Should You Choose a National Mover or a Local Mover
Full article 15min read
Once you have decided to move, hiring a mover’s service is the most crucial step. Your recruitment on the type of mover most importantly depends on your destination. Is it a few miles from your current home, or is it to another state or cross country? Different moves require different services. You don’t need to check deeply into the moving company’s credentials if you’re moving locally and if your move is possible to be finished on the same day. However, if you are moving across the state, your mover should have credentials and permissions.
Choosing the right movers is a big decision and can affect your entire moving experience. If you are moving long-distance, you should select a reputed national moving service as the liaison is for several days, and your valuable belongings will be on the road with their staff.
Identifying the right moving company can be tricky sometimes. Identify your needs and then look for the movers that can fulfill them. Prepare your list of priorities, then look at your options while choosing between national or local movers. In 2020, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received over 13,000 complaints about movers in the United States. According to the BBB, most of the searches begin with the internet. People are likely to encounter ads by dishonest movers or “rogue operators,” as they are referred to in the moving industry.
To begin with, let us understand the difference between local and interstate movers by recognizing their functions. Since these days, jobs are becoming transitory, and people are moving for work, many movers have mushroomed. In fact, with the increase in the intensity of average moves, many local players have entered the national moving market offering excellent services and rates.
Jump Ahead To:
Principally, an interstate move means when you shift from one state to another, you might be living on the border of your state and moving across another state which might be less than 100 miles, but it will still be termed an interstate move. The federal regulations apply here, making it mandatory for the movers to have interstate permits and documents to prove them. As a result, the move will cost more than a local move. Here, the point to remember is to make sure the movers have covered all the legal formalities if they claim to be moving interstate.
The pricing model of interstate movers equals “Weight of the shipment X Miles from origin to destination.” The moves are performed on big trucks with trained drivers that operate Over The Road (OTR). There is a new model too. Here the smaller interstate moves get loaded into containers, which reach your belongings from one area to the next. The destination is picked by the local mover to be shifted to your desired Address.
All the documents are required under federal regulations.
Moving calculator to give you an approx. Budget for your move.
Tracking service to keep track of your stuff on the road
Storage options, both short and long term
You can cut your expenses by DIYing your move, but remember, it can be very taxing and exhaustive. This is especially true for interstate moves, as they are long and much more complex than local ones. If not executed meticulously, DIYs can get more expensive than professional moves. Consider the distance and complexity of your move before taking any vital decision. If budget allows, the best decision is to select national carriers to make an interstate move.
According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 32 million people moved in 2018, 10.1% of the total population.
Local moves are the ones where people shift within 50 miles. They shift from one location in town to another. These moves are quick and do not take more than two days to accomplish. Here, the moving companies charge an hourly rate and cost of all material, surcharge, fuel, packing, etc. Many local movers add a supply of storage stationery along with packing costs. Make sure you read your estimate contract carefully and mark out grievances beforehand.
Since local moves do not have complexities like interstate moves, many people like to DIY. The hustle gives them joy and saves a chunk of money too. DIY is cheaper, but the skills of professionals and their packing cannot be denied. In such a case, you need to rent the truck to move the stuff you’ve packaged beforehand.
Before choosing a moving company, carefully take into account of following points:
Get Referrals: It is easy to search for movers through the internet, mostly that is where phony companies take customers for a massive ride. Word of mouth publicity and experience is the best. Ask friends, co-workers, and neighbors if they know of good movers.
Set a budget: It will help if you think wisely before setting your budget. DIYs can be very tempting as they save a considerable amount of money. Suppose you cannot choose full-service of packing, moving, and shifting. Calculate where you can save money and where it will be wise to spend a few extra bucks. It is impossible to quantify sleepless nights and anxiety. If spending little extra can save your peace of mind, it is advisable to do so.
Ask for estimates: Once you have identified your budget, you should contact both local and interstate companies to provide you estimates on your move. Since calculating charges is different, sometimes the latter can be cheaper than the earlier. While making your decision, thoroughly examine what services each company provides instead of just signing in with the most cost-effective provider. Don’t accept the first estimate you receive. Instead, request at least three in-person estimates from different moving companies since no one can provide a complete estimate without seeing your things.
Verify the Address of movers: It is a crucial step, mainly if a dispute arises. Ideally, it would help if you visited the mover’s office to look and feel their work culture. Thoroughly check if their company is registered with the Better Business Bureau.
Check for licenses and insurance: Interstate companies are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This makes it necessary for all movers to register, operate and claim the resolution of their customers. FMCSA does not regularize local movers, so they do not need to follow the guidelines as they move within the state.
It is not as easy as it sounds, because all movers claim to provide the utmost services to impress their customers. Good service goes beyond fancy logos, crisp uniforms, and gleaming brochures. A good mover should target the clients’ needs and reach their belongings safely to the next destination. Companies that acquire reputation with time are the ones you should look for.
An excellent national mover should prioritize safety and have insurance coverage. The company should comply with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards. IF a company has no DOT number, it has not yet proved its performance to the SAA operation. Visit the FMCSA website to find out a company’s DOT number that you intend to choose.
The national moving company should be stocked with the apt supplies required while moving house. Identifying and exceeding customers’ expectations is a sign of a good service provider.
Availability of staff and information
A goods service provider will have immense patience and a wealth of knowledge through experience. The clients moving houses will have several anxieties and questions. It is essential to provide clients with information and acknowledgment. While moving, a good moving company must consider all the details—budget, moving timeline, awareness of the handle-with-care objects, and most importantly, availability of staff.
Experienced and friendly moving crew
Reputable movers should have the best staff as the bottom-line too. The moving crew on the field represents the name and attitude of the company. Good reputable movers understand how organized and friendly staff can ease the moving experience of families.
Resourceful and handy
A good moving service will be able to help the clients with moving and packing and help with other related requirements. Make things easy for worrying families by assisting with add-on services.
A good company will have tons of good reviews from their clients online. Make sure you check the credibility and service of the company from their previous clients.
Well-reputed companies come with a complete experience. They have the know-how to accomplish many tricky jobs, like, moving a piano, delicate paintings, fine arts, or expensive electronic gadgets. This is almost impossible to do as a DIY. Damaging exclusive pieces sometimes end up costing more than the cost of hiring good movers.
Moving can be hard work. You do not need to be more stressed by hiring an irresponsible company and eventually be bothered with broken things and extra unaccounted charges. Instead, take a little spare time, research well, check references, and choose the right movers from the very onset. Before signing on the dotted line, ensure all the loopholes are tied and covered in a water-tight agreement.
What is the difference between a binding and non-binding agreement?
You might be presented with multiple types of quotes and estimates, which will thoroughly confuse you. Binding estimates are where the movers give an actual quote, which doesn’t change even if the actual cost varies. Binding not-to-exceed estimates are where a moving company gives you a quote, and if the actual cost is more, then pay the estimated amount. On the other hand, if your move costs less, you pay the lower number. Non-binding estimates are where the movers will give you an estimate. Many companies offer these alongside binding estimates. If the movers offer only non-binding estimates, you should consider another moving company.
If I have to move less than 100 miles, what type of movers should I choose?
Local moves are the ones where people shift within 100 miles. They shift from one location in town to another in the same town. This kind of move is quick and does not take more than two days to accomplish. Here the moving companies charge hourly, and cost of all the expenses fuel, packing and packing material, surcharge, etc. Many local movers add a supply of storage stationery along with packing costs. Make sure you read your contract of estimates carefully and mark out grievances beforehand.
In some cases, you might be living on your state’s border and moving across another state which might be less than 100 miles, but it will still be termed as an interstate move. The federal regulations apply here, making it mandatory for the movers to have interstate permits and documents to prove them. As a result, the move will cost more than a local move. Here, the point to remember is to make sure the movers have covered all the legal formalities if they claim to be moving interstate.
Choosing the right movers is a big decision and can affect your entire moving experience. If you are moving across the country, you should select a reputed national moving service as the liaison is for several days, and your valuable belongings will be on the road with their staff.
If you are moving locally and shifting not less than 100 miles within the state, you can hire local movers as it is a matter of 1-2 days, and the expenses are calculated per hour. But if you are moving interstate, you need to pay more heed to the movers you sign in since interstate moving requires movers to abide by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards.
How do I know if a moving company is reputable?
All movers must register, operate and claim the resolution of their customers. A reputable company should comply with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) standards. IF a company has no DOT number, it means it has not yet proved its performance to the SAA operation. The moves are performed on big trucks with trained drivers that operate Over The Road (OTR). Visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ to verify the Company’s DOT number.
How to check if a moving company is registered, licensed, and insured?
Identifying the right moving company can be tricky sometimes. In 2020, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received over 13,000 complaints about movers in the United States. Check all vital information about movers on the website of Better Business Bureau. And visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ to verify the Company’s DOT (Department of Transport) number.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.