Comparing Private Owned & Chain Moving Companies

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Comparing Private Owned & Chain Moving Companies

Assuming you have decided to hire movers for help during your relocation, the next decision is which type of moving company. Sure, you may be searching based on price and the type of services offered, but your choice will also come down to using private owned movers or a national / regional chain moving company. Here are some considerations for deciding between the two.

    • Reputation:
      It will most likely be much easier to conduct a background check on a larger, national moving chain than a small local company. However, you should also bear in mind that those reviews you find for Mega Movers do not guarantee you are going to have that particular crew, so it’s hard to say how applicable they may be. Also consider the fact that most of the essential functions, duties and procedures for moving companies will be fairly similar…and you might even find friends and neighbors who have used the smaller company, providing you with a solid and real review.
    • Customer Service:
      There is a lot that can be said on this point. A bigger chain company is likely to have a call center, staffed 24-hours and a well-established dispute resolution process. A smaller company might not. On the other hand, with a bigger company you can often get lost in the shuffle and a local moving firm may bend over backwards to ensure you are happy and defend their hard-earned reputation. Despite all of this, a larger company is also much more likely to have higher amounts of insurance coverage and protection, so take this into consideration as well.
    • Price:
      Generally speaking (although not always), a local and private owned moving company will have lower overhead and be able to give you a better deal than a big chain company. Because of this, you may also be better able to negotiate for things that you don’t need as well as having those particular services you want included. If you find a local company that you trust and feel is reliable, this could be the best deal from a pricing perspective.
    • Experience:
      The bigger company will probably handle more moves, giving them a lot of experience with all the typical functions like packing, loading, and unloading. Most likely, they will also be a bit more organized and have their process down to a science. While there is certainly a lot to be said for speed, efficiency and productivity, a smaller company is also more likely to provide a higher level of customer service and you may feel the experience was more personalized and less clinical.

A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-452-2880 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.


Deciding which type of moving company may be right in your situation can be a difficult decision. By focusing on the above factors, you will have some objective ideas for comparing both types of movers.

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Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, Inc., including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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