Serving DC, Maryland, Virginia and Beyond
Local, Long Distance and Commercial Move
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
Car shipment information
Local move information
How to choose the right moving company
In order to choose the right company, it is necessary to research at
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.
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.
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.
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
is 500 cubic feet in measurement, it can unintentionally look like a 700
cubic feet shipment after placement in the truck. The company will
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For a long distance move to the West Coast ,
customers are not aloud to ship any kind of food, plants, trees.
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