May 10, 2022

Moving house: Local vs International Moving [Infographic]

It seems obvious…of course moving abroad is very different from moving locally within the same city or country. But if you are moving overseas for the first time, you may not have considered a few key differences:

International moving = lots of planning
With customs, immigration, and other restrictions, your checklist for moving abroad will be a lot more detailed than it would be for a local move.

International removals are a lot more time-sensitive than local moving
Visas and work permits must be received in advance, your pets may need vaccinations up to 6 months before you relocate, and you will need to find housing and schools before you leave.

Cultural and language preparation is key
Consider the potential cultural differences you may experience as an expat, especially in countries further from home. Try to learn at least a few phrases in the local language and sign up for activities to get involved in your new community. 

There are major differences between local removals companies and those that specialise in international moving.
International moving crews are insured and trained to safely pack, ship and deliver your home contents perfectly to your new home — thousands of kilometres away.

What is the difference between an international and local move?

Local V International Moving Infographic Final

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Infographic Transcript: Local removals vs the international moving process

Local Moving Companies

Find a local moving company in your area that has suitably trained staff and the right vehicles for your move. Ask friends for a recommendation or check local review sites.

International Movers

For an international move, only use an accredited moving company that specialises in overseas
packing and shipping.

International Move Specialists are experts in overseas shipping and customs regulations.

Move specialists are experts in international moving and customs regulations. Pick a company that offers a move specialist to make sure your relocation is a success!

Getting a Local Moving Quote

Always in writing, please!
Your survey may be in person or virtual. Be sure to discuss:
Parking and/or special requirements
Packing crew time/costs
Special equipment
Transport and storage charges
Handling charges
Packing materials used
Removal of packing materials

International Moving Quotes

Include international shipping costs and customs, port charges, and international moving insurance
Ask for a detailed quote and survey report with photos of items that need special international crating.

Top tip! Check the accuracy of your volume calculation - this will affect the shipping costs.

Local Packing and Shipping

Standard packing techniques and reusable materials
Items packed directly into the truck and often driven directly to the new property
Your goods can be delivered quickly, sometimes even on the same day

International Packing and Shipping

Specialised packing techniques and materials for safe shipment by sea or air
Items taken to the warehouse for forwarding to the port with documentation
Your items may be travelling thousands of kilometres. Delivery can take up to 12 weeks or more.

What did they say? …’s time to learn some moving-pro lingo.

Volume: how your shipment is measured for pricing
HHG: household goods
Pantech: a large removals truck
LCL2 | FCL: less than container load and full container load
Air: air shipment for urgently-needed items
Sea: most of your items will be sent by sea shipment

What are the customs requirements for a local or domestic move?

0 – there are none.

What are the customs requirements for an international move?

Take a deep breath in…

The complexity of an international move is based on the existing customs agreements between the country you are moving from and the country you are moving to. Your move may require customs documents, packing inventories, insurance to cover everything while your items are shipped by land, air and sea, prohibited items, taxes and duties, customs and biosecurity inspections, a possible customs hold on your belongings which could incur port side storage charges called ‘demurrage’ and maybe some other things that have yet to happen.

….and breathe out.

A good international move specialist can help you with all of these things.

Local Pet Relocation

For a local or in-country move, ask for help caring for your pets on moving day. When possible, plan to drive your pet to your new home.

International Pet Relocation

International pet relocation companies know about restrictions at your destination and can arrange immunizations, pet passports, pre-travel health checks, and the safest air travel itineraries.

In-country auto and motorcycle shipping

Use in-country auto transport to limit the mileage on your classic vehicles, or to ship your car so you can fly to your new city.

 International Auto Shipping

Unless you are moving within the EU, imported vehicles are subject to import, customs and registration documentation, duties and taxes. Prepare your vehicle for overseas shipment with pre-move inspections and fluid removal.

Moving abroad is exhilarating.

It’s also challenging. Customs, immigration international shipping, not to mention finding a new school and home…it's a lot of work. Choose a moving company that specialises in international removals.

Learn more about Sterling Lexicon’s quality international moving services. Request a move quote today!

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