I can actually give information on a few companies:
- Rainier Overseas
- ITO (http://www.itomoversinternational.com/)
The Bad AND the Ugly
- Global Ocean Freight (global-oceanfreight.com)
based on my latest experience. I hope it can add to the info so people can make an informed decision when looking for an international mover.
I recently moved with my wife from Wisconsin
(nearest metro area Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN.) to Nuremberg Germany
. Initially I had contacted a company called Global Ocean Freight operating out of Florida. We chose them because they quoted us the lowest price. Needless to say this was before we stumbled upon movingscam.com. Our stuff was scheduled to be picked up the weekend before we flew. We attempted to push the pick up date further ahead but our agent, Dana at Global Ocean, assured us it would be no problem to meet our anticipated pick up date and we wouldn't be faced with flying to Germany before our stuff got picked up. The moving date was approaching and some of our calls weren't being returned and our inquiries not addressed. After a number of phone calls for each concerned we would eventually get a 'everything is in order' type of generic response and that's that. When our moving date finally arrived we were informed the truck to pick our stuff up had broken down and after a day filled with telephoning came to the realization that Global Ocean would not pick our stuff up before we our flight to Germany. My wife got 'a feeling' (thank god she did) and we did a search for Global Ocean on the internet which brought us to this website. This naturally caused a sinking feeling in our guts. We were actually fortunate for the breakdown I suppose because we dodged a bullet by finding out about the shady practices of Global Ocean BEFORE they actually had our stuff. I called them and told them not to bother picking our stuff up afterall. I'd found this website and they were listed as an untrustworthy company that was involved in moving scams. The lady was speechless for a minute and then just said okay, we'll issue you a refund shortly. Well, we never did get a refund of our deposit but I guess that's a small price to pay compared to some of the horror stories on this forum.
So... we called all the companies recommended in this forum: Southern Winds, Rainier, Stevens and Sterling as well as Graebel. Our deadline was short. We were leaving in 2 days when I started calling and naturally we were stressed. We moved all of our stuff into a storage unit and had to organize the bulk of the move from overseas.
Everyone was relatively friendly that we called with the exception of Sterling who didn't even bother to return any of our telephone calls or emails. Rainier however quoted us a better price than anyone else (significantly better) after doing an inspection (Graebel and Southern Winds also did an inspection) and was infinitely more concerned with what I wanted and how they could accommodate our wishes.
Rich Haas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
was great and responsive and always kept us up to date on everything even though we were already in Germany. The pick up went flawlessly (though we did need to have relatives available at the storage unit to oversee the pickup, luckily we had an aunt and uncle in the area) the shipment took longer than expected by nearly two weeks but I can't fault Rainier for that (altogether it was about 6 weeks door to door). The company that Rainier hired to deliver on this side (ITO) was also more than fantastic. Not ONE item was damaged or missing, not a single one. The movers were very friendly and punctual to within 5 minutes of their delivery time estimate even though they hauled everything from Bremen to Nuremberg (an overnight drive) during a snow storm to do it.
ITO's moving crew also reassembled the furniture that we asked them too without any complaints and did so very quickly. We had a relatively small move, everything fit into a small apartment, but it went swimmingly considering that it had to be organized from Germany and documents needed to be sent and signed and all that fun stuff (everything was handled through telephone, email and fax).
All in all, we lost our deposit from the first company we contacted (Global Ocean) and paid more than we'd hoped, but in retrospect we paid a very fair price in the end, we'd hoped to get away with paying an unrealistic price at first, but it's true what they say, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware of unrealistically low prices is all I can say after this experience. I can not recommend Rainier and Rich Haas enough. Rich always followed up with me to give me progress reports even if I didn't explicitly ask for one and was willing to do everything we asked of them. We didn't have to repack in Wisconsin before the pickup which was something we expected to have to do and expected to have to pay a good amount more for that service so that was nice as well. The quote that Rainier gave was almost a thousand less than the next lowest bid so cost was also outstanding overall.
I would absolutely go with Rainier again if I ever had to do another overseas move my experience was really top notch.
If anyone out there is considering Rainier and has any questions about them please feel free to contact me I'd be happy to give more information if I have it.