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How are moving costs calculated?

Published by Chris Townsend

How are moving costs calculated?

Moving costs are predominantly calculated based on the weight of the shipment, the distance to be covered, and the type of service needed. While these principles apply to all relocations, there are nuanced differences between local and long-distance moves.

If you're planning to relocate, understanding how moving costs are determined is essential. Primarily, the costs hinge on the weight of your belongings, the distance of your move, and any additional services you may opt for. These foundational principles remain consistent across moves, yet there are subtle variations between local and long-distance relocations. Let’s delve into these factors to provide clarity on your moving budget.

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Determining the Weight of Your Belongings

Understanding the weight of your possessions is an integral part of calculating moving costs. Different moving companies apply various methods; however, a standard practice involves using a specially calibrated scale before and after your items are loaded onto the truck. The trucks are initially weighed with no possessions loaded, providing the gross vehicle weight (GVW). After that, your belongings are added, and the truck is weighed again to find the gross vehicle weight with items (GVWI).

The weight of your belongings is then determined by subtracting the GVW from the GVWI. The result is then used to calculate the cost of the move. The more weight you add to the moving truck, the higher the cost because increased weight requires more fuel and effort to move. Downsizing your items before the move could significantly reduce the overall moving cost.

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The Impact of Moving Distance on Costs

Distance greatly influences the ultimate cost of a moving process. Generally, the further you move, the more it will cost you. This is because longer distances require more fuel, greater labor time, and increased wear and tear on transportation vehicles.

Additionally, greater distances often require additional logistical planning and potentially more complex legal considerations, which can add to the overall price. Many people find this proportional increase in cost surprising, expecting flat rates or fees that don't scale with mileage. While some moving companies may have set packages or baseline moving costs, the majority charge based on distance.

This is because each relocation event is unique, and the cost of resources tends to rise with the increased distance to be covered. As such, proper budgeting for a move must consider mileage as a significant cost factor, whether domestic or international.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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