Business Maverick


Emigrating? Use this checklist for the company handling your move

Emigrating? Use this checklist for the company handling your move

Experience is key when it comes to moving internationally, so it makes perfect sense to use a relocation specialist that has been in business for several years.

According to a Statista survey, around 14% of South Africa’s working population of 15.6 million – just more than two million people – indicated they were seriously considering emigrating. 

However, relocation costs alone are high, which means it’s worth taking the time to vet your choice of relocation specialists. 

Ian Pettey, MD Africa at Crown Relocations, says to relocate the contents of a two-bedroom house, you would need a 20-foot container. 

“The relocation costs to the United Kingdom would be around R120,000, and that goes up to R200,000 to go to Australia. A three-bedroom house would equate to a 40-foot container, with a relocation cost of R180,000 to the United Kingdom and R320,000 to Australia,” he says.

Pettey suggests you ask the international removal company the following questions before signing a contract: 

Do you offer a full door-to-door delivery service at the final destination?

This means they will take care of everything from packing your belongings in the home you are leaving to delivering them to your new home.

How many years have you been in business, and do you have references?

Experience is key when it comes to moving internationally, so it makes perfect sense to find out how long a company has been operating. It is preferable to use one that has been in business for several years. Ask for references from previous clients to ensure you’re choosing a reputable and reliable company.

Do you offer full-value protection – insurance?

Make sure that the company offers full-value protection insurance. This means that if anything gets lost or damaged during the move, you’ll be fully compensated. And remember to read the small print!

What services do you offer other than shipping household effects?

Moving internationally involves much more than just shipping your household effects. Ask the company about other services they offer, such as pet relocation, visa assistance, finding a rental property and language training. The more help you receive, the easier the relocation will be.

Do you offer shipment tracking?

Knowing where your belongings are during the move can provide peace of mind. Ask if the company offers shipment tracking so that you can keep an eye on your belongings throughout the move.

Are there any unforeseen additional charges that could be incurred?

Make sure to ask about any additional costs that could be incurred, such as customs fees or storage fees. This will help you budget for the move more accurately.

Do you provide storage at the destination?

If you are not able to move into your new home right away, you may need to store your belongings temporarily. Ask if the removal company provides safe storage options at the destination city and if there are additional costs to make use of them.

Stuttaford Van Lines advises that you accompany the moving company’s supervisor when he compiles a comprehensive inventory of all the goods to be moved, as well as any existing damage. 

You should then receive a copy of the inventory form so that you can check off items and note their condition when they arrive at your final destination. 

Cape Town-based Monarch Moving notes that all removals, including international furniture removals, are priced on the space used, so to save space, you can store some of your light belongings inside cupboards and drawers. Before packing any clothes or accessories into your cupboard, it may be a good idea to wrap them in plastic too to protect against dust, insects and dampness, thus ensuring your clothes remain in mint condition. DM


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