GOING GLOBAL? EXPECTATIONS OF AN INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENT

By: Christina Pappas, Marketing Assistant

There are a number of factors to differentiate a domestic move from an international move. The initial excitement that a transferee may feel after accepting a position overseas could quickly upend, upon the realization of the foreseeable cultural barriers and the forthcoming loss of familiarities. Clark & Reid International provides professional, caring, experienced and dedicated professionals to assist in the transition from the initial pre-move counseling through the entire door-to-port process.

There are a number of factors to consider when a transferee decides to relocate overseas. A typical international move takes about 8 weeks compared to a week or less domestically. There is a new environment to consider along with invisible barriers such as culture chock, language, in addition to the overall stress of relocating away from family, friends and recognizable customs. Clark & Reid International suggests the transferee be aware of the regulations, immigration laws and specific customs in their host country. Also, it is vital that communication between the transferee and their corporate relocation department pertaining to the limitations of the moving policy is fully understood.

Several trends with the international moving industry have been observed by Glenn Kozar, Vice President and General Manager of Clark & Reid International, over the past several years. The use of third party providers has been steadily increasing, replacing the need for 'in-house' relocation departments. Also, subsequent to September 11, 2001, the import and export process has been scrutinized, causing higher shipping costs to the shipper and delays in receiving goods. It is recommended that all transferees be well-schooled upon the realistic expectations of timing and process. Innovations such as VACIS (Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System) have made the process run smoother by allowing an entire ship's contents to be x-rayed at one time. However, this inspection system is often costly and ships may charge extra for any additional time their equipment is out of service.

"The latest trend we are experiencing is the growing popularity of short-term assignments, decreasing the need for full household relocation. The United States has also placed US Customs officials in foreign ports in an attempt to prevent movement of restricted items," according to Glenn Kozar.

With the influx of regularly changing regulations and complications to import/export policies, it is important to retain a moving company that understands the rules of engagement and has successful experience with international moves. It is also preferable that the company has an accreditation, such as FAIM (FIDI Accredited International Mover)to provide the smoothest transition for a transferee overseas. Choosing a moving company that has the validation will ensure the company's packing and storage standards along with financial soundness comply with specific international requirements. After all, it is the moving company who ultimately plays the last role in the transition, leaving a lasting impression for the transferee in their new country.