Founded in 1890, Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage has successfully weathered many history-changing events including the Great Seattle Fire, WWI, the Spanish Flu of 1918, the Great Depression, WWII, the 2008 recession, and 9/11 among many other public crises. The health & safety of our customers, staff, service providers, and local community are paramount and we continue to adhere to all directives from local, state, and federal government agencies.
Although many unknowns still remain, rest assured that Hansen Bros. will be timely and transparent in our communications regarding servicing your moving & storage needs. Our professional relocation consultants will work diligently to offer creative solutions in the event your project is impacted by the current health crisis.


All Hansen Bros. Employees are instructed and expected to follow the guidelines provided by the CDC. This includes:

  • Staying home from work if ill, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or having been exposed to someone with the virus
  • Washing hands frequently with soap or using proper hand sanitizer when soap is not available
  • Maintaining a 6’ social distance from others to the highest degree possible
  • Wearing appropriate face masks when/if requested or required

Hansen Bros. continues to take the following steps:

  • Regularly refreshing and reinforcing prevention guidelines among all staff members to reduce the risk of spreading infection
  • Daily monitoring of staff for symptoms of illness and sending anyone with symptoms home
  • Offering customers the option of contact-free virtual estimate appointments – More Information About Virtual Estimates
  • Following all guidelines and protocols required by Retirement Living Communities, Apartment Complexes, Condominiums, Commercial Buildings, etc.
  • Upon request and at no charge, our crew members can wear masks while performing your move. Please simply notify your Relocation Consultant if this is your preference.

Hansen Bros. requests the following of our customers:

  • If you have a scheduled estimate appointment or booked move, please notify us immediately if you or any members of your household have been exposed to COVID-19, tested positive for COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms including cough, fever, or difficulty breathing. Please rest assured there is NO CHARGE to reschedule your estimate or move due to illness – we will work together to find an alternate date that works for you.
  • Please use disinfectant/cleaner to wipe down commonly touched surfaces, objects, door handles, etc. at your residence.
  • Please make a sink, hand soap, and paper towels available to your outside salesperson and moving crew for handwashing during their time within your home.
  • Please keep all windows open throughout the moving process as this allows for greater airflow and reduces the containment of germs.
  • Please maintain a social distance of 6’ or greater during both your in-person estimate appointment and while moving services are being performed.

Here are some informative and helpful resources about COVID-19:

The team at Hansen Bros. is proud to continue offering our wide range of services in accordance with the necessary precautions outlined above. Whether you are planning to move your household or business down the street, across the country, or around the world, we’re here to make the process seamless & safe for you, just as we’ve done for well over a century!

~Hansen Bros. Moving & Storage  

A guide to international shipping strategy

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    No matter the line of work you’re in, producing a shipping strategy is a key to success. Whether you’re operating heavy machinery, running your private practice, or manufacturing heavy items for international clients, you need to be professional and punctual. Without understanding the logistics behind the shipping process, you’re guaranteed a long line of unsatisfied clients. It may all be a bit confusing at first, so if you’re just starting and launching your business for the first time, you’re in luck. We’re here to provide you with a guide to making a complete international shipping strategy that you can always turn to in your moments of doubt. Being among the most experienced shippers, movers and packers Seattle has to offer, we have a lot of experience in the logistics industry. Also, we are familiar with all the problems entrepreneurs usually face when dealing with shipping companies. Therefore, you can rely on us for complete support and advice about the most common shipping situations.

    Elements your shipping plan should encompass

    When you’re shipping goods internationally, chances are that you’re doing it for commercial purposes. By doing business with professional carriers and shipping goods, you’re actually involved in trade between countries. Therefore, you need a detailed international shipping strategy in place that covers every part of the process. If you’re determined to be the best in your field, as we encourage you to be, but your success depends on sending large quantities of commercial goods internationally, then you’re in the right place.

    A quality shipping strategy involves:

    • Getting familiar with customs regulations
    • Designing your packing plan
    • Learning the industry terminology
    • Building a strong relationship with your shippers
    • Preparing to deal with shipping challenges
    • Following laws and regulations closely.

    Educate yourself on the customs regulations

    Consider the locations you’re shipping from and to when planning to send shipments internationally. It is key to become knowledgeable about the customs rules and regulations before you can proceed with planning. It goes without saying that you need to be familiar with the rules regarding your own country first. In all likelihood, you’ll be receiving some of your shipments back. It happens to the best of businesses.

    A boat with shipping containers is following an international shipping strategy
    Shipping goods internationally can be challenging due to customs restrictions different countries have.

    You’d leave a favorable impression and maintain an aura of professionalism if you’re able to explain the customs regulations in your country to your customers right away. Therefore, your first step would be to reach out to customs specialists for details and learn about all the items that can or can’t be shipped from and to your country. That way you’ll be able to avoid unnecessary monetary losses.

    You need to be knowledgeable about the rules to assist your clients

    Depending on how many different clients you’re working with, you could be shipping to a wide variety of different countries. You can already see where this is going. As a part of preparing to ship abroad, you need to learn about the customs rules for each and every country you’re shipping to. Of course, a majority of the customs rules are similar in all countries. However, some countries have different protocols regarding what is considered contraband. The success of your business can depend on the type of items you’re shipping.

    Therefore, it’s up to you to do the research regarding the country your clients want their items shipped. There are often country-specific rules that you need to follow up on. Sometimes it might take a lot longer to ship something simply because the logistics around the customs regulations are tricky for a certain country. In order to sort it out for yourself, you need to set aside the time to study custom regulations thoroughly. Or simply hire someone knowledgeable and experienced to assist you.

    Account for issues when shipping items to certain countries

    There are a number of countries that are known for strict customs regulations. If you’re cooperating with companies from those countries, then you can easily take extra steps to ensure successful shipping to those countries. Send emails to your shipping contacts in advance, notifying them about your shipping process, as well. They might be able to speed up the process from their side. Countries with the toughest shipping restrictions usually have complicated regulations that local professionals understand the best. Therefore, your contacts on the receiving end might be able to provide useful information on how to ship the products most efficiently.

    You might need to do more or less paperwork, but you can ship almost anything

    As one of the shipping companies Seattle is proud to have, we can assure you that not everyone is equally conscientious in this business. You must make the effort to follow the rules, though, and be sure to pay extra attention when filling out all the paperwork. While it is true that, in theory, shipping items internationally is much the same as shipping them domestically, there is a thing that makes all the difference.

    a girl inventorying shipments
    A part of the international shipping strategy is to specify exactly what you’re shipping and describe the products in detail.

    Some items that fall into the category of highly flammable, sharp, or in other ways dangerous, can still be shipped. You will need to put extra work into obtaining a license that allows you that. There is a limited number of items that you’re not allowed to ship under any conditions, though. In most cases, the greatest problem is getting an export license for the specific type of item you’re planning to ship but it is not impossible if you submit the necessary paperwork and assurances. 

    Your international shipping strategy relies on secure packing

    When it finally comes to packing the goods into shipping crates Seattle businesses normally use, you will need to enlist the details about the commodity you’re shipping. It’s best that you do a thorough inventory check and make sure you know precisely what you’re packing and shipping. Of course, the address of the recipient and clear information on payment arrangements must be visible when shipping items. If you fail to put everything on the list, you might get into trouble at customs. It is better to demonstrate the following when preparing your goods for shipping:

    • The intended use of the product
    • What material the product is made of
    • The amount or number of products you’re shipping
    • The value of the product.

    Regarding the pricing, it may be tempting to offer free shipping to your clients. However, you should also crunch the numbers and see if such a statement would pay off for all involved. You’d want to attract clients and improve their experience, but sometimes it’s better to opt for charging a bit more than to risk items’ safety and delivery with cheap or free shipping service.

    Follow the international shipping terminology when reaching out to shipping companies

    Get familiar with the best cargo and freight forwarders and thoroughly research the company that handles the type of goods you’re selling. Depending on where you’re shipping your goods, you might need to use different shipping services. The main difference between cargo and freight is the mode of transportation itself. If you’re transporting goods via plane or by sea, you’re going to need to you need to find moving companies that transport cargo.

    a plane flying above skyscrapers
    No matter how you’re transporting the goods, you need to be familiar with all the logistics behind the process.

    On the other hand, if you have to transport the goods by trucks or trains, get in touch with the freight companies Seattle has to offer. It’s a terminology difference that you need to know about whatsoever. Therefore, you’ll likely use a more diverse range of services as you develop connections in your field and get more clients from all over the world as a result.

    Choose one shipping company that supports you

    Your line of business also has a part to play. Your scheduling needs to be immaculate if you’re to succeed. That means that you need to be able to factor in the time your shipment travels into your business schedules. This is especially true if you’re running a business where time is of the essence. If your clients across the sea depend on your products to arrive by a specific date, then you should be mindful of the time it takes for the shipping company to deliver your products. Therefore, the best thing you can do is to choose one of the most experienced, trustworthy, and punctual international commercial shipping companies and stick with them.

    Build trust over time with your shipper

    Good communication is key and it starts with obtaining free quotes and choosing the right shipping partner. Explain to the shipping company the line of business you’re in and see if they can meet your demands. By staying in business with one specific company, you’re building trust with them. Therefore, you can rely on them to come to your aid and do all they can to help whenever needed. Mistakes are bound to happen. Whether you’re late with the production, or you’re facing shipping restrictions, you’ll need a partner that you can rely on. By using one and the same shipping company, you can ask for favors after you’ve built trust over time. Shipping can be a tough business and you need all the allies you can get.

    Rely on a wider set of moving services

    Being able to rely on a variety of complimentary services is one of the best perks of having a reliable shipping company by your side. Next to an international shipping strategy you need an ally that you can always count on. If your client suddenly cancels a large shipment, you won’t have to worry about what to do with those goods. By having partners in the moving industry, you will reap the benefits of having secure and affordable Seattle storage solutions at your disposal, for example. You can hire movers to take care of your goods until you figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

    Trying to cheat the system doesn’t pay off

    It may all seem like an unnecessary hustle, but there is a logic behind all the complications regarding shipping regulations. Firstly, it’s important for countries to impose rules regarding the import of goods that represent a way for the government to control the balance of trade. Furthermore, it’s a way to ensure that the dutiful goods actually pay their duty. By shipping your goods internationally, all your exports and imports need to be accounted for. Don’t try to cut corners and take shortcuts. Your every decision influences your reputation in the market.

    Stacked shipping containers according to an international shipping strategy
    It is your job to make sure your company follows international rules and regulations.

    Therefore, as someone who’s in charge of shipping, it’s important that you don’t misrepresent or under-declare your products. You could face severe consequences if you’re ever figured out. It’s just not worth it. You have your reputation to uphold, and a stunt like that could hurt your business permanently. By making sure your reputation is spotless, you’re building trust inside the shipping world.

    Follow your international shipping strategy and avoid many obstacles

    If you often cooperate with the same shipping company, you can easily create schedules that work for all the parties involved. Furthermore, you might be able to get some benefits and you can for sure count on some additional services that could prove useful. Maybe offering more affordable prices right now can help you build a strong client base that will benefit everybody involved. That’s why it’s so important that you create and maintain a good relationship with both your shipper and your clients. Finally, keep in mind the following advice:

    • Do your inventory at regular intervals.
    • Do the math and see if you can offer affordable shipping prices to your clients.
    • Check if you can comply with sustainable shipping practices.
    • Remember to plan in advance and think about where you see your business in the future.
    • Always treat your business partners with respect and don’t try to deceive them

    Be sure to follow the international shipping strategy and pay attention to detail but contact us anytime if you need any shipping assistance. That way, you won’t have to panic whenever it’s time to send a shipment.


    Branch, Alan Edward. Elements of shipping. Routledge, 2007.

    Kendall, Lane C. “The business of shipping.” The business of shipping. Springer, Dordrecht, 1986.

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