International Moving Companies In Baltimore
If you are planning a move to another country from Baltimore, you want to find a reputable international moving company with experience in organizing international relocations. Moving abroad is more complicated than moving locally or to another state. It takes longer, costs more, and involves more steps and regulations. Start planning early for the best results. Also, consider whether your move is permanent or temporary. Often people who move internationally are doing so intending to return at some point. If that is your situation, it may make sense to leave some things behind. Depending on what you decide to take along, you will need to check what is allowed in your destination country before making a final determination.
As you plan the move, consider whether you are moving to a similarly sized home in the destination country. In many parts of the world, residences are smaller (in some areas, they are much larger), and whether your furnishings are well suited to the weather and environment of your temporary home. It could be an enhancement to your adventure if you experience the local culture with native décor. Everyone has a personal gauge of what they need to feel comfortable, and the length of the stay will influence what you take and what you leave behind. If your hiatus abroad is permanent, you may feel compelled to take more personal items with you than if you are returning to the U.S. in a few years.
How do I find the best international moving company for my departure from Baltimore?
Consider an agent for an international moving company licensed with the Federal Maritime Commission, which makes the following recommendations for a satisfactory relocation:
- Use a moving company licensed by the FMC, and check with the Commission’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services (CADRES) to ensure that the mover you choose has a satisfactory record of resolving disputes. Also, check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Base your decision on a comparison of written estimates submitted by companies that have conducted an onsite survey of the goods you are shipping.
- Use the moving company’s packing services and request that your items will be shrink-wrapped and palletized. Palletizing will add to the space that your items require on the shipping vessel. Unlike domestic shipments, international transportation costs are based on the shipment’s cubic volume, and the necessary packing may significantly increase the volume. This result is expected. Palletizing protects the goods inside from shifting during the transit and the frequent loading and reloading, which minimizes the chances of things breaking. When you are moving within the U.S., you may be accustomed to doing the packing on your own. Moving to another country is different. Since your goods will be loaded several times and may be exposed to harsh conditions, including weather, it’s vital to have them protected against the elements. Also, the insurance company will likely require that the mover perform the packing in order to accept liability for the protection of your items.
- Ask the mover to create a detailed list of boxes packed and that each container be assigned a number on the list. This action will be highly valuable when sorting out customs questions and again when unpacking.
- Carefully check to see that the inventory accurately labels items (like “Tiffany goblet,” not “wine glass”) and provides size, make, model, and serial number for larger items such as electronic components and televisions. The level of specificity is essential in case anything is lost.
- Validate that the mover’s inventory and description of the condition of contents is correct. If you find a discrepancy, discuss it with the mover and note it on the packing list. The state of the articles could be crucial if items incur damage during the transport.
- Never ship cash, stock, bonds, jewelry, coins, and photo albums—take these things with you. You should safeguard essential documents (hard copy or electronic) by keeping personal control over them, as you would with any irreplaceable sentimental items.
- Ensure anything used outside, such as bicycles and garden equipment, is clean and free of insects. Check with the mover before including grills or lawnmowers—they may not be allowed in the destination country. Most often, outside articles are good candidates for leaving behind. There may be exceptions (perhaps a high-end racing bicycle, for example), but generally speaking, these are best left behind, stored, sold, or donated.
- Remember that plants, seeds, pet food, pesticides, firearms, and meat products cannot be exported to other countries by individuals. Specific countries may have individually prohibited items that you should avoid.
- Ask about customs clearance—some companies will offer the clearance service as part of their international moving package, while others will expect you to manage this on your own. It will help if you prepare for either scenario and also understand the financial implications of customs clearance. The difficulty of customs clearance will vary by destination. You can find additional information at the S. Customs and Border Protection site.
Can I ship my car to another country?
You can almost always transport a vehicle to another country. Some countries have strict requirements about emissions, and you may have to pay an import tax, depending on how long you are staying. Your moving company will likely have information about your options for shipping your vehicle. Because cars are resilient to weather (unless you are sending a vintage or exotic car, which is a whole different issue), the least expensive option is usually to ship it onboard a floating parking lot via “roll-on/roll-off” transport. You will need a contractor to get it to the port in the U.S. (usually a mover or car transporter) and from the destination port to the final landing point.
Who can help me if I have a problem with my international move from Baltimore?
The Federal Maritime Commission recommends that you ensure that you have receipts and contact information from the moving company you engage to manage the move and from the trucking company that loads your goods for the initial shipment. If you encounter a problem during the move, call the mover and the trucking company first, since they should know where your shipment is. If you are unable to find answers to your problems, you can contact the CADRS staff. They will try to assist with the following:
- Shipment delays
- Lack of communication from shipper/mover
- An unexpected increase in charges
- Refusal to deliver goods
The FMC also suggests that you can avoid many problems by choosing a moving company that is licensed by the FMC, and that does not have a record of complaints filed against it. They recommend that you steer clear of companies that balk at providing in-person estimates and those that don’t accept credit card payments. They further suggest that you request a copy of the company’s insurance policy and clarify the coverage details before you agree to terms. Licensed movers maintain a bond, and if you encounter any unresolvable problems, you can file a claim against the bond for reimbursement.