What Do Full Service Movers Do?
When it comes to moving, you have two choices. You can hire a moving company to take care of parts of or the entire process, or you can do it yourself. There are pros and cons to each method, but in the end, it comes down to what you want and what is best for your current situation.
Some people aren’t interested in packing up all of their possessions, driving a truck to their new home, and unloading it.
Can you blame them? It’s a lot of work.
Sometimes it’s just better to hire a full service moving company. Full service movers offer a complete moving package, from start to finish. They offer a whole spectrum of moving services, and may even cover every service you need to relocate to a new home, or to move your corporate office to another State, and so on. The biggest benefit full service moving services offer is the ability to move stress-free, whether you need to move your belongings across town, out of state, or even out of the country. They take care of every stage of the moving process, making it a seamless experience for you.
We are going to teach you about full service moving companies in this article. Here are a few of the topics we will discuss:
- The types of services offered by a full service moving company
- What full service actually is
- Whether it is the right choice for you
- The different moving options
- Moving locally, nationally, or internationally
- Storage options and what to look for
Generally, full service movers will also offer storage services, so you do not have to worry about needing to move your things quickly. Knowing what a full service moving company can do for you will help you in the moving process, even if you choose a more limited moving service in the end.
Typical Services Offered:
- Packing and unpacking – all of your goods will be packed at your old home and unpacked at your new home
- Fragile goods packing and unpacking – fragile goods are safely packed to survive transportation and unloaded at your new home
- Self-pack supplies – you can pack your own goods using packing supplies like boxes, tape, pads, and other items that you can purchase or rent
- Moving logistics and transportation – the moving company you choose will take care of loading, driving your goods to your new home, and unloading them
- General labor for a move – you can also hire movers to help you with general tasks on the day of your move.
- Storage units – if you need to store certain items in a storage unit, most moving companies have storage units available for short and long-term storage.
A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods nationwide. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.
Full Service Means Full Service
This may seem obvious, but the term full service is used for a reason. These types of companies offer every service you would ever need to complete your move.
After agreeing to move your belongings, full service movers will provide you with everything you need to pack up your belongings. Items like stickers, tape, wrapping paper, padding/styrofoam, and more will be provided to you. Not only will this help make it easier for you to prepare your items for moving, but it will also keep them safe during the move itself.
Ever heard of Tetris? Moving is a lot like Tetris…
Once all of your belongings are packed up and ready to move, the movers you hired will tap into their inner Tetris skills and start to load your stuff: Heavy and large items are placed on the bottom, while small and light items are placed on top. From there, they will drive to your intended destination, and unload everything.
While some full service movers may offer unpacking and packing services as well, this service isn’t always offered. This is a service called “Professional Packing” that you should search for if you want to hire a moving company that will offer this.
Here’s how we see it.
Sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra to have everything packed properly.
And if you have any larger items, don’t worry, they’ll move those too. Full service movers will move your belongings into your home or office for you, especially the big items like stoves, pianos, large televisions, cabinets, and other things that you will not be able to move by yourself. Keep in mind, certain companies will charge you more to move these items.
Now that you are familiar with the process, let’s talk about what makes a moving company the right fit for you.
Which Full Service Mover is Right for Me?
Generally, the more extensive your moving process is, the more specialized your full service moving company will be. Moving out of state, or even internationally will require more permits, licenses, documentation, and money than moving across town. The more extensive the moving process, the more full service movers will cost you.
A typical international move involves:
- Dealing with U.S. Customs and filling out extensive paperwork to clear the majority of your possessions
- Taking into account international laws and specific laws in your destination country
- Hiring a moving company that has experience completing international moves
- A higher cost because of the sheer amount of work an international moves requires when compared to local or national moves within the United States.
Whatever you choose, budget your moving expenses before you contact a moving company. Create a list detailing expenses like:
- Packing materials (tape, boxes, pads, etc.)
- Labor costs
- Rental equipment
- Moving company fees (trucks, labor, and logistics)
- Permits you may need to obtain
While most full moving services specialize in land transport, you will come across companies that offer sea and air transport services as well.
Typical Moving Options and What You Need To Know
If it is possible to drive to your intended destination, a full service moving company can be contracted to drive your belongings there. For example, you could ship your belongings from Seattle to Argentina if you wanted to. However, you could also use overseas transportation in some cases.
Unless you require a trailer for large items like furniture, it is likely that the full service moving company will provide a box truck (also called a cube truck) to ship your goods.
If you require a trailer, it can be hitched to another vehicle.
Overseas item transport is possible if you want to ship your belongings nationally, and even internationally. Shipping your belongings from New York to England, for instance, can be completed by sea.
Moving nationally, you may feel it is quicker/more affordable in some instances to ship your goods from New York to Florida by sea. In this case, you would be simply shipping your belongings from port to port.
With overseas shipping, you will be provided space in a shipping container. Your belongings will be packed into the container, the container will be locked and secured, and shipped to its destination port. Once at the port, your container will be unloaded, and your full service moving company will move your belongings to your new home or office abroad.
You can always move your belongings by air, but this is by far the most expensive option.
If you are moving from Toronto to Beijing, for instance, it may be better for you to use air transport to ship your belongings. If your full service moving company does not have its own air fleet, but it offers air shipping, it will contract another shipping company to send your belongings to you in another country.
This is the most expensive option, but it is also quick. While you could ship your belongings internationally using trucks and ships, these transportation methods will take longer. If time is money for you, air transport may be the best option due to its ease and speed.
I Want to Move Locally
Moving locally is the cheapest option when hiring full service movers. The routes are simple to navigate and you will often get the best prices possible because of how competitive the industry is. The time spent moving your belongings is shorter than when moving nationally or internationally. Most of this has to do with the fact that there just isn’t as much paperwork to complete.
The moving company does not need to apply for special licenses to move your belongings across state lines or out of the country and there are no U.S. customs documents that need to be completed.
All of this convenience results in a lower price for you!
You have to remember…
The more bureaucracy you have to deal with when moving, the longer it will take, and the more expensive the process will be. Each of these extra steps is costly and time consuming.
When it comes to moving locally, your best option is to have your moving company drive overland whenever possible. This is not only the cheapest option, but the simplest to execute as well.
I Want to Move Nationally
Moving nationally (to another state) will be more expensive than moving locally (within state). Moving companies need to get a special license from the federal government in order to legally move your belongings across state lines. These licenses cost more money and time, and part of the costs are passed onto the customer.
If you want full service movers to help you move from Idaho to New York, or even from New York to New Jersey, search for a company that specialize in moving across state lines. They will be better able to help you than a local company that has an office down the street from your apartment.
When it comes to moving nationally, overland or overseas transportation is the best option for you, although the one you choose will depend on your finalized route. If you are moving to a port city that doesn’t have easy access to a major highway, it may make more sense for you to ship your belongings by sea.
I Want to Move Internationally
Moving internationally is a reputable full service moving company shines. The company you hire will handle every aspect of the moving process, making it as painless as possible for you.
Here’s what A-1 Auto Transport Recommends.
Always hire an experienced moving company when it comes to international moves. The entire process is far more complex anytime you introduce the laws and regulations of two different countries into the mix. Unless you are familiar with international import and export laws, it is easy for you to make costly mistakes.
You will also want to try and hire a single company to try and complete the entire move. Contracting individual parts of your move out to different companies will complicate the process and increase the chances that something will go wrong.
When you hire a single company, it means that they are handling all of the U.S. Customs paperwork, screening specific countries and individuals against denied party lists, checking local regulations to make sure none are being violated, and helping you make sense of classification codes and other things.
Moving internationally by land, sea, and air, can work. The best shipping method will depend on your moving plans, your budget, and how quickly you want the move to be completed.
I Want to Put My Belongings in Storage
This option is unique. Usually, when people move, they want to transport their belongings to a new home or office as quickly as possible. This isn’t always the case though. A new trend has emerged involving people storing a portion of their belongings in short and long-term storage units.
If you are moving to another country for a pre-determined amount of time, it may make sense for you to leave some of your larger belongings or family heirlooms in a storage unit in your home city. Sometimes it isn’t worth risking damaging them, especially if the country you are moving to isn’t one that you will be living in for long.
There’s good news though!
More and more full service movers are starting to offer, or contract out, storage space for your belongings. Some of the different options for item storage include:
- Inventory management
- Asset management
- 24-hour secured facilities
- Fire protection
- Climate controlled storage facilities
- Distribution services
- Forklift access
- Storage insurance (a subset of homeowner insurance)
- And much more
Each storage company, whether they are a part of the full service moving company or a subcontractor, will have different storage options. The services listed above are simply the most common services you may find.
In terms of size, the most popular storage unit sizes include:
- 5’x5’ 25 sq. ft. – fits several boxes and a few small items
- 5’x10’ 50 sq. ft. – fits the contents of a small one bedroom apartment or a studio
- 10’x10’ 100 sq. ft. – fits the contents of a larger one bedroom or smaller two bedroom apartment
- 10’x15’ 150 sq. ft. – fits the contents of a two or three bedroom apartment
- 10’x’20’ 200 sq. ft. – fits the contents of a three or four bedroom apartment and can even fit a vehicle or small boat
- 10’x25’ 250 sq. ft. – fits the contents of a three or four bedroom house, a vehicle, and a boat
- 10’x30’ 300 sq. ft. – fits the contents of a five bedroom house, lots of small items, a vehicle, and even a smaller boat
If you are unsure of what storage unit is best for you, just call a storage unit company and tell them what type of things you are trying to store.
What Should I Do Now?
In this article, we have introduced you to what full service moving companies do. We have also covered the types of services offered by these companies, the different forms of shipping you can use to ship your belongings locally, nationally, and internationally, and the basics of item storage in case you want to place your belongings there for a short- or long-term duration.
Now that you are familiar with moving companies and the services they offer, your next step is to call one up, get a quote, and finalize the details of your move.
Here’s a better idea…
Call A-1 Auto Transport. We’ve been offering auto and household moving services for over a decade and we know a thing or two about helping you get from point A to point B.
If you want to work with a reputable moving company that offers competitive prices, give us a call. We encourage you to call our competition and compare prices because we know that it won’t take you long to call us back.
And if you have any questions at all, do not hesitate to get into contact with us. Moving doesn’t have to be hard, at least that’s the case if you work with us.
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 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, 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.