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Old 14.11.2012, 13:32
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My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Hi out there,

For anyone out there going through this fun transatlantic moving process, I finally got the estimates form the four companies I consulted. I am moving from Zürich to Houston, TX, and this is a private move, not a company paid one.

I consulted with Packimpex, Atlas Van Lines, Welti-Furrer, and The Swiss Moving Co.

I tried to use the online forms provided by the companies to estimate volume, but I was confused about what was cost effective to keep, and what I should sell first. In the end I had walk through consultations with Packimpex, Atlas Van Lines and the Swiss Moving Co. Welti-Furrer didn't write back to me consistently, and I didn't feel like prompting them more than twice.

The Swiss Moving Company was the most prompt, and their estimate underbid the others by 1000CHF. Both they and Packimpex dealt in English, whereas I spoke German with Kehrli + Oeler, the Swiss Partners of Atlas Van Lines. All three of these companies offered the same services, and all seemed competent when it came to knowing cost-effective solutions, customs law, and the myriad nitty gritty details I hadn't yet thought to ask about. Packimpex was the second least expensive, and I believe the biggest company.

So far so good. Good luck to us all
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Old 14.11.2012, 14:01
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Just out of curiosity, what size crate and what was the quote range? We used Interdean, and while I had to chase the guy up a few times to stay on top of things, it all went rather smoothly...but it wasn't cheap for a 1/2 crate at 16k chf. I didn't get a bunch of quote and just used the company we dealt with on the way over, but I wonder how much we overpaid sometimes.
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Old 14.11.2012, 16:04
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

The quotes were all for a 20' crate, and the estimates of our goods ranged from 11-15cbm. LCL-or groupage seafreight (10cbm) doesn't make sense going into Texas as the port costs are so high.

Our lowest quote was 7,200 and our highest was 8,592.


I have no idea why that is half of the rate you paid, but we aren't taking much in the way of furniture, so my guess would be that our cbm are lower and there is next to no furniture assembly/dissasembly required. In fact, I'm wondering how we have half a crate of stuff with no furniture...but I'm blaming it all on kid's toys
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Old 14.11.2012, 16:12
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Well, I think that rate also included insurance (2500) and the cleaning fee (1500). Insurance is terribly expensive. I also had a lot of kitchen stuff and books, so that probably bumped it up a bit. I probably should have shopped around a bit, too, but I was in a hurry and hit the easy button.
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Old 14.11.2012, 16:18
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Good point, I haven't added in insurance (groan) or any other extras here. Plus, if it makes you feel any better, almost all of the companies I spoke to quoted within 250 hundred CHF, except for the one stand-out. I'm going with the stand-out, so cross your fingers for me that there isn't a good (bad) reason they're that much cheaper!
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Old 16.11.2012, 14:57
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Wow.. 7-8K for the move I will be moving from Houston to Zurich in February but didn't contact any companies to do the estimates yet. I am in debate whether or not to bring my stuff with me or just sell it/give it away. After reading what people usually pay for the move like that I am leaning towards just sell my big stuff and ship small stuff by mail.
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Old 16.11.2012, 15:12
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

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Wow.. 7-8K for the move I will be moving from Houston to Zurich in February but didn't contact any companies to do the estimates yet. I am in debate whether or not to bring my stuff with me or just sell it/give it away. After reading what people usually pay for the move like that I am leaning towards just sell my big stuff and ship small stuff by mail.

Thats what we are doing also. (from CH to cali next month) and it comes out much cheaper that way
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Old 16.11.2012, 15:17
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

When we moved to the US in 2008 (we moved back to Zurich in 2010). It was a company paid move so I'm not sure how much was paid but I can tell you that we were very pleased with Welti-Furrer. We had no damage from the packers. We did have damage from the heat/humity in the container during the shipment. The movers who unpacked for us in the US complained about the amount of paper and tape used to protect our furniture. They also arranged our cleaning and we had a representative present at the walk through with our landlord. Our move back to Zurich was another story. We had ALOT of damage and even some missing items.
Hope this helps.
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Old 16.11.2012, 15:39
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We had a full container in 2007, about $15,000 from North Carolina to Switzerland, including everything (packing everything, unpacking and assembling the big stuff. It took about 3 weeks to get here. (husband's employer paid). If i remember correctly, the company here was professional relocation, i think they are German.

I used movingscam.com for information about international moves, etc.
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Old 16.11.2012, 19:46
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

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The quotes were all for a 20' crate, and the estimates of our goods ranged from 11-15cbm. LCL-or groupage seafreight (10cbm) doesn't make sense going into Texas as the port costs are so high.

Our lowest quote was 7,200 and our highest was 8,592.


I have no idea why that is half of the rate you paid, but we aren't taking much in the way of furniture, so my guess would be that our cbm are lower and there is next to no furniture assembly/dissasembly required. In fact, I'm wondering how we have half a crate of stuff with no furniture...but I'm blaming it all on kid's toys
Have you looked at the replacement cost in the US of some of the items you are shipping? Other than sentimental items and irreplaceable items, when paying for your own move you really need to ask yourself if it makes sense to ship these other items. I am in the mobility industry and I can tell you that no matter what is quoted, you have to be prepared to expect extra charges for unforseen expenses.

My first international move I sent two skids by air freight. I sold everything which I felt could be replaced. In hindsight there were a few items I should have kept.
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lots of items to be rehomed in addition to those ...here

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Old 16.11.2012, 22:40
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Don't forget "not to sign" for your merchandise when it is delivered until you have made sure everything is there and in the condition they should be in. I got burned a couple of times on international moves because I signed for my things after they were delivered instead of waiting to see what was inside and that everything was O.K. Once you sign that paper you cannot claim any damages. Your signature means everything is tip-top and you are satisfied with the delivery.
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Old 21.11.2012, 14:04
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

If we could, I would sell it all and move with only suitcases and a few boxes. As we have a family now, I don't feel this luxury is open to us anymore. Not only do we have more volume, but I want to bring the majority of my daughter's things with us to give her a sense of stability. A very, very expensive sense of stability

Thanks for all the extra tips. We're first timers with the proper overseas move (I've done the suitcase and boxes thing a few times now) and I may just never move again after this. Famous last words...
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Old 21.11.2012, 14:10
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

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Wow.. 7-8K for the move I will be moving from Houston to Zurich in February but didn't contact any companies to do the estimates yet. I am in debate whether or not to bring my stuff with me or just sell it/give it away. After reading what people usually pay for the move like that I am leaning towards just sell my big stuff and ship small stuff by mail.
Speaking from experience moving US to CH, sell as much as you can. It's really expensive even for a smaller crate, stuff will almost surely get damaged, and in the end I found it rather liberating to get a fresh start. Also we found that for things that fit in suitcases, kilo for kilo it's cheaper to haul extra bags on the plane.
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Old 22.11.2012, 19:12
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Hi there

We have moved around a few times now and in the beginning we also felt that getting rid of as much stuff as possible before moving was the way to go.
But by now I think differently as buying all your stuff new is a lot more expensive than the moving cost. Especially if you have some stuff that you still like and thats rather nice.
Also if any of you are moving from US to Switzerland, anything and everything here is sooooo much more expensive than in the US, so rather bring it than buy new here.

Sandra
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Old 14.02.2013, 14:59
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

great thread guys thansk so much for this.

even though the wife and i are not taking much furniture back to the US from here, they STILL quoted us 12qm. we have lots of books but really only a studio apt's worth of furniture. i was quoted just under 9k by one of the ones quoted above.

i used them when i came out here and was very satisfied with them but i feel like im bringing a fraction of the stuff back with me that i took over (hoping to avoid a huge fee) and it costs more or less the same as it did coming over.

a bit disappointed. not the end of the world but was hoping for more like 5-7k instead of 8-9.

can one get more of a breakdown from the movers as to how they calculate their volume?
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Old 14.02.2013, 15:18
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

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can one get more of a breakdown from the movers as to how they calculate their volume?
length x width x height?

No, seriously you can do on your own too. Last time I set up a space in the spare room and put painter's tape on the walls at the proper height, measured out the length and width and taped it off on the floor as well. Sounds nutty but you can visually see how much stuff you have as you pile it up, and if it matches with the company's volume calculations.

AFAIK they have standard sizes for crates, so if you have an unusual sized something or other, then you might have to take the next larger crate even though there would be space left over. They also might have rules/charges for weight as well as volume. HTH
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Old 14.02.2013, 15:41
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

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Good point, I haven't added in insurance (groan) or any other extras here. Plus, if it makes you feel any better, almost all of the companies I spoke to quoted within 250 hundred CHF, except for the one stand-out. I'm going with the stand-out, so cross your fingers for me that there isn't a good (bad) reason they're that much cheaper!
If you are going with your employer check with their insurance, especially if they ship physical inventory around. Quite often employees effects in transit as part of relocations are covered by their marine/transport policy.

I see its a private move, so not relevant for you. Sorry.
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Old 14.02.2013, 15:52
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Another company to check with is Ace Speditions - they didn't show up on any of my google searches but thanks to Mrs Doolittle got put onto them and they are in the same range as Allied and Swiss Moving Company for pricing, BUT their insurance charges are a full percent less, and they do everything on both ends if you want. With Allied, it was everything on this end, but just drop off on the other end (no unpacking or putting together of the big pieces of furniture).

And sometimes it really is worth shipping furniture. When we came here, our furniture was 15 years old, and worthless. We expected to be here longer and so we bought some nice stuff as we thought it was about time we had a decent couch and bed...and for what we could sell it for here and have to buy something even remotely similar on the other side, it worked out to be about a 200 buck saving to ship it, so it was worth it.

And one little surprise on shipping a car...we brought our car over when we came (it was almost brand new and we could only get about half of what we owed on it if we sold it - standard depreciation as soon as you drive it off the lot) and as my company paid for it and they were fine with the 8000 franc cost, was ok by us. We figured it would be the same going back so figured we would have to sell it - well it is just under 2000 francs to ship it back which is waaaay cheaper than the amount we would still be losing on the car now.

And another surprise - we have 1 cbm more going home than what we had coming here and we are almost 7000 francs cheaper on the return! No idea why, even the same company we came over with quoted us that much less...they just didn't provide the same service level as Ace
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Old 14.02.2013, 16:00
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

Interesting thread, we just had a lady here this morning that is putting together an estimate for us. We are not taking any furniture, just some photo albums, hubby's model trains (he is attached to those), some kitchen items, clothing, a box of books and some nicnacs that we are attached to.
Now she said it goes by weight, which surprised me. We'll have to get some other quotes, too.
We are debating the kids bicycles, which are new and were expensive ones and both of them would still get several years out of them.
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Old 15.02.2013, 01:35
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Re: My Four Moving Company Estimates-Zurich to US

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Interesting thread, we just had a lady here this morning that is putting together an estimate for us. We are not taking any furniture, just some photo albums, hubby's model trains (he is attached to those), some kitchen items, clothing, a box of books and some nicnacs that we are attached to.
Now she said it goes by weight, which surprised me. We'll have to get some other quotes, too.
We are debating the kids bicycles, which are new and were expensive ones and both of them would still get several years out of them.
If it is weight she is probably thinking of quoting air freight.
Bring the kids' bikes. Bicycles are expensive here.
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