Best Long-Distance Moving Companies (2021)
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5 Best Long-Distance Moving Companies
Top Long-Distance Moving Companies Reviews
The moving experience is one that is full of stressful moments and unexpected costs. If you are having to move across the country or across states, that experience can be even more challenging. Moving companies offer a variety of methods to help you maintain peace of mind during such a difficult process. Many long distance movers are able to provide you with the specific moving needs you require assistance with, but it can be time-consuming and difficult trying to determine which moving company is right for you.
The good news is that our Reviews Team can help you in your research. We have researched and reviewed some of the top recommended long-distance moving companies in the nation to help you determine which one best meets your needs. We will compare top long-distance movers on cost, service, state availability, and benefits. After weighing the pros and cons of each company, we will recommend which is best for what kind of customer.
#1. PODS: Best Overall
Our Reviews Team considers PODS the Best Overall option for long-distance moving. PODS offers a rather non-traditional approach to moving, as you are able to handle all the loading and unloading by yourself, while PODS handles any transportation, delivery, and storage assistance you might need. If you are not really interested in a self-move experience, PODS can refer you to packing services near you. PODS also owns many storage facilities across the entire country, so in the event that you need your belongings delayed, you can have peace of mind that they are being kept safe.
- Highly flexible scheduling
- Straightforward pricing
- Availability in every state
- Packing and unloading only available via third-party
- Discounts only for military members
- Customer reviews vary according to location
Services and Cost
PODS provides you with a DIY moving experience. The company delivers moving containers to your original residence, where you then pack the moving containers with your belongings before PODS transports the loaded containers to your new home whenever you tell the company to. Once your packages arrive, you are free to unload your moving containers at your own pace.
This is PODS’ primary service, but you can receive more full-service options like assistance with loading and unloading through third-party providers PODS works with. Other upsides include that PODS lets you order as many moving containers as you need, and it provides well-regarded customer service.
Here are the three different containers PODS offers:
- 7-Foot Container: Ideal for studio apartment moves; packs area under 500 sq. ft.; similar to a 10’ moving truck
- 12-Foot Container: Ideal for small apartment or 2-3 room moves; packs a 500-800 sq. ft. space; similar to a 15’ moving truck
- 16-Foot Container: Ideal for homes with 3-4 rooms; packs approximately 1,200 sq. ft,; similar to a 20’ moving truck
The average cost of an interstate move with PODS will vary depending on factors such as:
- Location of your original residence
- Distance of your move
- Which container size you need
- How many containers you need
PODS’ website offers the following cost estimate for a long-distance move: $1,237 to $2,999 using just storage pods. For a full-service move, it estimates a cost of $4,890.
We recommend that you contact PODS and get a free quote to get a better understanding of what the overall cost of your upcoming move might be.
PODS states that it is able to assist with moving anywhere in the United States. However, PODS does not have a physical location in every state. PODS does not have a location in:
- North Dakota
- West Virginia
Our Take on PODS
Superlative: Best Overall
PODS is a very well-rounded option for a long-distance mover. The company features competitive pricing, a large amount of flexibility in your moving schedule, and excellent customer reviews. PODS also stays transparent about its pricing, which many moving companies do not. You are able to decide between a self-move or full-service move with PODS.
We suggest that you visit PODS and get a free quote for your long-distance move.
#2. U-PACK: Best Flexibility
U-Pack offers moving services comparable to PODS’. With its service, you self-pack and load your containers, and U-Pack handles any transportation of your belongings. Similar to PODS, you are able to receive packing and unpacking services through third-party providers. U-Pack also features an excellent customer satisfaction record with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Highly affordable if you self-move
- Locations in all 50 states
- Insures moves with liability coverage
- Limitations of three days on loading and unloading
- Packing and unpacking must be purchased through third-party provider
- Additional services must be bought to be eligible for the provider’s service guarantee
Services and Cost
You receive door-to-door, DIY moving services for interstate moving when choosing U-Pack. The company either drops off moving containers or a moving trailer at your original home, then you load it up with your belongings within three days and let U-Pack know when your belongings should be delivered to your new home.
U-Pack offers two different options for moving vessels:
- ReloCube: A small storage container that is ideal for smaller moves. It is small enough to fit in a regular parking space, making it a great option for smaller apartment moves.
- Moving trailers: This option works better for larger moves, such as a house. It can easily be parked in a driveway.
Like many other long-distance moving companies, U-Pack bases its average cost on various factors. Some of these factors include: the linear footage you need for a moving trailer or the number of ReloCube containers you request, the distance of the move, amount of fuel used, driving hours, and taxes.
The cost estimate we received for a two-bedroom home/apartment move from Atlanta, Georgia, to Austin, Texas, in 1-2 months was $1,718, including fuel and taxes.
We encourage you to see what kind of cost estimate you can receive with U-Pack by getting a free quote from the company’s website.
U-Pack’s moving services are available in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
Our Take on U-Pack
Superlative: Best Flexibility
If you are looking to save money and have plenty of flexibility in your move’s schedule, U-Pack may be your best option. One notable difference between PODS and U-Pack is that PODS allows 30 days for loading and unloading, while U-Pack provides only three. U-Pack’s roomier moving trailer might offer a more comfortable loading experience.
We recommend that you get your quote from U-Pack to see how it compares to other long-distance moving companies you might be considering.
#3. International Van Lines: Best Full-Service
International Van Lines is a long-distance mover that provides full-service moves. It provides packing services, loading and unloading services, vehicle relocation, and specialty services for items like expensive artwork and pianos. The company has earned a positive reputation with its customers, though user experiences do vary according to location.
- Speciality services available, like vehicle relocation services
- Available everywhere in the United States
- Offers full-service moving experience
- No sample pricing available
- Poor communication is mentioned in some customer reviews
Services and Cost
International Van Lines is a moving broker that helps with full-service moves. This means that the company can provide you with services like crating, packing, delivery, storage, and loading and unloading. The company also provides the disassembly and reassembly of basic furniture, moving supplies like blankets and protective pads, and covers the cost of mileage, fuel, and any tolls passed during travel. You can also receive up to $10,000 worth of liability coverage. International Van Lines also provides the option to have either partial packing or full-service packing, allowing you to make sure their services fit within your budget. Check out some of the specific services International Van Lines offers below:
- Partial or full-pack services
- Short-term or long-term storage
- Moving supplies
- Speciality services for recreational and sports equipment, large appliances, pianos, and more
- Car relocation services
- Corporate relocation services
Some factors that impact the overall cost with International Van Lines include:
- Location of your original residence
- Date and time of your move
- Distance of the move
- Size/weight of your move
- Additional services you purchase
A cost estimate for moving a 2 bedroom apartment/house from Atlanta, Georgia, to Austin, Texas, in two months comes out to between $2,015 and $3,445. We received this cost estimate from International Van Lines’ Moving Cost Calculator. You can also use this excellent tool to determine what you might pay in a move.
To get even more information and an accurate cost estimate, we suggest you receive a free quote from International Van Lines.
International Van Lines can help with moves anywhere in the United States, as well as 180 countries.
Our Take on International Van Lines
Superlative: Best Full-Service
If you desire a more traditional, full-service move, then International Van Lines might be the best choice for you. You are able to opt into a variety of full-service options that allow you to have peace of mind throughout your long-distance move and focus on other important factors outside of the move itself. Because of these full-service options, International Van Lines may run a bit higher in its average cost than other long-distance moving companies on this list. A major standout feature of International Van Lines is its speciality services offered for unique items like antiques or large appliances.
We recommend that you get a free quote from International Van Lines to determine what services you can receive from the company.
#4. Handled: Best Online Platform
Handled is not a long-distance mover like other companies on this list but is instead an online platform that connects you to top-rated moving companies near you. Though Handled often matches you to local movers, you are also able to connect with long-distance movers through partnerships the company has, such as Mayflower Transit. Using artificial intelligence and data-driven solutions, Handled connects you to movers that specifically meet your moving needs.
- User-friendly website and experience
- Has partnerships in over half of the United States
- Move Manager and its free app make moving coordination easier
- Some services, such as packing and unpacking, are not included in main moving packages
- Not available in 16 states
Services and Cost
Think of Handled more as a personal moving coordinator versus a long-distance moving company like International Van Lines or PODS. It connects you with long-distance moving companies across the United States that offer partial and full-service moves. Handled is able to offer a flat-rate price for personalized moving plans because of its relationships with local professionals. This means that your cost estimate will not change once you receive this flat-rate. You can even receive this flat-rate without having an in-house estimate.
Here are some of the services you can obtain for a long-distance move with Handled:
- Loading and unloading
- Furniture disassembly and reassembly
- Furniture shrink-wrapping and protection
- Mirror and artwork protection
Other services that can be added to your package include:
- Short-term storage
- Long-term, vaulted storage
- Packing and unpacking
- Specialty services for unique items like pianos, recreational equipment, and more
- Trash and junk removal
Handled is available in the following states:
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
You can visit the company’s website and go to the Locations page to find out which cities Handled is located in.
Our Take on Handled
Superperlative: Best Online Platform
Handled is an excellent choice for anyone looking for transparency, simplicity, and assistance in moving coordination, all of which the company provides through its user-friendly website.
We suggest you visit Handled to get a better understanding of how the company can make your move more simple.
#5. Bellhop: Best Customization
Bellhop offers customizable moving packers and uses unique, user-friendly online tools to help make your move simple and stress-free. With Bellhop, you can obtain many of the same services you receive with other long-distance moving companies, such as packing services, transportation, loading and unloading, and packing supplies. The company takes this a step further, however, and allows you to mix and match these services. Bellhop also works on an hourly labor model, which makes it effective for getting just the right amount of labor for your budget, and works well for smaller moves.
- Hourly labor model provides flexibility
- Easy-to-use online tools
- Customizable service package
- No speciality services available
- Available in only 26 states
Services and Cost
Bellhop’s major standout feature is its build-your-own-service package option. You are able to have full control over what services you receive during your move, rather than having the moving company decide what services you receive or do not receive. Listed below are some of the services you can receive with Bellhop:
- Packing services
- Driving and delivery
- Loading and unloading services
- Hourly labor
- Build-your-own service
Because of how Bellhop caters to each customers’ specific moving needs, the average cost of its services varies greatly. Some of the factors that affect pricing include:
- Size of your move
- What service you choose
- Overall distance of your move
- Insurance coverage
Though Bellhop is still growing, it is currently only available in Washington D.C. and the following states:
- New York
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Our Take on Bellhop
Superlative: Best Customization
If customization is something you value in a long-distance moving company, then Bellhop is an excellent choice for you. If you also like having online tools that help with moving coordination and you know you only need assistance with specific portions of your move, then invest some time into researching Bellhop.
Things to Consider During a Long-Distance Move
There are many factors that go into executing a successful cross-country move, which can make the process a bit daunting. Even with the many resources provided from companies like PODS and International Van Lines, it can be difficult to keep track of significant factors that impact your moving experience. After all, interstate moving is the type of moving that requires a lot more preparation and organization than local moves. Here are some of the major ones to keep in mind:
- Declutter Your Inventory: Long-distance moving is an excellent time to get rid of any underused or unwanted belongings you may have. One effective way to go about this is to place all the items you want to donate in one pile and all the items you want to throw away in another pile. Pack items that you plan to load in the moving truck as the moving day draws near, then shortly before moving day arrives, take your designated donation and trash piles to their respective locations to dispose of them.
- Notify People Who Need to Know: You will certainly remember to notify your friends and family about your long-distance move, but there are some other important people and organizations that might slip your mind during the moving experience. Some to keep in mind are: insurance companies, the post office, tax agencies, gas and electric companies, social security administration, and your internet provider.
- Check that Your Mover is Licensed: Another important component to keep in mind is whether or not your mover is licensed. All the companies on this list are properly licensed, so if you choose them you do not have to worry. If you want to check on a company yourself, get the company’s USDOT number and visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website to search for them.
- Create an Inventory: Another great practice to adopt for moves is to create an inventory. Keep a record of where all your items are packed, as well as how they looked before the move. This can help you if you have to file any damage claims. You can also check to see if any moving companies feature tools to help you create a detailed inventory, such as the type that International Van Lines offers.
Frequently Asked Question About Long-Distance Moves
Should I have the mover come to my home to look at my goods?
In-house estimates are a great way to receive more accurate quotes. However, you can often choose to obtain an estimate online if it is inconvenient to receive an in-house estimate.
What is a moving broker?
A moving broker is a company that arranges for the transportation of your belongings for you. The company will find another moving company that has the tools and labor to provide a moving truck and team to assist you in your move. Think of a moving broker like a sales team for the actual moving company that you end up using. International Van Lines is an example of a moving broker.
What is the difference between a binding and non-binding estimate?
A non-binding estimate, sometimes called a ballpark estimate, is a cost estimate of what the moving company believes you will pay for its services. This estimate will probably change a bit over time. Eventually, as details of the move are worked out, you receive a binding estimate. This estimate is the exact cost of what you will pay for the moving company’s services and equipment.
What states pay you to move there?
It is true that you might be able to save some money when it comes to moving to certain states and cities. Be sure to research further to see if you can receive money for relocating to your next state and/or city. Here are a few of the states and cities that provide money upon relocation to them:
- Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Hamilton, Ohio
- Lincoln, Kansas
- Tulsa, Oklahoma