Long distance moving is much different than a move down the street. You will need to consider many more choices during a long distance move - hopefully this guide will help you with you long distance moving company options - we will be looking at using a moving broker, a van line, a private moving company, and the adventurous "do it yourself" method. For the purposes of this article, a long distance move is categorized as a move of 150 miles or more.
HIRING FULL SERVICE LONG DISTANCE MOVERS
There are three main types of full service long distance moving operations that will book a move, they are moving brokers, van lines, and private moving companies.
Full Service Long Distance Movers -- movers that completely load, drive and offload your entire shipment. Options for full service long distance movers will be packing, coverage, unpacking, special piece moving ( piano, etc).
|Long Distance Moving Options|
Frankly, I would no recommend hiring a moving broker. Moving brokers are high pressure sales people that sell your booked move to an actual company less a booking fee with is usually around 35-40%. Moving brokers have been known to sell shipments to movers for very low rates. So, as you can imagine, the service is going to be much lower hiring a broker. Many movers that moving brokers sell moves to are rogue movers ( unlicensed, poor DOT records, lacking complete insurance, etc.) who will "claim" moves from the moving broker and if they are in the area at the time of pick-up they will get the shipment. Many customers who book a moving through a broker end up having to call around the day of or after the move was scheduled to find a last minute mover who can pick up the shipment. You will be able to get your moving deposit back from a moving broker either by doing a chargeback on your credit card ( if needed).
A van line is like a glorified moving broker. A van line - Mayflower, United, etc. will book a long distance move and sell it to a local agent that is affiliated with the van line less a 30% deposit. Van line movers will have to adhere to van line standards, which, 20-25 years ago used to be much, much higher. Now, being an agent for a van line isn't as wonderful as it was - mainly because the van line corporate offices have been deducting more and more money from their agents. Therefore, the quality of a van line agent has gone down and the long distance move suffers. Long distance moving services are compromised for long distance moves because of this. Van lines have copious amounts of damage from loading/unloading, etc. and have gone through government bail-outs and bankruptcy to relive debts. The ones who haven't have merged with other failing van lines. Van lines are highly inefficient for a long distance move and can cost you a ton of money - here's why: Van line long distance movers generally use a local agent to pick up a shipment and then it is brought to a storage facility, then picked up by another agent, taken to another storage facility, offloaded/reloaded, repeat. It can take 2 weeks to get a shipment from Connecticut to Texas. All the while, you are sitting in a hotel room racking up bills waiting for your shipment.
Private Moving Company
Using a private moving company is definitely the most efficient way to do a long distance move. Because they are privately owned, there are many more options and flexibility for long distance moves. A private moving company can pack, load, and unload a shipment from CT to TX in 5 days. There are new logistics tools/schdulers/bio-fuel trucks that make private moving companies the most efficient and cost-effective way to move long distance. Many private long distance movers have guaranteed dates and flat rates making the moving process completely transparent. You will also find that many private long distance movers don't have the extra fees tacked on like van lines and moving brokers do. These can include fuel surcharge, mileage fee, taxes, tolls, stair or elevator fee, long haul, high materials fees and basic coverage charges.
DO IT YOURSELF LONG DISTANCE MOVING
I completely appreciate being a frugal person but DIY long distance moving is something I could never understand. First off, the prices end up being just about the same ( maybe saving 10% max). Whether you hire a pod or any You Pack moving services, note the loading space they say you will need ALWAYS increases. The estimates by the DIY movers are based on no air space which is an impossibility and the estimates are always much lower than the actual cost. I suggest looking at reviews for pods or any other DIY moving operation before hiring.
DIY MOVING COVERAGE
If you are doing a DIY move you will be responsible for any and all damages. This is a very important fact knowing that whether you use a pod or any other You Pack service, the container is jerked around, and picked up and down and your things are essentially rattling around inside. If you do use this service, pack everything super tight!