You have landed in Canada. Now what?

Friday, 05 August 2011


Establishing yourself when you first arrive in Canada can be difficult. You will have to find a job and find somewhere to live, among other things. This checklist will help. It provides you with a list of things you should know and shows you where you can go for more information and support.

Click here to visit: Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to access the – Living in Canada checklist

Calgary Folk Music Festival

Wednesday, 03 August 2011

If you’ve been around any time during the past quarter-century, you already know that the Calgary Folk Music Festival is one of the most rewarding, uplifting and downright fun events of the year.  All in all it’s a pretty fabulous gig. This year, like many  years before, Highland Moving & Storage Ltd. was proud to be recognized a Troubadour Sponsor. 

Please visit: for more information & be sure to book your tickets early for 2012! 

See you there!


Proud to be Canadian!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Thousands of residents of the city of Airdrie came out to see the Canada Day Parade on July 1st  Highland Moving & Storage Ltd. a passionate member of the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce, was thrilled to participate in this years event.  When asked by the Stephens Backpack Society to take part in their mission.  “Rallying our communities and the children within them to help children in need”  we jumped into action!

Check out the Highland Piper proudly showing off its Canadian colours!


For more information about the Stephens Back Pack Society, please visit:


An Exemplary Move

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Here is what one of our International customers is saying about us.

Please visit their blog for the full article.

An exemplary move

In April this year (2011) Kate and I moved our residence from Calgary, Canada, to Cellardyke, Scotland. Our budget for the move was limited, and, although we decided not to move any big pieces of furniture, we have quite a big collection of books. Moving is something that we dreaded since we knew we had to do it in January. So… how do you go about it?

Well, we started by looking on-line for moving companies. This is one of those sectors on the internet where most of what you find is aggregated sites that ask you to fill forms, and supposedly, they will send your way a number of quotes. Generally useless because most of the time you get nothing back, but sometimes even dangerous, because we got at least one quote (from Euro Transport International) that we later found by doing a quick search on-line was basically a scam (check this out for scary stories on how a move can become a nightmare).

Finally, we thought that it would be a lot safer to go local, and it paid off. Before anyone says anything, this post is just the result of grateful clients to a wonderfully executed service, and we have absolutely no conflict of interest here. The service from Highland Movers which operate as STARLINE OVERSEAS MOVING for international relocations was wonderful, friendly, courteous, timely, and dead-on on the estimation. We chose to do groupage to make it cheaper, but it still took shorter than expected. Every box arrived in perfect state, dry, and the movers back here were also friendly and very quick. In other words, if you are in western Canada, and need to move abroad, you should call these guys. Thanks Robin!!

So you have an idea, we moved about 195 cubic feet (equivalent to approx 80 banker’s boxes), and before insurance, the total price came below 4000 $CAN. It took about two months to arrive, and it could have been less if the local movers had trusted Kate that “a 40 foot truck will not fit through our narrow street”. After the initial payment there came no extra charges, not even from customs (at least so far).

Anyways, I thought I would put this out in the interwebs: if you are moving, please, check your mover with the BBB, do not trust anyone that does not want to do a visual inspection of your stuff, and choose local if you can. Also, if they are not very responsive on e-mail through the whole process, that’s probably a bad sign (I count at least 20 e-mails sent by our moving manager in the last few months).


Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program

Friday, 18 February 2011

Canada is signatory to an international protocol that requires heat treated wood to be used for all pallets and containers shipped to other countries.   Since 2006, Canada has had a bilateral exemption for wood packaging material crossing our southern border, however the United States has proposed the removal of this exemption by mid-2012.  This will mean that ALL wood packaging material entering the US will require an IPPC stamp.

Please see the latest press release issued by CFIA on February 14, 2011.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are moving forward to remove the current exemption for wood packaging being shipped between the two countries, as outlined in the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 15. This action is necessary to prevent the introduction of new forest pests, as well as slow the spread of forest pests already established in North America.

Implementation of the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 (2009) for Wood Packaging Material Moving Between Canada and the United States

OTTAWA, February 14, 2011 : The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are moving forward to remove the current exemption for wood packaging being shipped between the two countries, as outlined in the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 15. This action is necessary to prevent the introduction of new forest pests, as well as slow the spread of forest pests already established in North America.

This standard requires wood packaging to be heat-treated or fumigated with methyl bromide. Wood packaging moving between Canada and the continental United States has been exempted from this requirement because it was thought that existing pest-specific regulatory controls were providing sufficient protection.

With a number of invasive species being introduced into the two countries, the CFIA and the USDA-APHIS have jointly agreed to begin enforcing the international standard.

Canada and the United States are working together on implementation of the standard, including a phased-in approach based on consultation processes in each country.

After implementation, shipments with wood packaging material found to be non-compliant will not be permitted to enter the country of destination. If live pests are detected, the importer may also be required to treat the shipment to prevent pest escape, before having it returned to the country of origin.

Canada adopted ISPM No. 15 in 2004, to prevent invasive species from outside North America being introduced into Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has instituted two export certification programs, the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program (CWPCP), and the Canadian Heat Treatment Wood Products Certification Program (CHTWPCP) to certify Canadian wood packaging producers, Canadian wood packaging treatment facilities, and Facilities registered under the CHTWPCP, to produce ISPM No. 15 compliant wood packaging material.

Approved producers and treatment facilities will mark their products with an ISPM No. 15 compliant approved wood packaging certification stamp.

The CFIA approved wood packaging certification stamp can only be applied by a facility registered under one of these two programmes.


What does this mean for international transportation of Household Goods & Personal Effects?

Proper overseas packing, wrapping and preparation of your household goods is one of the most important steps to ensuring a successful move.  Due to the nature of these goods it is necessary for us to provide custom crating when required.  These crates both protect and secure the goods while in transit.  Wood provides the strength necessary and the use of timber wood cuts costs and adds further strength.  We also require dunnage material within sea containers to build bulkhead, decks and blocking.   Our crating and dunnage is a combination of manufactured wood products and timber making it necessary for us to be part of the Canadian Wood Packaging Certification Program.

When looking for international expertise it is imperative that your mover complies with these government regulations.  Starline Overseas Moving is one of two professional moving companies in Alberta that meet the specialized requirements for this program. 

For more information on the implementation of ISPM No. in Canada, please visit

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting our forests by preventing the introduction and spread of invasive plant pests, which can seriously harm Canada’s environment, forests and plant resources.

For information:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Media relations: 613-773-6600


How to Tip Movers

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Here is another article on a topic that is rarely discussed on moving websites. The original article appeared on

By an eHow Contributor:

It is difficult to entrust your possessions to movers you’ve never met, and it’s often difficult to find movers who seem to care about your sentimental valuables. When you find a crew who is especially careful with your household items, make sure you tip them properly to show your appreciation.

Difficulty: Easy


1.     Offer your movers coffee or cold drinks, snacks and plenty of water while they’re at your home or office. If the move takes most of the day, ordering pizza or sandwiches for lunch is a great way to motivate them and show additional appreciation for their services.

2.  Tip one or two movers $25 to $50 each, depending on the time required, the number of boxes and the number of stairs involved. Give them cash at the end of the move, thanking them for being considerate with your things.

3. Give the supervisor and crew members each a cash tip of $20 to $25 if there is a large moving crew, making sure you have enough cash to cover everyone. Avoid giving the entire tip to the boss so you don’t give him the opportunity to stiff the crew and keep the cash for himself. If you received exceptional service from the move supervisor, however, give him an additional $10 to $20 before he leaves.

4.  Keep in mind that tipping is not required, and is done only when you are satisfied with the moving job and the movers’ customer service skills. It is not required to tip rude people who drop your favorite keepsake or carelessly gouge your dining room table.

5.  Call the moving company’s supervisor if the crew provides exceptionally bad or exceptionally good service. You aren’t expected to tip for service you’re not happy with.

Read more: How to Tip Movers |


Movin’ in winter weather

Tuesday, 07 December 2010

Moving is hard under normal circumstances!

Trying to accomplish the same thing during an unplanned blizzard or extended cold snap can be especially grueling for everyone unfortunate enough to be challenged by the circumstances.  

The ice, snow, freezing temperatures and slick surfaces that accompany Ol’ Man Winter when he blows into town usually present some unique – and frequently unexpected – financial and logistical hurdles for those involved in any type of local or long distance relocation.

That’s one of the primary reasons so many people plan to move during the warmer summer months.  Frequently, however, many families are forced by necessity try to take advantage of holiday school breaks to accomplish their move. 

Understanding how the moving process changes during colder months won’t solve the problem but may help alleviate some of the frustration. Here’ a short list of things you should consider if planning your relocation during the winter.

The customer is responsible for the safe access and egress of the moving crew and the vehicle being used to transport their goods. Essentially this means that all roadways, walkways, stairs and equipment being used to accomplish the relocation must be allowed to operate unencumbered.

This applies whether you’re using family, friends or a hired crew to accomplish the move or paying professional movers to complete the job. Not only must the roadways and parking area be cleared of ice and snow, but so must the pathway between your residence and the vehicle.

Many courts have found negligent homeowners responsible when they haven’t taken the proper precautions or implented the nessaary safeguards to protect workers from ‘slip-and-fall’ type accidents.

Delays in pick up and/or delivery caused by adverse winter conditions are considered ‘Acts of God’ and are usually NOT subject to delay or inconvenience reimbursement by professional movers or relocation service providers.

Foot traffic will soil and possibly damage some flooring surfaces. Wet, muddy shoes and boots exposed to harsh chemical deicers can quickly ruin unprotected floors and carpets. Make sure some type of adequate floor protection is applied before starting. Clean any areas that become dirty as soon as possible.

It takes longer to move during the winter. It is much more difficult for workers to wrap, roll, lift, carry or transport household furniture items when they’re bundled in winter garb or operating in hazardous winter conditions. Extreme cold requires more energy which means laborers may need more frequent breaks to retain their stamina.

And don’t forget that you don’t have as much natural daylight to accomplish the task of loading and unloading.  This can affect worker performance, particularly if you’ve already had the utilities shut off. 
Make sure to thoroughly dry everything that’s been exposed to moisture. This is especially important if the items will be stored for an extended period of time. Otherwise unexpected (and potentially unhealthy) mold and mildew can eventually contaminate all household goods in the immediate vicinity.

It can cost more to move during the winter. Especially if you’re paying for a local move by the hour. Not only can equipment rental, travel and labor charges increase because of the longer amount of time required, but the expense of snow and ice removal can quickly add unexpected costs to your relocation budget.

What’s the best part about movin’ during the winter? You don’t sweat as much … and you get to enjoy a hot toddy in your new home when the job is done!


Aussie rules – Telling it like it is !

Tuesday, 05 October 2010

The Australian Removers Association website gives this advice to moving families.  I guess if Canadian movers could “tell it like it is” they might give the same advice. Do these “Aussie rules” apply in Canada or are we too polite to bring these suggestions to the customer’s attention.


  • Don’t leave any articles you don’t want packed in the house
  • Don’t hover around the removalist (movers) and offer suggestions
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes or dirty clothing unattended
  • Don’t leave food in the fridge
  • Don’t empty the BBQ bottle by simply letting the gas out into the atmosphere or burning it off
  • Don’t pack ammunition, aerosol cans and other explosive items
  • Don’t criticize the workmen in how they do their work
  • Don’t insist on the workmen packing your things the way you want it done
  • Don’t let any of your goods be packed without the correct paperwork being received and signed
  • Sometimes, because of the stress you may be under, your behavior can become inappropriate and these simple points may be the difference between an easy or a difficult removal.

    From “Australian removers association


    Mongolian Movers

    Thursday, 23 September 2010
    To most of us, moving is something we want to do as little as possible – it’s a hassle to go through all your things, pack them up and then finally get settled in that new place.  Even with a professional mover, it’s a stressful experience.

    To a Mongolian nomad, it’s a way of life.

    Living in Mongolia is a challenge in more ways than one: you have to deal with the threat of flash floods, sand storms, bitter cold winters and steppe soils that barely contain enough nutrients to feed your flock.  Mongolians deal with these constant environmental pressures by moving every six months.  Each April or May and November or December the Mongolian families pack up all of their belongings and move onto, literal, greener pastures.

    And when Mongolians move, they even include their house.  The traditional Mongolian tent is called a ger (or yurt in Central Asia) and is completely collapsible and portable.  But it is hardly a pup-tent, gers are remarkably comfortable and intricately decorated with paintings and a shrine to Buddha and their ancestors.  But it is designed for a 3 hour takedown and 6 hour set up at the other end.

    Every spring the sparse neighbours come over and help a family pack up all their belongings, take down the ger and pack all of their life possessions onto the local truck and take off to a new homestead.  This truck they use is hardly a Highland cube van, it’s a tiny pickup truck.  This truck carries the ger, the furniture, the clothing, rugs, children, the single Mongolian fire oven and occasionally, a few baby goats and sheep.

    So today if you are planning your move or it’s the day of your move and you are looking for some wisdom about how to move well – remember – you have Highland Moving to help you and you have more than a single pickup truck to carry your entire life.  No matter how high you pile it.

    “author and guest blogger Dr. Torah Kachur  from ScienceinSeconds .com”


    Foreign Assignments are Opportunities of a Lifetime

    Sunday, 19 September 2010

    Foreign assignments are a great way to experience another country and explore.  If you have been offered a foreign assignment with your company, you have been given an opportunity of a lifetime.  In order to make your transition easier on you and your family, the first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with your company’s relocation policies and procedures and the extent of the assignment.  Often times companies will put you in contact with a contract relocation service provider to help you.  If you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with a full-service provider like Starline, it will facilitate the relocation process.  Full-service providers, like Starline are fantastic because they handle everything from packing, storing and transport, which helps monitor and control the process.  Having a moving coordinator that is responsible for your move, helps tremendously because you have one point of contact for the move, leaving you free to focus on other pressing matters.  Further, they will help prepare you for the assignment.  The purpose of these professionals is to familiarize and facilitate your entry into the country. 

    However, if your relocation is primarily your responsibility you can still enjoy the adventure.  You will just have to do your research and understand what services are available to you and use them to their fullest potential.  Understanding what is allowed into the country and the rules that govern foreign entries are the most important for you to know.  Once you have arrived and settled, you now have the opportunity to travel and explore, which is the best part of foreign assignment.  


    We service all of Alberta including Ft. McMurray, Red Deer and Lethbridge!

    Our Affiliates


    Edmonton International Movers
    14490-157 Avenue NW
    Edmonton, AB
    T6V 0K8

    Tel: (780) 447-4242

    Calgary International Movers
    320 28 St N.E.
    Calgary, AB
    T2A 5R2

    Tel: (403) 720-3244