International Van Lines Review

By Amanda Lutz

Nov 01, 2023
Two young movers wearing uniforms are unloading a van full of boxes in an American neighborhood.

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 Founded in 2000, International Van Lines (IVL) started as an international logistics company. While it now handles long-distance and local moves nationwide, IVL maintains a focus on comprehensive services for international relocations across nearly 200 countries.

If you’re considering a move cross-country or to the other side of the world, read on to learn more about IVL‘s comprehensive offerings and how it measures up against the competition. We have thoroughly researched dozens of movers and created a list of what we believe are the best moving companies. We reviewed each provider’s list of services, pricing structure, and policies in compiling our picks. We also analyzed hundreds of online customer reviews and contacted the companies directly to receive more information, including moving quotes.

Fast Facts About International Van Lines

Benefits and Drawbacks of International Van Lines

Below are a few key pros and cons for International Van Lines.


➕ Creates custom crates to safely transport TVs and other electronics

➖ Outsources moves to third-party agents in Washington state, Utah, Oregon, and Montana

➕ Will fully refund your 25% deposit for cancellations if you provide at least 48 hours notice

➖ Has hefty associated fees for handling bulky items that aren’t stackable ($150) and motorcycles ($350)

➕ Provides optional special handling of large, difficult, and expensive items, such as pianos, fitness equipment, art, and antiques

International Van Lines Services

While many moving companies rely on third-party providers to oversee global relocations, International Van Lines can handle them directly to and from 180 countries. The benefit of this is you will have one point of contact throughout the process.

In addition to international moves, IVL is equipped to handle local moves and long-distance moves domestically in all 50 states, but it is more limited in its availability and may outsource those jobs to professional moving companies within its network.

IVL is a full-service moving company that provides packing services, loading, unloading, and transport. IVL also has an impressive menu of add-on options that allow you to customize your moving experience. For example, if you prefer to pack your own belongings, IVL can provide packing supplies and loading and unloading assistance only or will expertly wrap, pad, and box just your fragile items.

Below are summaries of some of IVL’s other offerings.

International Shipping Options

IVL is licensed with the Federal Maritime Commission to transport belongings via ocean freighter, which is the most common way to handle an overseas residential move. With IVL, customers can ship household goods more expediently in private containers or add them to consolidated loads to cut down a little on cost. For those who want to receive their belongings as fast as possible, IVL can ship by air freight.

IVL offers three ocean freight shipping packages: Door to Door, Door to Port, and Port to Door. With the Door to Door plan, IVL will pack up your items for you, or, if you prefer, you can take care of the packing on your own. Either way, IVL will deliver your items from your current home to the port. When your containers reach the port of destination, the company will be there on the pick-up date to retrieve and deliver them to your new home. IVL will also handle unpacking your items in your new home.

The Door to Port plan includes packing, loading, and transporting your items from your current home to the port from which you are shipping. When your containers arrive at the destination port, you must pick them up. Port to Door reverses that order so that IVL handles the items once they arrive at the destination port, but you are responsible for getting them to the port of origin. Although both of these packages are less expensive than door-to-door delivery, they require you to clear customs, collect your belongings, pay applicable taxes, and arrange transport from the port to your home.

Special Handling

International Van Lines can accommodate packaging and safe transport of large and high-value pieces like pianos, fitness equipment, artwork, antiques, and heirlooms. Moving crews will disassemble pianos, fitness equipment, and large pieces of furniture, wrap them to prevent damage, and then reassemble them at your new home. IVL can also build custom crates to store TVs, electronics, and other fragile items that won’t fit in standard moving boxes.

Vehicle Shipping

Moving long-distance or internationally may require you to make accommodations for auto transport. For domestic moves, International Van Lines offers both open and enclosed vehicle carriers for moving cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, RVs, and boats.

Open carriers are the more affordable of the two options but will expose your vehicle to the elements and roadway hazards. On the other hand, enclosed carriers will safely house vehicles from any potential damage due to storms or kicked-up rocks during transport.

IVL can arrange for your boats and cars to be transported via ocean freight for international moves.

Storage Services

International Van Lines provides one month of free storage with long-distance moves. It’s important to note that this storage is limited to your current location. So, if you are relocating from Miami to Charleston, S.C., your belongings would remain in Miami at a storage site. However, IVL will deliver your items to your new home once you are ready for them.

For an additional cost, SIT (Storage in Transit) allows you to store your items within or near your destination city. IVL charges $0.50 per cubic foot for SIT storage.

Contents Coverage Plans

Federal law requires all long-distance and interstate movers to provide limited liability, or released-value, protection free of charge to customers. Released-value protection calculates reimbursement based on weight for broken, damaged, lost, or stolen items. For example, at a rate of 60 cents per pound, released-value protection would only compensate you $12 for a 20-pound TV valued at $3,000.

International Van Lines offers an optional contents protection plan beyond the legally mandated basic limited liability coverage. IVL’s All Risk Insurance plan is far more comprehensive, reimbursing you for the declared value of your belongings, up to $250,000. You can select a deductible of $500 or $1,000.

IVL has a helpful chart that gives pricing examples based on the total value of contents (your coverage cap) and deductible amounts. For example, $150,000 in coverage with a $1,000 deductible would cost $966. All Risk Insurance can be purchased for local, long-distance, and international moves.

International Van Lines Cost

Like most moving companies, International Van Lines will base your moving quote on the size (measured in cubic feet), distance, and date of your move. IVL will give you a free quote online based on your current location, your new zip code, and the size of your home. 

You must call a customer service representative to receive a personalized ballpark estimate of your moving costs. IVL does not provide binding estimates—a price that is not subject to change on moving day. For that reason, the company does not require an in-person or virtual review of your home before giving you a quote.

IVL requires a 25% deposit to secure a moving date. A 10% to 15% discount is available to active and retired military, and senior citizens can get a 15% discount. Credit cards and checks are both accepted forms of payment.

What Homeowner Reviews Say About International Van Lines

Based on our analysis of online feedback from more than 100 customers, International Van Lines stands out for its efficient and reliable service. However, negative reviews frequently cited extra fees and delivery delays. Below are some examples of customer reviews from sites including Trustpilot, Yelp, Best Company, and Google Reviews.

“I have used International Van Lines twice, and they were fantastic both times! I have recommended the movers to countless clients and friends, and they are always happy with their move. I would… definitely recommend [them] and would use this company again if we had to move.” —Lana McClure via Trustpilot

“[IVL] did a good job packing and moving my stuff for a long-distance move across the country. The furniture was reassembled well, and there were no damages. The main weaknesses were the length of time until delivery — 21 business days after [the] first available delivery date — and the pricing estimate. My estimated price nearly doubled when the contracted movers arrived at my apartment and assessed my items. I have no idea whether this was fair or not but was told it was fair based on the cubic feet supposedly filled in the truck…. Overall, I thought IVL did a solid job, but compared to larger companies, it seemed slower for my long-distance move.” —Kevin Chen via Google Reviews

“Best moving company, period. [They] were the most careful, thoughtful moving professionals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Their packing and wrapping were the best I’ve ever seen, and they are fantastic problem-solvers. Each box was labeled and placed carefully in the correct room in the new house. No damage to anything. Highly recommended!” —Wilton Kunze via Trustpilot

“Knowing what I know now, I would use IVL again. There were a few hiccups with my move that would have been easily avoided had the initial communications been more thorough. For example… I had not been told the moving “van” would in fact be a 53-foot semi that would not fit on my street. I had a very hard time confirming my three-day delivery window. None of these hiccups would have been big problems if my expectations had been correctly set during the first few phone calls and emails exchanged with IVL…. Out of close to 200 items, 99% of my belongings arrived safe and sound. I had a broken lamp that was already on its way out, a cheap wooden storage thing that snapped and [a mover] glued [it] back together, and one priceless handmade wooden chest that was damaged… [and] I had to file a claim for reimbursement of its repair…. My experience with my actual moving team… was very positive. They not only did the job expected of them, but went above and beyond to make me happy and help alleviate as much stress as possible…. I am hoping to not have such a large-scale move at any time in the future, but I would go back to IVL for my next big move in a heartbeat.” —Kelly C. via Yelp

How International Van Lines Compares to the Competition

Below is a summary of key highlights of IVL and other moving companies.



Service Model

No. of Specialty Services

Our Rating

Quick Quote

American Van Lines

48 states (not in AK or HI)

Full service


4.5/5 stars

Visit AVL site

North American Van Lines

50 states

Full service


5/5 stars

Visit NAVL site

Allied Van Lines

50 states

Full service


4.5/5 stars

Visit Allied site

JK Moving

50 states

Full service


5/5 stars

Visit JK Moving site

International Van Lines

50 states

Full service


4/5 stars

Visit IVL site

Our Recommendation

International Van Lines is, at its foundation, a global logistics company and is therefore worth considering if you are moving to another country. The company provides several service packages for ocean freight transport and can also ship your items via air freight for faster delivery. Additionally, IVL’s moving insurance can provide peace of mind that you will be fully compensated should anything happen to any of your belongings while in transit.

IVL is also an experienced long-distance mover with an á la carte-style menu of optional add-on services for a customized moving experience. However, it’s important to understand that IVL often relies upon its extensive network of independent moving companies to accommodate local and long-distance moves. This means your experience may vary greatly depending on your location and the company assigned to your move.

IVL isn’t the only nationwide mover to outsource some of its moves. Conversely, many movers provide services similar to IVL. To find a mover that will provide everything you need and want, it’s worth evaluating at least three companies based on their services, outsourcing policies, and pricing structure before making a final decision.

International Van Lines FAQ

Is International Van Lines a good mover?

After extensive research, we confidently recommend International Van Lines as one of the best moving companies. IVL has received several national industry awards, including consistently being named on Newsweek‘s annual Best Customer Service list. Ultimately, though, the best professional mover for you will depend on the specific details of your move and the services that are most important to you.

How do van lines work?

Van lines are large moving companies that accommodate moves across all 50 states by utilizing the services of local movers within its network. If IVL couldn’t handle your move directly, for example, it would still coordinate your relocation through a third-party agent operating in your area. IVL would also oversee the process and handle any of your concerns, questions, or claims.

How large is International Van Lines?

International Van Lines completes approximately 10,000 moves across the globe each year through its team of 200 employees and a network of nearly 500 movers throughout the country.

Is International Van Lines a broker?

International Van Lines is recognized as an approved carrier by the Department of Transportation (USDOT). IVL‘s license number, #229383, can be verified through the USDOT online database.However, IVL is also an authorized broker (USDOT #2247789) and may rely on a provider within its network of movers to handle your relocation. IVL will let you know ahead of time if this is the case so that you can decide whether you want to proceed or work with a company that can provide direct services. IVL fully vets and routinely reviews all the movers in its network, according to the company’s website.

How We Chose the Top Long-Distance Moving Companies

We researched and analyzed dozens of full- and self-service moving companies and formulated a moving review methodology based on a number of factors, including package options, pricing, and reputation. We also identified customer pain points based on customer-review analysis, proprietary consumer surveys, and interviews with former and current moving professionals.

Speaking directly to a representative at each company, we determined the number of package options available, the coverage provided, the types of moves available (long-distance, local, and international), and any extra perks offered, such as mobile apps, moving checklists, and 24/7 customer service.

We also gathered pricing data from each of the companies and determined whether they provide ballpark estimates or binding quotes. To determine reputation, we evaluated companies based on their rating with the Better Business Bureau as well as their overall score on Yelp.