International Removal Companies to San Francisco


The price of moving depends on the how much is being moved, the value of the goods, and the distance to be moved. Compare companies because the prices and assurances they offer can be quite different. The first step is ascertaining that the company is approved by an international remover network like the International Unions of Move, Latin American and Caribbean Movers (LACMA), United Van Airlines, or Atlas Van Lines so you will have recourse if something is damaged. Also, be meticulous in keeping records of what you are shipping and their values if possible.

If possible, ship only the truly indispensable items and try to buy when you arrive to abate some of the cost. The two usual options when shipping are to go by sea or by air. To move by sea takes longer (6-8 weeks), but costs less. If moving by sea, your household goods will be packed into containers that are usually loaded at your residence. These containers are seaworthy and usually made of wood. Once your home is packed into the containers, they are then shipped by rail or transport to the port where they are then loaded on to a steamship container. The container is then loaded on the boat as cargo. Once your goods have arrived in the new country, the container is unloaded and must pass through customs. International movers will be able to help you with the custom forms and are responsible for clearing your goods.

Moving household items by air is becoming increasingly popular, despite a much higher price tag than shipping by boat. Heavy cardboard boxes are normally used to pack your goods, although some air freight companies will use containers. You may find that shipping items by air is less expensive than renting a furnished place to live or hotel costs. Most companies offer both options so inquire about the price difference and decide which method is best for you.

Most companies offer a free quote for the move if you submit your information to their webpage "free quote" section. (for example: If you are thinking of having the company pack your belongings, ask for an additional quote. Be aware that if you pack your own belongings, companies may not take responsibility for their safe arrival. So pack carefully, label fragile items and have clear moving instructions written on each box.

Shipping costs are calculated on the amount of volume (Cubic Feet) that your packed goods will take up in one of our shipping containers. Volume is calculated by multiplying the length x depth x height. An example would be a full size refrigerator/freezer that is 3ft wide, 2 feet deep, and 6 feet high would be 36 cubic feet. A 20 foot container total cubic capacity is 1172 ft 3 and a 40 foot container capacity is 2392 ft. A standard 2 to 3 bedroom house or condo should fit into 1 x 20ft container. A larger 4 to 5 bedroom house would need 1 x 40ft container. The price for a 40 foot container from Sydney to San Francisco would be about $9,800 and from London to San Francisco around $8,500.

Moving Insurance is a valuable investment when transferring such volumes and values of items. This should be around 2% to 3% of the value of the goods being transported. Insurance for owner packed moves is extremely limited.

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In case of damages during moving, notify the company clearly in the discharge letter, then when you receipt the furniture, and confirm the complaint within three days in a registered letter with acknowledgement. If the remover doesn't indemnify you, you have a one-year delay, from the delivery day, to bring an action.

Update 10/01/2012

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When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to Usa and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.


 Jim Gaw


Household goods relocation services worldwide
National Van Lines, Inc. provides household goods relocation services worldwide – from any point to any point. For all of your relocation needs please visit us at or contact us at (800) 323-1963, if calling from outside the US please call collect to (708) 450-2941.
We service all international business from our headquarters in Chicago, IL - but have business partners throughout the world. We have excellent representation in the United Kingdom.

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