Interstate & International Moves

What to Look For In a Long Distance Move

Whether you are moving locally, within the U.S., or across the globe, thoroughly review the companies you are considering.


Companies that offer long-distance moving services must be properly insured and have the proper federal license.

Buyer Beware: Avoid a moving company that has a history of complaints.

But It’s pretty much impossible for a company to escape the occasional complaint.

Checks You Can Make

  • Check a mover’s license on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.
  • Compare the safety ratings of long-distance movers on the FMSCA website.
  • The Better Business Bureau is a very reliable source for obtaining an overall rating on a moving company.

More Risk

Interstate move prices are based on weight and mileage and involve issues that go beyond the considerations required in a local move. Long-distance movers must follow numerous state and federal laws and regulations. What’s more, a long-distance move exposes cargo to more risk because items are being transported longer distances.

Cost is also a factor. Still, it’s important to do more than simply compare prices. Ask for a detailed quote in writing. Read each estimate carefully to be sure everything included in your move is actually listed in the estimate.


Most major domestic household goods carriers have their own International divisions. Here are five important things to look for in an experienced forwarder:

  • Has been in business for at least 10 years
  • Is a FIDI member *
  • Holds a RIM certification (Registered International Mover)
  • OMNI (Overseas Movers Network International)
  • Is ISO 9002 certified
  • FIDI is the largest global alliance of professional international moving and relocation companies

Cost to overseas destinations is based on the weight and (cubic) measurement of the packed shipment. It includes air or ocean transportation charges and packing, and unpacking services done by the carrier’s origin and destination agents. It does NOT include charges for storage, servicing of appliances, custom duty, liability coverage or extra pickup or delivery.

Requirements, Permissions & Limitations

Packing for an overseas move is very different from packing for a move within the United States. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 governs the requirements, permissions and limitations surrounding international moves. Everything must be wrapped and arranged inside large waterproof plywood, metal or fiberglass boxes.

Self-packing is prohibited because of recent terrorist threats.