An internet search for moving storage near me can result overwhelming results. It’s easy for companies with big budgets to rank higher than their competitors by sinking money into advertising. But that doesn’t mean the first two to three names that pop up in your search engine are the best candidates to manage your move.
Sometimes the best local moving company won’t hold a candle to a national moving company. Other times, your budget or unique relocation deadline won’t allow you to work with one of the largest movers in the country.
A lot goes into hiring moving and storage services, and the following information should help clarify the screening process.
Local Moving Companies 101
Local moving companies are among the first results you get in Google search results for “moving storage near me.” They’re businesses that can move your belongings from point A to point B in the same city or state. These companies may charge by the hour, cargo weight, distance, or various other factors.
Local movers specialize in short-distance transportation. Some may even offer temporary or long-term storage. You may need it for items you don’t have room for yet or belongings you may want to sell, donate, or dispose of later.
National Moving Companies 101
National moving companies can help relocate people and their homes or offices over long distances. It’s probably the type of service you need if you uproot your family in Texas to move all the way up to Vermont.
These movers have professional long-haul drivers, vast networks, and experience in handling interstate shipments. Naturally, some companies offer more than others. It isn’t uncommon to search for moving companies near me and find movers based a few states away from you. That doesn’t mean you can’t get in-person quotes or a full-service package.
Like local movers, national movers may offer packing, storage, and other perks to make your relocation smoother.
Why You Should Work With a Local Moving Company
The main reason people search for moving storage near me is convenience. Local movers probably know everything about your location and possible best routes to the desired destination. This knowledge simplifies the logistics of a move and makes planning much easier.
Local movers can avoid peak traffic windows. They work with other local businesses connected to the transportation industry. Local moving companies are likely smaller than national service providers and large franchises. This means that the level of service can be better, more personal, and it’s easier to establish a close relationship with the movers.
Locals may take the extra time needed to understand your specific needs and personalize your service package so you can enjoy a stress-free moving experience. In addition, local movers can get to your location faster. If you have a complex order and want a highly accurate quote, odds are you won’t wait long for someone to visit you on-site when you hire a local moving company.
This speaks to the efficiency of hiring locals to move your belongings.
Naturally, it’s not always smooth sailing when working with local movers. Your unique requirements will ultimately determine if locals are the right fit to handle your relocation. For example, local movers don’t always have the same resources as larger companies and national movers.
You might get good storage options near your location, but 24/7 customer support can be an issue. Smaller moving companies might not offer more than basic liability coverage. The industry standard of $0.30 per pound of cargo won’t do you much good if you need to replace a damaged flatscreen TV.
Looking at the pros and cons and the services offered is essential in making a good decision.
Why You Should Work With a National Moving Company
Transporting your belongings over long distances is a complex logistics effort. Using national moving companies is crucial. But not all national moving companies are located two or three states away. Some of the best might be in or near your city. It’s still important to look for moving and storage services near your location while filtering out companies that don’t specialize in long-distance transportation.
Here’s why you want companies with experience handling long-distance moves. They have larger networks and more resources that come in handy when covering thousands of miles and crossing multiple state jurisdictions.
It’s also worth noting that a long-distance move may require transporters to acquire multiple permits, depending on the cargo, trucks used, etc. Local movers might be able to deliver small orders to a faraway destination. But it may take them more time to get everything ready.
National movers likely have all the necessary permits, pre-plotted routes, and everything else they need to complete the delivery. A long-distance move can be more expensive. Although you may pay less per mile compared to a local move, you’re still spending more money due to the distance. National movers offer better rates over long distances. At the same time, local moving companies can charge extra for stepping outside their comfort zone.
Another benefit of working with national movers is that they’re more likely to have storage units in different states. Thus, they can accommodate your temporary storage needs and find a suitable location closer to your new address.
The cons of working with national moving and storage companies can vary based on your relocation requirements. First, you might not get the same attention as you would from a smaller company. Secondly, the base cost of a move can be higher.
During busy moving seasons, national movers are spread thin, and it can take longer to get an in-person quote or schedule a delivery. The choice of movers will come down to personal preference, timing, and budget. That’s even more reason to know what to expect from different moving companies.
Four Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Moving and Storage Companies
Every moving service has benefits and drawbacks. Once you start contacting multiple companies for quotes, there are four crucial factors to look at before moving the conversation along to the next step.
The first thing you see when searching for “moving storage near me” is a company’s rating. Checking the number of stars and reading some online reviews is an excellent way to learn about moving companies. Even if some movers have negative reviews, their follow-up resolution process is worth analyzing. Did they fix the issues with past customers or not?
In addition, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from family, friends, and acquaintances.
Local movers are as busy as national moving companies. People move all the time, companies relocate their offices, store owners switch locations, etc. Even your local movers can be booked for weeks or months in advance.
Check the moving company’s availability before worrying about the little details of your relocation. If the movers can’t accommodate your timeframe, you should probably move on to avoid delays.
The service package is often the great differentiator between movers you’re likely to hire. If you’re pressed for time, you may need an extensive package and very capable movers to help you relocate.
Perhaps you need professional packing, furniture disassembly services, appliance installation professionals, multiple trucks, and temporary storage. Maybe you’re also moving valuable items like antique furniture or art, or transporting a classic car. In that case, you may want movers that offer higher liability coverage or sell extra insurance.
Get a breakdown of their loading equipment, trucks, and staff experience handling belongings similar to your inventory.
Transportation and Other Service Costs
It will help if you get accurate estimates from multiple movers before spending more time ironing out the details and asking for a quote. All movers should be able to give you an estimate based on the distance, cargo weight, and other details.
But don’t take that as a guarantee. Use the estimate as a reference point to decide if it’s worth spending more time talking to a specific moving company.
When Looking for Moving Storage Near Me, Ask These Questions
To better understand who you’re dealing with, ask the following questions.
Is the Company Fully Insured?
You’d be surprised how many movers and shippers don’t have full insurance coverage or only offer minimal compensation if they misplace or damage your items.
Does the Company Have Enclosed Transportation?
Shipping furniture, appliances, art, and other items without an enclosed trailer is risky. Sure, you might schedule a move on a bright, sunny day and only ship your belongings a few blocks away.
But accidents, unexpected bad weather, road debris, and even UV rays can damage your items. It’s not always worth saving a few bucks on open transport methods. Enclosed transportation is safer, and almost mandatory when moving your belongings out of state.
What Is the Company’s USDOT Number?
There’s more than one way to determine the legitimacy of a moving company. You can look at reviews or check the Better Business Bureau website, as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.
You’ll need a moving company’s USDOT number, MC number, or actual company name to do that. The latter won’t always be the name you see on the company’s website. Suppose movers and customer service reps are evasive and don’t want to share this information. In that case, you’re better off talking to other service providers.
What Are the Cancellation Policies?
Less reputable movers may try to get you to make a deposit to book a slot in their schedule. But should you cancel, they might not refund your deposit no matter how far in advance you issue a cancellation request.
It’s worth learning about cancellation policies before signing on the dotted line or giving a company any down payment.
Are Delivery Dates Guaranteed?
A lot can go wrong during a move, from acts of God to accidents caused by other drivers to mistakes made by the movers. But what if a company is more than a few hours late? What happens if they miss the delivery deadline by a day or more?
Every customer will want compensation in these scenarios. Unfortunately, that’s not a given with moving and storage companies. Some may give you a discount for your troubles. But unless the company puts the clause in writing and guarantees the delivery date, you shouldn’t expect any compensation. Likewise, non-guaranteed delivery dates don’t motivate drivers and logistics coordinators to do their best to accommodate your timeframe. Thus, delays happen more often.
What Is the Accessibility of Storage Units?
If you can’t move all your belongings simultaneously, you may need temporary or long-term storage. Some moving companies offer storage units themselves or through third-party associates and partners.
Be sure to ask how often you can visit the storage unit during the week. If your work and storage facility visiting schedules clash, you may not have enough time to sort through your items. Therefore, you’ll end up paying for more months of storage than you need.
Alternatively, storage units located far away can make it hard to check the condition of your cargo, separate items, or schedule another delivery. If you want a one-stop shop moving and storage company, make sure you’re getting the best deal for you regarding storage and warehousing.
What Does the Company Specialize In?
You’ll find many movers and shipping companies that cater to every type of customer.
- Car manufacturers
- International travelers
Although a moving company near you may cast a wide net, they could be specialized in a niche you don’t care about. Ensure you’re working with the right people based on the type of cargo you need to move.
Eliminate Stress by Working With the Right Movers
You don’t always need to find the most extensive service for moving storage near me. Identifying the best movers is about finding a moving company that can personalize a service package per your unique requirements, give you a competitive quote, and meets your deadline. It’s even better if they guarantee things in writing.
Understanding what’s required for a stress-free moving experience makes it easier to find the best moving, storage, and packing companies to manage your relocation.