Ask the Moving Doctor

Ask The Moving Doctor!

Our resident Moving Doctor, Mark Nash is in the house! Mark has been in the moving business for 33 years, originally from England; he has moved 5 times internationally and has worked in England, mainland Europe, The Middle East and for the past 19 years in the USA. If he doesn’t know the answer to the question, he has enough friends in this industry to find out for you.

He currently sits on the board of the International Shippers Association and the Commercial Affairs committee at the International Association of Movers.

Mark will always do his best to provide an answer honestly, professionally and treat this forum as a place where everyone can learn about moving overseas.

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  1. Judy says:

    I am moveing June 1 can you take my car to if so how much thank you

  2. Lynn says:

    I am moving 19 boxes at 45cm x33 cm x33cm and 4 boxes at 48.26cm x48.26cm x28.26cm. All used clothing, small household and cosmetics. I am on a very tight budget. London to USA/Texas. What is the cheapest and safe service to use to ship the boxes.

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Lynn, thanks for the message. I will get Daniel in the London office to contact you by email and give you some rates and options, cheers The Moving Doctor

  3. ANIL says:

    I need to move 5 no. or so U-crate 50 boxes from Beaumont, Texas to Trinidad (in the Caribbean).
    Depending on price, might consider 1 no. 20′ container.
    I tried calling the number and even sent email via your website, but no response forthcoming.
    Can you advise best contact number/email/name?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Anil, I apologize, the phone lines have been very busy and may be the quote request got stuck in spam! I am going to contact Stephanie in our office here to contact you and get you a quote out asap. Cheers, The Moving Doctor.

  4. Tanya Nespor says:

    Hi there,

    We will be emigrating from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Brno, Czech Republic in April…we have about 20 boxes of personal effects, books, DVDs and clothes…along with one medium flatscreen tv, a Playstation, iMac and a few kitchen items. I am a Czech citizen…please advise the best way forward!


    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Tanya, we do not operate a service from South Africa to the Czech Republic but there are many good moving companies in South Africa that can help you.
      Here are a few names you can Google to get quotes from.
      AGS, Crown, British Removals, Magna Thompson.
      Hope this helps and let me know if you need any further help or have questions, cheers The Moving Doctor

  5. Ashley says:

    We will be moving from Vancouver, Canada to Leeds, U.K. Looking for a 20ft container door to door service.
    I’ve sent a couple of emails and called buy haven’t heard anything.
    What’s the best contact number?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Ashley, may be your emails were caught in spam as we haven’t received anything from you. I am passing this over to Stephanie in our office who specializes in container shipping from Canada and she will be emailing you very soon.
      Many thanks The Moving Doctor

  6. Martin says:

    Hello. We will be relocating from Fort Lauerdale to Budapest. Do you have something smaller than a 20′ container, but sill of metal etc.? Many thanks.

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Martin, our smaller containers are all made of Wood or Cardboard and not metal but as they are smaller, we truck them to one of our shipping terminals and then load them into 40 foot metal shipping container.
      Would that be ok for you?
      Cheers, The Moving Doctor

      • Martin says:

        Thanks for your quick reply about your 20′ container. What are the dimensions of the wooden containers? Another question is that if I use the cardboard one, do I pack everything with the same care as if shipping through a carrier such as UPS, or is it a more gentile handling? Another question was about how much weight will get stacked on top of the cardboard containers? Sorry for all the questions, but I used to do domestic packing for a living, and I packed lots of stuff that would get totally thrown around by our domestic carriers, without damage, but I do want more specifics as to the handling. Many thanks.

        • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

          Hello Martin, dimensions of our wood containers are here Yes whether you use UPS, post office or UPakWeShip boxes should be well packed with fragile items wrapped in bubble wrap and boxes fully loaded packed tight and taped up real well. Nothing gets stacked on top of the U Crate 100’s, they get loaded as is into a shipping container by a forklift. Nothing gets thrown around, the U Crate 100 would be unloaded and loaded in and out of a shipping container and truck as is and delivered to your driveway as is and the same way as you had loaded it.

    • Tony Barreto-Neto says:

      I want to move my Classic 1996 BMW Z3 Roadster along with several boxes from Florida to the UK (England). I saw where you have RORO Service but I can’t find it! Also I could use a 20ft container to ship boxes and car in. My car is only 13′ X 7 X 4. The boxes could be put in with it, packed well. I don’t see where that is a possibility, I only see the 40 ft container offered for moving cars?
      Is what I propose feasible? I could drive my car and drive truck with boxes in it to Charleston to save even more money if it is.

      Thanks for any and all info you may provide.


      • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

        Hello Tony, I believe we have already sent you a door to door price on a 20 foot container. I will send you another quote from our terminal in Charleston. Its certainly more cost effective to send them together in a 20 foot and a lot safer. Cheers The Moving Doctor

  7. David says:

    I am sure that the info is out here somewhere, but I must ask nonetheless. My questions are regarding shipping over the counter medicine and electronics to the USA.

    Medicine: I can’t tell if shipping meds is restricted or just might cause red flags. And if we can ship meds how specific do we need to be? Do we call them “medication,” or lump them into “bathroom/kitchen supplies” on the customs ready packing list? I know that might be a silly question, but I am just not sure.

    Electronics: Similar issue. On the customs ready packing list would they want them called “electronics,” “computer electronics” or “headphones, mouse, mic, external hardrive” ??

    Thanks again for any help on these issues!

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello David, these are good questions and I will do my best to give you good answers!
      Regarding any meds, I always suggest wherever you are going, that you take them on the plane with you so that if there are any questions about them you can answer direct to customs there and then upon entry. If you have them in your shipment it could cause red flags and also delays while they investigate and ask questions or run tests. While this is going on you could be charged storage and depending on the size of your shipment it could be about $100 per day so in my opinion do not pack any medicines in your shipment and take any you must have with you as hand luggage on the plane.
      Electronics are not a problem if they are standard home appliances like a TV, X box, computer etc.I would list them on the packing list as what they are rather than just listing electronics as customs could well ask for a better description which again could lead to delays and storage charges while that happens. You could also have a box saying computer equipment to cover mouse, keyboard, hard drive, wires and plugs etc.
      I hope that helps and feel free if you need more clarification or have any other questions to contact me, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  8. richard says:

    is there a rule regarding who should cut the overseas container seal and open the overseas container door? The receiver or the delivery driver or both?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Richard, once the security seal is locked in place it should stay there until it reaches its destination and the receiver cuts the seal off with bolt cutters. The seals are numbered so you can check to see its the same number in place when it reaches the destination. The only time this may be removed is if Customs choose to cut the seal and inspect the contents. If this happens normally they will place the cut seal in the container by the doors so you know its them that have cut the seal and then they will replace it with another seal. Most container truck drivers carry bolt cutters to cut the seal when it arrives at the destination but just in case it is a good idea to have a pair at the ready when the container arrives at your destination residence. If you are shipping with us, we will send you out a UPakWeShip security numbered seal to use after you have loaded the container. I hope that helps, let me know if there is anything else you need, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  9. SY says:

    Dear Mark,
    We are shipping a load of books to a new library near Accra Ghana. Do you have service to Ghana? If not can you recommend a reputable shipper?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello SY, yes we could do this for you. Please can you email us with the details like where are they coming from and how many books, overall size and weight of the shipment and we can send you some rates and options, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  10. Michael says:

    We’d like to ship 100 cf from SF Bay Area to Sydney. We understand from your website that it is $1500 all inclusive. Please list from the following list of services which you provide in that fee? Thanks, Michael
    – Customs Clearance
    – Taxes, Duties (when applicable)
    – Delivery to up to 2nd Floor residence (Stairs)
    – Shuttle charge (in case of difficult access)
    – 30 days storage at origin state
    – Quarantine/MAF charges (when applicable)
    – Wrapping and protection for furniture – Special Services (Hoisting, Outside elevator)
    – Terminal Handling Charges (THC) – Inspection, Examination or X-Ray charges

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Michael, please see notes below. Anything else let me know, cheers The Moving Doctor
      Customs Clearance. Included
      – Taxes, Duties (when applicable) Not included but not normally charged if your items are used and you are moving your residency to Australia
      – Delivery to up to 2nd Floor residence (Stairs) If its just boxes would have to be paid locally in Sydney but about $100 if you get charged at all.
      – Shuttle charge (in case of difficult access) Really depends on the access?
      – 30 days storage at origin state We can store for $30 per week.
      – Quarantine/MAF charges (when applicable) Averaghe is about $160 for 100 cubic feet
      – Wrapping and protection for furniture – Special Services (Hoisting, Outside elevator) Our rates do not include this and would not normally be required on a shipment of 100 cubic feet
      THC and X Ray included. If there was an extra charge by customs to inspect your items then we would pass this on at cost to you per the invoice they gave us.
      Cheers The Moving Doctor
      – Terminal Handling Charges (THC) – Inspection, Examination or X-Ray charges

  11. Karen Stinson says:

    Do you ship less than the U-Crate 50? We are trying to get down to 4 or 5 boxes. The boxes we have are 13 x 14 x 23 inches.

  12. Debra Moorshead says:

    Hi, we are loading our container Friday June 16, Savannah ga, do you know roughly, how long it might take to get to Nottingham UK

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hi Debra, your container is booked on a ship departing June 20th with an eta at the port of Southampton of July 7th. Budget for about 2-4 days to get it through customs and that’s when you can expect it. Obviously nearer the time we will let you know exactly when it arrives and when it clears customs and then arrange delivery of the container to you. Hope that helps, safe travels, cheers The Moving Doctor

  13. Helen says:


    If I get the SILVER insurance, do I just note what the contents of each box (I have 32 boxes) is worth, total, or do I need to itemize what is in each box? Or, do I just itemize the actual pieces packed within the various boxes?

    Also, is there anywhere on this site that answers this sort of question??

    Thank yoU!

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hell Helen, you would put a value for each box on the insurance application. So for example your list could look like…
      Box 1 Books $100
      Box 2 glassware $500
      Box 3 shoes $900
      box 4 toys $100
      cheers The Moving Doctor

  14. Helen says:

    A second insurance question… I understand that there is a $250 deductible for Silver insurance coverage. Is this $250 per ITEM damaged, or $250 paid one time by the customer if there is any damage? Obviously, if it’s $250 per item, I wouldn’t insure items that are worth less than that.

    Thanks again,

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Helen, the deductible of $250 is for the policy so if you were to be claiming $1,000 you would get back $750 from the insurance company. Hoper that’s ok, let me know if you have any other questions, cheers The Moving Doctor

  15. Helen says:

    Final Insurance questions… Can you vouch that the silver insurance you offer really does pay for damaged boxes coming out of a Crate-200? Can you either refer me to–or tell me about–customers who have had to file claims who’ve had the silver insurance, so I can feel certain that I am actually buying something that really will cover damages?

    From where to where are my items covered? For instance, are the items covered from my loading them into the Crate-200 in Pennsylvania to when they are unloaded at my apartment in France?

    Thanks very much!

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Helen, the insurance is in place from loading right through to delivery. The Silver option only covers damage to boxes caused by an external force and does not cover damage due to improper packing. An example of this would be if the outside of the box was in good shape but your glasses inside it were broken then insurance would say improper packing but if the same box was wet, had a fork lift blade hole in it or similar then contents would be covered. Hope that makes sense and let me know if you have any other questions, cheers The Moving Doctor

  16. Claudia says:

    I am planning to move early this October 2 2016 to either Paris or Rome. I would like to know and have an idea if how much it will cost me to have my belongings move there? How long does it take to receive it?
    I have approximately 10 boxes size medium. (Boxes from Uhaul)
    Thank you.

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hi Claudia, I’ll get Pete in our office to email you our pallet and U Crate 100 options. They are both lump sum all inclusive prices door to door. Cheers, The Moving Doctor

  17. enea says:

    Hi Doc!
    I need to move from Mexico City to Oxfordshire in the UK and, since I don’t own much stuff (a king-size bed and 20 boxes of books), I was thinking of sharing a container. Do you have any suggestions to do this cheaply? many thanks!!!

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Enea, I will pass this to our partner in Mexico to contact you and advise you on this, cheers The Moving Doctor

  18. Moving soon! says:

    Have you ever shipped to Cape Verde, Africa Before. The the capital and port city of Praia ?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Derek, not our most popular of routes 🙂 but I believe we have shipped there before. Andres in our cargo department is contacting you to arrange a quote for you. Cheers The Moving Doctor

  19. Cheryl Bates says:

    Do yall provide the customs forms, packing list form, and what are the shipper documents?
    Thank you,
    Cheryl Bates

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Cheryl, for most popular destinations we have all the customs paperwork here in our office and we email it out to you and help you complete it after you have made a booking with us.
      For less popular routes we will do the basic paperwork preparation including the packing list form with you and put you in touch with our partner at the destination well in advance to make sure you are fully aware and compliant with customs procedures before we ship your things.
      If you would like to see our online packing list creator, click here
      I hope that helps and if you need any more information, don’t hesitate to contact the Moving Doctor

  20. Juan Rodriguez Marquez says:

    Reading the contract I got to the part “How to measure your shipment”, since I’m shipping 2 U-Crates 100, I assume that it doesn’t apply to me. In the U-Crates whatever fits in it ships. Am I correct?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Juan, yes its a lump sum whatever fits in the crates.
      Its a good idea though to measure out in advance the size of the U Crate so you get a good idea of how much will fit and also how everything will fit in the crate. This adult game of Tetris might need some practice!
      Let me know if you need any help, cheers The Moving Doctor

  21. Sherri Farkas says:

    Will you pick up the Shipping Crates from a Public Storage Unit?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Sherri, yes we will as long as it is on the ground floor no steps within about 25 feet of the truck.. Normal prices don’t collect from upper floors or use elevators. Hope that works for you, if not let us know and we will come up with a plan B. Cheers The Moving Doctor

  22. Erika KleinSchoen says:

    Hi Mark,
    Please let me know : we have wooden crates made from 1/2 in plywood, 2×2×4ft and want to use those for moving from Los Angeles to Austria. Is that possible to use those crates for our personal belongings? Erika

  23. Bill Sheldon says:

    Hi Mark
    We are moving to St Croix USVI from Medford, Oregon would need a 20′ shipping container for our house hold goods
    What do you charge door to door or door to port?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Bill, I believe you have completed our online quote request form and Andres from our office has or will be in touch. Cheers The Moving Doctor

  24. Katya says:

    Hello Mark,

    I am an artist and I am moving overseas soon. I saw that paint and paint-related materials are listed as prohibited on your company’s website. Does it mean that I can take canvas and brushes but no oil color tubes? Or is it rather about paints for walls? I would highly appreciate your help.

  25. Patrick dethioux says:

    I was told that the container is about 4 feet above the ground when on the truck. Is there a lift or a ramp? If not, how do I load my heavy items into the container?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Patrick, yes the 20 foot shipping containers are on a chassis and about 4 feet off the ground. They unfortunately do not come with ramps or lifts.
      Other options…..
      You can however sometimes rent a walk ramp from a local rental center.
      You could hire a local loading crew to help load and tell them to bring a loading ramp.
      If something is really heavy like a safe I would rent a small U Haul with a tail lift and use the U Haul tail lift to lift things up to the container.
      Lastly ask strong friends to help you load the heavy items in exchange for beer and pizza!
      Hope that helps, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  26. MarcelS says:

    Hi, I am looking into moving from Fort Worth TX to Amsterdam the Netherlands. I have a project car that is taken apart to the bare chassis. It will easily fit into a 20 foot container. Does the container stay on the truck for loading? This would pose a challenge loading the car. I also have a few couches and appliances I would like to fit in it as well. How to best build a second floor above the car? the car is only 40 inch high when sitting on the floor.

  27. Nan says:

    Hi. We are planning to use your Plus service and have been given a good quote to move approximately 300 cu. ft. of furniture and boxes overseas. We have a lot of boxes (approx 100) that are pre-packed and are 14″14″14 (1.6 cu ft each).

    We’ve been given the instructions to use tape on the floor to determine the number of cubic feet we have. We know each box is 1.6 cu.ft square, so a stack 3x3x5 (45 boxes) is about 72 cu.ft.. (We have two stacks.) We’re told your pallets are 40″ x 48″. For our boxes, three rows/three deep gives us footprint measurement of roughly 42″x 42″, which does not fit on your 40″x48″ pallet neatly. Will the pallets be only partially loaded?

    Should I assume that with the Plus service the quote for 300 cu feet would hold regardless of how your guys eventually pack it into the container (that is, regardless of the number of pallets it takes)? We are using Plus for in-apartment pickup to in-apartment delivery overseas, since we cannot shift our items to street level to pack or have them delivered to street-level at our destination.


    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Nan, if you are choosing the UPakWeShip Plus service you don’t have to worry about how they fit on the pallets. We will just measure the boxes to get the volume. Hope that answers your question. Anything else let me know, cheers The Moving Doctor

      • Nan says:

        This is perfect, Thanks!

        Another question: We are doing a lot of the actual packing ourselves. We have a table (about 3′ x 4′ x 3′) we had initially not planned on shipping. It is old and beat up, but apparently it has some sentimental value to my daughter & she’d like to have it in our new home. We have a large, light-weight box (contains a dress-maker’s form) that is normally stored on the struts under that table (we have a small apartment) that we are also shipping.

        When it comes time to measure the cubic feet of our shipment, if we were to want to keep the box on the struts under the table and shrink-wrap the whole thing into one solid item, would they just use the footprint of the table as the measurement, or would they want to measure the table and the box separately (wasting the space under the table)? In effect, what we’re hoping to do is just insert the table around box that would have already gone, rather than shipping a table with paid-but-vacant space under it.

        Which brings me to: we provided information on several items of furniture that we plan to ship when we asked for our quote. This table was not included in that info. While it would hypothetically change the actual amount of aggregate cubic feet only very minimally if simply inserted over the box, if the addition of the table meant another crate was needed (assuming you need to crate the table), would that incur additional charges? Or are we just basically paying for the smallest space that everything can fit into regardless of it being crated or palleted, trusting that your guys are tetris-masters?

        • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

          Hello Nan, they should utilize the space under the table after packing when loading. With regards to the final volume and the amount, you will be charged on the gross volume but I suggest you go back to the person who quoted you the price to confirm this. If you hit reply to the email quote you received and copy and paste our messages into the email they will come back and confirm.
          Hope that’s ok, cheers The Moving Doctor

          • Nan says:


          • Nan says:

            They did, thanks! REALLY nice, easy to work with guys there at your company. Looking forward to doing business with you.

          • Nan says:

            Regarding insurance – I received a contract that offers me the choice of Bronze or Gold insurance (but not Silver). Bronze is at 1.5% and covers, basically, the ship sinking or the truck catching fire with our stuff a total loss. Silver is at 2 % and would cover ship sinking or damage to individual boxes. Gold is 3% and covers everything that the packers pack, including for breakage and ship sinking.

            We are packing most of our smaller items ourselves, and leaving the big stuff to the movers. Because we’re up a floor and I can’t load/unload anything myself, we’re paying for your Plus service. Is the “Silver” option not available to us because some of the furniture items will be packed by your guys? I am assuming none of the self-packed stuff would be covered for breakage (since we packed it), so I’m not sure we really would need the Gold level (with the extra cost). Most of what the moving crew will be packing has minimal monetary value (it’s all sentimental value, old furniture) and the more expensive things are already boxed up.


          • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

            Hello Nan, as some of your items are going to be professionally packed if you select the gold they are covered for the values you declare and you will automatically then get the silver coverage for the items you have packed at the values you declare.
            Hope that works ok for you, cheers The Moving Doctor

  28. Marilyn Burns says:

    Hello! I am moving from the US (Michigan) to Ireland (Dublin area), and have several questions.

    1. I am planning to bring a large library of valuable books. Since the container is not waterproof, is it possible that these will get damp/musty?

    2. Is it permissible to bring liquid items such as special laundry detergents, non-prescription meds, or paint?

    3. Are there any restrictions on blades, such as rotary cutters, saws, kitchen knives, etc.?

    4. I understand that the container is being moved a great distance, and things will naturally shift a lot, so I’ll be sure to pack with care! Just wondering though, will it remain fairly upright? (not tilted a great deal?) or will it be tilted quite a bit in loading and transport?

    Thank you so much for your help!!

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Marilyn, I am not sure if you are thinking about a self load shipping container or one of our pallets or U Crates.
      But either way the shipping containers are waterproof so there should be no damp or anything getting musty.
      Please look on our web site under tools and see our packing list creator. It has a full list of things that you can not ship on it.
      If the blades you are referring to are normal household things then you are fine but if you are talking hunting knives for example there are restrictions.
      If you are loading a shipping container then load it tight so nothing can move side to side or end to end. It doesn’t matter how high you fill it as it will not turn upside down but it can tilt 45 degrees on the sea or the truck driver might have to jam his brakes on suddenly so that’s why everything needs to be loaded tight together so nothing can move once the doors are closed on the container.
      I hope that helps, let me know if you need anything else, cheers, The Moving Doctor

  29. Jareth says:

    I have ordered a pallet to pack myself to ship from the US to Sweden. For the customs packing list: Do I make a list for each box within the pallet, or just for the pallet as a whole?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Jareth, we / customs need a packing list listing each box or packed item on the pallet please.
      So like:
      Box 1 Books
      Box 2 Clothes
      Box 3 Kitchenware
      Our packing list creator is on our web site here
      It will help you complete the packing list and email you a typed copy of the list as a pdf document.
      Pretty cool!
      anything else let me know, cheers The Moving Doctor

  30. Nan says:

    Hi Again – Already prepping for our move to the UK, and now have gotten to the new ToR procedures.

    The online application requests an address in the UK – the final destination of our goods. Since we will be shipping our household items and then flying over to house-hunt, we have no address to put in the blank. Do you have any advice what to put there? Also, they request we send some sort of documentation that we actually mean to relocate to the UK. As I am retiring, I won’t have an employer letter. I am an EU citizen so (at least for the next two years) I have the right to live there, but aside from the fact that I’m retiring from employment, have a one-way ticket, and am vacating my current home, I have no documents to send to them to prove that I am, in fact, relocating to the UK. Again, before I send this in and start a flagged file on myself with them, if you have any advice as to what sort of documentation they’ll accept, I’d love to hear it.


    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Nan, I understand the ToR procedures are a little confusing.
      I suggest the following…..
      You need to put some sort of address in the UK. Where are you staying when you arrive? If you are staing with friends or familly enter that address or if in a hotel put the c/o hotel address.
      I would write a letter of explanation stating you are moving to the UK for retirement and that you have lived outside of the UK for the last….years. Also add that all items are more than 6 months old. Also include bank, mortgage, rental statements, utility bills or something like that so you can show them that you have lived outside of the UK for the last 12 months.
      Hopefully that works, I don’t think you have anything to worry about!
      cheers, The Moving Doctor

      • Nan says:

        Thanks! (We are documenting this move and will send photos – if we survive!)

        • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

          Excellent, look forward to seeing everything, Happy packing….cheers The Moving Doctor

          • Nan says:

            Hi Moving Doctor –

            I wonder if you have had any feedback about the new TOR process to the UK? As directed by UPak, we sent in our list of items to be shipped (following the directions on your website precisely) to the revised email address Chris sent. That was on the morning of Wednesday, 29 March, which would have arrived in the UK after normal business hours that date. There was no confirming email received from the UK agency, but the mail did not bounce. We have no way to know if it was actually received or not. Should there have been an automatic acknowledgment email back to us?

            I did read up – and sent an email to the customs helpline (and will phone them on Monday), but am wondering if you have any additional information about the process.

            In Googling I see that the wait for a TOR number can be anything from 3 days to 3 weeks. Our full-service “pack-up” date is currently April 17 and I’m a little nervous about the timeline. We do have an extra week built into our schedule and could put the pickup off until the 24th if we have to, but….

            (I also see that other shipping companies are recommending that their clients send a list of goods with valuation attached. As those were not the directions we were given, we didn’t list any sort of value on our packing list. Hoping that’s not going to be an issue.) Any info you guys have would be appreciated!


          • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

            Hell Nan, we are all learning about TOR together. I have spent many hours on the phone with our UK office about this and visited there last week to see first hand how it was all going. It seems customs have been inundated with TOR forms (suprise suprise ) but are working through them diligently and there are signs they are being fairly “user friendly” to start with so not many delays due to questions and sloppy paperwork!
            I think the difference between asking for a valued packing list or not depends more on where the shipment is being cleared through customs. For example all our part load shipments that we consolidate into a 40 foot container are cleared and unloaded at our inland bonded warehouse to avoid any port storage charges. It seems as long as we have the TOR number we do not need a valued list. However with full load containers we have to clear at the entry port as we will truck it from the port direct to your residence and it sounds like the customs broker at the port will require a valued list so I suggest you copy your packing list and add low used values next to your items in case the customs broker in UK requests this.
            Either way I can assure you that you do not need to email customs a valued packing list with your TOR form request.
            Normal attachments to your TOR form should include copy of your passport picture page, packing list, and possibly some letter of explanation and proof of residency.
            I hope that helps, feel free to ask more questions or email Chris, cheers The Moving Doctor

  31. Juli says:

    How long does shipping from the US to UK take using the U-Crate 100?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hi Juli it depends a little where you are coming from but on average, 5-6 weeks door to door from the east Coast and Mid West and about a week longer from the West Coast. Hope that’s OK for you? Cheers The Moving Doctor

  32. Carole Camp says:

    Hi, we are moving from Texas back home to our home on Thame oxon in June/July. We want to send a mix of items including clothes matresses and soft furnishings. Is there special packing requirements to prevent damp?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Carole. Its very very rare anything gets damp. Your items are either in a truck or a shipping container or warehouse. All of these are totally dry. The only time there is normally any chance of things getting damp is during the collection out of your house and delivery into your house in Thame if it was raining. No guesses which side this is more likely to happen! As long as all small items are well wrapped and placed in boxes nice and tight and well sealed with packing tape, larger items wrapped in bubble wrap and secured by tape, mattresses are put in mattress bags then all should be absolutely fine. Hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions about your move to the UK. Cheers The Moving Doctor.

      • Carole Camp says:

        That sounds good, do you provide mattress bags and bags for a sofa? If not can you recommend a place to get these.
        We need a 20′ container, how long would it take us to load the contents of approx a 2 bed house? And how long do we have topack up once the container arrives

        • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

          Hello Carole, you can get the mattress bags and sofa bags from any self storage place or U Haul. If you need moving blankets to wrap things I would try and their economy moving blankets are great quality. You get 2 hours free to load the container and unload it. After that its 95 per hour.
          Its best if you have everything packed and wrapped and numbered beforehand and everything staged in the garage or front room so that when the container comes its easy to load it in 2 hours.
          Its the same with unloading….. don’t worry about putting everything in the right place, just get the container unloaded and then worry about where everything needs to go.
          Hope that helps, anything else let me know and thanks for asking good questions, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  33. Nan says:

    Hi M.D.

    Thanks for all the help on the TOR. For others in our situation, I spoke (finally, after staying up past midnight to “catch up” to the UK clock when HMRC opened in their morning) to a live person at UK customs. It is April 4th. They are now processing TOR requests for March 17th, so approximately 19 calendar days’ processing lag, at present.

    Apparently also email submission of TOR requests should cause an auto-response email confirming receipt. I did not get one when sending my application to the new TOR email address, but they were able (as I’d put my last name in the subject line) to look through the email for the date I submitted my request (March 29) and see that it was there. If it’s necessary to call them, it’s the number that ends in “8454”. There actually is a 24 hour service for imports, but they don’t handle TOR requests and will refer people to that other number.


    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Thanks for the info Nan, fingers crossed you will get your TOR number soon.
      Cheers The Moving Doctor

      • Nan says:

        Do you happen to know if you can amend your packing list once it’s been sent/approved for TOR? We have another couple of boxes of clothes and a guitar we’d like to take. They’ll fit in our crate, but we did not detail them in our original TOR application.

  34. Nan says:

    “Most shipments will be stacked onto a wooden base and then wrapped in thick plastic shrink-wrap. This base, called a pallet, generally measures 40 x 48 inches. Depending on the weight of your cartons the pallet can be stacked up to 72 inches high. After the items are stacked we will measure the length, width, and height of the stacked pallet at its greatest points. Do not worry, no other shipments will be stacked onto your pallet”

    Does this mean you can pack 72 inches of boxes on the pallet, or that the pallet plus boxes cannot be more than 72″, please? (If the latter, how tall is the pallet? It’s rather hard to plan for that without knowing.)

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Nan, I believe Alicia is talking with you to confirm this but yes, you have 72 inches of your actual boxes to put on the pallet.
      Cheers The Moving Doctor

  35. Sandra says:

    We are moving from Massachusetts to wales
    How detailed do I need to be on the packing list
    Also where is the closest terminal if we go with a 200 crate

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Sandra, we have a terminal in Boston if that helps?
      The packing list doesn’t need to be that detailed. Its best if you use our online packing list creator. That way everything on this list is customs user friendly and the list once you have completed it will be emailed to you in a pdf format. You can do that by clicking here. Or you can find it on our web page under tools and tips.
      Hope that helps, and let me know if you need anything else, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  36. Elaine Haskins says:

    Hi Mark,

    I’m moving from America to Ireland and would like to bring my digital piano. Are there any special packing requirements that need to be complied with for shipping an item like this?



    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Elaine, not really. If you have the original box that you could put it in that works, if not wrap well in bubble wrap or moving blankets and then make up your own cardboard box by using normal cartons cut and wrapped around and use strong 2 inch tape to tape up well, particularly around the edges and seems. You might also find a suitable box to purchase at Hope that helps, anything else let me know, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  37. Anne Howley says:

    How specific do packing lists have to be? Is it good enough to just write “Books” or is the quantity required, too (20 Books)? Is it ok to list “Clothing” or does it need to be more specific like Skirts, Shoes, etc?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Not very specific Anne, we need a list to say like Box 1 Books, Box 2 Clothes, Box 3 Kitchenware, etc….
      Did you see we have our own packing list creator? Its a nice way to get a typed customs friendly packing list.
      Cheers The Moving Doctor

  38. maura says:

    Hi Mark, do you ship from Ireland to Spain

  39. Nicole says:

    We ordered two U100 crates that arrived today and we’re diligently packing. Do I make one packing list for both boxes or do I do two separate lists?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hi Nicole, one packing list that covers both U Crates please. “Happy Packing”
      Cheers The Moving Doctor

  40. Diane says:

    There will be two of us moving from Queenstown, NZ to Minneapolis,
    MN in a few months and I am looking at moving options. It would be mostly personal items (skis, snowboard, boots) and some other personal items electronics, scuba gear…nothing really large. What is the best method to ship it and what might be the expected cost?

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Diane, I am going to pass this message over to Chris in our office that handles that route. He will be in touch and offer you some service options and prices and answer all your questions. Cheers The Moving Doctor.

  41. Len McLaren says:


    My wife and I will be moving our personal and household effects from Windsor, Ontario to a storage unit in Cardiff , UK probably between July and Sept 2017.

    At the moment we are in the late planning stage.

    We would like to know the cost for a 20′ container. We would require door-to-door service and we would do our own loading and unloading.

    Any advice would be welcome. We realise that you don’t have a lot of details but a rough estimate of the cost and logistics would be appreciated. This is not a company move, we are two seniors moving to the UK to be near to our family.

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Len, thanks for the message, I am going to pass this up to our Canada team and they will be in touch with you with some pricing and service options. Cheers The Moving Doctor

  42. Elaine Haskins says:


    I’m just wondering if anything is likely to be stacked on top of my Ucrate 100 during shipping?


    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Elaine, no nothing ever gets stacked on top of a U Crate 100, cheers The Moving Doctor

  43. MO says:


    I would like to know the Cost of moving A iMac 21″ and LED Screen 24″ ( both Boxed)
    an Electric guitar in Case ( A little damaged) a Midi Music Keyboard controller ( In Case)
    a small Hard case containing some small Hardware ( Pedal Effects) for guitar
    small Monitor Speakers ( Boxed) x2 and in addition to that prob around 4 large boxes of cables and Microphones and some clothing to be sent from Johannesburg to Tampa / Clearwater FL in the USA

    I am looking at the cheapest possible route possibly shipping time it takes is not important

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello MO, thanks for the message, I am passing this over to Chris in our office to make contact and give you some options, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  44. Becky Slater says:

    I’ve got a U-Crate 50. I’m concerned about setting it up in my driveway in case it rains. Can I put it in my garage? Will they be able to get it from there?

  45. cathy stepka says:

    Can I pack non-perishable food? (vanilla, maple syrup, nuts, dried fruit?)

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Cathy, most countries in the world do not want you to import any type of food so the official answer has to be no I’m afraid. Even if it is allowed, the chances are it will cause additional inspection time and storage fees so its really not worth it.
      Cheers The Moving Doctor

  46. pauline says:

    We will be moving from Oregon, USA to Waitaki, Oamaru New Zealand. What is the average timeframe for the freight to leave Oregon to it arriving in New Zealand? thanks!

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Pauline, average transit time for a consolidated shipment like a U Crate would be 10-14 weeks door to door. A self load container would be more like 8 weeks.
      Cheers The Moving Doctor

  47. Steven Ellis says:

    Hi Mark,

    I am curious what a typical Customs Inspection Fee in France on a small self-pack household move could potentially cost and what typically triggers these?


    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Good question Steven. This year we have sent about 350 shipments consolidated into roughly 25 shipping containers all destined for Europe. We ship the containers into Rotterdam port, clear customs and then arrange delivery to France, Germany, Italy etc. So far Dutch customs have only chosen to do a physical inspection once this year that resulted in some extra charges for the shippers that were in the container. The charge was divided up equally between all the people’s shipments in the container and the result was everyone paid less than $100. That is the only time we have had to ask for additional money on our consolidation containers this year. All the other U Crates and pallets have been delivered with no extra charges. I think that is a good record. We put a lot of time, effort and training into making sure USA and European customs get neat, correct and on time documentation. We are also an established company with our own offices both ends and fully licensed and bonded which I’m sure also helps.
      I don’t want to jinx it but think we are doing really well and this is credit to good staff and communication and a brilliant IT department that has built an online platform far advanced over anyone else that delivers great documentation.

      Hope that answers your question, I cant go into security or what triggers inspections obviously but hope this helps, cheers The Moving Doctor

  48. Ines says:

    I will ship a small pallet from New Hampshire (US) to Germany, door to door service. The special thing about my shipping is that I am not moving. I am a German resident not living in the US and I am actually shipping things (dishes, cups, table ware, dolls, etc.; altogether about 9 medium sized UHAUL boxes) that belonged to my great aunt. She died about 2 years ago and now my great uncle is selling the house and wants to get rid of everything. I am a bit worried about costums… Do you know what will be the best way to do the shipping? Would it be better to officially buy the things for a low prize from my great uncle (e.g. like I would do it during a garage sale) and pay taxes only for the low prize? Or is there any chance I can avoid paying taxes at all (e.g. if we declare it as a present)? Unfortunately, there is no last will of my great aunt.
    Thank you very much for caring about my case, Ines

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Ines, let me check with our EU office. I will email them your request and copy you in so we can get clarification on the best way to do this, cheers The Moving Doctor.

  49. Billy Drum says:

    How can I estimate what customs fees will be for Spain.

    • The Moving Doctor The Moving Doctor says:

      Hello Billy, if you have lived outside of Europe or the past 12 months and all your items are declared uses and been in your possession for 6 months and you are now moving to Spain with no dutiable items like Alcohol or cigarettes then there should be no customs duties or taxes.
      Hope this helps, cheers The Moving Doctor