Whether you’ll be moving your goods by yourself or using a professional moving company, you need to be well organised and there are plenty of potential pitfalls. Learn more here.
If in the previous step, you have decided to bring along all your belongings, the most important step is the actual relocation of these items. You will have to decide whether you want to organise the move yourself, or if you want to get a professional moving company involved.
There are hundreds of moving options but not all are reliable, trustworthy, reputed or specialised in international household goods shipping.
You may have the following options for finding an international shipping provider:
Provider is selected by your employer
Several providers are suggested by your employer
Provider is found and selected by you
Ask 1-3 potential providers for a survey of your house and a quote. This is usually free of charge. Also make sure to clearly declare your requirements and have them included in the quote.
These might include:
One vs. several shipments (main shipments by sea, additional shipment by air or main shipment by truck, additional shipment for storage, etc....)
Show all items to be shipped (or stored)
Indicate your required timeframe
Clearly indicate the services required (for example, door-to-door shipment)
The received quotes should show:
Expected transit time
Required documents for customs clearance
Insurance coverage and premium
Costs for international moves vary depending on a range of factors.
Shipping mode selected
Weight/volume of shipments
Range of services booked
Insurance coverage and premium
The experience, professionality and expertise of a moving company will generally also be reflected in the price. International moving is a complex topic with considerable potential for challenges.Smaller, local companies are often cheaper but not familiar or experienced with these complexities. Larger national or global companies are reliable but carry a price premium.
Make sure all quotes have the above information. Check weight/volume estimates. If there are significant differences, ask for explanations from the providers
Do not only compare the price, look also at inclusions and exclusions. If they are not identical, how do they impact the quoted price?
Check the insurance coverage and insurance premium. A small difference of 0.5% might make a significant difference when calculated on the insurance value
Evaluate the professionalism of the surveyors, the information received, the timeframe between survey and quote, and the overall impressions you have of the companies.
Once you’ve reviewed the quotes and have chosen the provider of your choice, you should make the contract with them
The contract must include:
Weight/volume of shipment
Mode of transport
Timing of shipment
Services (with agreed inclusions/exclusions)
By doing it yourself, you will likely reduce the costs of your relocation. However, here you should consider aspects such as:
How far away from Switzerland do you live?
Living far away from Switzerland will amount to a long, tedious car drive with all your belongings and depending on the duration and size of your rental van, this might be rather pricy too. Furthermore, if you’re relocating from outside of continental Europe, transporting the goods yourself will likely not be an option at all.
How many items are you bringing along?
How big should your moving truck be? Depending on the amount of goods that you bring along, you will need a smaller or larger transportation vehicle. The bigger the vehicle the pricier it will be.
Is your housing ready to receive your household goods or do you have a storage unit available?
If you do not yet have access to your property, you will have to consider storing the transported goods in the meantime. Depending on the volume of your goods, this could become rather pricy.
Crossing the border with your own household goods?
If you’re moving your own belongings, it is essential to ensure you have completed all the necessary paperwork for customs clearance in advance. All of the goods you are importing should be are correctly declared and have to be legally imported to Switzerland.
Remember that Switzerland is not a member of the European Union. There are careful checks when crossing the border. If you don’t have the correct paperwork fully completed in advance (in the appropriate official Swiss language), you’ll have to pay duties and taxes upon your entry to Switzerland.
Regardless of whether you organise the move yourself or are receiving help from a moving company, it is important that you make a plan for the relocation. If you are using a professional relocator, this will be done in a collaboration with the moving company.
Packing and loading date
Estimated shipping date
Estimated arrival date at destination
Estimated delivery date
Furthermore, start putting together your insurance list based on the information received from the moving company.
Discarding, donating or selling items that are not needed
If you have several shipments, organise which items go with which shipment
Also, make sure you are not shipping any prohibited items (such as ammunition, weapons, pornographic materials, drugs, etc....) as per the specifications of Switzerland. These will be given to you by your moving company.
Please indicate your current location and the size of your apartment (round the number of bedrooms to the next larger unit. Example: Enter 4 bedrooms if you live in a 3.5 bedrooms apartment.