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The Best International Moving Companies

Smiling homosexual couple carrying boxes while relocating in house
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Moving down the street is complicated enough — it becomes a whole different monster when you’re moving to another country. Fortunately, the right international moving company can take some of the headaches out of the process. Whether you’re just moving across the border to Mexico or around the globe to Japan, we researched the top options in the U.S. to find the best international movers for your situation. 

How we found the best international moving companies

We started with a list of more than 20 of the top moving companies that are licensed for international moves with the Federal Maritime Commission. From there, we looked into their track records with the Department of Transportation. Anything that didn’t have at least a “Satisfactory” safety rating was cut. We also considered things like the number of complaints and fleet size. 

Next, we combed through reviews on sites like Yelp, Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Affairs, looking for common complaints or problems that customers experienced.  We also factored in membership in international moving organizations like Overseas Moving Network International, International Federation of International Movers (FIDI), International Association of Movers.

1. JK Moving Services

What we like

  • Great reviews from customers
  • Only six complaints registered with DOT
  • Excellent customer service
  • A+ rating from BBB

What we don’t like

  • Smaller fleet size
  • Deposit required
  • May be more expensive

JK Moving Services came out as the top international moving company in our analysis, largely due to its stellar track record of handling complicated moves without any problems. When you get a quote from JK, you’ll be assigned a move coordinator who specializes in the logistics of moving all your belongings to a new country. They offer full-service packing and unpacking services, as well as storage and vehicle shipping. 

It’s also one of the few moving companies in the U.S. that’s been certified by the International Federation of International Movers. No matter what country you’re moving to, you can feel confident that JK has the expertise and connections to make sure it goes smoothly.

2. United Van Lines

What we like

  • Customizable move options
  • Regional headquarters in Europe, Asia, and North America
  • Handles moves in over 150 countries

What we don’t like

  • Costs can be high compared to other movers
  • Customer service complaints

A lot of international moving companies are based in the U.S. but sub-contract with other companies around the world. With headquarters in Europe, Asia, and North America, United Van Lines is a true international moving company. That means that no matter where you’re moving, they have moving experts to help you with local issues like entry requirements or customs clearance. 

That said, the company has received some negative reviews with organizations like Consumer Affairs and Better Business Bureau. Typical complaints center around trouble communicating with representatives and damaged goods.

3. Allied Van Lines

What we like

  • Handles moves almost anywhere in the world
  • No deposit required
  • A+ rating from BBB
  • Vehicle shipping available

What we don’t like

  • Some recent complaints about delayed deliveries and damaged items

Allied Van Lines has a proven track record of handling every type of move in its 93 years in business. You have the option to store your belongings with Allied or ship them directly, and they even offer vehicle shipping to most countries. We also appreciated Allied’s simple quote process, which involves a virtual tour of your home. 

The only thing that knocked Allied down our list was a spate of recent complaints, which primarily centered around delayed deliveries. We still think you can feel confident going with Allied — they have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for a reason — but it’s still worth considering as you’re comparing quotes.

4. International Van Lines

What we like

  • Helpful online resources
  • Storage and car shipment available
  • Upfront pricing
  • Positive customer reviews

What we don’t like

  • Requires a deposit
  • Limited availability on the West Coast

Unlike most other moving companies, International Van Lines actually started with international moves exclusively and expanded to local and interstate moves. That means they have plenty of experience navigating the complexities of moving your belongings to a new country. 

One of the most frustrating things about searching for movers is how difficult it is to get straightforward answers about pricing. International Van Lines provides upfront pricing on their website. That’s no substitute for a detailed moving quote, but we still appreciated how it would help you budget for your move

Unfortunately, International Van Lines has a smaller fleet size with a limited presence on the West Coast. Still, it’s worth getting a quote from, as customer reviews are some of the most positive we saw when comparing international movers.

5. North American Van Lines

What we like

  • Storage options available
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Great customer support

What we don’t like

  • Smaller fleet size

Despite what the name implies, North American Van Lines can help you move anywhere in the world — and store your belongings there, too. It partners with moving companies in more than 130 countries, so you know you’ll have the support of local experts wherever you’re going. 

Customers are generally very happy with their experience, too. North American Van Lines received an A+ rating from BBB and a 3.6 out of 5 rating from Consumer Affairs. That might not seem especially impressive, but it’s well above average compared to other moving companies. Reviewers consistently noted their on-time deliveries, excellent customer service, and fair prices.

What’s the average cost for an international move?

Moving estimates are highly personal, and depend on things like your neighborhood, type of building you live in, and how much stuff you have. The only way to get an accurate estimate for your international move is to have a representative from the moving company do an in-person or virtual tour. (Many companies will give you an estimate after you provide them an inventory, but you should hold off on signing a contract until they do a full tour.)

Of all the companies we researched, International Van Lines was the only one that provided specific pricing. This should still be taken with a grain of salt, but it gives you a good idea about what you can expect to budget for your international move: 

South America$2,800-$4,000$4,800-$8,000$9,000-$13,500
Australia/New Zealand$3,500-$5,000$5,000-$8,000$9,000-$14,000
Source: International Van Lines

The bottom line

Whether you’re moving internationally to study abroad or were relocated to a new job overseas, starting a fresh chapter in a new country presents its share of rewards and challenges. Like with any move, it’s important to start early, keep your tasks organized, and ask your moving company the right questions. As overwhelming as it might feel now, comparing quotes from movers will go a long way in getting the process started. 

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