Long Distance Moving Costs
Estimating the cost of an interstate move accurately is not an exact science. There are many variables to consider and each move is unique. The options available are varied as well, as not all moving companies are the same, and the services they offer vary as well. To begin, there are a lot of companies and services out there that offer similar yet distinct services. There are interstate movers, these are companies that only have the authority to move within the United States or within certain geographical boundaries. For short moves within a state or across one or two states, they will often do just fine, and their costs will be reasonable.
The costs of an interstate move is usually measured by the weight of your shipment, or by its volume in cubic feet. You should ask your long distance mover which method they use to calculate your total cost. Typically, interstate moves range between $0.35 to $1.50 per pound, depending on where you’re moving (how far from your current state), and whether or not a flat rate for packing materials is factored into your per pound price. Some companies also charge an hourly rate for labor on tasks such as loading, unloading, packing, as well as assembling and disassembling your furniture. You may also be facing a fuel surcharge, so you should ask about all miscellaneous costs associated with your move.
Your best bet is to request an on-site moving estimate, because those tend to be a lot more accurate than just a ballpark moving quote over the phone or by email. Also, most interstate moving companies will not offer you a flat (fixed or not-to-exceed) moving price, unless they are able to first come to your property and see firsthand what you wish to ship interstate. They will likely take an inventory of your things, and give you a flat price based on your inventory in order to limit their liability and prevent customers from adding items to the list retroactively on the day of the move. Interstate moving companies are loathe to offer flat prices over the phone for large jobs, as this makes it difficult for them to assess the scope of the move, and can cause them to lose money on the job.
Interstate movers, also known as long distance movers, can move your belongings even to other countries, but generally they only pick you up, and deliver you to the dock, where an international moving company would pick you up and deliver your things overseas. Interstate movers are generally well equipped and have more trucks and manpower at their disposal than local moving companies. They also do things like taking care of paperwork, insurance, car insurance, and other aspects of your move besides the relocation of you belongings. Generally, it isn’t cost effective to hire long distance movers for short moves as they tend to be more expensive. They do, however, offer some conveniences which smaller companies can’t often match.
Then there are interstate removal companies that remove items from your home, which you are not taking with you. They then pack and store these items; they usually offer moving services for short moves as well. These are best for newly married couples who move in together but don’t have space for two sets of furniture. Storage rates are reasonable, and when you bundle removal and relocation, they can often offer discounts on the relocation.
There are also interstate relocation companies. While the other services work on the premise that you are moving from one home to another, interstate relocation services are actually involved in the process even earlier. They offer such services as helping you find a house or an apartment in your desired area, or if you plan to set up a business there, even a new office or storefront. They also offer packing and storage. In general their moving rates are competitive, and if you bundle a move with the unique services they offer, you can also negotiate for better prices.
Then there is the matter of insurance. Most companies provide moving insurance according to the weight of your belongings. Generally a damaged item will be compensated for at a rate between $.30 to $.60 per pound. While weight is certainly the most fair way to measure the price of a haul, for insurance it is often erroneous. If you are moving expensive electronic equipment or rare antiques you should most definitely consider declared value coverage or even replacement value coverage.
It is pretty simple to get a free estimate for a move online. The computations are based on weight and the distance of the move, and the prices fall within a small range. You can use the online free quotation to get a rough idea of the final cost, but you will need a more formal estimate for a more realistic figure.
When evaluating a quote, don’t just look at the bottom line, if you aren’t careful, you could get hit with all kinds of hidden costs. Does the quoted price include packing? Will they charge per item or by the amount of packing material they will use? Can you get a discount for bundling packing and moving? Clarify with your packer/mover that there will be no additional costs later down the line. Finally you should ask questions no matter how silly; get referrals from friends who have moved recently, get as much information as you can. It may seem like a lot of work to do, but in any case, it will certainly beat packing and moving on your own.
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Moving can be a very stressful event when you don’t plan ahead, so don’t waste more time and get started planning your move