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Planning a long distance cross country move in the near future. Do not know how the moving companies charge? Is it by weight or the number of cartons. Is there a rule of thumb that Ican use to decide what to move and what to junk?
Is it cheaper to send some things by UPS or parcel post (seems to be about $2 per pound)?
 

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Moved cross country twice. ABF Upack the first time was the cheapest. This last time we used Ushipand got the move for h... (more)

Out2Sea (Sep. 14, 2013 @ 11:25p) |

Isn't uship the bunch of "interesting folks" (nice way to say "whackjobs") that the "reality" show is about?      If so, I... (more)

Mickie3 (Sep. 15, 2013 @ 7:20a) |

First of all you need to decide what all things you need to transfer. It's for certain that moving companies will charge... (more)

marcelmeister (Oct. 04, 2013 @ 4:35a) |

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Research everything you can about moving companies, and go with a reputable one. There's too many horror stories on here about getting ripped off the day of moving. Some do it per pound, some do it by volume. Get EVERYTHING in writing, and pay with a CC for added protection.

Avoid.Moving.Companies.If.You.Can.

By weight, mostly. I think media mail is still around, so you can send CD and books by that, which was what I did years ago.

Be aware of moving scams where they hold your items for ransom. When I moved many years ago the major items where a bed, TV, and a futon. I found a place online that hire a freight co and a shipper that pack up the things together. In retrospect I should just sold all those on CL and bought all new, even though I did find a good shipper. I also received low ball offer from a few scammers, good thing the shipper I ended up using warned me to google those low-ballers and I found them to be scammers.

Look up ABF too.

I shipped my stuff from MI to CA about 6 years ago. I rented space in what turned out to be a UPS trailer (it was a pain in the butt to move furniture into and out of it without a ramp, but it was the cheapest option). They dropped the trailer off at embarkation and destination and left it for a few days on both sides of the trip. They charged by the foot, but they had specific increments you had to use (I think it was minimum 8 feet, then 2 foot increments). It wasn't the best experience (the trailer took almost a week longer than planned to arrive), but it was cheap and there was never a concern I'd get ripped off. I did all the lifting myself, too, which cut down on costs.

I just moved from the Midwest to the East Coast, about 1,800 miles.  My company paid for everything and they used Graebel Movers.  Overall, I was definitely not impressed at all.  I think my company paid like $7,000 to basically move a one bedroom apartment. They do it in many stages which is a pain.  One day someone comes to see what they need to pack, another day someone comes to pack your stuff in boxes, then another day they actually come to take away your stuff.  The packers were rushed, tried to get out of there as soon as possible, and I was not impressed. It took about 9 days for our stuff to come, which really was lame having to wait so long after we had already arrived.  The loaders who delivered everything were quite good, they took their time and were careful.  Some of the furniture had minor damage to it, and some of the more breakable items (picture frames) were slightly broken, such as a piece had fallen off, but for the most part everything made it unbroken.  We are still in the process of unpacking so we have not seen everything yet.  I would not use these guys again, for a professional moving service and what this cost I was very unimpressed.  If I have to move on my own dime, I would definitely just rent a trailer and drive myself.  I would also do all the packing, then pay somone to do the heavy lifting.  I believe that they charge per weight, but I have not seen the final bill yet. We only brought stuff that we plan to use and left a lot in storage.  We didn't use any rule of thumb, but were thinking about ok what do we really need to use, and next to we move again how much of a hassle would this be to take. Good luck!

ABF upack or Amtrak or Greyhound to ship. Amtrak is dirt cheap station to station.

OP- there's some very good info on this thread. So far I've moved twice Midwest to west coast; and then west to east and both times I did a ton of research FW way and absolutely avoided these moving companies altogether. Unfortunately, I have no choice but pay out of pocket (company does not reimburse). First time I used Greyhound (GPX it's their parcel shipping division that handles cargo services but your stuff gets carried by the same buses that carry passengers)....they are very competitive on the upfront pricing - just 60 cents per pound - but 3 elements to keep in mind

a) If you drop-off the stuff at their location (most of the time it's somewhere in downtown and just 1 or 2 locations for entire Chicago area) then you spare yourself the rip-off that can occur at the hands of their local sub-contracted courier guy that ripped me off by coming late and then complaining so much that he will not pick up from my door on 2nd floor even after I prepaid $55 for 2nd floor-door-pick-up. I was so running out of time to catch a flight that I was forced to bribe him $20 AND work myself and my neighbor in loading all boxes to his truck...the only thing he did was he rolled around the dolly on the stairs.
b) The second rip-off you can spare is at the weighing scale: No matter how accurately you measure & weigh your boxes - I was warned (by friends who recommended this service to me) and I was charged about $150 towards excessive weight and oversize surcharges. I also read online reviews about this practice.
c) The 3rd rip-off they tried pulling on me was: The greyhound guy in San Jose calls me once My stuff reached saying Come pick over your stuff and only 2 days time --- else I gonna charge you storage fees - WTF - hello I pre-paid you to home-deliver to my 2nd floor apartment. He acted as if he needs to check his records and then agreed. But this time a nice sub-contractor drove up in his personal Honda Pilot a few trips delivering my stuff - he was nice and with zero complaining got everything in the door. I voluntarily tipped him $20.

Overall Greyhound is cheap and reasonably quick if you take the above precautions from my experience.

Amtrak is really cheap but it's getting more and more restrictive with the years - now you can't even quote online (last I checked was 4 months ago) rather you are forced to call-in to get a quote. The biggest pain with Amtrak is absolutely nothing over 50 lbs per box even if you are willing to pay the overweight surcharge....that is why I had to go with Greyhoud as some of my boxes were over the normal size limits.

Final piece of valuable advice: No matter how much sentimental value or comfort value you hold with furniture - never ever moving them is a wise thing financially - if you can't get to sell them off of CL you can donate or throw them away and still probably come ahead in terms of money because....the amount of time you spend (or pay someone) in dismantling them, packing them, unpacking them, re-assembling them back to use....and combining that with the actual shipping charges ... never ever makes a wise choice. And we haven't even talked about furniture that arrives broken/damaged.

I moved from Wisconsin to Texas nearly 5 years ago. I owned a pickup truck, so I purchased a used trailer from craiglist. I packed up all my stuff and loaded it into the trailer. Then I drove it across the country. This was the only part that I miscalculated as my truck ended up averaging 9 mpg. It took me almost 6 months to buy a house in Texas. During this time, I stored my trailer with most of my stuff in it on my friend's property for free. This saved me a ton of money on storage fees. When I finally bought my house, I unloaded the trailer and sold it. I sold it for almost as much as I bought it for, only lost a couple hundred on it. When I was buying it, I needed the trailer right away, I couldn't shop around for the best deal.

I moved cross country twice, NYC-SF, and SF-NYC.  Each time with a reputable full service mover, and the cost was roughly $1 per pound for the actual movement of the goods(taking boxes from apartment and loading into truck, driving truck across country, and unloading boxes from truck into new apartment).  Other services such as packing boxes, storage at destination, shuttle requirement(smaller truck if you live on a tight street) would be extra.

I'm sure the $1 per pound may have changed a bit, as my moves were 5 years ago, but it's a reasonable number to use as a ballpark when deciding whether to move something or simply throw it away and buy new at the new location.  

ZenNUTS said:   By weight, mostly. I think media mail is still around, so you can send CD and books by that, which was what I did years ago.

Be aware of moving scams where they hold your items for ransom. When I moved many years ago the major items where a bed, TV, and a futon. I found a place online that hire a freight co and a shipper that pack up the things together. In retrospect I should just sold all those on CL and bought all new, even though I did find a good shipper. I also received low ball offer from a few scammers, good thing the shipper I ended up using warned me to google those low-ballers and I found them to be scammers.

Look up ABF too.


I agree completely with this. Sell everything first, then there is nothing to move and you have a pile of cash to buy what you want.

I preferred renting a truck and doing it myself for long-distance moves.

^^^

This. Pack your own stuff. Rent a Penske truck (not a U-Haul). Pay day laborers either end to load/unload the truck if required.

lonestarguy said:   I preferred renting a truck and doing it myself for long-distance moves.
  
Yup. + 1.
 

ganda said:   ^^^

This. Pack your own stuff. Rent a Penske truck (not a U-Haul). Pay day laborers either end to load/unload the truck if required.


Day laborers are key. But I try to get guys with moving/loading experience. That pays off with a nicely packed full truck which minimizes broken items etc. I like Labor Ready but I've also gotten guys directly from CITA Mission and other similar organizations (essentially a halfway house). They work cheap and will be overjoyed if you bring them a Subway lunch. Never had issues with theft so long as you treat them well.

cheapdad00 said:   
ZenNUTS said:   By weight, mostly. I think media mail is still around, so you can send CD and books by that, which was what I did years ago.

Be aware of moving scams where they hold your items for ransom. When I moved many years ago the major items where a bed, TV, and a futon. I found a place online that hire a freight co and a shipper that pack up the things together. In retrospect I should just sold all those on CL and bought all new, even though I did find a good shipper. I also received low ball offer from a few scammers, good thing the shipper I ended up using warned me to google those low-ballers and I found them to be scammers.

Look up ABF too.


I agree completely with this. Sell everything first, then there is nothing to move and you have a pile of cash to buy what you want.

  ABF is a great company.  You can ship via their carton system.  i think it is called UPACK or something.  If moving a lot, you can get space by the linear foot in a trailer.  Friends used the linear foot method and it worked out great.  They drop the trailer at your house.  you load it.  they put in a divider and fill the rest for shipment.  Then deliver it to your new residence on the other end where you unload it.  My friend used a full 28 foot trailer.

I also recommend selling items you really do not need, but ABF should be able to get a base cost to you for a trailer.  Just remember it all weighs more than you think.
Best of luck.

Sell as much of your stuff as you can. Donate (if you itemize, don't forget the receipt!) -- most places will come pick up if you have a bunch of stuff (bonus!). I prefer to hire laborers to help me load and unload a truck (Penske has had the best rates for me) but I like to do the packing myself -- even if my employer will pay for it (that's just me).

We moved from Dc to Chicago last fall. We hired movers to load and unload at each end and rented a Uhaul to drive ourselves. Spent about $1400 total I think. As far as the weight vs value, I don't think it's that simple...bulky things can also be a big problem. I wouldn't move an 8 year old couch for example. But if you do it my way, no one cares about weight, just need to make room on the truck.

By the way, if you're moving for a new job, save all your receipts, even for packing material, etc. It's all tax deductible except food. One trip per family member so if you make more than one trip you can deduct one each. My husband drove over early with our car to start work and then flew back to drive the Uhaul with me. We weren't married last year. I took one trip on my taxes and he took the other.

Thanks to this forum I learned about UPS Hundredweight. Google it but you basically get massive discount to UPS rates when shipping a bunch of boxes to the same address on the same day. You will need a UPS account setup.

wfay said:   
ganda said:   ^^^

This. Pack your own stuff. Rent a Penske truck (not a U-Haul). Pay day laborers either end to load/unload the truck if required.


Day laborers are key. But I try to get guys with moving/loading experience. That pays off with a nicely packed full truck which minimizes broken items etc. I like Labor Ready but I've also gotten guys directly from CITA Mission and other similar organizations (essentially a halfway house). They work cheap and will be overjoyed if you bring them a Subway lunch. Never had issues with theft so long as you treat them well.

How do you say do you have house moving experience in spanish?

Quieres robar todo en mi casa?

I could be wrong but i think that is what you are looking for.

I have done this twice, sell everything! Ikea is your friend.

dealgain said:   
Amtrak is really cheap but it's getting more and more restrictive with the years - now you can't even quote online (last I checked was 4 months ago) rather you are forced to call-in to get a quote. The biggest pain with Amtrak is absolutely nothing over 50 lbs per box even if you are willing to pay the overweight surcharge....that is why I had to go with Greyhoud as some of my boxes were over the normal size limits.
 


When I did Amtrak they let me load all my items on a pallet which they wrapped for me - avoiding the 50lb per box limit, but there is a 500lbs per pallet limit.  YMMV.

headend said:   Quieres robar todo en mi casa?

I could be wrong but i think that is what you are looking for.

  Hilarious! Headend, you owe me for a new monitor, as I just sprayed this one w/coffee after reading your post! Nice
 

caramelito said:   Avoid.Moving.Companies.If.You.Can.
  

Yes, especially for interstate.  They in-state movers are usually regulated by some form of state authority, there is a place to file a complaint. But interstate moving business is wild  west.  The'll haul your stuff to some warehouse in never-never land and make you pay extra.  And at the end, you'll be lucky to get your things in one piece.

Definitely box up and ship anything that qualifies for media mail.  My wife and I are readers and we have several large shelves full of books.  Media mail is $32 for a 70 pound box.  
 

So many good ideas. The UPS hundredweight seems to be quite doable ( UPS site was quite informative at about 70 cents/ lb for 500 lbs for TX to CA) .
Very intrigued about shipping pallets, any more available information would be appreciated. Especially regarding shipping furniture by pallet?

USPS Media Mail looks like it comes out to 50 cents per pound. That could help for books; I'm not sure what else counts as media these days.

I think the ABF UPack seems like the easiest/safest/cheaper combination.

Juk said:   Thanks to this forum I learned about UPS Hundredweight. Google it but you basically get massive discount to UPS rates when shipping a bunch of boxes to the same address on the same day. You will need a UPS account setup.
  Hundredweight is not a UPS thing. It's just a way to measure weight.  It's a basic tool all ltl companies use (YRC, R&L, Old dominion etc...). You'll see it written as cwt also.

You can't get corporate negotiated rates, of course, but try calling some ltl companies if you are shipping NON-FRAGILE items that you box and can put on a pallet and see what they'd charge to ltl different weight breaks like 500/1000 etc...

rpi1967 said:   So many good ideas. The UPS hundredweight seems to be quite doable ( UPS site was quite informative at about 70 cents/ lb for 500 lbs for TX to CA) .
Very intrigued about shipping pallets, any more available information would be appreciated. Especially regarding shipping furniture by pallet?

  It must fit on standard size pallet. Any over hang will result in extra charge (or they may refuse it). LTL companies make their money by cubing out trailers (the more weight they move the more money they make). They will cram and jam stuff into trailers, they will stack other customers pallets on top of yours (there are cones you can put on top to help deter). So anything that hangs over will be caught on corners and torn. This stuff will be moved multiple times by fork lifts. If it is breakable it will be broken. Damages are rampant in ltl business. Do not ship anything worth more then $1. Do not ship the urn your grandmother is in.

If you are stupid enough to try this then box and pack everything in a way that can withstand being dropped, shaken and rammed. Shrink wrap all the boxes on the pallet (boxes will not magically stay in place) because these pallets could go through 3 or 4 terminals. Do not have any overhang. Create your own bill of lading.

When you receive shipment DO NOT SIGN BEFORE INSPECTING THE BOXES. Do not have a friend or wife sign for it. You be present. You must write any damages on bol to have proof it was received damaged and have any chance of claim (good luck with that). Take picture before and after.

You need to ask the company are they signing for a pallet or number of boxes. Look up Shipper Load and Count.

Don't get me started on linear foot rule and density.

Don't ltl anything valuable or that you will cry over when it shows up broken...if it shows up.

I hate ltl.

Are the ABF UPack movers reliable? I've done the craigslist laborers and both times have resulted in damaged furniture due to poor packing. At least I've learned to just watch the loading and let wife watch inside going forward..

Their website quotes "Loading (2 helpers, 2 hours) $345".

I've got 2 bulged discs and any heavy lifting puts me out for 3+ days, so I gotta hire help

Movers charge by weight AND distance. 6 years ago we moved an entire house 600 miles for $.22 per pound. Get a "guaranteed not to exceed" estimate so that if it weighs more you pay no more, yet if it weighs less you save. Negotiate for free boxes.

I used UPack about three years and it worked okay. The move before that we sold "everything" and that really is the best way to go. This last move landed us in a remote rural area and we still wound up UHauling stuff from the freight terminal a couple of hours away since it cost a whole lot more to drop the trailer off at the new place. Shouldn't be much of an issue if you are moving someplace more urban. (We might have gone the POD route but that wasn't an option for our area at the time).

The real trick with UPack is that the trailer doesn't have the fancy suspension that a moving van supposedly has. So you really need to know how to pack your stuff. I didn't but a good friend was a warehouse guy and he knew how to pack. We only had a couple of minor breakages thanks to him. So overpack your stuff at home, and try to get some advice on how to best stack it in the trailer, especially if you have more than boxes (furniture, etc.).

ABF U Pack for long moves, For local move I rented Uhaul and booked few guys to load unload in Uhaul website itself which was like $150 for 2 hrs plus Uhual cost. It worked out well for me.

You're probably ok with a cheap service if you pack to the standard of UPS shipping. That means... packed well enough to knock the box off a 3 foot high table to the ground and it doesn't break. You're going to get a lot more volume that way though.

headend said:   Quieres robar todo en mi casa?

I could be wrong but i think that is what you are looking for.

  Todo es gratis.

moved from TN to Id using ABF, hired local movers at 20 bucks an hour per person, had the truck unloaded in a couple hours.

ABF will rent you truck by the foot, with a minimum.

A key to preserving furniture, is to rent moving blankets from uhaul 6 blankets are like 7 dollars for 10 days. I rented like 120 of them, the most that uhaul had ever rented they say. The loader that I used taped the blankets onto each piece of furniture, and the truck was packed high and tight.

used a full abf trailer, and 2/3rds of a second one, and was happy with the move overall.

I did have 25 of my closest friends help 2 pro movers load, and 6 pro movers unload.

wads

if you want someone else to help you, use this forum www.movingscam.com to find good reputable company.
if you can do it yourself, do it! rent a truck and have fun road trip across the country, I would do it this way

Skipping 17 Messages...
First of all you need to decide what all things you need to transfer. It's for certain that moving companies will charge according to the size and quantity of items that need to be stored or transferred. Cost depends on the number of containers that need to be used while shifting items. There are numerous moving storage  facilities available and you can decide whom ever according to their pricing. Due to variance in service levels and quality of service you cannot expect an all uniform price. Well you need to rethink on needful items and choose an economical, all the best for your travel. 



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