Moving cross-country is a process that requires keen planning. It is not just loading the truck and delivering household goods across the continent. It is an entire life being turned 180-degrees. It means new job, new house, neighborhood, new school for children and new friends for the next several years.
Choosing a company that will literally move your life is very important. There are many movers operating with interstate licenses. Sometimes they have their own tractor-trailers, but mostly they use 3rd party transportation companies who drive regular routes across the United States.
Let us discuss, how to select the right company without spending a fortune.
Cross-country move is what people in the industry call Long Distance Move. There are different rates, principles and even different paperwork for a long-distance move. The price is calculated based on the volume of the move, the destination state, period of the move, season, etc. In some cases, price is calculated by weight.
Every company have different pricing systems and delivery timeframes. Please, keep in mind, no company will guarantee an exact drop off date, unless the move is EXCLUSIVE! Since we mentioned this word, EXCLUSIVE, lets dig a little bit deeper
Consolidated or Exclusive?
There are two types of long-distance moves: Consolidated and Exclusive
Consolidated move means there are multiple jobs in the tractor-trailer, loaded according to the drop-off zip codes. The items are labeled to make sure they are not confused or mixed during delivery. The tractor-trailer departs once it is full. The timeframe of the delivery is 7-14 business days for the East Coast and 14-21 business days for the West Coast, respectively. There are some variables in consolidated moves.
- The date of the delivery can not be guaranteed. Usually, the customer receives the call from the driver 24 hours before the actual drop off.
- The pickup and drop off teams are different. In most cases, there is only one driver and local manpower hired for the job. Sometimes workers have little experience in the moving industry. If furniture was taken apart during the pick up, whoever took the piece apart will not be present during the drop off.
- Third party companies delivering your goods accept CASH ONLY. It is rare to find company accepting credit card payments during the long-distance moves. Be ready to pay any remaining balance in cash.
- No matter how good the storage personnel is, the items may get lost/mixed/left behind. Customers often become aware of a loss once they are finished with unpacking and tractor-trailer is long gone
The other type of the long-distance move is Exclusive, which means one truck and one team solely dedicated to the move. No one else will have items in the truck. The customer sets the delivery date and time window. There is no CASH ONLY obligation. Exclusive moves are a bit more expensive, but door-to-door, all-inclusive service has fewer variables. Exclusive delivery contains full-packing service, meaning you will not have to lift a finger, team will take care of everything.
Most of the exclusive moves are performed with 3-4 person teams, depending on the size of the move. Delivery is conducted by two drivers, who support each other on the road. This means that there are no overnight stops. According to DOT regulations, each driver is allowed to drive no more than 11 hours. Using basic math, we can calculate that it will take roughly 4 days to deliver a 2-bedroom, fully packed apartment from NYC to Los Angeles, CA. An exclusive move is balanced by quality service and time saved
Here are some tips to help you avoid extra charges on your long-distance move:
- When speaking to the salesperson, be 100% precise with your inventory
- Try to self-pack all the loose items yourself (find some packing tips here)
- Consider the possibility that some furniture may be cheaper to purchase instead of hauling them across the continent
- Never ship your valuables
- Make sure fragile items get extra protection to mitigate damage in transit.
Still looking for cheap prices? Be ready for surprises.