Finding a reliable European moving company
August 30, 2017 5:45 AM   Subscribe

Sometime later this year my wife and I will be leaving Britain (the Brexit brain-drain is real!) and moving to my native Sweden. What is the best way for us to go about finding a reliable company to move our limited amount of stuff for us?

We are currently renting a 1 bedroom furnished apartment, so don’t need the all-inclusive services of high-end international movers. We’re looking at a maximum of 20 medium-sized boxes of books, clothing and kitchen equipment (very little of it breakable) going from Cambridge to Borås. We have no car, and will be making a one-way trip, so not looking to drive the boxes ourselves.

There’s tons of places online that offer free quotes and cheap prices, including 'van share' type schemes that would probably suit us fairly well. But how can we sift through the massive market to find a reliable company that won’t cost us as much as if we were moving an entire house full of stuff?

If anyone has any experience with European relocation and can offer personal recommendations, that would be fabulous. Also looking for things like professional associations or certifications that would indicate registered businesses are held to certain standards. We literally moved to the UK with nothing but a couple of suitcases, so despite this being a reverse move it’s a first for us, and all help is much appreciated!
posted by harujion to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We've been going through the same thing. We're moving from the Bristol area to Amsterdam (yes, indeed the brain drain is real) and decided that this is a good time to start anew. So we are selling all our great furniture and essentially, like you, only keeping books, a few kitchen things and clothes and our bed.

First thing we did is get a good estimate of what the volume really is. That is, how much do you actually have in cubic meters? This helps movers give you a better quote as I am sure they get lots of people who say they don't have much stuff - but then they do.

We contacted lots of movers, both British and Dutch. In the end, the bigger moving companies quoted a lot of money - essentially they don't want our business and would rather do big house moves. The dutch movers I found mainly because they were advertising on some facebook expat groups. The only ones that came back with reasonable prices are small Dutch movers and only because they already had trips planned that they could combine with ours. One actually replied with "Sorry, no trips to UK planned soon. Bye." But we did come to an agreement with a Dutch mover. We haven't actually moved yet so I can't report on how it is going....

We had also tried Shiply, which others might recommend to you too. But we tried it and the quotes were too high for us. It might be a matter of timing, though.
posted by vacapinta at 6:03 AM on August 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh God, me too. Can I piggy-back and ask, vacapinta, who did you get to do a volume estimate? Local movers? Did you pay them for it? Or pretend you were moving locally?

(FWIW, just so I can contribute something too, I was going to ask my two friends who've already done this for recommendations. Okay, that's not that helpful, ha.) Also this FB group may be useful (you need admin approval). I can't currently see a thread about movers (or any mover info in the Sweden thread), but starting one might be useful for more people :)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 12:18 PM on August 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the answers so far - Shiply seems like they have decent options for us in November, but it's hard to know before test packing a bunch of stuff to see how many boxes we have. Leaving this open hoping to catch more experienced members of the brexodus.
posted by harujion at 3:30 PM on September 1, 2017

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