Every move is a stressful process. You want to make sure you choose the right moving company. However, you're having trouble choosing because you don't know what the right fit for you is. You don't even know what your options are. Suddenly, you are entering a toss-up between long distance moving companies vs. large van lines. But, you are not sure what each of these types of movers brings to the table. In fact, there is no straightforward answer to this. Each one has its strengths, and it boils down to your preferences. Nonetheless, you should make an educated choice, and we will try to help you with that.
The gist behind the long distance moving companies vs. large van lines dispute
Okay, in layman’s terms and straight forward –the basic differences are:
- Long distance moving companies are just like local movers but with along-distance delivery address.
- Van lines are national brand companies that usually do long distance moves. They are an assembly of local movers that are assigned to the job that falls under their jurisdiction. It means that a loading truck will pick up your belongings at the main terminal and then load them on a semi-truck with other shipments they have contracted.
So, now that we have established the basics, we can move on to the pros and cons of each of these types of movers.
Long distance moving companies
When you are moving locally, you usually choose between renting a truck and hiring a full-service moving company. You are more likely to go with independent movers because they are usually less expensive than large national brands. So, when you are going the distance, why not choose the same thing? This type of movers is also known as Direct truck movers or Dedicated trucks. As we mentioned, it's like a local move, but with a long distance address. Movers come to your house, load your belongings on a truck and deliver them in the same truck at the pre-determined time at your new address. You can even ask about the additional services experienced moving companies offer. Sometimes, they will offer services you didn't think were options, and help you out even more than you hoped for.
Pros of dedicated trucks
So, what are the plus sides of dedicated trucks that will tip the scale in this long distance moving companies vs. large van lines competition?
- Dedicated truck for your shipment - This means that you will not share a moving truck with anyone. There will be a truck dedicated just to your belongings. You won't have to fear your stuff will end up in someone else's living room.
- Shipment delivered in the same truck it was picked up - The same truck that picks up your stuff will deliver it to your doorstep. This helps with the concern for the safety of your belongings. You've been trying to learn how to pack sensitive items for so long you perfected it. You wouldn't want them to be damaged in the process of switching moving trucks.
- Firm pick-up and delivery dates - Pickup and delivery dates don't depend on anyone else. The time and date you set up when making the arrangement will be followed through and you will know when to expect your things.
Cons of dedicated trucks
It all seems so great. Why wouldn't you choose long distance moving companies? Well, there is one con to it, and it is not to be disregarded.
- Price - If the truck is not full, the cost may be slightly higher. This may come as a surprise, but, you need to cover the difference because the truck can load a certain amount of things in it. The weight of this may be an important part of the price estimate. If you only load half the truck, you need to compensate the company for they could have loaded the other half. This may be in dispute with the idea of tossing everything you don't need prior to your move.
In addition, independent moving companies' prices are computed on an hourly basis which includes the time it takes to pack, deliver, load and unload, and transport the shipment from point A to point B, as well as the labor required. Which may lead to overall higher prices.
Van lines are an affiliation of multiple national offices which are linked and work together when necessary. As explained, with a van lines style move, your belongings are picked up at your home, then delivered onto the main terminal, where they are loaded on a semi-truck with other shipments going the similar route. This means that your belongings may switch trucks or warehouseson their way to your new home.
Pros of Van Lines
What are the plus sides to Van lines?
- You only pay for the space that you hold on the semitrailer - what you take up, you pay for. So, you don't pay for the entire truck, just the amount of space you take on it.
- Lower price - Van lines may be cheaper than dedicated trucks due to several reasons. The first reason being that your belongings switch up trucks and warehouses. The second being that it lasts longer.
- National brand - Van lines have the infrastructure in place to hire and retain quality movers. You have certainly read about the common moving scams that you would want to avoid.
Cons of Van Lines
- Shipment may be transferred between trucks - as opposed to the dedicated trucks, your belongings may not come in the same truck they left in. This may lead to the mix up with delivery addresses and other shipments.
- Delivery dates are flexible - Van lines usually provide you with a pick-up date, and then a drop off window. So, the delivery may take 2-3 weeks.
- Delays may occur - Given that Van lines make stops for other deliveries, it is not unexpected that delays may occur.
The winner of the Long distance moving companies vs. large van lines contest is....
The scale has tipped to one side, then the other. But in conclusion - we came back to the beginning! There is no winner or loser in the long distance moving companies vs. large van lines competition. Because it's not really a competition. Both choices have strengths and weaknesses. So, it boils down to your preferences. Now at least you know the differences, and hopefully, you will make the decision easier.