Our Process and How it Works
Step 1. Getting a quote for your international relocation
So you’ve confirmed that you’re relocating overseas and now you need to get price quotes for your international shipment. First and foremost it’s highly important that you only contact companies that are licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). The FMC is the Government agency that regulates ocean transportation and if you’re speaking with a company that is unlicensed you should hang up the phone and find the right company.
It’s recommended that you first give us a call to speak with one of our international relocation experts. The reason why a quick phone call is better then email is so that you and the coordinator can go over specific details regarding your shipment. OSI offers many options and shipping rates vary depending on what type of service you’re looking for. Our international relocation services range from full door to door moves to simple port to port shipments.
If you’re moving an entire household it’s recommended that you have a visual survey done. A visual survey is when we send an OSI representative to your home to take a look at what you’re shipping so we can give you an accurate cost. Please remember that ocean freight services are based on volume (Cubic Feet) and the cost will either increase or decrease based on the total volume of your shipment.
Once we have the information we need we will send you an email with a price quote. Please understand that there are many variables in international shipping and there are certain things that are beyond the control of any company. As an example a customs inspection is random. Inspections are not common, but it can happen and customs will charge you for the inspection. Another example would be an Act Of God, such as bad weather which can cause a delay. If you’re interested in getting a quote from us please call us or simply fill out this form and we will have an OSI representative get back to you.
Step 2. Booking your shipping date
Once you’ve decided on a pick up date you can simply call or email your coordinator with the shipping dates. At this point we will confirm if we have availability. Once confirmed we will require a small deposit to reserve your date. Deposits are 100% refundable up to 48 hours before the actual pick up. Once the deposit is made we will send you a link with a user name and password where you can access and fill out the shipping forms here. The shiping forms will consist of shipping information forms, insurance forms, payment and general inventory list. All of the forms mentioned above are a requirement in order to handle your shipment. Please remember, in order for us to do our job we need the proper information. If you have any questions about the forms or international relocation services you can simply contact your coordinator anytime.
Step 3. The process and what you can expect
Less than container load (LCL)
After your shipment is picked up it’s brought back to our consolidation point. OSI has consolidation points at every port in the U.S. Your shipment will be grouped into a container with other shippers that are going to the same destination. LCL shipments can take anywhere from 6-10 weeks depending on where you’re going. Once your shipment is received at our warehouse we will email you a warehouse receipt also known as a dock receipt. Once we have the dock receipt and can confirm your volume we will then send you an invoice for the balance. Your deposit will be deducted from the balance and can be paid using any major credit card, check, wire or PayPal. Once the final invoice has been paid we will place your shipment on release which means it will be loaded on the next vessel and we will email you a booking confirmation. The booking confirmation will show the vessel, voyage, sailing and arrival dates. We will also give you a user name and password to our “live track” system which will grant you access to all of your shipping documents as well as track your shipment online.
Full container load (FCL)
If you’re shipping a full container load the process will be similar to LCL. If you’re self loading the container we will arrange for the container to come to your residence. You will have a certain time frame for loading the container, typically 2 hours before being charged additional. Once you’re done loading we will seal the container at your location and ship it directly to your final destination. Once the container has sailed we will email a Bill of Laden (BOL) 24/48 hours after sailing. The BOL will contain all of your shipping details e.g. vessel, voyage, sailing and arrival date. We will also grant you access to our live track system so you can access documents and track your shipment. If you’re having us pack & load the container we will send our moving crew with the container so we can pack & load at your location.
Step 4. The arrival of your shipment
Whether you chose a door to port or door to door service our destination agent will be in contact with you a couple of day before the arrival. Please note that port and THC (terminal handling charges may apply unless otherwise specified. Port and THC charges vary depending on your volume and what country you’re moving to. We can include the port & THC in your rate, but only if you’re shipping door to door. We can however give you an idea of what to expect on a door to port service. Once our destination agent contacts you they will email some customs forms which you can fill out online and return. Once they have the proper documentation returned they will then arrange a delivery date or a date for you to pick up, depending on the type of service you’re getting. It’s recommended that you go over all the details with your relocation coordinator so they can explain the process and you will have a clear understanding of what to expect. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us anytime.
Ocean Star International handles over 5000 international relocation annually. We provide various international relocation services from the U.S. to any destination abroad. If you’re unsure about the international relocation services you need please contact us and we will walk you through the process.