Long Distance Move Pricing: How it works

Some of the first questions we get from a family that’s about to move to a new state are: How does this work?  How is the pricing calculated, how are the timelines figured out?  Planning the relocation is a bit more complicated than a move across town.  We’ve created this easy to understand guide on How Long-Distance Move Pricing Works.  This should give you the basics needed to make sure you go over everything with the movers you’re getting a quote from.

Weight or Cubic Feet.  This is what the Move Consultant will determine when they walk through your home.  By taking a thorough inventory of the items to be moved, long distance moving companies use the average known weight (or cubic feet) of common household items to estimate what your shipment will weigh.  This method is proven to be quite accurate within a 10% error rate, provided the move consultant has an accurate inventory. So, don’t forget about the items in your basement, attic, shed and other storage spaces.  Be aware that if you plan to get rid of things yet don’t- it will cause inaccuracies in the estimate versus the actual (often called Rated Charges).

Distance/ Location.   Not only does distance by miles play a part in the pricing Long Distance Moves, but location does as well.  There are parts of the country that are not as accessible, like New York City that doesn’t allow tractor trailers, parts of the Midwest that are sparsely populated, and specific areas that do not have people moving out- to fill the trucks heading back home.  Seasonality in certain areas will also play a part.  Overall, expect the lowest rates possible January thru March and the highest June thru August.

Packing/ Unpacking.  This is usually the most time-consuming part of the move.  Be thoughtful on if it’s a worthwhile use of your time for you to do the packing or if it’s better to allow the pros to take care of all or some of the packing for you.  Also consider the difference in the mover’s lability – if you pack yourself, they cannot be held liable because there is no telling if it was packed properly or in good working condition when the items were packed.  It might be best to pack the quicker, easy items yourself like linens, books, kid’s toys- and leave the time consuming & fragile items for the movers to pack.  Just make sure you discuss this with your mover during your In-Home Survey or estimate appointment, so they can account for this service in your price estimate/ order for service.

Extras.  These are often unavoidable charges, like a shuttle truck it your home is not accessible by tractor trailer.  Most Interstate or Long-Distance moves are executed by the largest trucks in the mover’s fleet to maximize efficiency- so if the truck can’t make it to your home, a smaller shuttle truck is required.  There are also extras like additional labor needed to safely move exceptionally heavy items like gun safes, pianos, and the like.  There are also potential third-party charges for specialty crating, disassembly of pool tables or complicated exercise equipment. These are all topics of discussion for early on in the process of getting price estimates from the mover(s) you contact for your long-distance move.

Now that you know the basics about how long distance move pricing works, talk to your potential movers with confidence and work with them to plan the best move possible to your new hometown!