OSI is one of Americas preferred International moving companies. With over 5000 international moves annually, OSI maintains a 99.7% customer service rating. OSI has been featured in the INC 500 as one of America’s fastest growing international moving companies. OSI has also been featured in USA Today and the Sun Sentinel as a preferred company to work with. We understand that you have option when looking into international moving companies, so we really appreciate the opportunity to work with you. For more information check out International Moving Companies.

Here are 12 facts that you should know before choosing international moving companies

Are you certified by the FMC?
The first questions you should ask a company is “are you licensed by the FMC” (Federal Maritime Commission)? The FMC is the Government agency that regulates ocean transportation and international moving companies. It is required by law that if you’re acting as an international moving company you MUST have a license and bond. It’s unfortunate that as consumers we have to worry about impostors, it’s more common these days than ever before. DO NOT go with international moving companies that are not licensed or is claiming that they’re a sales agent of a licensed company. Just remember that these are your personal possession and you do not want them in the hands of a crook. If you need to check out a company visit www.fmc.gov. Our license number is 021051NF. The NF stands for NVOCC (non-vessel operating common carrier) and Freight Forwarder. International Moving Companies are regulated by the Government, if a company is acting illegally then the Government can’t regulate them. Hand, pen and blank document

Do not go with the lowest cost. We all want a bargain. We all want to feel like we’re getting the best deal, but it doesn’t work like that in this industry with international moving companies. If you’re going with a company because of cost then be prepared to deal with the old “bait and switch” tactic. This is a common practice for “rogue movers” so beware. Keep in mind that no 1 company has special powers to offer you ridiculously cheap moving costs. International Moving Companies use similar resources to insure your goods get from A to Z, so if a company is telling you they’re $1000 cheaper, they’re LYING to you, it’s not possible. That would be like me saying “I can sell you the same exact car for $10,000 cheaper”, HMMM. The moral of the story is don’t go with a company based on price, you will regret it. rep

If international moving companies have zero complaints on the internet chances are they opened up their doors last week. It’s a common that international moving companies with a bad reputation will close and open up under a new name. It is 100% impossible to make every customer happy, especially in this industry. Remember that there are unforeseen issues like customs delays, inspections, damage, overage etc. It is impossible to have a flawless record; however, with that being said you don’t want to go with a company that has to many complaints. For example we handle over 5000 shipments yearly and deal with an average of 10-15 complaints yearly. This is a spectacular record based on the volume we do. We have an A rating with the BBB and we’re certified with the FMC, GSA and CTPAT. We’re however a little nutty when it comes to reputation so don’t expect to see all of these accreditation’s and awards from most companies. It’s all about customer service in this industry not cheap costs. If you’re choosing a company on reputation then understand that some companies handle a lot more volume then others. If a company does 100 moves a year and has 20 complaints that is not a good sign. If a company handles 5000 moves a year and has 20 complaints that’s a great sign. Don’t let a company fool you as to how big they’re. A little research will go a long way. hidden

Will I pay any hidden charges?
If a company is not forthcoming about the charges or tried hiding additional fees in your quote then don’t use them. This is a small sign of how the rest of your move will go. Understand that all shipping companies have the same outside charges. Ask your company if there are any additional charges such as documentation, port charges, THC (Terminal Handling Charges), tax and duties. Also, make sure you’re getting what you pay for. A lot of companies these days will say “here is our cost for a door to door move”, but they will leave out half of the price and put it in the small print e.g…” excluding door delivery which will be an additional 10 million dollars”. Make sure you have a thorough relocation coordinator that can explain the process in details and is up front about the possible charges.

I’m worried my stuff will get damaged. In a perfect world no one’s goods would ever get damaged, but unfortunately this is the real world. International relocating requires multiple hands in the pot. You have the origin agent, trucker, ocean carrier and delivery agent. There are typically 4 agents that handle a door to door international relocation, and just to clarify, there is no one company on this planet that handles the entire process themselves. I don’t want to scare you, so let me say that damage is not common. I can only speak for OSI in saying that our claims ratio is spectacular. However, it can happen and you should be prepared. If you’re self packing boxes make sure you do a thorough job. If you have any specific questions speak with your relocation coordinator and he/she will guide you. The best way to insure no damage is by having a professional pack your items. If you chose to opt out of buying insurance then a company cannot be held liable if damage occurs, so buy insurance if you’re concerned about your goods. It’s not expensive and will give you peace of mind.

How long does it take?
Ocean transit times vary depending on the final destination you’re moving to. If you’re moving to Europe a typical transit time is 20-30 days depending on what country you’re moving to. If you’re moving to Australia it can be up to 45-60 days. The best thing to do is ask your relocation coordinator how long the ocean transit time will take to your destination. Please also keep in mind that these are ETA’s (estimated transit times). We can’t predict any unforeseen delays such as weather, customs delays, malfunctions with the vessel etc. If an unforeseen delay happens please understand that a shipping company can’t be held liable. There are many factors that go into an international move. If you have a smaller shipment and need to get it to your final destination right away it’s suggested that you ship via air freight. Air freight may not be the most economical solution, however, if it’s urgent you get your stuff to the final destination right away, this would be your best choice.

How far out should I book my move?
Although we try to accommodate every situation, it’s not suggested that you give a company short noticed. Short notice causes stress for all parties involved and isn’t a good start. If you can, please give us some time so we can make sure we pay close attention to all the details. Don’t forget that this is an international move and requires a lot of detail. It’s suggested that you give at least 3 weeks advance notice. If you just don’t have 3 weeks that’s fine, but please let us know ASAP. We’ve been known to make miracles happen, so if you need a pick up tomorrow call us now and we’ll let you know right away if we can make it happen. There are many international moving companies and we do appreciate the opportunity.

Can I self pack?
This is a question that comes up a lot. As you start getting quotes you’ll hear different things from different international moving companies about self packing. Some international moving companies will tell you that Customs won’t allow people to self pack. I’m here to tell you that this is 100% false and the only reason why a company would say that is so they can charge you for professional packing and make the extra money. There are no rules or regulation about people self packing their own stuff. With that being said it is better to have a professional pack for a few reasons.

1. They’re professional and you’re not.
2. If you self pack you will not be insured.
3. A professional will create a detailed inventory list of what you’re shipping.

If you have a smaller shipment of just clothes, books and shoes then by all means go ahead and self pack. If you’re shipping any furniture of fragile items it’s suggested that you have a professional pack your goods. It may cost a little bit of money, but it’s better than receiving damaged goods.

Are my items insured?
Unfortunately there is no such thing as standard insurance coverage that automatically covers your shipment. Insurance is an additional option and if you choose to opt out of insurance then you will not be covered if there is damage or loss. Insurance is not expensive and will give you peace of mind.

There are 2 types of insurance coverage for ocean shipping. The first is called Total Loss insurance. Total Loss will only cover the complete loss of a shipment. If you’re self packing, total loss will be your only option. The other option is All Risk Insurance coverage. All Risk will cover for damage or loss. In order to get All Risk insurance your goods would need to be professionally packed by a moving crew. The crew will need to check the condition of all your goods, make notes and create a detailed inventory list. Insurance claims aren’t common, but I always say it’s better to be safe than sorry.

What if I end up having more stuff then what I told you?
Keep in mind that ocean freight transportation is based on volume. If you have more volume then we pay more which in turn means you would pay more. There are ways of avoiding “overage” charges. First and foremost, if you’re only shipping boxes make sure you provide the exact dimensions of each box. Please also take under consideration an additional 15-20% of the volume to cover the pallets. Example: If you have 50cft you should estimate that you will end up with about 60cft in total. All shipments are measured by a 3rd party CFS (Container Freight Station). We do not guess what the actual volume is nor is there a way for us to cheat you on the final dimensions of your shipment. If you’re moving an entire household of furniture it is recommended that you have a visual survey. We can do our best to give you a phone estimate, but without a visual survey we can only ball park it. We can provide a visual estimate at no cost so if you need a visual survey please contact your relocation coordinator with your full address and date. Please make sure to give us notice.

What are my different shipping options?
There are a few different options we can offer. There is a door to door, door to port, port to port and port to door service. If you’re looking for the most economical route then a port to port may be your best option. You would be required to drop your boxes off at the CFS (Container Freight Station) and pick up at the port of destination. There are only drop off points near each major port in the United States so if you live in Boise, Idaho this option may not be for you. You will be responsible for port charges, customs clearance and terminal handling charges at the destination. If you’re looking for convenience then door to door will be your best choice. Door to door service will include all charges minus port & THC (some countries do include port & THC). This is my favorite option because it’s simple and to the point. Although a lot of people try and save money by going with a port to port or door to port service this may actually end up costing you more in the long run. Think about it – If you go with a port pick up option you will need to arrange for pick up, pay customs, port charges and THC. The reality is this may end up costing you more. Speak with your relocation coordinator for more details. OSI was ranked one of the best international moving companies.

Why should I choose OSI as my international moving companies?
This is a simple one – because we’re the best. All joking aside, OSI has been a leading international relocation provider for many years. We’ve won awards and have been featured in news papers, magazines and we have some of the most pristine certifications. Unlike our competition we’re reasonable people that always put ourselves in our customers shoes. We understand that relocating can be very stressful so our goal is to help eliminate some of that stress by going above and beyond the typical roles of a shipping company. We play many roles including therapist, counselor, punching bag and most importantly we continue to care about our customers even after they pay. We handle over 5000 international relocations yearly and maintain an average of about 5-7 complaints yearly. We do our best to make everyone happy, but as you know some people just don’t want to hear it. OSI also uses part of it’s proceed to help others through disaster relief programs such as Hurricane Sandy. Here at OSI we would truly appreciate your business and go above and beyond to keep you as a customer. OSI was ranked as one of the best international moving companies.

We thank you for taking the time to read through these tips. OSI was ranked as one of Americas best international moving companies. We offer a vast array of services including but not limited to, ocean freight, air freight, trucking, warehousing and customs clearance. We’re a licensed and insured international moving companies. Please contact one of our professional international moving companies today.