Some Important Differences Between Local & International Moves

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Possibly you are considering whether to make a local or international move. Obviously, in this day and age, it is easy to go or live just about anywhere and there is a number of moving resources that can help you during such a relocation. But, there are still a large number of differences between these two types of moves. Here are some things to consider when making your decision.

Planning For International Move vs Local Move

As you probably imagine, there will be a lot more to do in preparation for an international move than a local move. Simply writing down travel instructions or directions would not even begin to represent the complexity of moving internationally. Consider:

  • Planning: It will take a lot of time and coordination to pull off an international move, so you need to start planning this well in advance. In contrast, a local move could probably be handled in just a week or so, and might not even any professional help like moving companies. You will also need to do plenty of research, especially if your new country has a language and culture very different to that of the United States.
  • Streamline: Focus on only taking what you need, especially if you will be moving to another country. Take a long, hard look at all of your possessions and then decide what you need, and what can be given away, sold, recycled or thrown away. This can also help save money since the weight of your items will likely play a role in their cost to send to another country.
  • Customs Rules: A local move is not going to subject you to different rules and regulations about what can be brought into the new area. Unfortunately, this will be a very important factor when going to another country. Since each country can be very different in terms of their specific rules and requirements, be sure to do thorough research ahead of time, so there are no surprises.
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Local vs International Movers

Although there are a number of professional companies, local moving is pretty basic. In many cases, companies that only handle moves within the same state don't even need to register with federal organizations. Here just some of the factors which set international moving companies apart from local movers:

  • Registration: Local movers are not normally required to register with any federal authority. That is actually pretty unusual since interstate moving companies do need to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. International moving companies need to be registered with the Federal Maritime Commission. Many of the better ones will also be a member of the International Association of Movers.
  • Expense: It is much more expensive to conduct an international move than a local move. Most of these long distance moving companies won't be offering insurance or any type of minimum liability when shipping your possessions. While you can request it, this will end up adding quite a bit to the expense of the move.
Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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