Moving Overseas: Your Guide to International Removals from Southampton

Moving Overseas: Your Guide to International Removals from Southampton

Are you looking for international removals from Southampton?

Moving to a new country is a major undertaking and a life-changing experience.

Are you thinking of international removals from Southampton?

You are not alone!

Though the figures fluctuate, thousands leave the UK yearly for foreign shores.

Planning and preparation are key to a successful move and even more so when undertaking an international relocation.

With international removals from Southampton, the logistical part of the move poses some distinct advantages:

  • Southampton is home to one of the UK’s largest ports, with extensive facilities for shipping goods and personal belongings internationally.
  • The city has excellent transport connections, including a regional airport with flights to European destinations and beyond.
  • Close to hand is a range of moving companies experienced in international moves from Southampton.
  • These companies can assist with shipping, customs, packing, and other aspects of moving abroad no matter the destination.

White & Company are among the top international removers in Southampton.

With a track record that spans many decades – you can put your trust in us.

Backed by some of the industry’s most esteemed regulators such as BAR, FIDI and OMNI, White & Company will ensure your personal belongings leave Southampton and arrive where you want them to be quickly and with minimum fuss.

If you are looking for all the key information about moving overseas you are in the right place.

Read through the rest of this guide for all the insight you need.

Planning Your International Move from Southampton: Where to Start

Southampton at sunset

Get your international move from Southampton started. Image credit: Pixabay

It might seem as though you have a mountain to climb at first.

Sometimes, making the start is the hardest part.

There are a million and one things to organise when it comes to international removals from Southampton.

Take the time to make a “to-do list,” it will keep you focussed plus it will ensure that nothing is left to chance.

Here are some generic factors you must add to your list:

  • A top priority will be booking your international removal company as early as possible. There are certain times of the year when booking last minute is practically impossible. Summer is a classic example.
  • Check that your passport (and the rest of the families) is not out of date any time soon.
  • Arrange your visas, work permits, or residency permits.
  • Create a budget for your move. Costs to consider include moving fees, and visa-associated costs plus, the cost of living when you arrive in your new country.
  • Declutter and organise. Decide what to keep, sell, donate, or discard. This can reduce shipping costs and make your new start less cluttered.
  • Arrange health insurance. If you take prescribed medication, check you have enough to last you until you can assign yourself a new doctor. Arrange for vaccines if necessary.
  • Notify all relevant parties of your move. Energy suppliers, banks, schools, and doctor surgery are just a few important ones to remember.

A to-do list is a powerful tool, it will not only help you not to forget anything, but it is also a great way to manage and organise your time.

Adding, removing, or rearranging tasks as needed makes it a flexible planning tool.

Choosing the Right Removals Company: Key Things to Consider

Choosing a removals company

Follow these tips when choosing a removals company. Image credit: Pexels

Not all removal companies are equal!

It pays to conduct plenty of research before you decide who to trust with all your possessions.

A solid reputation is vital. Customer reviews, testimonials and other local sharing platforms will help here.

They are a good indicator of a company’s performance.

Another important aspect is ensuring your chosen company is experienced in international removals from Southampton.

Local companies rely on their reputation within the community to attract business plus, they will have the advantage of knowing the area well.

Knowledge of Southampton will help in several ways; the best routes, local traffic patterns, access issues, parking permits and parking regulations related to the city will help streamline the moving process and avoid delays.

Local equals cheaper rates.

Long-distance travel to Southampton will only add unnecessary costs.

Being local, these companies can respond quickly if you need a quote in a hurry, have questions, or require additional services.

This responsiveness can be especially important if there are last-minute changes or emergencies during the move.

You can also pop into their offices.

Many people prefer a face-to-face approach.

This direct communication can lead to a smoother and more straightforward moving process.

Customised Moving Solutions: Tailoring Your International Removals Service

While there are common elements across most moves, such as packing, transportation, and setup, the specifics will vary depending on individual circumstances.

When you hire a removal company such as White & Company, you will receive a tailor-made, customised moving package that is unique to you.

We know that some moves are more complex than others.

No matter the size or location, we ensure that each of our removals is meticulously planned and that any special needs are documented and catered for.

Weather conditions can also quickly become an issue.

No one chooses to move in wet windy weather, but we can adapt how we carry out the move so that your effects (and your home) stay as dry as possible.

Other notable occurrences to take into consideration include moves undertaken in city centres, along busy roads, or in rural locations.

Some people prefer to handle much of the move themselves, while others prefer to hire a full-service moving company.

These preferences can affect how the move is planned and executed.

Above all, health and safety must be at the forefront at all times.

Our experienced surveyor will conduct a house move survey.

Any possible health and safety concerns are highlighted and duly dealt with to the satisfaction of both you and us.

Each of these factors contributes to making every move unique.

Our tailored planning and execution down to the finest detail is what sets us apart from other companies who undertake international removals Southampton.

Experience is everything. As one of the most experienced companies in the removal industry, there is very little we have not encountered over the years.

You can rest assured in the knowledge that your move is in good hands.

Packing for Success: Tips and Tricks for Overseas Moves

Moving abroad checklist

Make a checklist for moving overseas. Image credit: Pexels

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all on tips and tricks for moving overseas but here are eight of the top ways to help you experience a successful overseas relocation:

  1. Use a professional relocation agent. As experienced professionals, they are well-versed in the potential challenges that can arise and have solutions ready to address them before they even become a problem.
  2. Ex-pat websites and forums are packed with helpful information, and you can ask questions too.
  3. Prepare yourself for the cultural differences. Be open-minded, you are going to be stepping outside your comfort zone. From the food you eat to the currency you will be using, it is all change. Go with it and try and enjoy it.
  4. If you are moving to a location with a completely different language, learn it! Try to speak the local language whenever you can.
  5. Moving abroad is hard for everyone involved. Moving with children is an added level of worry. Enrol them in as many extracurricular activities as you can. To settle quickly they will need friends.
  6. Undertake a thorough investigation of housing options. You want to understand how much buying or renting a home is going to cost, where the best places to live are and how far from work you want to live.
  7. The cost of living in your new country will also be a consideration. Find out how much your bills will be, what food costs and how expensive it is to travel without a car, at least at first.
  8. Take time to get used to the new country. You may feel overwhelmed at first, homesick and missing family and friends. Hang on in there, it’s normal, with time and effort, you will adjust to your new home.

Navigating Customs Regulations

Every country has its own customs regulations. It is wise to familiarise yourself with those of your new destination.

Import regulations are notoriously complex.

Knowing what you can and cannot import is important in several ways.

Start by researching the regulations.

Look for information regarding restricted items, prohibited items and anything that will attract customs import duties.

Some items may be restricted, which means they can be imported but with accompanying documentation or proof of purchase.

With household effects, all items shipped must be used and not brand new.

New items will attract taxes and import duties.

Visit your new destination’s Government website.

You will find a copy of the latest import customs regulations there.

All personal belongings imported via sea, air or road must be inventoried.

Your professional moving company will prepare an inventory when they pack.

A copy will be sent ahead of your consignment along with a copy of your passport.

Additionally, all boxes and packages must be clearly labelled with your name, the contents and destination address.

Again, your mover can arrange this.

Customs will inspect most import consignments.

Many undergo an x-ray to ensure no prohibited items are included in your shipment.

NOTE: There will be consequences if any customs regulations are breached. Countries such as New Zealand and Australia impose heavy fines for non-compliance. If in doubt speak to your mover.

 Shipping and Transportation Options: Finding the Best Fit for You

When planning a relocation abroad, you will want to know that when all your worldly possessions have left your UK property, they will arrive safe and sound at your new destination.

We will work with you regarding the leaving and arrival dates so that your goods arrive exactly when you want them to, ensuring the best fit for your time scale.

White & Company will take great care of your belongings.

Following thorough packing and wrapping, your goods will be carefully loaded and secured into one of our European trucks.

European consignments leaving Southampton are transported to either Portsmouth or Folkestone ferry terminals in preparation for travel to mainland Europe via the Eurotunnel.

Our experienced drivers have undertaken the journey to Europe many times.

They are well aware of the customs requirements, driving conditions, best routes and traffic regulations encountered along the way.

You can rest assured that our fully trained staff will expertly transport your belongings ensuring they arrive safe and sound at the end point.

If there are some items you just cannot do without immediately, we can arrange for them to be air freighted to you.

Just ask our surveyor about this service when he conducts the pre-move survey.

The no-fuss approach adopted at White & Company will mean you get the best fit for your circumstances.

Destination Services: Settling into Your New Home Abroad

Houses birds eye view

Settling into your new home overseas may take some time. Image credit: Unsplash

There are instances whereby you are not at your new location in time to receive your consignment.

This poses absolutely no problem. We have a huge network of global partners whom we have used for many years and who can assist us with destination services.

While most people have already secured accommodation, you may be having a home renovated or even built before your arrival. Storage may be required.

Many of our destination agents have storage facilities which are dry and secure.

Once you are ready to receive your belongings, our destination agent will contact you to arrange a suitably convenient delivery date.

Again, ask our friendly surveyor for more details of any extra destination services you can access when you are ready to settle into your new home abroad.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition: Post-Move Support and Assistance

We will typically offer a range of post-move support including unwrapping furniture, placing items in designated rooms, and even re-assembling furniture.

After the big unpack, all empty boxes, packing and wrapping materials and other moving debris will be removed.

On rare occasions, damages can be sustained in transit.

Reputable removal companies such as White & Company will assist with insurance claims and help guide you through the process to ensure a fair resolution.

Our destination agent can also assist you with cleaning services, and technical assistance such as setting up and connecting electronic equipment.

However, some of these services cost extra and must be arranged directly with them.

White & Company Testimonials: Success Stories from Our European Clients

Customer Testimonials

Check out our customer reviews for a look at our service. Image credit: Pixabay

Having been in operation as far back as 1871, we have moved countless people to destinations across Europe and internationally.

During this time, we have amassed a huge number of happy customers, many of whom come to us repeatedly for all their home moves

You don’t need to take our word for it!

Check out all of our customer reviews on Trustpilot and if you have already moved with us be sure to leave your own review for others to see!

Making Your Move Abroad Stress-Free with White & Company Southampton

WACO Truck

White & Company Truck

It is easy to get swept up in the excitement when planning such a significant lifestyle change.

But the reality is that moving is extremely stressful, requiring a tremendous amount of planning and preparation before you can start living your dream.

At White & Company, our goal is to make that transition as smooth as possible.

Our top-notch international removal service is designed to significantly reduce your stress.

Packing can be both physically and mentally exhausting, but with our expertise and experience, it doesn’t have to be.

Let us handle the heavy lifting while you focus on everything else that needs your attention.

The trick is to keep a positive attitude and stay adaptable—unexpected challenges might come up, but a flexible approach can help you enjoy the journey more.

Following these tips can help ease the stress of moving to Europe, making your transition smoother and more enjoyable.


1.) What is an international removal service?

This type of service is specifically designed for people who are moving abroad.

Although there are similarities to moving locally, an international removal service requires a more specialist approach.

Longer journeys by road or sea require skilful packing to avoid damage in transit. International movers have the experience to do the job well.

Generally, extra insurance is offered to cover the unexpected for international moves.

International removals require your removalist to navigate and comply with customs regulations in both the UK and the destination country.

A good removalist will have nurtured a network of partners based all over the world whom they can trust to take over the delivery of your possessions to your home abroad.

2.) Why should I choose Southampton for my international move?

White & Company have branch offices and depots right across the UK.

Our Southampton depot is ideally located close to Southampton docks and also to European ferry services operating from Portsmouth.

Having port facilities situated so nearby gives Southampton an edge with regard to timelines, often shortening international and European removal transit times.

Our Southampton depot has an extensive export warehouse specifically designed to prepare, pack, and wrap your personal effects for despatch via land, sea, or air.

3.) How far in advance should I book my international removal service?

Booking a move date before your property is at the point of exchange can be tricky.

It is even more difficult during busy periods such as the school holidays when removal companies are often fully booked.

We advise our clients to book as early as possible. A two-week lead time is generally enough but longer is best during the busy summer months.

It is a good idea to book your home survey at least a month before your move.

Our surveyors will have a good idea of how busy the Southampton depot is.

Having an early survey will help you to budget for your move more effectively.

It is a free-of-charge service and absolutely no obligation to proceed.

4.) What factors should I consider when choosing an international removals company?

As moving abroad is not something you do often in your lifetime, you may be unsure how to choose your international mover.

  • One of the first things to check is that they are members of the British Association of Removers (BAR).
  • This membership gives you the peace of mind that you are dealing with a reputable removal company. You can easily find out if they are members by visiting the BAR website.
  • Other important affiliations include FIDI and IAM (International Association of Movers). These industry-known regulators ensure that your move is in good hands should there be any cause for concern.
  • Customer Reviews and Testimonials are another source of valuable insight into how well your chosen removalist operates.
  • Verify what insurance coverage is offered and whether it includes comprehensive protection against loss or damage during transit.
  • Consider what services the company offers, such as packing, unpacking, disassembly, reassembly, customs clearance, storage, or vehicle transportation.
  • Assess how helpful and how quick they are to responding to inquiries.
  • The company should be familiar with customs regulations, documentation, and requirements for both the origin and destination countries

Considering these factors means that you can make a well-informed decision when selecting an international removals company.

5.) Do international removals companies handle packing and unpacking?

A good international mover will offer packing and unpacking services as part of their comprehensive moving services.

It is crucial that everything is covered and protected as the vast majority of international consignments travel by sea inside a container.

These journeys can be subjected to bad weather from time to time. Well-wrapped and packed loads are less likely to be damaged when packed correctly.

At their destination, the movers will unpack your effects and place them in their appropriate rooms and for kitchen items on the work surfaces.

You can ask the destination agent for extra services such as packing into cupboards. However, this will incur extra charges.

6.) How long does international shipping typically take?

This is a popular question, and it is a hard one to answer definitively.

Each country will be subject to different times based on the distance they must travel from the UK.

Plus, there are logistical considerations and customs clearance always adds some time to the whole process.

Your removal company will liaise with the shipping line and book a slot for your container.

The shipping line will issue vessel departure dates and you will be informed by your mover accordingly.

For New Zealand and Australia, it can take 6-8 weeks and for the USA, again depending on distance it is generally around 4 weeks.

Your mover should be able to give you an approximate indication of shipping times.

7.) What documents are required for international removals?

Because each country has differing customs regulations and associated documentation it is difficult to be precise.

Some of the documents are raised by your moving company and some are your responsibility here is a general guide:

You will be responsible for providing:

  • A valid passport for all travellers
  • Appropriate visas for your destination country
  • Proof of Residency
  • Arranging insurance for your effects
  • Pet travel documents if taking animals
  • For vehicles, proof of ownership

In some cases, other supporting documents may be requested such as, as marriage certificates, work contracts, or financial statements.

Your Removal Company is responsible for providing:

  • A full packing list or inventory
  • A Bill of Lading (BOL) – a critical shipping document that acts as a contract between you and the moving company.
  • Arranging and submitting customs documentation at the destination

To ensure you have all the necessary documents, it’s best to consult with your international removals company.

They will provide guidance on the specific requirements for your destination country.

8.) How can I track the progress of my international shipment?

Your removalist should update you with an approximate arrival date for your consignment once a space has been booked on the vessel.

However, you can also track the vessel’s movements online.

Following allocation to a vessel, you will be given a Bill of Lading number.

The BOL number can be entered into the shipping line’s computer system, allowing you to track your international shipment independently.

9.) What happens if there are delays or issues with customs clearance?

Unfortunately, there are instances where unforeseen circumstances arise and cause delays that are out of the hands of your removal company.

Bad weather can, very occasionally cause vessels to enter the closest harbour and wait for the conditions to improve.

There are also instances where the arrival port is very busy and shipping lines cannot dock and unload as quickly as normal. Here again, you should be informed by your removal company.

Customs clearance is routine and very well executed. The vast majority of import consignments are quickly dealt with.

If customs officials feel they must investigate a consignment more thoroughly, it can cause delays.

Unfortunately, this too is out of the hands of the shipping line and your removal company.

Customs are looking for prohibited items.

In the case of countries such as Australia where biosecurity is extremely strict, they will check for soil-contaminated items such as gardening tools, lawnmowers, animal products and alcohol (to name a few).

Familiarise yourself with the import customs regulations for your destination country.

Any items deemed unacceptable will be destroyed and there are cost implications and time delays to do so.

You will be notified in such cases by your mover.

10.) Do international removal companies offer storage options?

When it comes to storage options, not all movers have the capacity to provide you with storage.

However, White & Company have storage warehouses at all their depots including Southampton.

Storage is handy for several reasons – You may be living in temporary accommodation and looking for a permanent residence.

Your new home may require renovations or repairs, so you might not be able to move in immediately.

Perhaps your new home has less space than your previous one, necessitating storage for items you can’t immediately accommodate.

Whatever your reasons for requiring short or long-term storage for your international consignment, White & Company is here to help.

Additionally, most of our trusted partners across the globe can also provide you with long or short-term storage at your destination country.

All you need do is discuss your potential storage requirements with our surveyor.

Posted in: News

Leave a Comment (0) ↓