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Celebrating 75 Years Of Moving The Local Bay Area

San Francisco / Bay Area International Moving Company

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Moving can be one of the most stressful and debilitating experiences of your life. Conversely, it could be one of the most exciting life changes somebody could make. We have the history and experience necessary to limit the stress and get your new adventure started off on the correct foot. An international move is scary but knowing your property and belongings have been handled with care by professional San Francisco/Bay Area international movers will help limit the stress!

Bekins AMS services San Francisco and the Bay area along with San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, Alameda and Contrac Costa Counties.

Forklift Lifting a crate

What is a San Francisco International Move?

To put it as simply as possible, an international move is when a business, person, or family decides to relocate from the San Francisco to another country. More often than not, these relocations end up with a final destination overseas somewhere. In this case, much of the relocation expense gets tied up in flights or boat transport. In some scenarios, people relocate from San Francisco to Mexico or Canada. These expenses tend to be more modest as trucks are available for use.

When it comes to moving away from the Bay Area, you would be surprised at the amount of terms and parties that are needed to be involved.

Ironing out details with everybody on this list will complete the move without too much fuss:

  • The shipper – You’re the one shipping belongings from the area of origin. In this scenario, the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • The Origin Agent – A company is hired to handle your belongings in the city/country of origin. They send an agent to evaluate your belongings long before the move to create an accurate quote and plan.
  • The Freight Forwarder – This would be the company hired to arrange the export and import of your belongings. We recommend the origin agent and freight forwarder be from the same company.
  • The Consolidating Warehouse – Where your belongings are sent to be intelligently packed into shipping containers with other people’s goods or materials for optimization.
  • The Export/Origin Port – The origin port of departure (OPD) is the sea port your items leave from.
  • The Carrier – The ship liner used to haul your items in the shipping container(s) to the destination port.
  • The Destination Port – Final sea port destination where your items are checked through customs and assigned “Destination Port Fees.”
  • Customs – This often tends to be the lengthiest portion of your property’s time away from you. Rules vary but in some countries you have to be there when your belongings first arrive while in others you simply wait for notice that they’ve been cleared.
  • The Destination Agent – A hired company with availability to process your belongings through to your door. They help with port activities, customs, storing, and delivery to your new location.

There are many reasons why people choose to hire international movers and relocate to another country, but we’ve found that a select few seem to be the most common reasons. First and perhaps most expected of which is that people are frequently required to relocate for work. Sometimes a new opportunity has presented itself while other times, our customers have been forced to relocate temporarily by their employer.

Establishing a new household is another common reason people relocate overseas. People from different countries meet in one way or another, things go well, they fall in love, and they inevitably want to be together permanently. The third common reason would be retirement. You’d be surprised how many people retire to another country just for a change in climate, because finances go further, or just to be able to experience another part of the world! Some of these individuals get dual citizenship and live in the San Francisco area part time and in another country part time.

How To Move Internationally From the Bay Area

Hiring International Movers to Move OverseasIt’s nice to know that if you use our outlined checklist above, you really don’t need to know much more of the real ins and outs of an international relocation. The best way to relocate internationally is by hiring a San Francisco, CA international moving company like us to get your full service international move up and running. We have some of the best professional movers in the area to help with your Bay Area international move. Armed with the experience you need, we’re confident we can help you relocate your vehicle, business, household, and most prized possessions. Our full service list is very extensive and it includes( but is not limited to):

Cost of International Moving

The cost of San Francisco international moving services is going to differ pretty widely on each and every use case. The destination country is a pretty significant factor when it comes to final cost but we can give you a reasonably accurate estimate once you’ve met with one of our origin agents. We’d be happy to get you a free quote if you call and set up an estimate visit. The total price is usually more more affordable than people would expect because we have most of the services you need to utilize and the knowledge and connections to get you the ones we don’t offer in house.

How Much Does a Bay Area International Move Cost?

The legal fees, customs fees, time of year, amount of materials being relocated, and whether or not a vehicle is included in that are all significant contributing factors to the final cost of international moving from the Bay Area. Perhaps the biggest factor is going to be how the move happens. Trucks for relocations to Canada or Mexico are significantly cheaper than air travel or ocean travel to other countries. Air is exceptionally expensive and is almost exclusively reserved for very small shipments or shipments that need to get to a final destination in a quick hurry. For most international travel, we’re going to be relying pretty heavily on shipping containers and cargo ships. Generally, there are three sizes of containers…

  • 20 feet long – allows for 1,172 cubic feet of volume or 33.2 square meters
  • 40 feet long – allows for 2,120 cubic feet of volume or 60 square meters
  • there is even a 40 foot high cube (that means it is taller)

We aren’t going to know which one you’re going to need or how we’ll load it until we come for the initial estimate walk-through. Perhaps you can get away with a partial container but we won’t know for sure until we get the origin agent’s eyes on your property. Once we can determine the amount of cubic feet required, we can complete a full estimate. At which point, we’ll go over the other services you want to use and create a final estimate for you.

The final quoted price of an international relocation is dependent on the above factors and several other factors including:

  • Which country you are relocating to
  • The cubic feet of your property/belongings
  • Relocation dates
  • Are packing services required?
  • Are unpacking services required?
  • Customs clearance and paperwork fees
  • Insurance costs
  • Are you shipping a vehicle?
  • Other services including storage

If it makes it easier, we can probablyly help you out sooner by doing a virtual survey. You can help us walk through your home remotely. We’re here to help you every step of the way and want to make the process as easy as possible for you!

Agencies and Resources for International Moving

  • USA.GOV – Important and official US website with resources for any American before traveling outside of the US.
  • STEP – You are going to want to register with the U.S. Embassy’s Smart Traveler Enropment Program. This will keep you updated with your new Country’s safety conditions and allow the embassy to quickly notify you in case of any emergency
  • U.S. Embassy or Consulate website – Here you can get the contact information for the US Embassy and Consulate in the country you are moving to
  • International Driving Permit – AAA is authorized by the US Department of State to issue an International Driving Permit to you.
  • US Department of State – The State Department keeps up to date and accurate information about all Countries including COVID status, travel information, contacts, what you need to know, etc.

International Moving Tips from San Francisco

  • Plan everything as far out as possible
  • Book tickets and hotels long ahead of time and be sure to understand cancellation policies
  • Research destination driving license procedures
  • Start packing NOW
  • Locate all the important documents like passports, birth certificates, etc.
  • Do the fun research about the destination country!
  • Sell everything you really, truly don’t need. Reducing space reduces cost.
  • Call AMS Relocation, Inc. to handle your international relocation!

Choosing the Best San Francisco International Movers

Choosing what Bay Area company to help with your international relocation can be pretty daunting as well. You’re going to be entrusting them with your belongings, after all. We recommend considering the history and experience of a company, only looking at companies that are licensed and insured, checking Yelp and Google reviews, and simply asking around the city. People just like you will have suggestions and horror stories! Trust your peers! Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and make some phone calls to the different final contenders. Remember how you’re treated because they’re going to treat your property the same way.

Trust AMS Relocation to make your international relocation a successful one. We’ve helped over 100,000 San Francisco Bay Area families since 1949 and are no stranger to international moves! Fill our online form out to get a quote today, or give us a call at 650-284-2931.

Why Choose AMS Relocation?

Help People Philosophy

At AMS Bekins, our philosophy is and always has been simply – 'Help People.' As a result of our dedication to helping our customers with every aspect of their international moves, we have a 30% repeat and referral customer rate.

High Customer Satisfaction

AMS was founded in 1949 and has proudly served over 250K customers. We are the Bay Area's most trusted moving company

Award Winning Service

AMS Bekins is a leading award-winning agent for Bekins Van Lines and has also earned their Agent of the Year Award. In addition, we have been named the San Francisco Examiner Moving Company of the Year for 10 consecutive years.