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Are you an HR global mobility specialist? Or perhaps a generalist where you find your role covers everything from global recruitment, talent management and succession planning to compensation and benefits. More often than not you share one thing in common, the challenge of managing risk, cost, time and resources.

While the world is growing smaller through advances in technology, the demands on HR and global mobility professionals seem to be increasing. The wealth of information which can now be accessed, the speed with which legislation can change, the growth of emerging economies and new markets all contribute to making the task of effectively managing a successful global workforce a true test.

BTR International understands the value of providing the right support services for your organization and your assignees, enabling you to meet your business goals and objectives whether they be expansion into new regions, redeploying key staff to support new projects or simply reviewing your global relocation costs and procedures. A member of internationally recognized trade associations including Worldwide ERC, EuRA, ARP and FEM, through our experience, knowledge and access to the latest global mobility research and trends we can help you assess, plan and provide ongoing support, from identifying potential risks which may impact the success of an assignment through to designing strategies to support relocations into difficult global regions.

Policy & Planning

Whether you are responsible for a large or small global workforce, a comprehensive relocation policy, tailored to suit your organization’s needs and culture can provide so many benefits, from time and expense management through to increased employee well-being.
BTR Policy and Planning
At BTR International we believe that consultation is the first and perhaps the most essential step in understanding and analyzing your requirements. Through our expertise we can work with you to design, communicate, implement and monitor a policy which will in turn help you:

– Set assignee expectations.
– Standardise procedures.
– Establish key areas of responsibility.
– Reduce the risk of assignment failure.
– Support your cost control and ROI measures.

With constant changes to legislation and market trends your relocation policy needs to be regularly reviewed to ensure that it is still fit for purpose and relevant. If you are to successfully manage costs, retain existing talent and attract the best new candidates your policy must be competitive. With our access to the latest industry research and standards, we can support you with benchmarking and policy reviews to ensure that you have in place a fair, compliant and effective program.

If you would like to find out more about our relocation consultation services please contact us using our online form or call us, we will be happy to help.


While you will undoubtedly have specific questions which require one-to-one consultation, we have compiled some commonly asked questions and terminology guides, covering the general theme of relocation which we hope you will find helpful.

Do I need a relocation policy?
A formal policy ensures best practice and helps to create fair treatment across your global workforce as it provides a blue print of agreed standards; this avoids the issues of managing many individual agreements and negotiations with prospective assignees. A good relocation policy should provide transparency, help to manage expectations and cost controls and can act as a useful communication tool with employees and their families.

What value does your consultation service provide?
Many organizations already have in place a relocation policy; however, can you be sure that it is still fit for purpose? Which policy do you use if you undergo a merger with another company, how do you know if it is still competitive and attractive to international job candidates, the list of questions is endless.

Your policy needs to take into account not only market trends and current practices but also the underlying culture and values and strategic business goals of your organization. Through a consultation process involving analysis and benchmarking, your business needs and the needs of your assignees can be assessed independently and a plan designed specifically tailored to your benefit, whether that is time and cost saving, or simply improved communication procedures.


Industry jargon can be confusing, here are some commonly used terms which you and your assignees may come across as part of the international removals process.

How accessible is the property? The room to park a vehicle, the distance from vehicle to front door, the availability of lifts, how many floors the building has etc. All have an influence on access.

The organisation or company that pays for the move, usually the employer of the transferee.

Actual Cash Value
Value of goods after depreciation is taken into account.

Usually another moving company appointed to act as a partner at destination to receive shipment, clear it through Customs and arrange final delivery. The agent’s services are included in the quotation.

Bill of Lading
Document used to acknowledge the receipt of a shipment of goods and includes details of the vessel, destination, and terms of transportation, goods, weight and other shipping information.

Binding Quote
A guaranteed price based on the inventory.

Bonded Warehouse
A warehouse that meets with local Customs specifications and allows shipments to be stored pending clearance by Customs.

The company appointed to manage the move.

Chargeable Weight
The weight used by an airline to determine the air freight charge.

Cash-on-Delivery. Where payment is made upon the delivery of the goods.

The person to whom the shipment is to be delivered.

Company or person who will collect less than container load shipments from moving companies and ship them to destination once a container load has been obtained.

A modular steel box that is designed to hold goods during transport. Containers exist in standard sizes (specified by ISO) which can be used for transport on sea and land.

Cost per 100 lb
A rate given on the estimated weight of the goods.

Cost per cubic meter/cubic feet
A rate given on the estimated space the goods will fill on a lorry/container.

A timber case for an overseas shipment.

Customs Clearance
Formal inspection procedures carried before allowing a shipment into a country.

Abbreviation for the rate or charge per 100 pounds.

Declared Value
Value the owner declares its goods to be for insurance purposes. This will form the basis of insurance (liability) cover. It is important that this reflects the value of the goods.

Import applicable. A charge made to unload and hand-out consolidated loads, typically Air and LCL shipments.

Company or person that will receive a consolidated shipment at the destination port and break up the consolidated shipment back into individual shipments.

Density Factor
A ratio of weight and volume.

Destination Agent. The moving company appointed to act at destination.

Transporting the shipper’s goods from their residence at origin to their residence at destination. This type of move increases the degree of control and typically minimizes claims.

Transporting the shipper’s goods from their residence at origin to the port at destination. This typically happens when the shipper arranges transport with a destination agent of their own choice from the destination port in order to save money.

Export Wrapping
Method of packing household and personal effects for transportation overseas. Usually involves heavier and more specialist materials.

FIDI accredited international mover.

Full Container Load. A container carrying a shipper’s belongings exclusively, with specified move dates as agreed with moving company. The container is usually positioned at residence for direct loading and unloading of goods.

Full Cover
Detailed insurance cover. Usually includes loss, theft, fire and breakage (restricted to items packed by professional mover). May carry excess or deductible maximum limits on total value or certain types of items, pairs and sets clause, mechanical derangement clause and specific exclusions e.g. money, stamp collections and jewellery.

Filling a container with grouped individual shipments that are less than container load on their own.

Household Goods – the shipper’s possessions.

Insurance Certificate
The official insurance document issued by the insurance company, required in the event of a claim.

List of belongings (and their condition) to be moved or a list of belongings in transit or storage. Must be signed by shipper and packer as confirmation.

Land Bridge
A form of multimodal transportation which would incorporate an overland route to a land-locked destination.

Lbs Net
Net Weight. The cu ft converted to net weight (usually 6.5lbs = 1 cu ft)

Less than Container Load. Where a shipment does not fill a complete shipping container. Goods are normally collected at residence and returned to warehouse for loading into a liftvan.

A crate used for packing household goods and personal effects.

Line Haulier
Transports goods from terminal to terminal.

Marine Insurance
Insurance specifically to cover the shipper’s belongings whilst in transit over long distances and/or across water by vehicle, ship or aircraft. The policy will cover specific marine risks.

Master Airway Bill.

Multimodal transport carrier.

Multimodal transport operator.

Multimodal Transport
Multimodal transport covers the door-to-door movement of goods, under one issued waybill, using various means of transport (e.g. train, ship, trick, air).

Non-vessel operating common carrier.

Origin Agent. The moving company appointed to handle the move at origin.

Secondary packing used for airfreight for extra protection. Typically consolidates a volume of goods to one or more cases.

Packed By Owner. When shipper chooses to pack belongings themselves. Insurance companies and most countries refuse to accept or insure goods packed by owner. Boxes/cartons must be left open to be checked/re-packed by the move company packer.

Person in charge of packing, wrapping, loading the goods at origin, unpacking, unwrapping and unloading the goods at destination.

Packing List
This document lists all of the goods that are packed in a shipment. It is used to check the goods at all stages of handling; as a receipt (important for the shipper as signed agreement when the goods are collected and unpacked); as an attachment to the insurance certificate since it is evidence that the goods were shipped and their condition at the time of packing; for customs clearance as proof of the goods which are being imported.

Port of Arrival.

Port of Exit and Port of Entry – be aware can be either

Transporting the shipper’s goods from a port to a destination residence. This is quite unusual; these moves are mostly handled by national companies contracted for a particular international move.

Transporting the shipper’s goods from the origin port to the destination port. Generally, these types of moves are booked directly with a forwarder.

Replacement Value
Value of goods equal to the replacement cost at destination.

Roll on/Roll off facility for transportation of motor vehicles.

The route the shipment will take to the eventual destination – the route itself as well as the mode of transportation and type of carrier service.

The person/customer/assignee/transferee whose goods are being moved.

Storage in Transit. Temporary storage of household goods in the warehouse of the moving company, pending onward transportation.

Surface Shipment
Shipment that travels by sea (FCL/LCL).

The moving company will send a representative to the shipper’s home to assess the volume or weight of the goods to be moved in order to produce a quote.

Swap Body
Type of freight container built to be lifted from the top and specifically designed to be used for road transport. Generally made in the same dimensions as sea shipping containers. The swap body has four collapsible legs to ease the transition from one truck to another and to allow for leaving the swap body on its own. These type of containers tend to have more than one door/opening to facilitate loading/unloading.

Terminal Handling Charge. Import or Export applicable, a charge made at the terminal for handling, admin etc.

Third Country
HHG being transferred between two countries without entering the controlling countries territories. For example, a move which is being controlled by the UK but the HHG consignment going from France into Germany.

Third Party Services
Additional professional services arranged by moving company, e.g. plumbers, carpenters, maid service etc.

Transit Time
Estimated time it takes to get goods from point A to point B, this usually includes packing/unpacking.

Airfreight casing.

Volumetric Kilos
Specifically applied to Air shipments for freight cost calculations.