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Jacksonville Property Management Blog

7 Best Long Distance Moving Companies
03-11-2022
Nessa Brown
Best Long Distance Moving Companies
03-21-2022

6 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies 2022

Long-distance moves are often complicated and stress-inducing, but they don’t have to be. Our top pick for the best long-distance moving company to help you is International Van Lines.
Home Media March 16, 2022

The moving process can be time-consuming and stressful if you let it, and picking a good moving company requires reading through the fine print.

To provide you with some peace of mind, we at the Home Media reviews team researched the top moving companies in the United States and created this detailed guide on the best long-distance moving companies to help you understand the services, payment process and major benefits of each provider.

 

6 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

Here are our top picks for the best long-distance moving companies:

  Superlative Star Rating Link
IVL Insurance Plans
4.5/5
GET QUOTE
American Long-Distance Moves
4.4/5
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Allied Editors' Choice
4.7/5
GET QUOTE
NAVL Easy Claims Process
4.5/5
GET QUOTE
JK Financing
4.6/5
GET QUOTE
PODS Self-Service Mover
4.5/5
GET QUOTE

 

International Van Lines

  • Award: Our Pick for Insurance Plans
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service Model: Full service
  • Founded: 2000

International Van Lines (IVL) started in 2000 as an international moving and logistics company but has provided full-service moving options across the United States and in more than 180 countries since 2004. The company is a carrier for long-distance moves, but it may act as a broker for some moves. In both cases, customers can choose full-service options, such as packing and loading, to create custom moving packages that fit their needs and budget.

If you have particularly expensive belongings, IVL provides some of the most comprehensive moving insurance options on this list.

Pros and Cons of International Van Lines

Offers a discount for active and retired military members
Creates custom crates for TVs and other fragile items that do not fit in standard moving boxes
Fully refunds deposits for cancellations made at least 48 hours prior to scheduled service
Charges a 25% deposit to schedule a move
Uses third-party providers to handle moves in Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington state

IVL International Moves:

All-risk insurance, available to customers with packing services, protects the full value that you claim. Its cost is 4% of the declared value. Total-loss insurance, available to customers who opt to pack themselves, also provides full reimbursement in the event of a total loss and can be purchased for 2% of the declared value.

IVL Domestic Moves:

Its full-value protection plan offers either a $500 and $1,000 deductible. You then pick a coverage cap that covers the actual value of your belongings. If you do not purchase this plan, you receive access to IVL’s limited liability coverage at $0.60 per pound per article. You may also purchase a third-party moving insurance plan.

Cost

IVL determines the cost of moves based on the total weight of your belongings and the overall distance of your move. The company accepts checks, credit cards and cash for payment, and it requires an up-front deposit of 25% of your total cost. IVL also offers discounts to military members.

Get a Quote: International Van Lines

To Learn More: International Van Lines Review

 


 

American Van Lines

  • Award: Our Pick for Long-Distance Moves
  • Availability: 48 states
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1967

American Van Lines holds more than 50 years of professional moving experience. From its beginnings in Pompano Beach, Fla., American Van Lines has grown to provide national availability for full-service, long-distance moves. These factors have earned it one of Newsweek’s ‘Best Customer Service’ Awards twice, in 2019 and 2021.

American Van Lines employs full-time movers who hold an average of 10 years of moving experience each. The company also provides training on a regular basis to each worker. American Van Lines’ experienced employees, flat-rate pricing model, award-winning customer service and its contents protection plans make it one of the best options for long-distance moves.

Pros and Cons of American Van Lines

Is a carrier-only moving company, meaning it will not broker your move with a third-party provider
Has moving crews dedicated to handling pianos and antiques
Requires moving crew members to complete annual trainings
Will not guarantee a delivery date without additional payment
Charges a deposit between 10% and 50% to book your move

Cost

To provide a binding estimate that does not change over the course of your move, American Van Lines requires either a virtual or in-home estimate. The company considers factors such as the weight of your household goods, special requests and specific moving services you purchase. The company also features a price-matching policy, so gather a few other quotes to give yourself an edge in negotiation. American Van Lines accepts cash, check and credit cards, and it requires a deposit.

Get a Quote: American Van Lines

To Learn More: American Van Lines Review

 


 

Allied Van Lines

  • Award: Editors’ Choice
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1928

Allied Van Lines is a licensed, bonded and insured moving broker-carrier and holds more than 90 years of professional moving experience. As a broker-carrier, Allied conducts some moves with its own equipment and team, but it is also able to outsource your move to a partnered company in areas it does not have direct operations.

This makes it an excellent choice for long-distance, international or interstate moves with availability in all 50 states and 130 countries. However, when it acts as the middleman, communication may become difficult.

Though Allied provides high-quality full-service moves, it does offer some DIY options. The company offers a fragile-only packing service and a portable storage container moving service called Allied Express. In addition to these options, Allied provides vehicle shipping, storage services and online resources such as GPS tracking, a moving blog and packing checklists.

Pros and Cons of Allied Van Lines

Offers optional appliance disconnection and reconnection
Provides mobile storage containers similar to PODS that include loading and unloading assistance
Partners with the Salvation Army to transport and donate your unwanted items to the non-profit organization
Requires payments to be made in full ahead of your moving date
Uses third-party providers to handle moves in Montana, Oregon, Utah and Washington state

Cost

Allied Van Lines calculates your moving cost based on factors such as the total weight of your shipment, the total distance of your move, the services purchased, contents protection plans, any storage services you require and the time of the year.

Allied provides customers with binding estimates after an in-home survey. This means that your moving cost will not change unless you add major items to your inventory. The company offers an online survey tool, which eliminates the need for an in-person visit from a moving coordinator.

Allied offers flexible payment options as it accepts cash, certified checks and credit cards. Best of all, Allied does not require an up-front deposit.

Get a Quote: Allied Van Lines

To Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review

 


 

  • Award: Our Pick for Easy Claims Process
  • Availability: 50 states
  • Service Model: Full service
  • Founded: 1933

Based out of Fort Wayne, Ind., North American Van Lines brings more than 85 years of experience to full-service and partial-service moves all across the country. If filing claims during the moving process is a major concern for you, we recommend you look into North American Van Lines. The company provides easily accessible forms for both domestic and international claims across its website.

The company features separate customer support lines for domestic and international moves, and each customer receives a personal moving agent. In addition to these communication perks, North American Van Lines offers a large collection of online tools such as a moving calculator, a space calculator, relocation guides, checklists and assistance with shipping wine collections.

Pros and Cons of North American Van Lines

Has a Not-to-Exceed Pricing package in which actual costs may fall below, but never above, estimates
Provides shipment tracking using its WorldTrac satellite system
Does not require an up-front deposit to schedule a move
Requires payments be made in full ahead of your moving date
Has limited storage options, depending on your location

Cost

North American Van Lines creates your moving estimate based on the overall distance of your move, your contents protection plan, the services used and the total weight of your shipment. It also creates a binding estimate for you after a virtual survey is conducted, and it accepts payment in the form of certified checks, cash and credit cards. The company does not require an up-front deposit.

Get a Quote: North American Van Lines

To Learn More: North American Van Lines Review

 


 

JK Moving

  • Award: Our Pick for Financing
  • Availability: 50 states*
  • Service model: Full service
  • Founded: 1982

Since 1982, JK Moving has aimed to combine the newest moving technologies and solutions, such as climate-controlled storage and GPS tracking, with reputable customer service. The company engages in sustainable practices, such as recycling its materials, and partners with Habitat for Humanity, the Race for Hope and Fight for Children.

JK Moving employs only drug-tested and background-checked workers who receive annual training in a dedicated facility. In addition, it provides you the option to finance your move. Through a partnership with Enhancify, JK Moving matches customers with lenders, making it possible to pay for moving services over time instead of all at once. Some customers receive rates as low as 0%.** This is a rare offering in the moving industry, but before you agree to financing, you should consider the rate; if you have a poor credit score, you may be subject to a high interest rate, which could leave you paying far more in the long run.

*Local moves available only in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
**Subject to credit approval

Pros and Cons of JK Moving

Has 24/7 customer support, which not all providers offer
Offers in-house financing options with Enhancify
Provides customized coverage plans to protect your belongings
Does not match competitor pricing
Requires a $250 deposit to reserve a moving date

Cost

JK Moving packages are customized to fit each customer’s moving needs and budget. Customers receive a personal moving coordinator who will assist them throughout the entirety of their move. This coordinator also helps create a binding estimate, so there are no unexpected costs once your price is determined. JK Moving accepts cash, checks, credit cards and payments through its financing option. It requires an up-front deposit of at least $250.

Get a Quote: JK Moving

To Learn More: JK Moving Review

 


 

PODS

  • Award: Our Pick for Self-Service Mover
  • Availability: 44 states
  • Service Model: Self service
  • Founded: 1998

PODS, short for portable on-demand storage, provides a different approach to moving than the other companies on this list. Started in 1998 after founder Peter Warhurst watched a boat get lifted by a hydraulic machine, PODS introduced the moving industry to portable storage container moves. This is a flexible way a moving company can help families move long distances.

PODS delivers one of its portable storage containers (or a combination of them) to your home. You then load your belongings at your own pace within a 30-day period, or you can purchase more time. Once your belongings are loaded, you notify PODS when to pick up and deliver your belongings to one of its 230 storage facilities near your new home. The company then delivers your belongings to your new address when you notify it, and you unload them at your own pace.

PODS is our top pick for a self-service mover due to its high-quality containers, positive customer reviews, transparent pricing, flexible payment options and discounts for military service members. Customers also receive options to hire third-party labor and third-party vehicle relocation. Though the company features physical locations in only 46 states, it states that it can most likely help you move wherever you need to go.

Pros and Cons of PODS

Provides containers in three sizes
Allows 30 days for loading and unloading
Offers optional moving crews through third-party providers
Is not available nationwide
Only gives instant quotes for local moves

Cost

PODS uses a pay-as-you-go model. Customers pay for certain stages of their move a week in advance, namely drop-off, transport and the second drop-off and final pick-up. Longer-term storage rentals are billed on a monthly basis.

PODS accepts payment in the form of credit card, but it may also accept cash and check payments depending on the location. The company does not charge a deposit for its services, and it features a 10% discount for active military members.

Get a Quote: PODS

To Learn More: PODS Moving & Storage Review

 


 

Compare the Top Long-Distance Moving Companies

 
  Superlative Star Rating Link
IVL Insurance Plans
4.5/5
GET QUOTE
American Long-Distance Moves
4.4/5
GET QUOTE
Allied Editors' Choice
4.7/5
GET QUOTE
NAVL Easy Claims Process
4.5/5
GET QUOTE
JK Financing
4.6/5
GET QUOTE
PODS Self-Service Mover
4.5/5
GET QUOTE

 

Which Is The Best Long-Distance Moving Company For You?

Each company on this list will bring a different experience to your cross-country move. We named International Van Lines our top pick for insurance plans because you can never be too safe with your household items.

Determine if a full-service move or self-service move better suits your needs, then gather free quotes from at least three different providers to accurately compare costs and service offerings.

You will also want to make sure you can trust the moving company you hire.

To help you determine this, obtain its USDOT number and visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website. Input that USDOT number towards the bottom of that page, which will allow you to access the company’s licenses and certifications.

 


 

Factors That Influence the Cost of a Long-Distance Move

A variety of factors can affect the total cost of your long-distance relocation, including:

  • How far you are moving
  • The time of year you are moving
  • The size of your move, measured as the total weight of your belongings
  • The size of the moving crew
  • The specific layout of your home, including any narrow hallways, low ceilings or steep staircases that could make moving more difficult
  • Any special handling needed (i.e. for bulky, high-value and/or fragile items)
  • Mileage
  • Gas
  • Any applicable toll charges

 


 

Preparing for a Long-Distance Move

An out-of-state or cross-country move requires a lot of advanced planning and organization. It is best to get at least a three-month head start on moving day by creating a master list of the major tasks you need to accomplish.

Major tasks can include:

  • Creating a moving budget
  • Researching moving companies
  • Requesting estimates from multiple moving companies
  • Determining how you and your family will be traveling to your new destination and if you will need a mover that can transport your vehicle(s)
  • Hiring a moving company

It may be helpful to create a “Moving” folder on your computer to keep your notes, moving estimates, receipts and checklists in one place.

In the weeks leading up to moving day, pack items you don’t need and sell or give away items you no longer want. Consider organizing belongings for packing. We recommend creating a detailed list of all belongings you plan to move; in fact, many moving companies will require this before giving you a binding estimate. An accurate inventory will ensure your binding estimate will not change on moving day and will also make it easier for you to review your moving shipment upon delivery to check for any broken or missing items.

Ahead of your move, it is also a good idea to go ahead and contact physicians for copies of any records needed and your homeowners insurance provider to confirm your coverage will transfer to your new location.

 


 

Full-Service vs. Self-Service Movers

Other than moving truck rentals, there are two major types of moving companies in the current home movers market. To get a better understanding of what each type of mover entails, read over the descriptions below.

Full-Service Movers

This type of mover is a good option for anyone who wants a moving company to handle practically all parts of their move. A full-service mover offers services such as furniture disassembly, packing, crating, loading, transportation, unloading, unpacking and furniture reassembly.

Often these companies can provide specialty services for difficult and fragile items, such as pianos and antiques. Customers can typically mix and match these services to create partial-service moving packages, which saves some money.

International Van Lines is a great example of a full-service mover that can help with your long-distance move.

Self-Service Movers

A self-service mover is a better option for those looking to save money and those who enjoy taking the DIY approach to things. Self-service movers are also referred to as portable storage container movers.

This service model has the company deliver a portable storage container to your home, and you then load your belongings into that container in a certain time frame. Once your belongings are loaded, you notify the company when to pick up and deliver your belongings to your new home. You then unload the container at your own pace. This option tends to be significantly more affordable than full-service movers.

PODS is an example of a self-service mover.

 


 

Long-Distance Moving Companies FAQs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

We collected data on dozens of moving companies, both full-service and self-service, and created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings, grade each company and provide objective findings to our readers. The end result of weighing a wide range of factors is a cumulative score for each provider.

We called each moving company directly, spoke with representatives to get an in-depth understanding of their offerings and simulated the quote and scheduling process. We also reviewed each company’s contents protection (insurance) plan information in detail, and we closely examined more than 100 customer reviews to understand the customer service experience with each provider.

All company data is monitored on an ongoing basis so that all rankings and information remain up-to-date.

Once we gathered all relevant data, we used the following scoring system to grade each moving company on a 100-point scale:

  • Moving Services (20 points): Does the company provide its services for local moves, interstate moves and/or international moves? The more options available, the higher the score. Points were deducted for any local moving restrictions, such as a minimum mileage requirement or limited availability.
  • Mover Type (3 points): Is the provider a moving broker or a carrier? Given that carriers often offer a more seamless customer communication experience, more points were awarded to companies that act as carriers instead of or in addition to acting as moving brokers.
  • Additional Services (20 points): Services we factored in include packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, vehicle relocation, fragile pack or specialty services and storage service. The more services a moving company offers, the higher the score it received.
  • Insurance Coverage (10 points): If a company offers only the minimum requirement of 60¢ and a full-valuation coverage option, it received a lower score. If the company offers multiple moving insurance options, such as customizable full-value coverage, it received a higher score.
  • Payment Process (20 points): For each payment option the company provides, it received more points. Options include binding estimates or fixed rates, discounts or price-matching policies, credit card payments, cash or check payments and/or financing options. Points were deducted if a company requires a deposit.
  • Availability (5 points): Companies were awarded points based on state availability.
  • Scheduling (6 points): The more scheduling options a company offers, such as online scheduling, over the phone or both, the more points it received.
  • Trailers/Containers (6 points): Companies received higher scores for having a range of trailer or container sizes.
  • Additional Benefits (5 points): What additional benefits do customers receive from the company? Does the customer have access to a moving calculator, GPS or online tracking options, a moving checklist, packing and moving materials and/or a moving inventory app? The more of these options a company provides, the more points it received.
  • Reputation (5 points): We factored in the company’s score on the Business Better Bureau (BBB) and deducted points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.

 


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