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Old 15.09.2021, 09:25
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Moving from Zurich to Montana in USA

Hello all, After 18 years, we are moving from Zurich back to Montana in USA. We would like to move a small amount of furniture (family heirlooms, probably half of a 20' container, if that). There is no time constraint, as in I don't care how long it takes.
  • Does anyone have advice with regards to moving companies?
  • Does anyone have similar experience and a rough cost estimate?
  • Does anyone know how to estimate volume when requesting quotes?
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Old 25.09.2021, 10:34
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Re: Moving from Zurich to Montana in USA

Unless all you have to move are boxes, estimating volume on your own is very difficult and best done by an estimator from a moving firm.

Perhaps you want to start your search for a firm in Montana near to where you will be moving and look for a moving firm there, then ask if they have an overseas partner they can recommend.
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Old 25.09.2021, 11:22
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Re: Moving from Zurich to Montana in USA

There have been several moving threads in the past year; mostly in the opposite direction. But some advice is universal: there is a critical shortage of containers, ships, port authorities, port workers, truck drivers, loaders, and moving people, and it's getting worse. Last summer our Audi stood in the hot Carolina rain (with the windows down!!!) for 6 months before it finally made it to Europe after 9 months total.

Get LOTS of insurance, and make sure of the fine print. Make your own lists so you know what's in each box, not just "wooden parts" (as one of their lists said...it turned out to be critical bits of an antique Japanese box, and it was jumbled in with the legs of the dining table). When they unload in the US, someone should be in charge of checking off each box and package as it comes in the door. Don't rely on their delivering everything: We were missing one box, so I now have only one martini glass from a set of 4, and my Matfer mandoline was missing ($300). Of course the total was just under the insurance deductible.
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Old 25.09.2021, 11:32
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Re: Moving from Zurich to Montana in USA



Tom
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Old 25.09.2021, 12:43
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Re: Moving from Zurich to Montana in USA

Montana’s a big state, the size of Germany, with about a million people in it, mostly concentrated in certain places. As a result, different moving company networks service the towns more or less well. If you PM me your destination, I might be able to provide more concrete advice, but otherwise, I would google moving and the name of the nearest town/city and see which companies have the biggest advertising presence. I would then call them and inquire which partner in Switzerland they would use for a 20 foot container. Then query the Swiss partner about their experience with moves to the US, specifically, since they will be responsible for the paperwork to clear customs. That should winnow the list down to 1-2 partnerships that you actually want to see estimates from.

PS: This approach works well for most of the bigger more rural states in the US, as the networks mostly divide them up rather than directly compete.

Last edited by Tox_Rat; 25.09.2021 at 12:45. Reason: Typo
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Old 25.09.2021, 13:54
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Re: Moving from Zurich to Montana in USA

...also look for "shared container" space. You may be able to share a 40-footer, thus giving the company more flexibility, rather than waiting for a 20-footer.

In terms of the contract, steer clear of any company that inserts wording about "anti-defamation," that is, no internet criticism of them. Yes, they do it!

Our first moving company (with $3000 retainer) was scheduled to pick up on a Friday. Thursday they told us they couldn't do it, and didn't know when they could. Ummm...we were closing sale on our house on Monday and *had* to be out, with an entire 2500 sq.ft of furniture, plus cleaning. Luckily, another local company was able to help us out. $3000 down the drain...
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