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Why Are Long-Distance Moves Charged By Weight?

Published by Chris Townsend

To answer this simply, long-distance moves are charged by weight because the Department of Transportation has mandated it. If you are working with a moving company, and they state that they are licensed, but do not quote you based on weight, chances are they are what is known as a “rogue mover”. These rogue movers are the ones who will give you a price, generally too good to be true, and then when your items get to their location, they raise the price. Licensed moving companies know better than to practice outside of the DOT’s guidelines.

Common Moving Rates

For long-distance moves, the price of moving your belongings can vary based on the distance. To give you a general idea of the types of rates you may see, here is a breakdown of possible charges.

Average moving prices per weight:

  • Going one state over or less than 300 miles
    • The rate could run $.30 to $.45 per pound
  • Approximately 400 to 800 miles
    • $.50 to $.60 per pound
  • Around 800 to 1200 miles
    • $.60 to $.80 per pound
  • Moving 1200 miles and up
    • $.90 to $1.20 per pound

These trucks are required to stop at truck weigh-ins along the interstate, especially when they are carrying goods over state lines. The regulations are stringent regarding weight limits and adhering to them with moving trucks.

Keep in mind that this is just the base rate for the move. There are other costs you will need to consider when moving a long-distance.

Quoting A Long-Distance Move

There are variables to be considered in your long-distance move. Base rates are generally populated on distance and weight, but that does not necessarily cover the labor of the work crew moving your belongings. Make sure when you get your quote, you give accurate information, or else your quote will not be accurate. Also, you need to find out what is included in your quote. You should receive something in writing to verify the information.

Things to Account For During a Long-Distance Move

The variables you need to consider when making a long-distance move with a moving company are as follow:

  • Weight and Mileage
    • As previously stated, the weight and distance are the base of your quote. Long-distance moves must be made by weight per DOT regulations.
    • Weight is a factor that you can control as a client. You can shed any of the unnecessary items to lessen the amount you will be moving. Think Spring cleaning!
    • Mileage is a factor because every trip trucks make, the mileage they go creates a little more wear on the truck. The trucks have to be maintained and keep a strict service schedule to ensure quality.
  • Moving Date
    • The higher the demand, the higher the price. It is that simple. If you move during a time that is often a lot less busy, the price will be lower because the company won’t be stretched as thin. The theory also pertains to the time of year you choose to move. The sunnier the weather, the higher the demand. Try selecting a move date that is mid-month, mid-week, and avoid the summer.
  • Supplies
    • When you move, you want your items to be boxed neatly. Movers prefer to move boxes and items that are prepackaged correctly, if you are not utilizing one of their packing services. The safety of your items is important, and a poor packing job can make for items lost in transport.
    • Whether you purchase supplies from the moving company or a regular store, you are going to want to make sure they are of higher quality than the boxes behind the grocery store. You will need to make sure you have packing peanuts or bubble wrap for those fragile items that could break during transport.
  • Packing Services
    • Maybe packing your own boxes is not your idea of a good time. That’s okay. Most moving companies offer this add-on service to help your move run smoother. The rates for this typically run anywhere from $35-$45 an hour and include the price of packing materials.
  • Added Insurance Coverages
    • General liability insurance is a requirement of all licensed moving companies. This insurance is what covers your items while they are being transported or stored by the company. This coverage includes covering your items at a rate of $.60 per pound of household goods.
    • If this is not sufficient enough for you, then there is the option of increasing the insurance coverage of your items. This will be done at your cost, though. If you have items that are expensive or are irreplaceable, it may be worth considering the additional coverage. The coverage is usually time restrictive, so make sure you ask your moving specialist if you need to opt for it a certain number of days before your move so that it is active during transport.

Make sure that all of these items are addressed before receiving your quote. The breakdown for each one, including price, will be reflected in the moving companies quote. For your convenience, Three Movers offer full-service solutions that may include one or move of the services above in a long-distance move.

Keep It Simple

The only way to get the best long distance movers rates is to shop around. Get multiple quotes to see who can offer you the most for your money. Get an idea in your mind of the most amount of money you want to spend. When you find the mover that you can’t live without, negotiate a price with them. Most moving companies will be willing to work with you and may even have discounted rates available.

Three Movers have moving services all over the United States, which makes them an obvious choice for your moving needs. There is no need to subcontract out your move because we can take care of all your needs in-house. Our happy customers would agree that their long-distance moves were more pleasant because of Three Movers.

do moving companies charge by weight

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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