A complete guide to overseas employment

Article first published in Working Abroad (2007), published by Kogan Page,


working-abroad-book-coverPhilip Pertoldi, Chairman of Abels Moving Services, offers guidance on what needs to be considered in planning a move to make it as painless as possible

Moving home can be one of life’s most stressful events. Effective planning is the key to making it as smooth as possible. Whether it is being organised by a company or an individual, an understanding of what is involved will help achieve the best outcome.

This article will discuss what needs to be considered in selecting an international relocation company and an outline of the moving process from the initial survey through to packing, shipping, storage and insurance. It will also explain how a removals supplier can provide a personal assistant to facilitate a comprehensive relocation service to alleviate most of the stress of a move especially for the accompanying family.

Organising a survey at your home allows you to meet the company’s representative, to show them what needs to be moved and to have a discussion on the service that best meets your requirements.  They should be knowledgeable and be able to answer then or later all your concerns.  For the company they can assess what resources will be appropriate to fulfill the contract in a safe and secure manner.

The condition of your treasured belongings when they arrive at your new home will largely depend upon the way they were packed: specifically, the skills of the packing crew and the quality of packing materials. Generally, it is best left to the experts as different levels of packing are needed for different forms of transportation. Another reason is the heightened security at customs points around the world who now will insist on checking owner packed goods causing delays and potential damage.

Concerning shipping, large move volumes can be shipped in their own exclusive container. There are three sizes of container 20 ft, 40 ft and lastly to some locations 45 ft. Unless the goods are stored beforehand, the container would be packed and sealed at the property that is being moved out of, and then the goods shipped on the next available vessel to the necessary port of entry overseas. For consignments too small to fill a container, called less than a container load (LCL), they can be individually overcased and then loaded into a shipping container at port, and shipped reasonably quickly.

A more economic way, but potentially needing a longer period of time, is groupage. Here, the goods are packed in the home and then returned to the mover’s warehouse to be consolidated with other customer loads, which are then secured into a shipping container prior to being dispatched to the port for shipment.

In the case of rapid transit being required, the goods can be dispatched by airfreight, where they are packed into palletised modules ready for immediate transportation and is often used for small consignments or essential items needed for early use.

Moves to mainland Europe would be completed by road transportation when either the move is in an appropriate sized pantechnicon or as a part load with other consignments on the same vehicle sharing the costs.  Again transit time requirements will influence the mode and expense.

It is not unusual for an international move at one point or another to involve storage. For example, long term storage may be required when someone lets out their home while being posted abroad to furnished rented accommodation or short term storage is needed in the UK or overseas due to a new home not being ready on time. It is advisable to check for secure and well maintained premises where the items will be stored.

Specialist movers should offer all risk insurance, which covers goods while in transit, during incidental storage en route, and while professionally stored.  It is usually available at an additional cost.  There are many factors to consider in selecting the most appropriate insurance, which include the level of cover, whether the policy offers like-for-like’ (reinstatement) or ‘new-for-old’ (replacement), the exclusions, and excess.

Insurance is complicated, but it is essential customers understand the nature and level of the cover they are taking out. They should ensure a summary of the cover document is supplied by the remover and that it states all the necessary information and makes clear what has to be done to be insured correctly.

It is crucial to consider insurance at the start of planning a move. For many, the worry that their treasured items may be damaged or lost during the move is lifted by the assumption they are fully insured. However, this may not always be the case.

As discussed, relocating overseas can be complex, involving planning and meticulous attention to detail. Recognising this, some removal companies have broadened their services and include full move management, that is the complete organisation of much more than just the moving of the household effects.

The person who is moving because of work often has little choice in the area they relocate to. The culture can be completely unknown, the language can be different and the bureaucratic system incomprehensible. Time is often restricted on such moves, with little allowance made for transition. In such cases it is essential to find a company that can work either with the individual or with their company to ensure the relocation as a whole is as smooth and as uncomplicated as possible. By using a company that provides orientation services and puts itself in charge of all the necessary research, the whole situation can be made much easier.

Abels International Services can offer a full relocation package.  Not only will Abels plan the move but they will also provide an overview of the area you wish to move to. Should the client wish, they can ask for an orientation of the chosen area where they will be accompanied on a tour of the location with emphasis on aspects such as housing, transportation, education, healthcare, banking and finance and leisure. Abels will also compile an information pack with useful websites and information to help the transition phase to especially help the partner and family.

There is definitely a need for the complete service in relocating overseas. The sheer scale of the task and the amount of time usually allocated to it, means that more and more individuals are leaving it to the professionals to shoulder the burden and provide that extra touch to ensure as stress a free move as possible.  Don’t you deserve the same?