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As tempting as it is to simply “call a man with a van” when moving house, taking that route could be the embodiment of penny wise, pound foolish as relocating triggers a myriad of issues.


According to international removal company Stuttaford Van Lines, cost is important but be wary of false economising. Each household differs in its composition and is subject to individual criteria including size, packing requirements and destination.

While the primary service may be packing, loading, transportation, delivery and unpacking, less expensive options allow customers to pack up the nonfragile items. AGS Worldwide Movers allows clients to pack and then double-check items like books and linen, while the company packs the fragile items.

“Packing and loading household goods is an art and removal companies charge for this expertise. Accredited removal companies use industry-specified packing material to ensure safe transportation,” Stuttafords’s website states.


Insurance is critical to the process with most companies having specific limited liability clauses within their contracts. According to Stuttafords, this means it’s incumbent on the owner to ensure adequate in-transit insurance cover as there are inherent risks not within the removal company’s control. AGS adds that clients must accurately value their inventory and not underestimate their belongings, as reimbursement is based on the declared value. Taking out all-risk goods-in-transit insurance, covers transportation and storage between two points, initiating from pick-up at the old residence to unpacking on the other side.

“Moving is stressful enough – don’t make it harder by taking unnecessary risks. Buy an insurance policy for peace of mind. Cheaper is not better and the insurance companies typically only cover for a total loss as in fire, hijacking or a vehicle overturn,” Stuttafords recommends.

Moving internationally

This is a complicated process and mistakes can cost you dearly. Stuttafords says in this case value over cost is essential as inexperience can trigger errors for a consignment.

The company must be well-versed in the destination’s regulations and restrictions and generate confidence of their experience in their client. AGS states in the “highly competitive” international removals market, clients must compare quotes on a like-for-like basis including shipping routes, transit times and rates of exchange.

Check list

Begin preparations three months before departure, particularly for international relocation, by contacting the removal company for a pre-move survey to estimate volumes; book moving dates; consult the doctor and the veterinarian about vaccinations; dispose of items not being transported; identify forbidden items like alcohol, medicines, ivory and books; cancel magazine subscriptions, lights and water accounts, phone accounts, medical aid, insurance and school registrations; and keep aside passports, documents, tickets and the personal effects you do not want to sent via the removal company.

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