So it’s time to move and you have to conquer one of the least favorite steps: hiring a mover. For most people, these three words mean a trip to the bank and shelling out a fair amount of cash. But what exactly are you paying for? Let’s break down the some of the costs of a moving company and its different fees.
You will be held responsible for the chargers incurred in transporting your items from home A to home B. This travel fee is based on mileage rates set by the moving company. The actual rate per mile can be obtained from your moving company. However, you can expect this to increase the further your moving van has to travel to get to your new home. Typically, the moving company will base this off the shortest possible route, so you aren’t getting scammed by movers trying to rack up miles and money at your expense. Additionally, you can expect a fuel charge and potentially toll charges depending on how far your shipment must travel.
If you have entered into a non-binding estimate with your mover for an interstate move, the total weight of your shipment will have a large bearing on the final cost of your move. The moving truck will be weighed as well as the truck with your items on board to determine the total weight of your shipment. Your mover should inform you when and where this weighing will take place in case you want to be present. You are encouraged to be at the weigh-in. If you do not think that the weight is correct, you may request to have the shipment reweighed. However this is a one time request and the weight produced by the second scale will be the final weight used. So, if the shipment ends up being more than on the first scale, you must pay for that added weight. Whether or not you are present at the weighing, your moving supervisor will provide you with the weight tickets on the bill of lading. For moves that are local, the weight will not be the deciding factor as much as the volume of items and how much space in the truck it takes up. Regardless of whether you are moving near or far, cutting down on the number of items you move will help you save money.
Hourly Rate and Minimum Fee
For local moves, most companies will charge by the hour. Anyone who has moved will tell you the day is long and the process tends to take longer than expected. Still, most companies will assess a minimum fee or minimum hours. This means that if your move only takes three hours, but the minimum is four, you will still be assessed the minimum rate of four hours of labor. Most people not only meet the minimum rate, but exceed it. Once you exceed the minimum hours, that is when the hourly rate comes into play. For every additional hour, there will be an added charge to your bill. While different companies charge different hourly rates, you can and should request what that charge is. Every moving company is required to publish the tariffs they charge. It is at the moving company’s discretion what to charge, however this is a fixed amount that they cannot change willy-nilly. A simple request for the website or a hard copy of these rates will help you prepare for the final cost and protect yourself from fraudulent movers who might try to charge you more.
Depending on the distance of your move and the value of the items you are moving, you may want to purchase moving insurance. While it is true the movers are responsible if items are lost or damaged in their care, you need to determine the level of protection you want before they begin loading the truck. You can receive released value coverage at no extra charge. For many people this is enough if they do not have many breakable or valuable items in transit. However this type of coverage is limited. If you decide to go with released value coverage, your movers are only responsible for up to 60 cents per pound per item. This might work fine for an old bookshelf you don’t care about. But if you have expensive pieces, you may be risking a lot of money. Full value protection makes the mover liable for the entire value of the shipment. While it comes at an extra cost, it might be worth the security. If you have extremely expensive items, such as articles costing more than $100 per pound per item, then you must declare them to the mover. Given their worth you want them covered. Another option, if possible, is to simply move such valuables with you instead of transporting it in the moving truck
Packaging and Labor
These chargers are typically accessorial and not a part of the typical moving experience. However, many people choose to take advantage of these options. Moving companies are more than happy to provide you with supplies, such as boxes and packing paper. This however does come at a cost. The same is true if you desire to have your moving crew pack up your belongings. While some packing labor comes with any move, like wrapping and moving furniture, most companies expect to come to a residence that is packed and ready to be loaded. Again, you can request that your moving company assist in packing up your home, but this is an extra perk you must pay for. If you don’t have time to pack before your movers arrive, or you don’t want the liability of packing a box wrong and damaging items, requesting your movers to pack for you is a good idea. The same goes for unpacking. If you would like assistance in unpacking at your new home, you can expect to see added charges on your final bill.
Remember, these are merely the basic charges you can expect to see on your bill of lading. Additional services, such as making multiple stops or putting items in storage will result in more fees. Be sure to speak with your moving company about all the services you require to prepare both yourself and your movers for what is to come on moving day.