successful move from Phoenix to Sydney!

A forum for questions and helpful information and advice about international moves and moving companies.

successful move from Phoenix to Sydney!

Postby neti » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:29 pm

we recently completed a move from Phoenix, USA, to Sydney, Australia. Since I used these message boards extensively while looking for a moving company, I thought it's only right to come back with a report: we used Rainier Overseas Movers, and we were COMPLETELY happy.
We paid extra to have our stuff on a direct steamship, and it actually arrived in Sydney a week before the due date! Nothing broken, nothing lost. Our contact at Rainier was Rick Schlegel, and he was very friendly, informative and helpful, laying (most of) our scamfears to rest.
In Arizona our stuff was packed by Arizona Moving & Storage - nice guys, but MAN the labels on those boxes were nondescript! Not really their fault though, since everything was in boxes in storage already, and like I said, everything arrived intact. In Sydney our stuff was received and delivered by Australian Vanlines. I found them to be a little bit slower than I would've liked with returning phonecalls, giving information, etc, but once I was sitting on my own couch all was forgiven. I'd be happy to answer any questions anybody might have, and good luck!

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Re: successful move from Phoenix to Sydney!

Postby MusicMom » Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:44 pm

Woo-Hoo! Thanks for the update!

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Re: successful move from Phoenix to Sydney!

Postby kiwiokc » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:16 pm

We are relocating from Oklahoma City, OK, (USA) to Rockhampton, QLD (Australia). Having never moved internationally (with a household), we're needing all the helpful input possible. Do you have any suggestions? Words of wisdom? How far out should from departure date should you start working with a company? We have so many questions. Appreciate your thoughts.

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Re: successful move from Phoenix to Sydney!

Postby Noone » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:04 am

Start by reading this: ... l-shipping

Then, go through your home (with your spouse if you are married) and mentally sort the "Must Ship" items, the "Will not Ship" items, and the "May ship depending on cost" items.

Next, contact 3 international shipping companies to come and do an in-home survey and quote for your move. This should be done at least 2 months before the move, or 4 months if you are moving in June-July-August.

Once you have the three quotes (and accompanying survey sheets so you can check that the surveyor listed the items you want to ship properly) read them thoroughly, paying attention to what is not included.

If you look to the left, you will see a red banner with white letters marked "International Moving Companies" - click that and you will see a few suggested movers. Likewise check with whomever is doing your relocation (if it is work, for example) to see if they have a suggested moving company.

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Re: successful move from Phoenix to Sydney!

Postby Brownlow » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:00 pm

A word of warning for International moves regarding the Bill of Lading. We moved our household goods back to Australia 2 years ago and decided to us the same moving company in Australia that our company had used to move us to the US. The Australian company arranged for a US mover to complete the required actions on the US side and full payment to the Australia company was required before any packing etc would be undertaken. At the end of the packing day we were presented with the Bill of Lading to sign which we were told was required to be signed otherwise they would not ship our goods, needless to say we signed to our detriment. 2 years post the delivery to Australia we were sent a bill for the US activities even though we had paid in full the Australian company. Unbeknown to us the Australian company had declared bankruptcy and had not paid the US company and the US company were requiring us to pay. On follow up with the US company to query why we were being asked to pay again we were told that because we had signed the Bill of Lading that we were liable for the US companies unpaid services. This was not explained to us by the Australian company, nor did the US company explain. We were asked to sign the Bill of Lading at the end of a hectic day of packing and to say the clause was at the end of the document in fine print and not fully understandable to the general public would be an understatement. The US company appears to have made no attempt to approach the creditor and has left it to us to just pay again, we are seeking legal advice. We wanted to warn people not to sign any documents of any sort even on the packing day without legal advice.

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Re: successful move from Phoenix to Sydney!

Postby Jeff.Walker » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:50 pm

Thanks Brownlow,
I personally have not seen this before, nor did I know about the "loophole" you describe. Thanks for reporting it here. Hopefully one of the Pros can give you some advice.

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Re: successful move from Phoenix to Sydney!

Postby Noone » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:49 pm

I would need to see the bill of lading. Usually, one of three things happen in international shipping:

1 - The companies involved have a formal credit arrangement in place. Many Van Lines, FIDI FAIM, and the larger international moving companies (Unigroup, AGS, Santa Fe) have formal credit arrangements. In this case, if one company does not pay another, the overseeing organization pays. This is one of the reason these companies are often more expensive.

2 - The companies have no credit arrangements. In this case, services are not done until payment is made. If the contract is done with someone at destination, the company at origin will pack, load, and ship, but the container will be "On Hold" with the ship line, so the company at destination can not take possession until the bill is paid. If the contract is done with someone at origin, the destination agent won't deliver until payment is made.

3 - The companies have an informal credit arrangement. Basically, this means that Bill in Australia works with Bob in the US, and they do enough work together that they trust each other and allow terms.
This sounds like what happened in this case.
Obviously, since this is a matter of trust, if Bill doesn't pay Bob, and Bill goes out of business, Bob may well go after the shipper to get re-imbursed (regardless of what is written on the Bill Of Lading or any other document).
How this would actually play out in court depends on many factors, and waiting 2 years is a big factor. Considering that the company at origin gave credit to the company at destination, I doubt this would work in court.

I would demand a copy of the bill of lading, and also the FMC License number of the company at origin. Once you have those, be in touch with the FMC to see what they say.

Likewise, a Lawyer there can turn you over to the Australian Authority on international shipping.

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