Long Distance Mover’s Guide

An Interstate move is considered also long distance move. Any move that is greater than 100-miles from the origin and the move crosses a state line will be considered as a long distance move. The major cost of this move will be determined by two factors: the moving distance and the shipment weight. Consolidated shipping allows long distance movers to provide lower rates. This means that instead of your goods being the only one on board, your move will be placed with other customers’ shipments. This allows you to obtain the best rate possible.

There several different parties that are involved in your interstate move. Each has specific responsibilities. You also have rights and responsibilities. It is important to read this information thoroughly to help avoid or resolve any problems that may arise. Please remember: communications between you, the carrier, the booking agent, and the origin and destination agents are vital to a successful move. If you have any questions, make sure you ask!

long distance mover checklist

The various parties and the responsibility of each, is listed below.

  • The “Booking Agent” – This is the person or agency that you or your company place your move with. They are responsible for setting up and managing your move. The quality of their service will be the most important factor in your successful relocation.
  • The “Origin Agent” – This agent (sometimes also the booking agent) is responsible for providing any or all of the following services:
    • An estimate of the number and size of the boxes needed, and the cost of your move.
    • A crew to pack your boxes
    • A crew (hired by the driver) to remove your belongings from your home and load the moving van.
    • Storage at origin
    • Advises the Booking Agent and/or your mover’s Customer Service Department of any problems that arise at your location.
  • The Van Operator or Driver – This person is responsible for the following services:
    • Preparing the “Household Goods Descriptive Inventory”
    • Hires and supervises the individuals that load your shipment at origin and unload at your destination. Removing the goods from inside your original residence is included.
    • Transports your shipment to the final destination (unless it is determined that your shipment will be placed into storage at an origin or destination agent’s warehouse).
    • The driver will place everything you have moved inside your new home in the location you specify.
    • They should reassemble any items which they dismantled at origin. This does not include any unusual articles (i.e., swing sets, waterbeds, sheds, etc.). These may require another service party reassembly.
  • The “Destination Agent” – This Agent is responsible for providing the following services at destination:
    • Provides a crew to be hired by the driver to unload the truck and place your belongings inside your new home.
    • Provides a crew to unpack cartons (if you or your company has authorized unpacking service). Note that long distance movers do not put the contents of unpacked cartons away into cabinets, drawers, or closets. The result of unpacking service is, therefore, quite often disorganized and cluttered. You may want to consider performing the unpacking of boxes yourself.
    • Provides storage at destination if this service has been requested and approved by you or your company.
    • Advises the van line and/or your booking agent of any problems that may arise at destination.

Establishing Liability for Loss or Damage

Should any of your items get lost or damaged in transit or storage, detail the loss or damage on the “Household Goods Descriptive Inventory” which was prepared by the driver at origin. This inventory list describes the items being moved and the item’s condition when the long distance mover took possession. By initially signing the Inventory you acknowledge what is to be moved and the item’s present condition. Upon delivery, you are required to sign the document again. Al loss or damage during shipment must be noted on the document at this time. If you do not do this, your claim for damages or loss may be denied. Look your goods over thoroughly after everything has been unloaded. If anything is missing or damaged, note it on the Household Goods Descriptive Inventory in detail.

To File a Claim for Loss or Damage

If you need to file a claim, call the booking agent, destination agent or the van line and request a claim form. If you have any problems with the settlement process, the booking agent may be able to help. You must substantiate that the loss took place while the shipment was in the mover’s care. If it is not listed as damaged or lost on the Household Goods Descriptive Inventory your chances of receiving any reimbursement are slim. You will be required to have old receipts or appraisals from the item(s) that are lost or damaged. Interstate claims can be filed for several months after your shipment, however, file your claim as soon as possible. This way they know that you are concerned with the incident.

Packing, Unpacking & Statement of Additional Services Document aka Packing Slip

This document provides the details of the number of cartons the long distance mover provided and/or packed. It also indicates any items that the movers had to carry for long distances, up or down stairs, or place in elevators. Additional labor hours and other information that effect the cost of your move is also detailed here. Definitions of the services should be on the reverse side of the document. By signing this document, you are approving any additional charges. Make sure that the information listed accurately reflects the work that is done.

General Moving Tips

  • Please do not make any plans for packing, move out, move in or unpacking day. You will probably be occupied with the service provider for the entire day.
  • Do not have your telephone disconnected until after your planned loading day. Also, make sure your new telephone is installed at your new residence for the day you receive your goods. A cell phone could be used for this purpose also.
  • All very expensive or priceless items such as jewelry, antiques, photos, prescriptions, etc. should travel with you instead of the mover.
  • When filing a claim for missing or damaged items, your loss can be substantiated by cancelled checks, sales receipts, your homeowner’s policy or appraisals.
  • Never discard an item that has been damaged. The appraiser or repair firm may need to inspect it. Your claim may be denied if the article is not available for inspection.
  • If you are unable to personally be at your residence on the day of packing, loading, unloading or unpacking, assign an agent or representative to act on your behalf. They can supervise the long distance movers and answer any questions which may require an immediate answer.
  • The estimate for the cost of your move details the services you will receive. These are the only services that are approved. Any additional service needs to be approved before it can be done.