Frequently Asked Questions

What is shipping by consolidation?

Consolidation is for LCL (less than container loads) shipments. There are three ways for your possessions to be loaded into the steel container:

Loose: Your goods will be loaded into the container just as they have been picked up from your home. Each box must be numbered and labeled with your name, destination address and phone number. It is recommended that this information be in English and the language of your destination country.

Palletized: Your goods will be put on to a pallet or pallets and shrink wrapped. These pallets will then be loaded into the steel container. This option is suitable if your shipment consists mostly of boxes.

Lift Van: The lift van is a standard size wooden crate, or it may be custom made to suit your shipment. We recommend the lift van as the safest and most secure way to ship your personal belongings.

What is an exclusive container?

Exclusive container or FCL (full container load): If you choose this option, it means that your belongings and only your belongings are in the container. The two most commonly used standard size containers are 20 feet and 40 feet long.

How can I transport my automobile?

You can exclusive container, where your car is loaded into the container, prepared and secured for transport. The container is locked and delivered to the port of destination. You may also ship some household goods in the container with the vehicle….Or…We offer a grouped container services to many ports, please ask your customer rep.

Can I pack my belongings in my car?

As of 1998 the U.S. Dept. of Transportation ruled that you may NOT load any items in a vehicle on auto carriers. All trucks are subject to occasional inspection which includes unloading the vehicles and the items in the vehicle. This could risk leaving the items behind. Auto carriers are NOT licensed to carry household goods or personal items, and are not covered by carrier’s insurance. Any damage to your vehicle due to household goods shifting or breaking is also not covered. Personal belongings left in the vehicle are shipped strictly at the owner’s risk.. Carriers will not inventory any belongings left in the vehicle and will assume no responsibility. Also, items packed in the vehicle add weight and may cause damage to the exhaust system and or suspension of the vehicle.

How far in advance should I plan for international shipping?

The summer months are the peak months of the moving season. For a move planned from May to October, allow at least 4 weeks prior notice for all bookings. For a move planned from November to April, allow at least 2 weeks prior notice for all bookings. In case of an emergency, though, we will make every effort to arrange a move within 5 days.

How are shipping costs calculated?

Moving costs are based on total volume (measured in ft. cubic feet) or weight of your personal belongings. A typical move consists of three main parts: Origin, Ocean and Destination. The basis for calculating Origin costs in the US is the weight of your shipment. Usually rates are given in the trade per 100 pounds of weight. To simplify things, we convert these charges to cost per cubic foot by dividing the weight in pounds by 7, allowing 7 pounds per cubic foot. If you are shipping regular Household goods you will never exceed that.. The Ocean portion is charged on volume. Shipping lines charge by container size, meaning by volume. If you are shipping household goods you will never exceed the weight limitation shipping lines have for each container. Destination rates are calculated in the trade, depending on the country, by volume or weight.

As you can see, working out the cost of a move is not so simple. Sometimes, waiting for the Destination agent´s quote can take a day or two. The cost of each move has to be calculated separately, and pulling a price in a minute is irresponsible and we believe unprofessional. After getting all the different rates, we convert them to per cubic foot and submit a price based on the volume of your shipment. Although the exact volume cannot be determined until final packing is completed, our training and experience enables us to provide a very accurate estimate.

How can I reduce the cost of shipping?

You can consider a Door-to-Port service, especially if you are familiar with your destination country and confident you can get a good deal from a destination customs broker and or mover. For small loads, consider delivering to our warehouse yourself. This can save the Origin cost. Packing by owner, materials and labor can produce a substantial saving. (Don´t confuse packing with loading: when you pack the furniture and your personal effects, we still load them to the truck or the container.) Remember though, shipments packed by owner can only be insured for total loss, and packing must be professional export packing. One of the best ways to save on moving costs is by eliminating items you don´t really need or will not be useful at your destination. Will that king-sized bedroom set fit into your new home abroad? Will that appliance work on the electrical current in your new home? Will you be able to get spare parts for it? These are questions you should ask.

What type of boxes should I use for household goods?

Use new packing materials. Although the boxes you might obtain from your neighborhood supermarket may be free, they are not nearly as strong or padded as new boxes. They are more susceptible to causing damage to your valuables in transit. There are many packing material suppliers that will deliver within few days anything you may need. You can place your order online, or contact your local packing materials supplier.

What is the best way to protect fragile items?

Be sure to point out to our packing crew the boxes in which you´ve packed fragile items. The team leader will advise you on whether those valuables need to be repacked in sturdier, more appropriate boxes. The heavier the item, the smaller the box it should occupy. A good rule of thumb is if you can´t lift the carton easily, it´s too heavy. Label all boxes.

What are the steps in loading a container?

The boxes you will need first should be loaded last. This might include toys, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, blankets, pillows and sheets. Read the inventory form carefully, and ask the team leader to explain anything you don´t understand. Make a note of your shipment´s registration number, and keep your Bill of Lading handy. It is your responsibility to see that all of your goods are loaded, so remain on the premises until loading is completed. To insure that nothing gets left behind, always do a final inspection of the premises. Do not sign any releases without completing this inspection.

What type of insurance coverage should I consider?

We will take the best possible care of your belongings. There may be times, however, when for reasons beyond our control your goods may be damaged or lost. For this reason, we suggest you insure your goods with all-risk, door-to-door marine insurance. This insurance, from Wells Fargo, can be arranged through I Love Moving. While the cost of insurance is not covered by our estimate, we will be glad to guide you in this matter. Remember, always insure your goods for the amount of money it would cost to replace them in the country to which you are moving. Costs overseas are often much higher than in the United States.

What happens when my container reaches the destination?

When the ship reaches its destination, the outer steel container will be taken to a port-bonded warehouse and opened while your carrier supervisor watches. However, your individual lift van will not be opened until you come to clear customs. The carrier representative in your new country will send you an arrival notice as soon as the steel container is unloaded. Then, our customs representative will assist in getting your goods cleared. If you select door-to-door or port-to-door service, you can make arrangements at that time for the delivery of your goods to your new home.

What is required to clear my container at the destination?

Depending upon the county to which you are moving, you will need some or all of the following documents in order to clear customs: Passport, immigration certificate, detailed packing list with value of contents, receipts for appliances and new furniture, tenancy contract or title for new house, proper proof of tax exemptions, if entitled, copy of agreement with your carrier, and delivery order notice.

Do I need to be present when my container is delivered?

Be sure to be present when the delivery crew arrives. Plan to stay around while they unload in case they have any questions. If you cannot be there personally, be sure to authorize an adult to be your representative to accept delivery. Inform the destination agent of your chosen representative´s name. Your representative will be asked to note any change in the condition of your goods noted on the inventory at time of loading.

What exactly does allowance mean?

Packing, wrapping and palatalizing of your goods takes up space. Unless everything in your shipment is uniform in shape and size, the spaces between the items also takes up space. We provide the allowance feature so you can take this into consideration when determining your final volume.

What items not to ship?

It is recommended that you do not ship the following items:

  • Valuable and important papers such as family records, birth certificates, marriage documents, financial information and other like documents.
  • Jewelry
  • Fire Arms (license is required in some countries)
  • Live Plants or Seeds (license is required in some countries)
  • Open bottles containing any liquids or other contents
  • Flammable cleaning solutions or other toxic liquid substances
  • Alcohol (in hand luggage only)
  • Pressure spray can

Check with customs regulations, or call the consulate for other possible restrictions in your destination country.

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