FAQ

The busiest times for moving companies are during the summer months, taking place roughly between May 15 – September 15. Near the ends of these months, the volume of shipments is extremely heavy—this tends to be the case for all professional relocation and moving companies.

It’s important to take all factors into consideration when deciding on the best time for you to move. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, providing the moving company with a five-day window for loading your shipment can be greatly beneficial. This will allow the individuals who schedule your drivers and moving crew greater flexibility when scheduling your move. If possible, try to be flexible with your arrival time frame as well—keep in mind that you most likely are not the only shipment the truck is currently moving. Offering a flexible time frame can make a world of difference, and make your entire process of moving much easier.

Your first step is determining if you need a full service moving company. It’s a good idea to research local, national, and long distance moving companies— ask your neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members if they can make recommendations. Investigate each of the movers you select with the Better Business Bureau. Good service is the best measure of a good mover!

Try to provide the moving companies with as much notice as possible, especially if you are moving during a busy summer season, as noted above. Six weeks from the actual move date is a great time frame for estimators to come into your home and complete a visual survey of your household goods shipment. It is also a good idea to add even more time to make a decision, in the event that you are obligated by your employer to submit moving estimates for a corporate relocation. Try to decide which mover you will use at least four weeks from your actual load day. Additionally, call the mover to confirm your booking and schedule your packing, loading and delivery dates. This time frame can be shortened if you are moving outside of the peak moving season (September 15 through May 15 are considered “off peak” months, which generally feature less moving traffic).

The relocation specialist will arrive at your home to complete the visual survey of your items. Once this is completed, he or she will calculate the weight, packing cost and any other charge related to your move—please remember that the relocation specialist must clearly see what you are moving in order to provide you with an accurate estimate. Crawl spaces, attics, and cluttered closets can often be deceptive, so organize your house well before the relocation specialist arrives.

Don’t be alarmed—it is normal for a relocation specialist goes through all of your cabinets and closets, or even looks under beds and on top of cabinets. He or she must be able to completely see what is moving and possibly needs packing. If you know of items that are out of view, be sure to point them out to the relocation specialist. In addition to this, if there are items you will be eliminating, be sure to point them out as well.

One word of caution that can save you a great deal of trouble on loading day is to get rid of all items you do not plan to move—otherwise, there may not be enough space for your shipment. This will not occur on one or two small items, but if you anticipate eliminating an entire bedroom suite and do not do so, it is quite possible that this could violate the integrity of your binding estimate, or cause the driver to run out of space.

A binding estimate is a contract that specifies, in advance, the precise cost of moving based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional moving services are requested or required at either origin or destination, then the total cost will increase.

A non-binding estimate charges you according to the actual weight of your shipment, along with the cost of any moving services that are performed (you will still go through the estimation process to determine what your shipment may cost).

To verify the weight of your shipment, the driver will weigh his trailer prior to loading your shipment. Once your shipment is on board, the driver will weigh his trailer again. All other moving charges will be calculated at your origin’s address. If there are any additional charges that are incurred during the delivery process, the driver will provide you with the additional cost (although this is a rare event, it can occur in certain cases).

If you are moving to a different state, the charges will be based on the weight of your shipment and mileage—these are referred to as the transportation charges. There are a variety of different moving charges that can potentially appear on your estimate, so be sure to ask your relocation specialist to explain each charge for you. Some additional charges that may appear include packing, crating, valuation or coverage, bulky article charge (for oversized items), and extra labor. Again, please be certain you fully understand these charges so that you can accurately compare the estimates you receive.

Tariff provisions require that all moving charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at the destination. Payments can be made using cash, certified check, or money order. Other payment options, such as a credit card, can be arranged with your professional moving service provider.  Your charges may be charged up to two days prior to load in order to prevent your delivery from being delayed. Discuss these options with the relocation specialist and/or the customer service representative assigned to your shipment. In the event that your employer is paying for the move, the employer may pre-arrange to be billed via invoice. Whatever works best for your situation is great—just be sure to have the details worked out prior to when packing and loading begins –if the method of payment is not established prior to load day, it can cause you problems on delivery day.

All movers are required to prepare an order for service before they transport your shipment. The order for service provides you with written confirmation of the moving services that you requested to be performed in conjunction with your shipment. It also lists the agreed upon dates for the pickup and delivery of your shipment and amount of valuation that you requested, along with any special services that you ordered. It also features a place and telephone number where the mover can contact you during the move.

Additionally, the order for service shows the charges that you will be assessed for your household move or corporate relocation. If you are moving under a non-binding estimate, the order for service will indicate the amount of the estimated non-binding charges, the method of payment for the charges and, in cases where the actual charges exceed the non-binding estimate, the maximum amount that you are required to pay at the time of delivery in order to obtain possession of your shipment (you will have 30 days following delivery to pay the balance of the charges due). If you are moving under a binding estimate, the order for service will show the charges that you will be required to pay at delivery, based on the binding estimate and the terms of payment. You and your mover must sign the order for service.

Every mover is required to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment transported. The bill of lading is the receipt for your goods and the contract with your mover for their transportation. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of the bill of lading.

It is your responsibility to read and understand the information on the bill of lading before you sign it. The bill of lading identifies the mover and specifies when the transportation is to be performed. It also specifies the terms and conditions for payment of the total moving charges, along with the maximum amount required to be paid at the time of delivery (if you are moving under a non-binding estimate). Information regarding the valuation of your shipment and the amount the mover will be liable for in the event of loss or damage is also shown.

The driver will generally inventory your shipment as he or she loads it (although it is not required by law). When completed, the inventory provides a detailed, descriptive listing of your household goods, along with the condition of each item when received by the mover.

Be sure that everything listed on the inventory is correct. This is not always the easiest task, as you will find things written on the inventory such as “PBO,” which means “packed by owner.” The contents of this carton cannot be listed, as the driver is simply not able to see inside each and every box. You will also sometimes find “CP” on a line item in the inventory, which means “carrier packed” container.

You may also notice, in the middle column on your inventory form, a line that has many seemingly random letters and numbers associated with a specific item. This is where a driver uses inventory code to make note of the condition of a particular item. To understand this code, you can refer to the top of the inventory sheet for a legend that will explain what each code means. For example, SC means scratched; C means chipped; the number 3 refers to the right side of piece; and 8 refers to the top of the piece. This is a simple (and consistent) way for the driver to make note of any irregularities or existing damage.

Remember, this inventory is for you to keep track of what is loaded, and the condition of each item. If damage occurs on a particular piece during the loading process, make a note of the inventory tag number on that item and indicate it in the far right hand column on the line that corresponds with that piece. This is the document that will be scrutinized when the claims process is initiated, so it is important to have the damage clearly noted.

This inventory should also be used at-destination when your shipment is delivered. Use the inventory to verify the articles that are delivered and, again, note an exception to the condition of any items as they are brought into your home. Point out the damage to the driver.

What often occurs is that a piece of furniture has been in your home for many years and you grow accustomed to looking at it in a certain place and in a certain light. When you bring that same piece into your new home, you may notice damage that may have been there for a long time. The driver will have noted the scratch or chip at your origin residence. If you are not sure if it was existing damage or new damage, ask your driver to explain the condition of the piece as he noted it on the inventory during the loading process. This is the quickest way to distinguish new damage from what was there all along.

Our drivers are very careful about the way they handle your items, and the inventory is their safeguard against potentially fraudulent damage claims. Use this inventory to your advantage in making sure that you are protected, just as the driver uses it to protect himself or herself.

All loose items must be packed in boxes to prevent loss or damage while moving. It is recommended that you pack all items and leave the drawers empty.

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