Moving is a major life event, particularly if it’s a long distance move. Whether it’s to another city or another country entirely, a lot of considerations must be made for the move. It’s a big endeavor and only the best movers can be trusted with your belongings.
Such a move is a daunting task that requires significant logistics considerations.
Taking the time to plan your move carefully starts before packing any boxes. The movers you hire have to be trusted with your worldly possessions. That’s a big task which could go horribly wrong if the wrong moving company is recruited. Simply Googling “moving company” won’t cut it.
So how do you find a reputable mover you can trust with your possessions? A little research and these five tips will help ensure your long distance move goes as smoothly as possible.
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1. Get recommendations
While turning to Google in an attempt to find a reputable mover is a good first step, ask your network as well. This will include turning to friends, family, coworkers, and local real estate agents for good recommendations.
Reputation is crucial when hiring a long distance mover. With so much at stake, a company with a solid reputation means your and your possessions are in good hands. Your items will probably be handled by multiple teams and exchange several hands. A company with a great reputation ensures no items slip through the cracks. Particularly those with strong sentimental value.
Online reviews are also a great source when searching for a reputable moving company for your long distance move.
2. Perform background checks
A critical step that should not be ignored during the planning phase is performing background checks. Ensuring the company is insured and registered with the appropriate regulatory body, as well as confirming how long they’ve been in business for are necessary details to obtain when doing your research.
Experience counts when making such a big move. A strong track record shows a consistent ability to deliver each and every time. But even with the best mover, ensure you and your possessions are protected. Inquire about liability. Does your potential moving company have replacement value protection?
Replacement value protection is simply a company-specific insurance plan to ensure your valuables are protected to a certain amount in the possibility that your items are damaged or lost during the move.
3. Ask for an estimate
For a long distance move, request estimates from multiple companies. The estimates should include a binding written estimate, better yet, request a binding not-to-exceed estimate. Both estimates cap your payment for the move at a guaranteed price, and are legally binding.
With that being said, a given estimate is only a guideline. Expect the final cost to be slightly higher than the given estimate.
The estimate you’re given should include:
- Delivery windows
- Special considerations( such as potential moving obstacles including stairs, elevators, high rise limitations, etc.)
- Specialty experience (such as moving grand pianos)
- Storage service if necessary.
Only consider moving companies that are willing to provide free on-site estimates.
Companies who suggest estimates over the phone will creep charges onto the final bill. A reputable mover will want to inspect not only your belongings but moving limitations as well.
4. Get a written copy of the full inventory list
To avoid being charged at a higher price than previously agreed upon, get everything in writing. This includes, estimates, agreed assurances (delivery windows), replacement value protection, and full inventory list.
A lot can happen between destinations so it’s vital that both you and the moving company have inventory lists of all belongings. An inventory list protects against loss or damages and ensures protection when claims must be filed. Moving is a hectic period in which the possibility of belongings getting lost or damaged increases tenfold.
Be sure that you’ve verified everything has been delivered and confirmed that your belongings have arrived in good condition before your moving company leaves.
5. Special considerations
The nature of long distance moving means that certain logistics must be taken into consideration. Before hiring a moving company, confirm the logistical process from packing to delivery. There are certain questions to ask to ascertain if a moving company has the right logistical support system in place to ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible.
You should inquire if the moving company has their own equipment to facilitate the move, particularly for larger objects, or do they require a sub-contractor or another company to provide the service.
If it’s the latter, ask for references to ensure the sub-contractors are as reputable as the moving company. As well, inquire about who provides services once the delivery has reached its destination.
Knowing who will assist in unpacking and unloading will protect your belongings in the event that something does go missing or is damaged during transit.
Following these tips will ensure you hire the right moving company for your needs and that you’ll be ready for moving day. A lot can go wrong when during such a big move, but by being prepared and acknowledging potential risks and liabilities, you’ll be settled in your new destination in no time.
Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services & storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000sqft of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.