Chicago to London move

A forum for questions and helpful information and advice about international moves and moving companies.
lettezilla
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:53 pm
Location: London, UK

Chicago to London move

Postby lettezilla » Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:46 pm

Hello, I'm hoping for some advice on an upcoming move. We're moving from Chicago to London, and are hoping to start our lease in London at the beginning of September.

My first question is how long, on average, should we expect to be without our stuff? We go month-to-month on our lease in August, and so are considering having the movers come end of July, and traveling for the month of August. I have a suspicion that the process takes a month or more, but if it is typically only a couple of weeks, we might stay on without the gap.

My second question is how early it's appropriate to contact moving companies? Part of our decision about whether to bring furniture or not will be based on how much the moving costs, but I feel like it's too early to start getting estimates at this stage.

Any other general advice is most welcome, especially with regards to area companies I should contact. This board was a great resource when we were doing the move in the other direction, and I really appreciate all the help! We will definitely be contacting the companies suggested here (Stevens, Sterling, etc), but specific experience is very welcome.

chrisatlas
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 4:27 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby chrisatlas » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:05 pm

Transits will take 4-6 weeks if you go with a reliable direct service.
I wouldnt have people come out till early August -ocean frt rates will change. Make sure you go with a reliable company who knows interanational moving. Going to the UK is one of the easiest places in the world to move to.. All you need is your C3 British Customs form and a passport to gain entry into the country.


lettezilla wrote:Hello, I'm hoping for some advice on an upcoming move. We're moving from Chicago to London, and are hoping to start our lease in London at the beginning of September.

My first question is how long, on average, should we expect to be without our stuff? We go month-to-month on our lease in August, and so are considering having the movers come end of July, and traveling for the month of August. I have a suspicion that the process takes a month or more, but if it is typically only a couple of weeks, we might stay on without the gap.

My second question is how early it's appropriate to contact moving companies? Part of our decision about whether to bring furniture or not will be based on how much the moving costs, but I feel like it's too early to start getting estimates at this stage.

Any other general advice is most welcome, especially with regards to area companies I should contact. This board was a great resource when we were doing the move in the other direction, and I really appreciate all the help! We will definitely be contacting the companies suggested here (Stevens, Sterling, etc), but specific experience is very welcome.

lettezilla
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:53 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby lettezilla » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:31 pm

Thanks, Chris, 4-6 weeks was my vague guess, so it's good to know that's accurate.

With that being the case, we'll probably move out August 1 or a few days before that, so should I get in touch with companies for an estimate 6-8 weeks before that, so mid June or early July? I wish I could do it all now just so we'd know roughly what we're talking about ($2,000 or $10,000 or more!), but the point about rates changing is good and I'll try to be patient.

chrisatlas
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 4:27 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby chrisatlas » Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:46 pm

I would go 6 weeks out prior to your move as most quotes you will get back from the mover within a day or two of the actual in home survey. Make sure that the moves you select come to your residence to view what you will moving. The in home survey will tell you how much weight you have and the cost of the quote is based on weight and location you are moving to. It could cost you $1500 or $15,000 all depending on how much you are shipping. Obviously the less weight you have to move the less the cost will be.


lettezilla wrote:Thanks, Chris, 4-6 weeks was my vague guess, so it's good to know that's accurate.

With that being the case, we'll probably move out August 1 or a few days before that, so should I get in touch with companies for an estimate 6-8 weeks before that, so mid June or early July? I wish I could do it all now just so we'd know roughly what we're talking about ($2,000 or $10,000 or more!), but the point about rates changing is good and I'll try to be patient.

lettezilla
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:53 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby lettezilla » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:18 pm

Hi all, well...we've got the process started, and good thing, since it's apparently going to take longer than we'd hoped/expected. I've contacted the four international movers recommended here, and all have come out to do an estimate. I will post full details of the quotes later, but since some of the companies have mentioned that they keep up with posts here, I'm going to try to avoid specific details until everything is signed off...

First quote says
EST WEIGHT: 1500- 2600 LBS. Household Goods
EST CUBIC FEET:500.0
DENSITY:5.2
FROM:DOOR Chicago, IL
TO: DOOR London, England
VIA: Liftvan Surface / - Europe Consolidation
EST. TRANSIT: Approx. 8-11 Weeks

-SURVEY RESULTS ATTACHED. 2 QUOTES: 1500 LBS NET / 300 CFT GROSS AFTER CRATED FOR EXPORT & 2600 LBS NET / UP TO 500 CFT GROSS AFTER CRATED FOR EXPORT. RATE IS BASED ON "SWI" EUROPE CONSOLIDATION SERVICE.

-INSURANCE: FULL REPLACEMENT / $0.00 DEDUCTIBLE COVERAGE MAY BE PURCHASED FOR $25.00 PER $1,000.00 DECLARED VALUE.

-INCLUDES: FULL ORIGIN PACK-WRAP-LOAD INTO APPLICABLE CRATE(S) / ALL PACKING MATERIALS & BOXES / OCEAN FREIGHT / THC-PORT CHARGES @ ORIGIN & DESTINATION / NORMAL CUSTOMS CLEARANCE / FULL SERVICE DELIVERY INTO RESIDENCE.

-EXCLUDES: DESTINATION TAXES & DUTIES (IF ANY) / PIANO / CUSTOMS INSPECTION (IF ANY) / ABNORMAL ACCESS / STORAGE / INSURANCE

_______________________________________________

Second quote is:
Our agent is estimating you have between 1260 lbs – 1860 lbs depending on if you take everything or just certain selected items.

We can offer you a “door-to-door” rate of $X for each hundred pounds from Chicago, IL to London, England.

This rate includes pick up at your Chicago residence, packing, export crating, surface transport to port Thamesport, England, all the normal port charges, Customs clearance, and delivery to your London residence. The delivery includes furniture set up, unpacking, and debris removal on delivery day.

This rate does not include insurance, “intensive” Customs exams if any, or difficult truck access at your London residence if any.

Full replacement insurance with a $50 deductible is available at a rate of 2.5% of your declared value.

The transit time of your shipment will be approximately 2-3 months.
_______________________________________

The second quote is literally all I got, just that info in a body of an email, it seemed a little weird that it didn't include more specific info, but I guess it's OK? The first included a number of fine print attachments, including a scan of the inventory

So both of those say 2-3 months. Local agents of the other two said it would be more like 6-8 weeks, but I don't have those quotes yet (despite one having had the estimate done a week ago and me calling to follow up)

Here's my big question, other than "are we missing anything, do we need more info before we make a decision?" on those quotes:

We move into our new flat early September. 3 months out is...really soon. We'd rather be without our stuff in Chicago than London, so would be prepared to move the moving date to very soon. EXCEPT, if it only takes 2 months, rather than 3, we won't be in the country yet. Will that be a problem with customs/UK movers?

Thanks in advance for any tips or advice at this stage!

Noone
Posts: 1807
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:53 am

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby Noone » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:23 am

1 - Check to see why the second quote shows a lower weight/volume than the first quote. Review the survey sheet. Get a copy from them.

2 - Check with each shipping company about what would happen if your goods got there before you do, regarding both customs and storage charges.

3 - Review terms (how much is due when - how do you pay) and if you don't see it, ask. Ask the second company if there is other documentation (maybe online) showing terms and conditions. There doesn't have to be, but there might be.

lettezilla
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:53 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby lettezilla » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:55 am

Thanks, Noone, those are good tips.

I'll request a survey sheet, but have a follow-up question on the weight estimates. Is the end cost based on what they actually take with them, which gets weighed somewhere? I know on domestic moves, we've had a "guaranteed not to exceed" amount, but haven't seen any hard max or min on these quotes. Is that correct?

The terms I've seen have said that complete payment is due before the shipment leaves the country-- I believe that's typical from what I've read here, but please let me know if I'm wrong!

chrisatlas
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 4:27 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby chrisatlas » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:10 pm

I re-read your note below and the long transit is due it being quoted and moving via consolidation service which means.. they wait to move your shipment till they have a container full of other shipment then they will move it. I would recommend not going that route unless you arent in a big hurry to get your goods. Cost wise you might save a little bit but your are much better getting a rate with direct service via LCL.
Chicago to the UK is a very popular route so I would go direct versus consolidation..

lettezilla wrote:Hi all, well...we've got the process started, and good thing, since it's apparently going to take longer than we'd hoped/expected. I've contacted the four international movers recommended here, and all have come out to do an estimate. I will post full details of the quotes later, but since some of the companies have mentioned that they keep up with posts here, I'm going to try to avoid specific details until everything is signed off...

First quote says
EST WEIGHT: 1500- 2600 LBS. Household Goods
EST CUBIC FEET:500.0
DENSITY:5.2
FROM:DOOR Chicago, IL
TO: DOOR London, England
VIA: Liftvan Surface / - Europe Consolidation
EST. TRANSIT: Approx. 8-11 Weeks

-SURVEY RESULTS ATTACHED. 2 QUOTES: 1500 LBS NET / 300 CFT GROSS AFTER CRATED FOR EXPORT & 2600 LBS NET / UP TO 500 CFT GROSS AFTER CRATED FOR EXPORT. RATE IS BASED ON "SWI" EUROPE CONSOLIDATION SERVICE.

-INSURANCE: FULL REPLACEMENT / $0.00 DEDUCTIBLE COVERAGE MAY BE PURCHASED FOR $25.00 PER $1,000.00 DECLARED VALUE.

-INCLUDES: FULL ORIGIN PACK-WRAP-LOAD INTO APPLICABLE CRATE(S) / ALL PACKING MATERIALS & BOXES / OCEAN FREIGHT / THC-PORT CHARGES @ ORIGIN & DESTINATION / NORMAL CUSTOMS CLEARANCE / FULL SERVICE DELIVERY INTO RESIDENCE.

-EXCLUDES: DESTINATION TAXES & DUTIES (IF ANY) / PIANO / CUSTOMS INSPECTION (IF ANY) / ABNORMAL ACCESS / STORAGE / INSURANCE

_______________________________________________

Second quote is:
Our agent is estimating you have between 1260 lbs – 1860 lbs depending on if you take everything or just certain selected items.

We can offer you a “door-to-door” rate of $X for each hundred pounds from Chicago, IL to London, England.

This rate includes pick up at your Chicago residence, packing, export crating, surface transport to port Thamesport, England, all the normal port charges, Customs clearance, and delivery to your London residence. The delivery includes furniture set up, unpacking, and debris removal on delivery day.

This rate does not include insurance, “intensive” Customs exams if any, or difficult truck access at your London residence if any.

Full replacement insurance with a $50 deductible is available at a rate of 2.5% of your declared value.

The transit time of your shipment will be approximately 2-3 months.
_______________________________________

The second quote is literally all I got, just that info in a body of an email, it seemed a little weird that it didn't include more specific info, but I guess it's OK? The first included a number of fine print attachments, including a scan of the inventory

So both of those say 2-3 months. Local agents of the other two said it would be more like 6-8 weeks, but I don't have those quotes yet (despite one having had the estimate done a week ago and me calling to follow up)

Here's my big question, other than "are we missing anything, do we need more info before we make a decision?" on those quotes:

We move into our new flat early September. 3 months out is...really soon. We'd rather be without our stuff in Chicago than London, so would be prepared to move the moving date to very soon. EXCEPT, if it only takes 2 months, rather than 3, we won't be in the country yet. Will that be a problem with customs/UK movers?

Thanks in advance for any tips or advice at this stage!

lettezilla
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:53 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby lettezilla » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:14 pm

chrisatlas wrote:I re-read your note below and the long transit is due it being quoted and moving via consolidation service which means.. they wait to move your shipment till they have a container full of other shipment then they will move it. I would recommend not going that route unless you arent in a big hurry to get your goods. Cost wise you might save a little bit but your are much better getting a rate with direct service via LCL.
Chicago to the UK is a very popular route so I would go direct versus consolidation..


That's interesting, thanks. Sorry, what does LCL stand for? Is this something I should go back to the companies and ask them about? Nobody has mentioned this option to me so far.

I've only had one response from the companies about whether it's a problem moving soon, since we won't be in the UK until Sept. They suggested that they would hold the shipment in Chicago so our stuff didn't beat us there too much. I had assumed that the extra month built into the estimate was delays on boats, and customs and stuff, and so if they stored our stuff for a month, there's still a chance it could take 3 months from then, rather than a month in storage and then a guaranteed 2 months to our door. Am I totally wrong on that? Perhaps that actually relates to what was said above, maybe "storing" it for us is kind of code for waiting for a full shipment?

[/quote]

chrisatlas
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 4:27 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby chrisatlas » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:17 pm

LCL= less than container load. I would definately ask them about direct service.. you will get your stuff quicker and see if they will hold your shipment for a reduced rate as well

lettezilla wrote:
chrisatlas wrote:I re-read your note below and the long transit is due it being quoted and moving via consolidation service which means.. they wait to move your shipment till they have a container full of other shipment then they will move it. I would recommend not going that route unless you arent in a big hurry to get your goods. Cost wise you might save a little bit but your are much better getting a rate with direct service via LCL.
Chicago to the UK is a very popular route so I would go direct versus consolidation..


That's interesting, thanks. Sorry, what does LCL stand for? Is this something I should go back to the companies and ask them about? Nobody has mentioned this option to me so far.

I've only had one response from the companies about whether it's a problem moving soon, since we won't be in the UK until Sept. They suggested that they would hold the shipment in Chicago so our stuff didn't beat us there too much. I had assumed that the extra month built into the estimate was delays on boats, and customs and stuff, and so if they stored our stuff for a month, there's still a chance it could take 3 months from then, rather than a month in storage and then a guaranteed 2 months to our door. Am I totally wrong on that? Perhaps that actually relates to what was said above, maybe "storing" it for us is kind of code for waiting for a full shipment?

[/quote]

Noone
Posts: 1807
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:53 am

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby Noone » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:20 am

1 - Your goods will be billed on the actual weight or volume. The goods will be brought back to the local warehouse, palletized or loaded into wooden lift-vans, and then measured or weighed.

One quote is based on cubic feet (volume) the other on weight. Both are OK in international. No one in international will give a binding not to exceed quote - you pay for what you ship.

If you are concerned about going over, you can ask the company that goes by cubic feet if they can show up with the lift-vans. This isn't always possible, but if it is, you will know when you have hit a certain volume. Obviously, if you do this, prioritize your goods.

Most legitimate surveyors are within 10% accuracy, so budget for 10% more and you should be OK.

2 - The difference between LCL and Consolidation (as Chris is describing them) lies in who is actually handling the other cargo in the container. If the freight forwarder is filling it with other customers of his, this is what Chris is calling LCL. It is also possible that there will be a third party (called a consolidator) who sells space in the container, and several freight forwarders will buy the space.

Which option is better depends on how much cargo the freight forwarder has from Chicago to the UK.

lettezilla
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:53 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby lettezilla » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:06 am

OK, thanks to Chris and Noone, that's actually very helpful information from both.

We're both feeling a bit down at this point because it feels like pulling teeth just getting started with everyone, and this is supposed to be the SALES time, not the unresponsive time. One of the major companies had their survey done more than a week ago. I phoned on Monday and asked when the estimate might be done, since we wanted to make a decision this week (and didn't mention the other estimate, which had been surveyed the same day, had already come in on Friday). She said Tuesday. Still nothing. I guess they're out, since I figure if they're this unresponsive when they're trying to convince us to give them money, how will they be if/when something goes wrong?

I don't know if it's that our load is too small, or what, but definitely not feeling the love from the companies at the moment, which isn't our experience with our last professional domestic move or pro international move...maybe it'll turn around soon, hopefully!

chrisatlas
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 4:27 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby chrisatlas » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:23 am

The companys that are quoting should know international moving.. its not rocket science Most domestic agents dont know much about international hhgs shipping so they get their information second hand..
One of the other things I noticed on the one quote they used a 5.2 density. most international shipments we use a 6.5 density.
I know we have our quotes done within 24 hrs if not sooner on international. Especially an easy location like Chicago to England..

lettezilla wrote:OK, thanks to Chris and Noone, that's actually very helpful information from both.

We're both feeling a bit down at this point because it feels like pulling teeth just getting started with everyone, and this is supposed to be the SALES time, not the unresponsive time. One of the major companies had their survey done more than a week ago. I phoned on Monday and asked when the estimate might be done, since we wanted to make a decision this week (and didn't mention the other estimate, which had been surveyed the same day, had already come in on Friday). She said Tuesday. Still nothing. I guess they're out, since I figure if they're this unresponsive when they're trying to convince us to give them money, how will they be if/when something goes wrong?

I don't know if it's that our load is too small, or what, but definitely not feeling the love from the companies at the moment, which isn't our experience with our last professional domestic move or pro international move...maybe it'll turn around soon, hopefully!

LilaUK
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 12:56 am

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby LilaUK » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:41 pm

I've been having a similar delay with quotes coming back after surveys. A couple of companies said 24hours - I had to chase after a week of waiting. We have similar move dates only I'm going from California to UK.

I also am wondering the same thing, if this is how fast they respond when they are trying to attract me, how bad will things be after they have my money? A little worrying. I'm also waiting so i can decide if Im going to take all my furniture or leave it. Its very frustrating.

Noone
Posts: 1807
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:53 am

Re: Chicago to London move

Postby Noone » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:02 am

I am currently getting quotes out in 2-3 business days. However, I know about 30% of the quotes I send end up in the spam folder.

This is the sales time, but many of us are also busy servicing shipments enroute - meaning less time for sales.

If you don't get a quote in 2-3 business days, follow up with an email and a call to see what is happening. A week is too long.

Keep in mind that we need to wait for quotes from overseas agents (especially for more remote locations - meaning someplace we don't ship multiple times monthly), as well as ocean freight.

The only way I can get a quote out in 24 hours is if I already have the rates for origin, ocean, and destination before the survey is done. Not always practical.


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