A Moving Wish-list
By Sherman Pereira,
Regional Director – Central and Eastern Europe
Any expat who has been posted to different locations around the world knows that moving your personal belongings across the road, to another town or even to the other side of the world is a daunting task. However the magnitude of such a move is increased by the number of years you have been living in a place, the number of people in your household (including pets) and the number of things that you’re moving. To make the process easier and to reduce the stress levels, most choose not to attempt do it themselves, but to hand the job over to a professional moving company. Try asking people who have tried to do this themselves to find out why.
How do you choose the right moving company, one might well ask? The trick is to make a wish-list of what qualities you believe an ideal moving company should possess, and work down from there, understanding that every time a criterion does not match your wish-list you increase the likelihood of things going wrong and hence your stress level skyrockets.
The number one thing to consider on your list is that the company you choose has its own office at your destination. This way you can ensure the same high levels of standards and procedures at both origin and destination, plus eliminating the need for making expensive overseas calls throughout the day for various clarifications. If needed, you can even visit the local office upon arrival and speak to someone face to face.
Global companies usually also have their act together with regards to certifications and accreditations, they have policies and guidelines mirroring industry standards, they have English-proficient staff and provide ‘good old’ customer service. If the company has no office at your destination, an acceptable option is to choose a company which works within the guidelines of a worldwide or regional moving organization; this will provide you some safeguards.
The second item to consider on your wish-list should be the financial security of the moving company. In these days of companies going to the wall, it is important to find out more about the finances of the moving company you are considering. The last thing you want to do is pay for a shipment onlt to find out that it’s sitting in a warehouse somewhere or getting stuck in a port – because the company you have chosen is unable to pay their bills... Be careful, it happens!
Next is to make sure that the company you choose can handle any additional moving needs you might have, such as the transport of your pets or car, insurance coverage for your belongings during transit and services which will reduce your stress levels even further, such as home/school search programs, orientations and preview trips at your destination, spouse support, visas etc. Other wish-list items can include; the company has a rich operational history, professionalism of the people you meet from the company and finally, the company can provide services at a good value for money, which doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest price.
By obtaining two or three quotes from reputable moving companies and comparing them based on the above, you’ll increase your chances of a more seamless transition to your new home. Good luck!
I will be writing more about moving and relocations topics in next month’s column and hopefully also answering some of your questions. Please write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org