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Moving Abroad: Should You Use Full Containers or Less Than Full Containers?

 When you are moving abroad, you have many things to decide on and to think about. Where you will move, what items you will take and which you will leave behind, who will pack your items and how you will have them shipped. The list may seem daunting. Having an experienced international moving company to help you is the easiest way to make sure that all of your bases are covered with the least amount of stress possible. An international moving company will inventory your belongings and estimate the cost for you, helping you determine things like how to best move your items and the benefits of full containers or less than full containers to help keep costs down.

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What are Full Containers?

In shipping overseas, two options are available. You can choose a full container load (known as FCL) or a Less than Container Load (LCL). Full Containers will carry only your personal items. If you have a great deal less than the amount that would fill a full container, you might choose the LCL option.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between FCL or LCL

Full container loads tend to cost more than less than full container loads, but a couple of advantages exist for using FCL rather than LCL.
1. Security and Safety – Full container loads contain only your items.
2. Simpler Customs Experience – With other parties involved, improper items or paperwork are more likely. Customs officials might choose to release your items without delay. If irregularities exist with the other parties, they might detain the entire shipment until everything is sorted out.

AW Transportation Takes Care of Your International Move from Door to Door

If you have decided to make an international move within the next few months, now is the time to contact AW Transportation to make plans. We have the knowledge and experience to make your move as stress free as possible. We will help you with all of the details, from deciding between full containers or less than full containers to packing up your belongings safely, and we have a great deal of information to share about international destinations. Contact us today to get a free quote and learn how we can help you. 

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Tips to Prepare for Culture Shock When Moving Overseas

As an international moving company, we understand how challenging moving overseas can be. We have the advice to help you adjust to new cultures, both before you begin your move and once your move is complete

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1. Visit the Location & Do Some Research before Moving

One of the best ways to prepare for culture shock from moving overseas is to visit your new residence and country before your move if you can. Visiting a new country can be difficult depending on your circumstances, but experiencing a new culture first-hand will go a long way to preparing you and make adjusting to that culture easier. If you know where your new residence will be, visit that area and spend some time getting to know the streets and the locations of nearby services, stores, and facilities. You could even do a test run from your residence to work and take pictures and notes for future reference.

Online research is another useful way to adjust to a new culture. Maps are always helpful, and blogs by people who live in the area can be valuable resources. Forums of expats or native residents can also help you learn about the local culture and prepare you for the move. Also, spend time learning local laws and customs, including table etiquette, formal and informal dress codes, greeting gestures, and more.

Tips to Prepare for Culture Shock when Moving Overseas | AW Transportation

2. Learn the Local Language

If you are moving to a country that predominantly speaks a language other than English, learning the new language will help ease you into your new residence and lessen culture shock when moving overseas. Communicating with the new people you will live with will help you better navigate your new host country. Consider carrying a pocket-sized dictionary in the new language around with you. For countries where English is the most-spoken language, local slang or colloquialisms might cause some minor culture shock, so take some time to learn those, too.

3. Have an Open Mind

Moving overseas is challenging, and you may encounter situations where you will have trouble knowing what to do. For example, certain media outlets or foods you are highly familiar with now may be unavailable in certain countries. Reducing culture shock is all about learning, and you can learn plenty of new things even after you have done all of your research before your move. The adjustment stage will take time, so have an open mind, be open to new experiences, and you will feel more comfortable.

Contact AW Transportation for Transportation & Shipping Services

AW Transportation has been providing international moving and relocation services since 1985. We know what is required for a successful relocation overseas and understand the customs requirements for each country. Contact us today for a free quote on your international move.

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Top Questions to Ask Your International Moving Company

You are moving overseas! As the initial excitement washes away, you may also feel a bit of concern about all the details involved in such a big endeavor. Having experienced professionals help with your move is one way to ease the stress involved. If you have never moved overseas before, you may be unsure what questions to ask your international moving company, so here are some tips.

7 Questions to Ask Your International Moving Company

These questions should help you be ready for your international move.

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Do You Provide Door-to-Door Service?

This may seem like a no brainer, but some companies are simply shipping companies and will book passage for your belongings overseas. An international moving company that is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission, like AW Transportation, is able to handle all aspects of shipping by sea and air by providing all steps in the process of moving overseas, from packing and transporting your goods from your home to having those goods clear customs and show up at your door in your destination country.

Are you Licensed and Insured?

You want to make sure that your moving company is experienced and reputable, and one clue is whether they are licensed and insured, as well as if they offer insurance for your move. Follow up questions to ask your international moving company about insurance is what specifically is covered (loss/breakage, theft) and if the amount of insurance completely covers the value of your belongings.

Can I Pack My Own Belongings?

Packing your own belongings may be an option at some companies, and this could be a cost-saving measure for you. However, another of the questions to ask your international moving company is whether your belongings will be insured and will clear customs if you self-pack. A manifest/packing list is required in most overseas moves to clear customs and a company may be unwilling to take a risk if they are uninvolved in the packing process to see what is packed and how safely the items are wrapped.

Will My Belongings Be Shipped With Other Items?

Standard sized shipping containers can hold belongings of 1,000 cuft or 2,000 cuft. If you have more or less than that to ship, you may consider using a less than container load or LCL shipment. This option may save you money, but will take considerably more time from origin to destination. Make sure you know your options and liabilities.

Do You Ship Cars and Antiques or Pianos?

Companies have different conditions and specialties. AW Transportation does have experience shipping cars, pianos and antiques, and we will gladly offer this service for our customers who are moving their household overseas.

Colorful Shipping Containers | Learn questions to ask your international moving company from AW Transportation

Is Storage Available at Either End of the Move?

You may need to store items for a time once you have packed them-either before you make your move or in your destination country. Timing may be an issue, either for obtaining entrance to your housing, starting your new employment, or simply due to traveling limitations of airline schedules. You should ask your international moving company if storage is available and what kind of storage will be provided.

Will You Take Care of Clearing Customs?

Some companies make no claim to door-to-door service, but make sure you are clear on what you are getting. In addition, each country has its own customs clearing requirements. Some countries mandate that you are present when the goods clear customs, while others only require that you have entered the country. AW Transportation knows the customs requirements for each country and will ensure that your experience is as seamless as possible.

Contact AW Transportation for More Questions to ask Your International Moving Company

AW Transportation has been managing moves overseas since 1985. We have the knowledge and experience required to help you make your move as simply as possible. We provide the questions to ask your international moving company because we know what is required for a successful relocation overseas. Contact us today for a free quote on your international move and let us help you avoid unnecessary headaches.

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10 Tips for Making a Move Overseas

The date is set! You are making a move overseas! Now what? How do you prepare? The first step is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can, and to find a knowledgeable and reputable international moving company to manage the move. Below we offer 10 tips to making a move overseas as smooth and uncomplicated as possible.

Top Tips for Individuals Making an Overseas Move

These tips should help you be ready for your international move.

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Research International Moving Companies

An international moving company that knows the regulations and restrictions for the country you are moving to is an invaluable resource as you plan your move. They will inform you of freight options, insurance, temporary storage, and help with customs formalities. An experienced company, like AW Transportation, can also offer first-hand information about many destinations. Though you can move without the benefit of an international moving company, your stress level will likely be much lower if you know that professionals are handling the details of getting your belongings safely overseas.

Learn About The Destination Country

Being armed with information about the place you are moving to is helpful in any move. When making a move overseas, so many things will be completely different from the way things happen in the United States, knowing as much as you can about your destination-its culture, customs, economy and more- is even more vital. Join forums where member questions are answered and do a lot of research online. Read blogs, official area websites, and articles. Watch documentaries and anything that you can get your hands on to learn.

Acquire Or Renew Passports And Visas

Many documents will be needed when you are making a move overseas. The specifics will vary from country to country, but you will certainly need a passport and visa. These documents can take a while to be delivered, so be sure to apply as soon as you can. If your passport is nearing expiration, you should renew before you move. Other documents that may be needed are work permits, insurance cards, school records and birth or marriage certificates.

Open An Overseas Banking Account

You will want to have a banking account in your destination country for many reasons, including avoiding international usage fees. Keeping your U.S. account open is still a good idea, especially if you decide to return to the United States at some point in the future or if you will be making American transactions or purchases.

Decide On Buying Or Renting

If you have never been to your destination country, or even if you have but for short visits, you may want to delay making a home purchase. If you are unsure what area you will want to settle in, renting for the first six months or a year might be a good idea so you can travel on weekends and explore the various local areas. Whether you are planning to stay in the foreign country permanently, or are only moving internationally for a term due to job or schooling, renting first could ensure that you end up in a place that suits your needs and interests.

Learn The Language

Many who live in foreign countries also speak English, so you will likely be able to navigate even if you are unable to speak the language. However, you will feel more confident and comfortable in your new surroundings if you have a basic understanding of the language.

Research Job Options

You may be moving with a spouse who is relocating for his/her job. If you plan to work as well, you may want to learn about your options before you arrive. Having a job in your new home can provide a sense of belonging and community as well as an income. You may enjoy working in an office, or doing some sort of freelance work. Making a move overseas could present an opportunity to change careers as well. Exploring your options in advance could be helpful in these considerations.

Learn About School Options

Schooling overseas may look very different from schooling in the United States. You may decide to send your children to the local school, or you might experiment with homeschooling. Either way, the transition could be difficult for them. Researching ahead of time allows you to talk with your children about the changes and help them prepare for the new experience.

Get Or Upgrade Insurance

Some countries require proof of medical insurance when you move there. You should learn the local requirements, look into whether your coverage will work internationally of if you will need to find a new insurer (if employers are not already taking care of these details).

3 girls at desks with school books | Learning about school options is important when making a move overseas | AW Transportation

Explore Medical Options

Learn about medical resources, centers and hospitals that will be available to you. If you have preexisting conditions that require prescription medications, find out if those drugs/dosages are available abroad. If they are unavailable in your destination country, learn how you might order ahead to take them with you, or if you can use mail order or manage with other options.

AW Transportation Helps Making a Move Overseas Be as Stress free as Possible

These 10 tips for making a move overseas will be helpful, but so much more is involved in international moving. Let AW Transportation help you with all the details, so you can focus on the excitement. Contact us today to set up a consultation or move survey.

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