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Hiring a Reputable Mover

Hiring a reputable mover is the first line of defense in protecting your personal goods and/or vehicles. Consumers are often surprised to learn that movers use several subcontractors. Often, the mover that you hire does not see or physically handle your goods. However, your mover will be responsible for coordinating, overseeing, and paying: trucking companies, warehouses, ocean shipping lines, and other ocean transportation intermediaries within the course of an international move.

Because of the various steps in performing an international move, it is important to hire licensed movers that have sufficient knowledge and experience. Under federal law, movers must be licensed or registered with the FMC as either a freight forwarder or non-vessel-operating common carrier. To obtain a license from the FMC, movers must demonstrate that they have a minimum level of knowledge of shipping industry requirements and practices.

Both licensed and registered movers must maintain a bond. In the event that you have a transportation related dispute with your mover, you can file a claim against the bond.

Cautionary Signs

Ensuring that a company is FMC licensed or registered is an important first step in protecting your goods. However, other factors should be considered when selecting a mover. Be wary of the following practices or situations:

  • Mover claims that it is not required to have an FMC license
  • Mover’s website does not list a local address (or any address at all)
  • Mover’s quote is significantly lower than other providers
  • Mover charges a fee for credit card use or refuses credit card payments
  • Mover has what appears to be an excessive cancellation penalty or fee
  • Mover claims to provide insurance, but fails to include a copy of the policy
  • Mover has a record of numerous complaints with the BBB or other agencies