When moving between two homes, the move distance will play a major role in determining what type of professional movers you choose to hire for the move, or whether you’ll need professional moving services at all.
For local moves, you’ll need to hire one of the best local movers in your area. Or you may choose to organize a DIY move where you rent a moving vehicle, ask your friends to help you pack, lift, carry and load heavy furniture pieces and endless packing boxes, and then drive the moving truck to the new residence.
For long-distance moves, however, organizing a self-move is very risky and costly, so you’ll be better off hiring one of the best interstate movers in your town or city. After all, there’s a huge difference between a 200-mile move and a 2,000-mile one, so you should just leave the job to experiences movers that have been there and done that. And done it well, too.
When hiring interstate moving companies, there are a number of fundamental things you should know first so that 1) you know what to expect from the moving professionals, 2) you don’t make any rookie mistakes when hiring movers that may cost you money and nerves, and 3) you keep yourself and your possessions from bad movers.
Be well-prepared! Here are the top 10 things you should know about interstate moving companies when hiring their interstate moving services.
1. Interstate movers are the logical choice when moving long distance
What is an interstate move? A cross-state move is when your household goods are transported from one state to another, thus crossing one state line or multiple states lines in the process. In reality, the destination home may be located in a neighboring state or in a state that’s on the other side of the continent.
In the majority of cases, interstate moving is not meant for DIY move attempts due to the astronomical self-move expenses that you will incur, including the cost of renting a moving truck, purchasing adequate insurance, buying all the required packing supplies, renting moving equipment, paying for fuel, road tolls, food and lodging on the road too.
Above all, it’s the risks and dangers of undertaking a costly long distance DIY move: possible accidents, certain road rage, and unsettling unpredictability. The stressful and scary thought of having to drive a huge truck across the county is enough to force many people to abandon that madman idea and focus their efforts on finding low-cost interstate movers.
2. The best interstate movers are what you’re looking for
One potential problem you’ll most likely face when moving to another state is that all cross-state movers with will claim they are the best ones. And because of this, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up being confused and uncertain about which long-distance mover to go with.
Of course, you’ll want to hire the services of the best interstate moving company, but what does THE BEST mean in this case?
- Legitimate status. You want your mover to be properly licensed by the authorities – a fact that will give you the peace of mind that you won’t be dealing with a rogue mover that will try to scam you in any way. Read on to learn more about licensed interstate movers.
- Good reputation. Good reputation is something that a moving company builds for years and years of hard work. So, you should only deal with reputable long-distance moving companies – a piece of advice you shouldn’t just disregard as too insignificant.
- Outstanding professionalism. It’s the level of professionalism that sets apart mediocre movers from the best ones in the industry. You want your movers to be experienced and competent, but also need them to be nice and respectful and well-mannered.
- Affordable prices. To be the best, a cross-country mover will also need to offer a competitive price – that is, affordable rates.
3. All interstate moving companies must be properly licensed
One of the most important things to know about interstate moving companies is that they must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to operate legally in the country. To be more precise, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – an agency within the USDOT – is responsible for licensing state-to-state moving companies.
All interstate moving companies must be licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
And as soon as a cross-state moving company gets licensed, the FMCSA issues them with a USDOT number – the indisputable evidence that the mover has met the strict requirements by the Administration and can now be trusted to do a good job transporting their customers’ household items quickly and safely across multiple states.
So, when you’re looking to find the best long-distance moving companies in the country, you just have to check whether or not they have valid USDOT numbers. To do this important verification, head to the official website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration where you can use their search tool to see if an interstate mover is properly registered with the U.S Department of Transportation.
4. Some interstate movers are more reputable than others
As a rule of thumb, good reputation means a lot to a professional moving company because that’s a tool they can use to attract more customers, which in turn will increase their revenues, and consequently their profit. As mentioned above, building a solid reputation among your competitors is hard work and only the best of the best interstate movers realize the potential of that long-term investment.
To check the online reputation of a long-haul mover, all you need to do is visit trustworthy movers reviews websites such as MyMovingReviews and Yelp, and check the interstate movers reviews and overall ratings of the companies you’re considering as potential relocation partners.
As you’re reading customer reviews and consumer reports, you should aim to stay away from long-distance companies that have too many negative reviews and too low performance ratings. Also, keep in mind that you may come across fake reviews as well, so take excessively positive reviews, or excessively negative ones, with a grain of salt.
5. Some interstate movers are more professional than others
Dealing with properly licensed cross-country moving companies is definitely a step in the right direction, but the legitimate status alone will hardly be enough to help you pick the best mover for you. Almost all interstate movers have valid USDOT numbers, so where do you go from there?
What you should know about interstate movers is that some of them are more professional than others – meaning that they are proud members of various professional associations. Of course, that also means that they should be more trustworthy and dependable because they had to meet the different membership requirements of those organizations.
The two most prestigious organizations in the U.S. moving and storage industry are:
- The American Moving and Storage Organization (AMSA) – any interstate mover that’s also an AMSA member automatically becomes a ProMover special certification that shows you’ll be dealing with a professional moving company you can trust with your valuables belongings. Click here to check the ProMover status of an out-of-state mover.
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) – BBB-accredited movers should adhere to the highest professional standards in the house moving industry. Here you can verify whether the interstate furniture movers are BBB-accredited.
6. Some interstate movers are cheaper than others
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that some cross-country movers offer more affordable rates than others – after all, your priority task should be to find a low-cost interstate mover that still offers high-quality services. It sounds like mission impossible, but it’s not.
You should every opportunity to save money when moving across the country.
First and foremost, it’s important that you understand how interstate movers cost is calculated so that you can have some kind of control over the final price you’ll pay. Remember that interstate moving companies will not charge you by the hours (as is the case of local movers) – instead, they will calculate your moving cost based on these 3 major factors:
- Move distance;
- Shipment weight;
- Additional moving services.
So, how much do interstate movers charge? It’s really impossible to say simply because each house move has different parameters that will lead to different price ranges. Still, according to AMSA, the average cost of interstate moving is roughly $4,300 for a move distance of 1,225 miles and shipment weight of 7,400 pounds.
Of course, your cross-country mover will charge you a different price simply because your pre-move variables won’t match. To learn how much you’ll be charged for your upcoming long-distance move, you just have to get interstate moving quotes.
7. Good interstate moving companies will do in-home surveys
One of the most important things to know about interstate moving companies is that the best ones in the business will want to visit your home in order to issue you with cost estimates that will reflect the final relocation bill. In other words, give you precise moving cost estimates.
You shouldn’t hire a professional mover in the blind – that is, without knowing with some sort of certainty how much you’ll pay in the end. Instead, see to it that the professionals you’ve got into touch with come over for a visual inspection of the home you’re leaving soon and the things you’re taking with you.
During an in-home survey, the moving experts will determine if any of your items will require special packing – especially true for specialty items such as antique furniture, for example. Also, the pros will look for any signs of potential trouble on the day of the move – small doorways, narrow hallways, multiple flights of stairs, and so on.
The best cross-state movers will want to survey your house or apartment before quoting you a price. DO NOT accept cost estimates sent over the mail.
8. Interstate moving companies should be compared carefully
Ideally, representatives of several top-rated interstate moving companies will visit your home, will inspect the things you have for moving, will take a closer look at all possible difficulties that they might run into on Moving day, and then will give you price estimates in writing.
And now that you have those written cost estimates before you, your task is to first compare the quotes, then compare the interstate movers, and finally – pick the company that will take care of your long-distance move.
When comparing the estimates, your first impulse will be to look at the final price. And while that’s fine, you should also pay attention to the extra services offered, and their corresponding rates. (See below for more information).
A word of caution: Should you notice that a price quote is way lower than the rest, proceed with caution as it could turn out to be fraudulent. Also known as a low-ball estimate, such a quote aims at luring customers to book the mover that’s offered it, then the company will use fraudulent techniques to get much more money from those customers.
When comparing the interstate moving companies, focus on their online reputation (reviews and ratings) and their professionalism (AMSA membership, BBB-accreditation).
9. Some interstate movers offer better moving services
When you’re looking for a good moving company to transport your household items across multiples states, you’re actually looking for professionals who can offer you the services you’ll need to make it all happen. It’s quite possible that you won’t be looking only for the transportation service alone, but for a number of extra moving services as well.
In short, you’re going to need full-service long distance moving companies that offer the whole range of additional services, such as:
Some of the extra services offered by your mover can come pretty handy.
packing prior to Moving day, including the provision of the required packing supplies,
- unpacking upon arrival in the new home, including recycling of the left-over packing materials,
- disassembly of large furniture and its eventual re-assembly after delivery,
- packing and handling of specialty items (antique furniture, pianos, pool tables, grandfather clocks, etc.),
- crating of extremely valuable and fragile items,
- shuttle services.
While the moving experts are doing the initial house inspection, don’t forget to discuss what type of extra services you will need, if any. This is crucial as it will determine how accurate the cost estimates will be in the end.
10. Interstate moving companies won’t move specific items
One of the things to know about cross-country movers is that they are now allowed to transport any dangerous items due to safety reasons. Presently, there are a number of household items that are considered hazardous in their nature, so you should neither waste your time packing such non-allowed things, nor hope that your interstate movers will make an exception and agree to move them for you.
Items that are forbidden for transport include hazardous goods such as flammables (combustible), corrosives (chemicals of all sorts), and explosives. The list of such non-allowables is long, so make sure you request it from your long-distance move before you initiate the packing process.
Also, professional interstate movers will neither pack nor move household plants, pets, and perishable foods. To stay on the safe side, most cross-country moving companies will also refuse to transport high-value articles unless they have been properly insured beforehand. And when it comes to your valuables, it’s always better to transport them yourself, whenever possible.