Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

A forum for questions and helpful information and advice about international moves and moving companies.
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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Diane » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:17 pm

Re-posting an excellent review of Metropolitan Van & Storage (Atlas) for booking and packing a shipment to the U.K.:
mo.evans wrote: 2/13/09 - I was impressed by the professionalism of Metropolitan Van & Storage -- through all the steps of planning, packing, and follow-up -- and would recommend them to anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area, making a move within the USA or internationally. This is a moving company that lets you sleep well at night through the whole process!

Their estimate was slightly higher than "bargain" movers, but it was accurate -- no hidden charges came up. As well, their time estimate was accurate. Moving puts your material life in others' hands, so all of that's important!

The moving team was fast and careful. I was amazed at how well everything was handled and packed to keep safe. Everything arrived in great condition. I now see that proper packing is a professional skill. I'm a careful person but their work protected our belongings in ways I couldn't.

Finally, the company office responded to all of our questions in good time, even after we were overseas. Good luck with your move, but you won't need it if you go with Metro! -
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.

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Do you know anything about IQ Global Logistics Corp.?

Postby Polina » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:50 pm

Do you know anything about IQ Global Logistics Corp?I'm planning to ship some of my stuff to Bulgaria and they are giving me a good price about $1200 for 4 cubic meters ,but the thing is that I can't find them listed in the FMC site.Are they a scam?

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby nicbaz » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:01 pm

I used Rainier Overseas Movers for a move from Baltimore to Berlin. Everything went as planned, good communication, and timely delivery. I strongly recommend them.

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby MusicMom » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:16 pm

Can you please give some more details about your move? It'll help people considering this company to know what they did right with your move.

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby adijkstra » Mon May 24, 2010 1:49 pm

I wish I'd read this thread before organizing our move from London UK to Vancouver Canada. We went with Excess International Movers, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

We requested full service treatment, so they came to our place and packed our goods. They nearly left without a whole bunch of things - they'd proped the doors open and there were miscellaneous items behind the doors (shoes, etc.) which they would have forgotten to pack if we hadn't notified them.

Then I sent all the paperwork by mail to the movers, and they lost it. I had to fill it all in again, and I sent multiple copies, plus a scanned version to them.

Then we requested 8 months' storage (we went travelling, then arrived in Vancouver 8 months later). Despite having 8 months head start, our shipment arrived ages after we arrived in Vancouver. They didn't even send it out until a week before we arrived in Vancouver, so the initial delivery date was for two weeks after we arrived in Vancouver. Not the end of the world, we thought. But they had decided to send our UK -> Canada shipment through the US (which Canadian customs thought was a very stupid thing to do), and US Customs opened up our goods. This resulted in a delay of TWO MONTHS (I'm not joking) and an additional bill which we had to pay for several hundred dollars. Excess refused to pay for it, despite the fact that we had paid for full service moving; I couldn't find fine print anywhere suggesting we were responsible for customs costs if they arose. Obviously, we spent a fortune buying new clothes, kitchen utensils, air mattresses, and the like.

Finally, the worst part. It finally arrived at our place, and we opened up all the boxes. I am an art collector. We went with full service treatment because I wanted all my priceless art well packed. A substantial number of my pieces were nicked, but about 5 of them were completely broken. A head made of malakite from Kenya- base in five pieces. A glass-blown devil from Murano, Italy - in an uncountable number of pieces. My butler stand, broken at the ankles. A replica of an Indian god, with part of the head broken off. And it wasn't just the art. We packed our flat screen TV into a crate, and it still has a huge scratch on it. The drawers from our bookshelf all have broken hinges.

The service has been astonishingly bad. These people simply don't care. They don't even bother to respond to emails where I have sent them photos of all of the above (just forward it to the insurance guy to process the claim).

Don't use these guys. I am spending hours on the internet today to put up reviews so that nobody else has to go through what we did. Excess International movers reduced me to tears.

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby womatar » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:18 am

This website has been a great resource for me in my efforts to move my belongings from the US to Saudi Arabia.

I went with Rainier. I received quotes from two other companies, and all three were pretty much giving me the same price. I was in contact with David Wiviott of Rainier, and most of our communications were done via e-mail. I also received forms, my quotes, invoice, and bill of lading (after the ship leaves the port) all through e-mail. David was fast in responding, even after my shipment arrived and I had some ancillary questions to ask. He was professional, polite, and responsive.

I went with door-to-port service, since dealing with a local company once the shipment arrived was going to be much cheaper.

Rainier set up my local agent in moving my belongings from my in-land city of origin to the port, and they also gave me the contact information and details of the company in Saudi Arabia in charge of receiving the shipment. So there was no guess-work or trouble. I just called up the companies, and arranged for pick-up and delivery accordingly.

I did receive one of my items broken, but I can't fault Rainier or the local agent in the US for that. It seems the items inside the large container were rearranged, so it could have been the customs people during inspection. In fact, I think it's likely that's the case.

In any case, it's a wooden piece, and it's relatively easy to fix. Everything else arrived in sound condition.

I would recommend Rainier to family members and friends if they ever need international shipping service from the US.

My shipment was about 3 cubic meters (about 100 cubic feet) and about 281 kg (about 620 lbs) total. I paid $1500 for door-to-port service from South Carolina to western Saudi Arabia.

The container left my home on June 15th, departed from the port early July, and arrived in Saudi Arabia under three weeks later. Just to give readers a general idea of speed and timing.

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Sterling Int'l and Rainier

Postby saje » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:07 pm

I have not experienced the services that received stellar reviews for these companies. Either they have fallen off the truck, or this must be a banner year for shipping, and they don't need new business. Note: WE estimated our shipment to be around 8 cubic meters.

Sterling Int'l (a division of A. Arnold): It took me three tries to get any contact from them specifically related to our shipment. Instead of a phone call I got an email. I called them and spoke with someone who could not answer all my questions. Her tone was perfunctory, she couldn't have cared less about me as a customer. I sent her a summary of our conversation including the question she said she would research. That was a week and a half ago, and still no response or follow-up.

Rainier: David must have an evil twin. Phone calls from me, emails-several from me often with no response. Got cc'd on an email to a local company to do a visual estimate. Waited three days, emailed David, no response. Called local company. No they weren't supposed to come to see me. They were just going to go with the quote they sent David based on what he told them. Still neither they nor David responded to let me in on this. Local agent recommended a different company. However after doing a search here I found their recommended company "forgets" to mention they don't allow PBO, they don't include inspection fees, etc.

Now I sit with my shipment all organized for the shippers who seem to not care about doing business with me and I get to start researching all over again.

By the way, any chance the search feature for this site could be improved? It was frustrating doing specific term searches only to have maybe one posting actually match my search items, while several had nothing to do with them.

one stuck saje :(

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Noone » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:10 pm

When using the search function, put the term in quotes:
"Search Term Here"

It could very well be that your location in Oregon is too remote to do a survey. (I'm a very big proponent of visual surveys, by the way, but sometimes it just isn't practical).

As an aside, make sure you check your spam folder to see if their emails aren't going there.

I don't know when your move is happening, however if you are moving in 3 months (or more) it makes sense that quoting you would be a lower priority than servicing moves already in transit (September is the end of the peak season - slow sales - but still a ton of jobs in transit from the summer).

I think the answer is to send these two companies one last email, and let them know that you are unhappy with the response you have had from them so far. If they don't improve their correspondence, move on.

This website has four suggested forwarders, and I'm sure there are local representatives of most Major Van Lines that can also help:
Allied, Atlas, Bekins, Graebel, Mayflower, NAVL, National, Stephens, United, are the ones that come to mind.

Thank you for your comments (which are appropriate here), and feel free to post other questions you may have(use one of the two threads you already have started for that purpose - this thread is for reviews of moves that have happened).

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby nologo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:15 am

Review of our move from California to the Netherlands with Rainier Overseas Movers (with local contractors Moving Star and EuroUSA)

Overall: Positive, but problematic

Details: Our family wished to move our 2 bedroom apartment from the San Francisco area to near Nijmegen, the Netherlands. We contacted the four companies recommended by this board at that time (there are now six). One was unresponsive. The prices offered by the remaining three varied by perhaps 20% between each, or 40% total spread. I preferred the lowest price, but our contact (Doug of Rainier Overseas) at the middle price of the three pointed out some strange practices of the lowest offering company (e.g. continually changing the pricing scheme, including a mix of volume and weight). Doug asserted that no one could professionally do this move at that lowest price. My wife agreed, and we went with Rainier.

The US contractors (Moving Star) were excellent. They gave good advice about what to keep and what to get rid of, as well as our size options. We were able to pick precisely the date of our move. Their movers were on time, quick, and professional. Our items seemed well-packed, and put into two lift-vans (large standardized crates).

En route, our possessions were subject to customs inspection in London. Besides a delay, we were sent a bill of around $100. When I pointed out to Doug that he had told me that such an inspection was very unlikely, Rainier quickly paid the bill.

Our experience became complicated on the Netherlands side. After waiting ten weeks (the high end of the estimate), we received only a short advance notice of the date of the movers' arrival. On the date of the move-in, we experienced two significant problems. First, the customs inspection had caused our items to be both damaged (e.g. our most valuable item of furniture was ruined) and haphazardly repacked. It is not just that our items were no longer in the lift-vans, but they had even been put into new cardboard boxes. The numbering system used by the US movers to count our items was no longer valid. Random things were found together in boxes. Thus, there was no easy way to see what was missing.

Second, the senior of the two movers employed by the London-based moving company (EuroUSA) was rude, aggressive, sloppy, and entirely unprofessional. He acted carelessly, damaging items. Boxes were dumped open. Things were improperly stacked. He tried to force our bed's headboard up our small staircase, but it did not fit. After he brought it up via a window, we found the bed damaged and large scrapes along the wall of our stairwell. He did not assemble our furniture, as he should have. As we were reviewing the numbered inventory of items, he quickly checked off most of the remaining un-checked items, saying, "Oh yeah, I saw that one," etc. As it came time for me to sign off on the completion of their work, he was breathing down my throat, saying that he was in a hurry, that I must sign, and that signing wouldn't actually mean anything. When I said that I was not happy with his behavior, he tried to blame me, stating that I had failed in my job of standing at the door, checking items off as they came in. I signed in order to get them out of our house, and quickly called EuroUSA to report his actions.

The EuroUSA staff was very receptive to our concerns. They offered to pay for a painter to paint our stairwell, and an extra $100 for our trouble. They then even increased their compensation a bit without prompting - a further indication of their commitment.

We spent much time compiling our damaged and missing items (the best we could) to file an insurance claim. The insurance company replied with a settlement of about 1/4 of our claim, citing various details in the fine print. It turns out that Doug at Rainier had failed to send us the details of the insurance policy. Had he done so, we would have purchased insurance in a different manner. But instead, we relied on the information in his email and on Rainier's website, which said that all damages would be covered (minus a deductible). After several calls back and forth, he offered to pay for most of our settlement.

Conclusion: Despite the complications, Rainier and EuroUSA (and of course, Moving Star) lived up to their expectations and promises. We have most of our items, and money to compensate for our losses. However, the process required an enormous amount of time to sort through. In the end, we recommend these three companies, but that anyone doing an international move ensures that they understand the details of their insurance policy, and take the time to complete a detailed valued inventory.

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby bellebird » Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:02 pm

Just got the last of our stuff from Allied (Pickfords in Australia) in Fort Worth Texas. Overall experience was positive but we forgot our insurance details and they didn't come forward with them after taking 2000 dollars for the insurance. Some of our boxes were squashed but nothing was broken. 5 x8 trailer and 10 foot boat were left behind in Brisbane for a month. they packed a lot into our 20 foot container and their agent gave very good sound advice. This was much more than others had done for us. They were also slightly cheaper in cost for a 20 foot container than the other companies we took quotes from. Cost from Dallas Tx to regional QLD with insurance was $12000.

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby Jeff.Walker » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:01 am

I'm reposting this review that came to us from the comments section of the site:

Laure wrote:I'm happy to give you very positive feedback for Southern Winds International. I used your web site (found randomly using a Google search) to get reviews and information, and contacted them for a quote for a door-to-door move from San Francisco to a village in France, near the Swiss border. Donovan Woodruff of Southern Winds responded within a very few days of my inquiry (made on the Company's website), and he was my contact throughout. I found him to be extremely courteous, patient and responsive, both by email and by phone. Most of our communication was by email, which made it easy during the few trips I took back-and-forth during the few months preceding my move. Donovan guided me through the necessary paperwork and checked in with me at critical times, to make sure the actual movers were on schedule and that their work was satisfactory. It was.

Southern Winds used Mayflower/Excel Moving Services out of San Francisco, and my experience with them was of professional and efficient movers, from the consultant who came to evaluate my stuff to the actual movers, who did a top job at packing and wrapping everything. The quote I got was not the cheapest but it was the most complete, and there were absolutely no surprises along the way. Simpsons Removals & Storage Ltd was the company in charge of transport from England (the obligatory port of entry to the EU), customs clearing if I'm not mistaken, and delivery, and here too I have nothing but good things to say: on-time delivery and good communication throughout. I received everything in very good condition, and was very happy to see the care with which everything had been packed. Donovan checked back in with me at the end of the process to explain what to do in case I had a claim to file, and ended with good wishes after I'd reported I had none.

I moved by myself and never had to deal with something I felt unprepared or unfit for. I moved under difficult personal circumstances, and the peace of mind that resulted from the careful and professional work of everyone involved made the expense worthwhile to me.

The one thing I would recommend to anyone lacking in experience in this kind of move: if you don't understand something, just ask your contact (Donovan was great with that). The international moving world is full of a terminology (and paperwork) that can be very intimidating! Everyone was happy to clarify when it got to be too much for me.

I hope this feedback will help. Please feel free to ask if any questions.


Laure Hansen

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby ahanson » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:05 pm

Used Bayshore International for a move from Baltimore, MD to Melbourne, Australia.

Our shipment arrived on schedule and the Allied Pickfords team here in Melbourne did a fantastic job of keeping us up to date on the shipment and delivery. We were charged some things that we had already paid for, but once I sent a copy of our receipt from Bayshore that was resolved.

A few of our things were damaged and we made an insurance claim for them, which was resolved promptly and effectively.

Overall we had a good experience with both Bayshore and Allied Pickfords and will definitely consider them again when we move back to the US in a few years.

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Excellent review of Southern Winds

Postby Jeff.Walker » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:40 am

An excellent review for Southern Winds by sunflowerly on 3/13/12:

Link: ... d03ca0756d

sunflowerly wrote:I'm back to tell the results of my move! I asked all 3 companies for their spreadsheets they use to estimate the cf of your belongings and played with the numbers. Sterling couldn't give me a better deal based on lift vans instead of a container. Ranier, which gave me the highest cf estimate (without even taking notes at my house), were kind of snotty when I politely questioned the accuracy of their estimate. In the end I went with Southern Winds who had good prices, a good attitude, and seemed very willing to work with me.

SW quoted me prices for 3 or 4 liftvans and said they would have everything ready for me, but only charge me for the liftvans needed. In the meantime, I sold a few pieces of furniture, took a few boxes of clothes to Goodwill. Turns out, my stuff fit in 2 liftvans with a little room to spare! Thank goodness I didn't waste money on a container! Honestly, I didn't get rid of a huge amount of stuff. Anyway, the process was pretty smooth. I made an error on my customs form, but SW helped me figure it out and I faxed in a new one, no problem.

SW (or rather, Mayflower, who SW contracts in California to pack my stuff) did a very good job of packing my things. Better than my move from Pennsylvania to California a few years earlier (can't remember which company that was now!). They really wrapped things up well and built good sturdy crates for my glass table top and a couple of antiques. Nothing was broken or damaged at all!

Mayflower packed my things on July 22, 2011 in San Francisco, CA, USA and Simpsons (the UK company) delivered my stuff in Bristol, UK on 10/10/2011. So this method was not the fastest, but since I moved in with my husband, who already had a house full of things, it was not a big deal for me to wait. My things went through X-ray check at customs in the UK port just fine, but apparently were delayed while the other shipments in the same container were checked and approved. One thing I liked about SW is that any X-ray checks or other inspections are entirely included in their quoted price. The other companies I got quotes from did not include this (they said it's rarely done - well, it was done to me!).

Simpsons were ok (they were the ones SW contract in the UK to deliver). They were pretty good about contacting me and arranging delivery. They brought an absurdly huge vehicle to deliver: a full-sized lorry with an extra trailer towed behind. My 2 liftvans fit in half of the extra trailer. They were combining my delivery with some others. I don't know what residential areas in England a vehicle that huge could fit reasonably. It was a squeeze in my neighbourhood. They would have charged me extra if they couldn't get close to my house, which I think is kind of a scam, considering the huge truck was not necessary for my things and probably would manage less than 20% of residential streets in England. My paperwork said that they had to unpack my things otherwise I couldn't make a claim for any damages, but the delivery men were apparently not expecting to unpack anything and seemed very rushed and put out by it. They were also supposed to remove the packing materials. I made sure that they took apart the crated antiques, unpacked and unwrapped all of the kitchen and breakable items and took away all of those materials. While they were still there, I took as much stuff out of boxes as I could and made them cart away the boxes and wrapping paper. It was rushed and annoying, but it all turned out ok.

Grand total cost: $4098.90, broken down as follows: $3545 for 2 liftvans door to door, $100 for custom crates for antiques, $305.75 for insurance based on valuation of actual goods ($12,230), and $148.15 which was a 3.75% fee for using a foreign credit card to pay. So I saved over $3000 from my original estimates. I highly recommend Southern Winds. They were very helpful, willing to work with me as I sorted out the best way for me to make this move (ie, should I go with a whole container or get rid of some things and go with liftvans or do basic consolidation), and everything worked out well and affordably!

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby BigLeeCalif » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:21 pm

Ranier, which gave me the highest cf estimate (without even taking notes at my house), were kind of snotty when I politely questioned the accuracy of their estimate.

I don't think international division was a part of the transaction, but I know that Chipman bought the moving & storage division of Rainier recently.

Unusual that they wouldn't go out and do a survey though. We used to use them, and never had any problems with customer service.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

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Re: Reviews of international movers (June 2004 to present)

Postby adhoc » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:04 am

Hi, I can report an experience I had with a Spanish company called WILLMOVE. In the beginning everythig went OK, and they picked up my things as promised. But as soon as they were in possession of my belongings, the problems started. First they tried to charge me an additional fee for having had to move my things from a higher floor apartment than I had indicated (obviously I must have been living on a higher floor all these years without noticing it) ... when I objected to this charge, they quickly dropped it. But when it came to releasing my things to me again, they forced me into paying 600 Euros simply as a "release charge" which had not been agreed to beforehand.
I went to a lawyer and was told that if I can live without my things for the next 2 years (which is how long the courts take in Spain), I can try to go to court but if I want my things I better pay them. So to cut a long story short, STAY AWAY from WILLMOVE ( They are dishonest and will try to scam you.

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