Deciphering between local and national movers can be just one more thing in an already stressful time. For an interstate move, is it necessary to hire national movers or can a local company offer both local and long distance moves?
If someone is moving out of state, they can find a local moving company to help with that transition. Any reputable company that includes themselves in the national movers category will be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA website is a tool for all potential customers. On the website one can look up the company’s DOT licensing, check to see if the carrier is current with their insurance, look up any complaints, file complaints, and find a carrier in the local area. This is really one of the customer’s best tools to locating and researching a possible carrier.
How is the price calculated and differentiated between local and national movers? For a local transfer a customer is normally charged hourly for the packing, travel time, and unpacking if that option is chosen. Many companies also require a minimum charge regardless of how long it actually takes. A long distance carrier will charge for the packing and unpacking as well as the weight, volume, and distance.
All potential companies should come to one’s house to give an estimate, but carriers that provide out of state transfers are required by law to do an on-site examination of all the goods that will be transported if they are within 50 miles. What that translates to for the customer is going to be a multi-page bill of lading. Each item that is going to be shipped has its own identification number, and will be identified on the bill of lading. Now, that does not mean that each glass in the china cabinet will have a number, but those items will be listed as packed items. Once packaged and sealed, the box will be given an ID number, and that will coincide with the same number on the bill of lading. The box will most likely also have a description like kitchen and be placed in that category. Items like mattresses, couches, chairs, and larger items that cannot be placed in a box will have their own ID. It cannot be stressed enough the importance that once the truck pulls up to the new location, that someone checks off each item as it comes off the truck. That will ensure that all the items that left the previous location end up at the new one; especially if the truck has more than one household’s goods in it.
What should the national movers provide when they come out to do the inspection? They will provide a written estimate, the U.S. DOT booklet named Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, information about dispute resolution and arbitration, valid phone numbers and other contact information, and their USDOT number should be clearly placed on any publications they offer.
A customer that chooses a carrier that is willing to offer this information and follow the guidelines as listed on the FMCSA website should feel confident about their choice and know that their out of state transition will have as few unwelcomed surprises as possible.