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How to reduce delays when relocating

How to reduce delays when relocating
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Keep your international move running smoothly with our advice

Getting your household up and running quickly will help you settle in at your new home – so how can you reduce delays in your international move?

Get organised before your move

An organised move is an easy move. So start by making a checklist of everything you need to do. Getting ready to move is a complicated process and is almost like a second job. Be sure you give yourself enough time and headspace for it in the months running up to it.

Have your paperwork ready

One of the most important pieces of paper in your international move will be your inventory. This is simply a list of all the goods you are moving from your old to your new home. You will need it for insurance purposes, and your shipping company will want to see it, as it is important for them to know what you are moving. And an inventory may be needed when your goods go through customs at the border.

It is worth making a file for all the papers related to your move – and there will be a lot of them, from checklists to quotations to receipts to forms that you need to fill in as you organise your relocation. And consider scanning your removals papers, too, so that you can store them on your phone or laptop and access them wherever you are.

How can I get an exact shipping time for my relocation?

Our blogpost about sea freight times will give you an idea of how long it takes to transport domestic goods door-to-door by sea. But calculating shipping times for an international relocation is not an exact science, and it takes a good bit of experience and some knowledge of the current situation to give an accurate forecast. Your move co-ordinator or removal company will be able to give you a better idea of arrival dates.

What should I do if I know I’ll want some of my domestic goods immediately on arrival?

When you opt to move your domestic goods by sea, you have made a slightly more environmentally-friendly choice than if you choose the speedier air freight option. Sea freight is less predictable than air freight. It is likely that you will have a delivery window, rather than a set day, as there are so many things that can delay a ship on its journey from port to port. Sea freight is likely to take weeks, rather than days.

So it may be worth sending some of your goods on ahead some weeks before you move yourself and your family.

But if the shipping times for your destination really are too long, then you could pay extra to send some of your goods by air.

Meet your packing and delivery deadlines

It goes without saying that meeting your packing deadlines is crucial in an international move. If your goods are not ready to take their place on a sailing that only goes once a month, the knock-on effect can cause much larger delays and increase your moving costs. If you run into any problems, like illness, or if you are struggling with packing, let your move co-ordinator or shipping company know as soon as possible.

Can I track my goods at sea?

If you know the number of the container that your goods are packed into, or the name of the ship carrying the container, you may be able to use data from the AIS (Automatic Identification System) that tracks vessels around the world to watch your container’s progress towards your new home. A service like can help with this.

Are my goods insured while in transit?

You may be wondering if your removal firm’s liability insurance will cover your domestic goods. Your removal firm’s insurance will cover your domestic goods to a degree – but typically the terms of their insurance will limit their liability. So if your goods are lost you will get back a sum that is capped by this limit, which may not be as much as it will cost you to replace your goods. When you arrange your own removals insurance, you can get a policy that is tailored to your needs and ensures that should the worst happen, you will receive a sum of money equal to the replacement value of your lost or damaged household goods.

When you are organising your move abroad it is worth arranging your own insurance for your goods. Do remember to compare quotes – start by getting one now from Insure Your Move.