ServiceMarket sat down with Abhilash Nair, Regional Manager at ISS Worldwide Movers, to answer all your international moving questions!
How long in advance would you advise people to book their move?
In order to prepare properly, people should always start the process at least 2 weeks in advance. In the first week they will need to contact international movers to get quotes. These international relocation companies will want to visit the property in person to do an inspection and answer any questions the customer may have. The company will then go back and prepare their quote and estimated timeline for the move. Once the person has chosen the moving company, the company will then need around a week to plan for the move properly including: fine tuning the shipping arrangements, interacting with the destination agent’s office and sorting out all the required documentation.
What do customers need to do before contacting moving companies?
I would recommend that customers make a list of the items they want to take with them. When it comes to moving, the items value does not play a role in the cost as the shipping cost is calculated based on volume (either cubic feet or cubic meters). This means that large items are expensive to ship. Therefore, it might not make sense to take a 300 dhs desk as it will probably cost you more than that to ship it. Also, I advise customers to consider the relative local market cost of buying new items and the space available in the property they are moving to. Often customers move to a smaller property which may not be large enough to fit all their belongings.
Can you talk us through the moving process? What should customers expect?
1. Appointment with the customer: The first step is to meet with the customer. This appointment usually takes at least 30-45 minutes and should be done directly with the people who will be moving. We will walk through the house and make an inventory of what items need to be moved. We then sit with the customer and explain all the details of the process such as the time required to pack, the transit time, what is included in the cost, list of prohibited items, the required documentation, expected clearance time at the port and any other elements they will need to consider such as insurance, storage and handyman needs etc.
2. Company creates a quote for the customer: To do this they will consider multiple shipping lines and destination agents to get a competitive quote whilst maintaining a good, tried and tested, quality service. Once the quote has been confirmed then companies typically give the customer a key point of contact who will keep them updated with all details of the move.
3. Packing and transportation: The moving company will come and do the packing on the agreed date and time. They will then take care of all elements of the shipping.
4. At the destination: What happens when the items reach their destination is dependent on whether the customer has chosen a door-to-door service or just door-to-port. If they have chosen door-to-port then they will be responsible for the items once they reach the destination port. Otherwise, the international relocation company will take care of the customs clearance and will then take all the items to their new home and unpack everything as per the agreed terms.
And finally, do you have any additional tips for people to make their move as stress free as possible?
- Start the process as early as possible: Take the time to read international moving companies reviews to make sure you select a reputable company. You may want to visit their office and warehouse to get a better idea of the quality of the company and to ensure that the company has the proper prerequisites.
- Read the exclusions on the quotation carefully: Sometimes cheaper quotes have key items excluded or may not use audited quality approved agents.
- Pack the items you will take on the plane with you separately: Pack everything you need with you separately, including your passports and tickets, and keep these in a safe place on the packing day to make sure they don’t get packed accidentally.
- Arrange for a friend or family member to look after your children on the packing day/s: It can be a stressful time for children so it’s a good idea to get someone to look after them while the movers are packing.