ProAce International
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ProAce International Moving and Storage

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The following information will provide you with important tools, knowledge and understanding on how moving companies operate so you will avoid expensive mistakes.

Before contacting moving companies, make sure to have prepared an inventory list for the items that need to be moved. Furniture and boxes should be included in the inventory list to help the moving company estimate the weight and value of your  shipment. By multiplying your total shipment by 4, you will have the value of your shipment. This information will then be provided by yourself to the insurance agent to insure your goods during your move (see our insurance information TIPS). Be sure to determine the items that you will pack yourself and those that you wish for the movers to pack. To learn more about the differences between packing supply charges and packing services, go to Information about packing labor and packing materials charges. It is necessary to request the information in writing to avoid any surprises.

How to choose the right company
Examples of hidden charges on a long distance move
Information about packing labor and packing materials charges
Type of charges in a long distance move
Examples of additional charges
Storage information
Insurance information
Car shipment information
Local move information
Additional information
Checklist
Self-packing TIPS

How to choose the right moving company

In order to choose the right company, it is necessary to research at least three other companies that offer the same service. The lowest price is not necessarily a good indicator for you to choose the company. You should not base your decision solely on the price factor. You should require more information about services that each company provides.  Keep in mind that additional charges to base prices are often applied, especially in long distance moves.  Some companies will provide the customer with a very low quote, however it will include solely the shipment of the merchandise but will discard in the price other charges such as the handling and packing of the equipment.

This is why it is very important for the customer to go through all the details of these hidden charges. Here are few examples of additional charges that you should inquire with the moving company. Some of them have different terminology but the charges are the same . If they’ve mentioned that there are NO additional charges for your moving, you will need to request it in writing. The estimate will need to mention that these charges are not applicable for your move.

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Example of hidden charges in a long distance move

Origin, Pick-up and Loading charges are three different names for the same exact service. It goes as well for Destination, Delivery and Unloading charges. We advise the customer to ask the moving company for the different charges mentioned above to avoid any misunderstanding with the company. The customer should ask if the company charges for Origin charges, and if they answer "No", they are probably using a different terminology to charge you for the same fees as Origin charges. You should specifically ask them if they charge for Loading or Pick-up. They will need to answer all of your questions.

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Information about packing labor and packing material charges

Packing labor and packing material are two different charges. Packing labor refers to the time and effort that requires the movers to pack each individual items of your shipment. Packing materials costs refer to the charges for the materials used during the packing. In a long distance move, the customer always pays  for both charges. (There is no packing labor charge in a local move). But differentiating between the two terms is not enough.  Most moving companies will mention that packing labor and packing supplies will be an additional cost to you but will not provide you with their Tariff cost. It is necessary to request all details of these charges. 

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Type of charges in a long distance move: Per pound Versus Per cubic feet

It is always good to deal with a company that charges by the tariff per pound. If you are dealing with charges based on the cubic feet system, you might be subjected to being overcharged.  For example,  if the actual size of your shipment is 500 cubic feet in measurement, it can unintentionally look like a 700 cubic feet shipment after placement in the truck.  The company will then charge you for the additional 200 cubic feet of space. The Tariff system is the maximum charge for particular shipment that is recommended by the "AMSA" - American Moving and Storage Association. By using this system, the charges are calculated by pound. The Pound system is a more accurate way to charge since only one shipment is allowed in the truck before weighing. Using the pound system, the truck is weighed empty before and after loading. The exact weight can be monitored by a weigh station so the Department of Transportation and the customer can obtain a receipt for the exact weight of the shipment. It is crucial for the customer to specify all the items that they intend to ship. As long as you specify these items, the estimate cost will be very close to the actual price. Any changes on the inventory list and any additional items shipped at the end.

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Some Examples of Additional Charges

There are few other additional charges such as long carry, elevator, stairs and flight charges, appliances and piano charges, big screen TV, miles, tolls, fuel etc... If the company chooses to mention over the telephone that none of these charges are applicable to your move, you will need to verify IN THE ESTIMATE, and in writing, that none of these charges will be added.

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Storage Information: Warehouse Handling Versus Storage Fee/S.I.T - Storage in Transit

It is important to understand that storage fees and warehouse handling fees are two different types of fees.

Warehouse Handling: the charge of the time that the company will unload the shipment in the storage and then will reload it to the truck in order to complete its delivery.

Storage fee/S.I.T – Storage In Transit: the actual charge for the time that the shipment was in location (storage). Whether a couple of days or month, the customer will still pay for that specific time in location. The customer always pay for both of these charges (warehouse handling and S.I.T). This is why the customer should understand that if it was told over the telephone that there are, or aren't, any storage fees applicable during the move, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is no charge for warehouse handling.

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Insurance information

Moving companies are not insurance companies. This distinction is important when it comes to choosing the right insurance coverage. The state allows moving companies to provide you with maximum liability coverage. The difference between insurance and liability coverage is that liability coverage is the minimum or maximum requirement approved by the state. The insurance company can fully cover the customer with all his belongings during the move. Most of the moving companies will provide you with a free basic liability coverage, which covers up to 60 cents per pound per item (damaged or lost). As a smart consumer, you will ask for additional insurance. Some companies will offer you additional insurance but will solely provide you with a maximum liability coverage which is very limited and can cost you much more than you will pay to an insurance agent and it usually involves high deductible, which can range between 500 and 1000 dollars. This is the reason why it is necessary to obtain an independent insurance company to fully insure your belongings. In this case, the cost of insurance will be cheaper; you will be covered and pay less deductible. Customers who have home owner insurance should check for additional coverage through their existing policies. You can also contact our insurance brokers that will help you get additional insurance coverage for your valuables. Contact our offices for more information.

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Car shipment

You will be amazed how much money you can save by shipping your car with a car carrier. We know that it takes time and effort to shop around for the best price both for the moving company and the car carrier. However, it will save you 400 dollars or more if you deal with the car carrier by yourself than leaving it up to the moving company. Moving companies will simply act as a broker and charge you for that service.

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Local move: Labor charge

Most of the moving companies will provide you with their minimum labor charge policy, which is three hours of labor charge plus one hour travel time, to a total of four hours. (Please note: Travel time is the driving time from the moving company office to the customer's origin address and then from the customer's destination address back to the moving company office. Travel time is not the driving time between the origin address to the destination address.  That time is considered to be Labor time and is part of your "labor hour estimate"). This information is provided to you as a basic point of comparison with other moving companies. However, it is not an estimate or quote to base your decision towards choosing a moving company since it does not reflect your total charge of the move. If the move goes over the minimum charge, which is 4 hours, the customer is charged for the additional hours following the minimum hourly rate. For that reason, it is important to discuss with the moving company the inventory list of all items that should be included in the moving. That will allow the moving company to give a more accurate quote for your move, since most of them do base their quotes on the total poundage or cubic feet. The estimate will also provide them with approximately how many hours is necessary to complete the move.

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Additional Information

• For a long distance move to the West Coast , customers are not aloud to ship any kind of food, plants, trees.
• For local and long distance move, it is prohibited to ship any kind of liquids which are mentioned but limited to: water, car and household cleaners, bleach, paints, thinner, gasoline, or any other flammable liquids. It is also prohibited to ship aerosol cans, hair sprays, deodorants that are held under pressure.(?)
• Customers are not allowed to ship any guns or arsenals.
• It is necessary to empty flammable liquids and dispose of the liquids in lawnmowers and kerosene heaters.
• It is prohibited  to ship propane gas tanks.
• If you plan to ship a Bar-B-Q's grill, it is recommended to clean the grill and empty all ashes from stones to keep your furniture clean.

For self-packing TIPS or to purchase additional packing supplies, please click here.

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