough. Get insurance on all of the belongings that you are taking overseas. Every reliable international removal company will provide some sort of additional optional cover for everything that you’re taking with you. Buy this cover. It will almost definitely be worth the cost.
Once you’ve made the big move, the last thing that you want is to find out that something valuable has been broken or lost in transit. You’ll then have the extra cost of buying a new one but even worse would be something being broken or being lost which had real and genuine sentimental value that can’t be easily replacing.
If you are looking to move overseas and you would like some advice on how best to approach it, then get in touch with InstantVan. Get three quotes from trusted, local removal companies absolutely free of charge with no obligation to accept any of the quotes you receive.
There’ll be a million and one different things that are going around your mind when you are deciding how and when you are going to move overseas. But what comes next after you’ve taken the plunge?
In this article, we will guide you through the whole process of moving overseas, from start to finish.
Get your quotes months in advance
Researching the price of the move well in advance will help you get to grips with how much you are going to have to budget. This also allows you some extra time to shop around to get the best price. In order to do this, we recommend that you get a minimum of 3 quotes so that you can get a good grasp of the general price that you are looking at. (InstantVan helps you get 3 quotes – just fill in our form).
While you are looking into these different international removal companies, check to see if they are members of either The National Guild of Removers and Storers or The British Association of Removers. If they’re not, make sure that the service they offer comes with furniture in transit insurance, but more on that later.
Plan out each step in your move
Timescales can be difficult if you are moving abroad. Your belongings will take days to arrive and you don’t want to be stranded in a foreign country without any of your things. Make sure that you know exactly when your items will be arriving and get there a day before. This way, you won’t have to wait, in your new country, for weeks for your things to arrive.
Additionally, while you are still in the UK, make sure that you are using up all of your frozen and non-perishable foods as well as your fresh ingredients. This might seem like a small point but it will you’ll save money by using the food you have rather than having to throw it in the bin at a later point.
Planning out each step that you have to take during the whole process will make a move as easy as completing simple tasks and checking them of a list. Remember that if you feel in control and you feel you know what’s going to happen and when, that reduces the stress you’re feeling.
Declutter before you pack
This is the key to creating a hassle-free move. You can significantly reduce the time it takes to pack if you have a spring clean a few weeks beforehand. Sorting out what you want to keep and what you want to throw away cuts down the time you spend when you’re boxing up all of your possessions.
By putting in a few hours of decluttering work and carefully marking out which items are going to go in each box, you can shave days off the packing process and the unpacking process.
This is crucial! If your belongings aren’t insured and they’re damaged or lost in transit, then that’s an additional cost you’ll need to factor in when your finances might already be under stress. A good international removal company will offer you this as a part of their service so be wary of any company who doesn’t seem to think it’s important when they’re speaking with you.
Why you should choose a professional international removal company
International removal companies come in all shapes and sizes. The way that you can find out which one is right for you should be determined by your individual needs and experiences.
Each company will offer different services, such as packing, speed of delivery, and insurance policies. Find a company that offers all of the things that you will need to make your move as easy as possible.
The day of the move
When it comes to the big day, you should make sure that:
When you take into account the level of planning and logistical work that goes into moving abroad, it is always better to consult a professional removal company.
If you are looking into moving abroad and you would like some advice on the most efficient way to do it, get in touch with our team. Instant Van works with trusted, local specialist international removal companies across the UK.
We’ll connect you with three international removals companies – you’ll get detailed quotes from all of them. Our service is free of charge to you and you’re under no obligation to accept any of the quotes given to you.
Moving your business to a new location is part of what will be an exciting time for you as a business owner. You’ve outgrown your current premises and you’re looking towards bigger and better things.
Choosing the right removal company can make all the difference when you are looking to make the smooth transition between from your old business premises to your new business premises. Here’s our guide on choosing the right commercial removal service for you and your company.
Why choosing a good commercial removal company is important
When you are moving offices, every second is valuable. Not only will you have to pay for the cost of the removal itself but every second that your business is not open when you’re in the process of actually moving, you aren’t making money. This means that you should look for a removal company which will keep the amount of time spent on the move down to a bare minimum.
A good commercial removal company will be fast and efficient. They will make sure that everything is moved out of the old place and set up again in the new place in as little time as possible. This will allow you to get back to doing what you do best – running your business, making sales, and serving customers.
When you are choosing the removals company you want to use, make sure that they offer insurance in case items on the move are broken or lost.
By having insurance on everything that you’re taking with you to your new location, you will have the peace of mind that there aren’t any extra costs that will appear as a part of the moving process.
Ask for a written quote
Make sure that you get a written quote of exactly how much you will expect to pay for their services. Once you have got a few quotes, you will start to get a good idea of how much the move should cost you.
A good removal company should be able to give you a comprehensive breakdown of the expenses that you will incur. Anything that is not exactly specified in the price only adds another layer of uncertainty to the overall cost.
You should never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth recommendations. Finding out which removals companies other business owners have used and the experiences they’ve had are an important step in selecting the right service.
If this isn’t an option for you, don’t worry. You could always…
Online reviews are also a valuable resource you can take advantage of.
Other company owners, when moving their businesses, will have used the services of removals companies and then left their feedback on them. Take the glowing and the angry reviews with a pinch of salt, but if there is an overall trend of satisfied customers who have had something good to say about the experience they had, then it’s a good idea to think about enquiring with them.
We understand that moving your business can be a stressful task. InstantVan connects company owners with commercial removal companies local to them across the UK.
Tell us what you’re wanting to move, where your current premises are, where your new premises will be, and the date of the move. We’ll then send your information to three local, trusted commercial removals firms who will be happy to visit you and provide a comprehensive quote. Our service is free and you’re under no obligation to accept any of the quotes or use any of the companies we connect you with.
The key to a stress-free moving day is down to just one word – planning. At least half of the work should be done before the big day itself arrives. This way you can be sure that all you need to do is to pack up the last few things, get the removals company to put it in their vans, and take them out again when you’re at your new home.
Here are our top tips for planning a successful moving day.
Label your boxes
Make sure you put a label on each box that at least gives a general description of which room the items a box contains belongs in.
Correctly labelling all of your boxes can help you prioritise what needs unpacking first (we’re looking at you, Christmas decorations). If you have young children, the chances are that their toys will be all over the house so it’s a good idea to make that boxing them up a priority because they’ll want them unpacked as soon as you’re at your new place.
Declutter before the day arrives
Have a thorough spring clean a few weeks before the move.
It might be tempting to declutter at the same time as you’re packing your boxes but the amount of time that this approach wastes can be significant. That’s because if you have to decide what it is that you want to keep whilst you are packing up the contents of your home, it will take much longer because you’ll be making decisions item by item on what you want to hang onto.
Work out where everything will go
Just because everything fits nicely together in your current home, that doesn’t mean that things are going to slot in just as nicely in your new place. If you are moving into a larger house, this is less of an issue because of the additional space that you will have to work with.
If you’re downsizing, the amount of space you have and what you are intending to fill that space with should be something you take into serious consideration well in advance. Try and get some specific measurements of your new home and its layout, drawing up a plan of where everything is going to fit in.
Get a good removal company
The right removals company will give you real peace of mind during the stressful process of moving. They will understand that this is a big life event for you, that you don’t want any mistakes, and you want it to be over as quickly as possible. They will want to give you helpful advice and guidance on how to make moving home as smooth and efficient as possible.
There’s more to being a good removals company that people like and trust than just taking the contents of people’s homes from one place to another. It’s a whole service – they help people every day, so they are well versed in the most efficient way to get yourself set up in your new home.
Last, having the ability to adjust your plans on the fly is very important. Maybe your sofa didn’t fit into that room like you thought, or you over-estimated the size of your garden. Setbacks like these can create unnecessary and additional amounts of stress on the big day.
If you can adapt to these changes initially, and work out the kinks later on, you will be surprised at just how stress-free moving can be.
On the actual day itself, as long as you have everything packed up and labelled correctly, with a decent idea of where they will belong in your new home, you should be good to go.
If you are looking to move home and you don’t know where to start, get in touch with our team. Not only can we offer you advice on the most efficient way to move into your new house, but we also offer a professional removal service as well.
To make moving as stress-free as humanly possible, InstantVan’s team have put together this series of time- and money-saving packing tips and tricks.
We’re not promising that it’s going to remove all the stress from moving home but you’ll find that you’ll feel a lot more organised, a lot more in control, and in a place where a lot less can go wrong and surprise you.
Get removal company quotes about a month before your intended move date
We recommend you get three. Removals companies will always offer you more and charge you less if they know they’re in a race because they want to win your business, not lose out to their competitors. You might want to make sure that the removals companies you ask to quote you are members of the National Guild of Removers and Storers or the British Association of Removers – as part of their membership of these organisations, they have to have something called “furniture in transit” insurance.
This next tip is not always possible but you’ll probably be able to download and print off a floor plan of where you’re moving to by going online to one of the big houses-for-sale type websites (like Rightmove) and finding your new home’s listing or by logging onto the website of the estate agent representing the people selling the home you’re buying.
You can then use that floorplan to show the removal companies putting together quotes for you where everything is going to go – this will probably reduce the amount they ask you for because they’ll be better able to plan how to use their staff on the job with this knowledge.
Start a schedule of packing two weeks before the big day
Whether or not you’re going to be using the removals company to be doing the packaging for you, device a schedule for packing two weeks before the move day. This is going to save a lot of time and frayed nerves later on.
If you’re packing yourself, try to pack everything that’s on your schedule on the day you’re meant to do it. If you’re getting the removals company to do the packing, move everything that’s on your schedule on a particular day to an area of your home where they can be later packed by the removals team.
Start to work through your frozen items and other foodie tips
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to stop your frozen food from spoiling during the move so make sure that you use as much of it as you can before the big day. You’ll save money by using food that would have otherwise gone to waste and you won’t have to pay the delivery company to take this food with them.
On the day of the move, make sure that you’ve got a morning survival pack ready – cereal, long-life milk, bread, teabags, and so on. Try to leave packing your toaster and your kettle until the very last minute.
Stock up on snacks for you and the removal team before the day of the move. Moving is both hungry and thirsty work – it’s hard on the removal team physically and it’s hard on you and your family emotionally because it’s such an important day.
Declutter – chuck out what you don’t need
Use moving home as the ideal opportunity to get rid of stuff you don’t want or need anymore. There’s no point in it taking up room in your new home or paying the removals team to transport it from one place to another. You may want to sell the items on eBay or give them away to others using sites like Freegle and Freecycle.
It’s amazing how our wardrobes fill up over the years with clothes and we only ever really wear 10% of them at any one time! Unless a particular outfit or item of clothing has emotional significance, you could give your unwanted shirts, trousers, shoes, and so on away to a local charity shop or clothes recycling centre.
Don’t mix up your packing
Everything that you’re packing has to be unpacked. If you just aim to fill every box to the brim and Sellotape it up, that’s great. The problem comes when you get to your new home and you open a box which now contains items for the bedrooms, the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room and more – you’ll be running around everywhere more than you need to just to put everything in its correct place.
Don’t make your boxes too heavy
Some items are going to be heavier than others – that’s going to make them difficult to lift and to get your hands and arms around. When you have a heavy item, use one box to pack it in and put nothing more in that box unless you’ll risk doing yourself or your removals team member an injury.
Plus, with all your boxes, big or small, make sure that you can holes in the sides to make picking them up a lot easier.
Jewellery and other small valuables
For jewellery and other small valuables, you might want to put them in an eggbox, seal them up, and take them in your own car. Even the most professional removals firms misplace items occasionally, especially when it’s a big move, so better to be safe than sorry and take the responsibility yourself.
Take photographs of your valuables and other items
Big TVs, computers, PlayStations, Xboxes, furniture and more – they’re the items in the house we use more than others. Take as many photographs as you can before the move to show the state they were in prior to the move just in case you need to launch an insurance claim for damage.
Driving licenses, passports, bank statements, car log books and more – keep them safe. Put them in Lever Arch folders, Sellotape them up, and put them in boxes clearly marked so you know the importance of the contents of those boxes.
Get three quotes
It’s always best to get three quotes and using InstantVan’s free service, we can get three of the most trusted local removal companies to give you their best price. Our service costs you nothing and you’re under no obligation to accept any of the quotes you’ve been given.
Choosing a removal company to take your possessions safely from your old home to your new homes is one extra hassle you feel that you just don’t need. By using InstantVan and by following our guidelines below, you can take away a lot of the stress involved with moving home.
InstantVan’s partners – the companies you receive your special quotes from – are experienced and trusted removals companies local to you. Many of them are members of the British Association of Removers – that’s peace of mind for you about how well their staff are trained, the type of work they can do, and the level of insurance they have.
What are InstantVan’s top 5 tips for choosing a removal company?
1. Let the removal firm know how much you’ve got to move
When they’re doing your quote, your removals company representative will want to look around your home to get an idea of how many trips they need to make to and from your old home. Be certain to tell them what’s not going to be going with you because, otherwise, that’ll go on your quote.
Also, let them know of anything that require special packaging, items of large furniture, and difficult to move items, like pianos. If you have a floor-plan of the home you’re moving into, this might help bring your costs down because they’ll be able to guess how long it will take to move your items into your new place from their vans and lorries.
For items that are particularly valuable or special, you might want to take down the name of the person who will be responsible for moving them. If you can work with them directly on the day of the move, that’s going a big help to them and peace of mind for you.
2. Check up on their insurance
Always ask about their insurance and how it covers damage to or loss of any of your items (particularly high-value items) and how long you have to claim on their insurance after the move is completed. You may also want to find out about insurance policies to cover you if your move is delayed.
3. Ask for a breakdown of likely costs if you’re moving far away
If you’re moving a good distance away from where you are now, try to get an exact breakdown on any quote you receive for mileage costs, storage, the hourly rate of the people helping you move, and the insurance premium that will be part of the price. Mistakes on estimates do happen from time to time – a good removals company will appreciate it if you tell there is something wrong so they can put it right straight away rather than lose the chance of the work altogether.
4. Will they help you pack?
Many removals companies offer a packing service – a day or two before the move, they will come to your home and start boxing up all your items for you. Of course, you can save money by doing this yourself but many homemovers choose the packing service to take another responsibility away from them during this stressful time.
5. Do they check out online?
We live in the age of the internet and we can now find out how good any company we might be dealing with is – whether it’s a local handyman, the local takeaway, or a multi-national broadband provider.
If you read positive reviews about a removals firm online, that’s a strong indication that you’re in safe hands and that the people who are helping you move really do care about doing a good job.
6. Bonus tip – do you like the person you’re dealing with?
Your gut instinct is nearly always right. Do you feel that the person you’re speaking with is a trustworthy person and that they represent the company well? Are they honest, open, and transparent with you about the costs involved and the time needed? Are they willing to negotiate on the price?
You might be spending a whole day (or even two) with this person and their colleagues. Do you really want them in your home (old and new) for that time? If the answer is yes, you should seriously consider their service.
Get up to 3 quotes from local, trusted removals companies by entering your details into InstantVan. It only takes a couple of minutes, our service is completely free of charge, and there’s no obligation on you to accept any of the quotes you’re given.