Since you specified Europe, I can answer this question. We shipped a liftvan from Budapest, Hungary to Cuenca using Paul Wilches of Relocation Services of Ecuador at email@example.com 098-721-3242. He and his assistant were great.
Keys to success:
1. You have to keep a detailed inventory of everything in each box, box by box. Detailed means even the number of pencils or plastic page protectors, if you pack them. There are no shortcuts.
2. I also took photos of each and every item that went into each box. The inventory needs to be translated to Spanish by Paul’s office. I knew there were items they would not understand the English name for, so a photo was easier to explain long distance.
3. Every box must have one person’s name and the box number on it. I put these labels on two sides to facilitate finding them.
4. Items that cannot be boxed, must also have your name, be numbered, and itemized on your inventory.
After I had 46 boxes packed, sealed, labeled, photographed, and inventoried, the Hungarian movers told me “Don’t do anything. We will pack for you.” I went into a panic, wrote to Paul near hysterical, but he smoothed it out. The Hungarian movers did open several boxes to check the contents, since they were responsible for Customs leaving Hungary. They reorganized several boxes and when I explained I needed to update my inventory list, the man said “I think what I put in this box is…” Again, I had a panic attack fearing this minor mix-up was going to create havoc in Guayaquil. After informing Paul, he smoothed it out somehow.
It did take about 5 weeks longer than I was told, but everything came intact and not a thing was missing. This is another good reason for a detailed inventory, so you can check items off as you unpack.
I would definitely use Paul again, but thank heavens, I will never need to.