Long-distance moves are generally considered a domestic move that is over 60 miles from the old location to the new location, or a move the crosses state-lines. Crossing state lines is known as an inter-state move.
While all interstate-moves are treated as a long-distance move, not all long-distance moves are interstate.
Long-distance move pricing
A distinguishing characteristic of long-distance moves is how they are priced. Among other factors, moving companies will charge fees based on two things:
- Weight. At the start of the moving quote, or estimate process, a mover will inventory all the items you want to be moved. They will then use their prior experience and estimate the total weight of items. This weight will then be verified when the items are loaded onto the moving van.
- Distance. This is pretty straight forward. How far from one location to the other, multiplied by a price per mile.
In addition, there will be costs for other services and materials. Most long-distance moving companies will offer full-service moves. This means they will pack and unpack your items as well as transport them. Obviously, this also has a cost in time, boxes, padding, and equipment.
National Van Lines
National van lines, such as Mayflower, United, Allied, and others, play a critical role in interstate movers. Without the resources of the national van lines, interstate moves would cost much more and take far longer than they do.
Most moving agents are local businesses. If they perform interstate or long distance moves, they will most likely affiliate themselves with a national van line. These moving companies are distinct businesses independent of the van lines, except in the area of long-distance moving. You will often see them as “Bobs Moving Company, a [name] Van Line Agent”. Look on the side of most national van line trucks and you’ll see, in smaller print, the name of the moving company that is the agent.
Coordinating Van Loads
Very often, the items of a single household do not fit precisely in a large moving truck. There is usually space left over in one truck, or they use more than one, with the last truck having empty space.
If it were a single moving company handling the move, the “cost” of the empty space would have to be charged as part of the move. But, with the coordination of the van lines, the items from multiple moves can be combined and the cost distributed equitably among the different households.
Market Resources For Movers
By having a large network of moving agents affiliated with the national van line, the originating moving company has access to local expertise virtually anywhere in the country.
This allows them to have trusted movers on the other end to unload the items and help the customer get settled in, or provide storage facilities in the new market should the home not be ready for move-in. The agent on the other end of the long-distance move can be a great resource for customers.
Creating Standard For Movers
When shipping items across the country, the trucks will stop in multiple markets along the way. Often, these stops will involve moving items from one truck to another in order to create more efficient moves.
Using a van line agent ensures that all the stops along the way are handled by moving companies that adhere to standards set up by the national van line. As a customer of the van line, your belonging are handle using the higher standards set for all agents in the network.