Did you know that the average American moves 11.7 times during their lifetime? That breaks down into 31 million people moving each year, or roughly ten percent of the population.

When you consider this in light of the average American household’s size, 2.3 individuals, that’s approximately 15.3 million American households relocating annually.

Some of these moves cover relatively short distances. But 3 million Americans go the distance with interstate relocations, relying on long-distance moving companies. The average cost for such a move is $4,100. This figure contrasts with the average price of an in-state move, $980.

One of the most vital decisions you to make amid a long-distance move involves which company to work with. There are thousands of long-distance moving companies out there, and it can feel overwhelming to decide which one’s right for you.

Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you. Keep reading for our comprehensive breakdown of the best long-distance moving companies.

What to Look for in Long-Distance Moving Companies

There are thousands of interstate moving companies in the United States. They run the gamut from well-known brands with a national and international presence to small mom-and-pop companies with a limited coverage areas.

That’s why you should carefully considerate following factors:

  • Geographic availability
  • Trash and debris removal options
  • Short-and long-term storage options
  • Straightforward quoting system
  • Whether deposits are required
  • Customer reviews
  • Pricing comparison
  • Safety records and registrations

This list isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to finding the best interstate moving company for your upcoming relocation. But if you pay attention to the criteria above, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best moving brand for your needs.

Check out our moving cost calculator to learn more about the types of services that fit within your relocation budget.

moving truck

Types of Moving Services

Before choosing a moving company, you need to understand the different types of moving services available to you. You also need a comprehensive grasp of the types of moving companies available to meet these needs.

Types of moving services include:

icon-1 Full moving services
icon-1 Partial moving services
icon-1 Self-service moving companies
icon-1 Truck rental services

Full Moving Service

Would you like professional movers to handle every aspect of your relocation? If so, you’ll want to find a full moving service to work with. They’ll make your next move a breeze by handling every aspect of your household’s relocation.

All you’ll need to do is pick a moving day and the new destination. If this sounds like the way you want to move, get ready to pay top-notch for this service.

The average hourly cost for hiring two full-service movers and a truck is $120. Interstate moves will cost you a lot more. Think $12,000 if you’ve got a large household getting moved over a long distance.

When does it make sense to rely on full moving services? When you’ve got a major move underway and don’t have the time to pack your belongings. Even a short-notice relocation will feel stress-free when you opt for a full-service move.

While far from the cheapest option, it proves the most efficient and safest way to get your household items from point A to B.

Partial Moving Services

What if you’ve packed most of your items in boxes? Or, you need help moving just the largest and heaviest pieces of furniture in your home? For assistance with specific tasks, you’ll hire the services of a partial mover.

What do partial movers handle? Their services may include:

  • Packing oddly-shaped or fragile objects that you don’t know how to pack
  • Storing your personal items until you need them again
  • Loading and unloading heavy furniture onto and off a moving truck
  • Moving one room of your house

When it comes to the last service, moving one room, you may have questions about this service. It proves handy for parents with a child moving away to college. You can get away with hiring a small load moving service.

What constitutes a small load? Anything that requires transporting no more than 1,000 pounds.

Self-Service Moving Companies

What if you’ve prepared and packed everything for your upcoming move, but you don’t feel comfortable driving a large rental truck? Then, you’ll want to hire a self-service moving company.

Self-service companies come with two options: 1) a moving truck or 2) a mobile storage container. You’ve probably heard about the latter service because of the recent rise in popularity of “Pods.”

Which of these two options is right for you? It depends on how much stress you want to deal with. With a moving truck, you’ll be under the gun because the truck’s driver will be waiting for you to finish loading all of your things.

After all, the only job of the driver is to haul the load. They won’t get involved in loading and unloading.

If you go the route of using a mobile storage container such as a pod, you’ll have all of the time you want to finish loading and unloading it. Once you’ve completed the process, you simply call the movers to schedule pick up and delivery dates.

Truck Rental Services

You’re also likely very familiar with truck rental services due to the popularity of brands such as U-Haul. Who benefits most from a truck rental service? Individuals who don’t mind driving a moving truck but don’t have one in their possession.

When you rent a truck, you’ll also receive essential moving equipment, which will assist you with all aspects of your relocation. This type of DIY move isn’t for everyone.

Yes, it’ll save you money, by you’ll have to handle all of the packing, loading, unpacking, and unloading. You won’t benefit from the guidance and help of movers during your long-distance drive, either.

If you feel comfortable handling all aspects of your upcoming move, including the driving, then there’s no more cost-effective way to move your belongings.

moving truck

Types of Moving Companies

Now that you have a better sense of the types of moving services available to you, let’s explore the different types of moving companies out there. We’ll also discuss the services that every type of moving company offers.

When you research moving companies online, you[‘ll come across the following types of companies:

icon-1 Local moving companies
icon-1 Long-distance moving companies
icon-1 International moving companies
icon-1 Commercial moving companies
icon-1 Specialty movers
icon-1 Auto-shipping companies

You’ll encounter each type of these moving companies. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you could end up with a service that doesn’t prove satisfactory. With that in mind, let’s briefly break down each of these moving company types.

Local Moving Companies

Although this article focuses on long-distance moving services, you must understand what intrastate or local movers are. That way, you can avoid hiring the wrong company.

Intrastate movers usually relocate people within a 100-mile radius. They typically charge about $30 per hour per mover, which works out to approximately $110 to $150 hourly.

What’s different about a local versus an interstate moving company? Local movers don’t need a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. Instead, these companies fall solely under state laws and regulations.

For this reason, don’t attempt to work with a local moving company for your long-distance haul. They won’t have the proper registration to move between states. Remember that non-licensed moving companies might try to scam you, so don’t fall for it, even if they offer incredibly cheap rates.

Long-Distance Moving Companies

If your exceeds 100 miles or involves more than one state, it’s considered long-distance. You’ll need to rely on the services of a long-distance moving company that has a US DOT number.

Granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), each company’s US DOT number denotes its right to work legally.

How much will you pay when you work with long-distance movers? They base pricing on the total weight of your stuff and the distance it must travel. For example, it costs approximately $0.85 per pound to move household items to a destination that’s 1,000 miles away.

Long-distance movers are skilled in how to pack and move goods and belongings over vast differences. They’ve been through the process countless times and will ensure your household items arrive in the same condition they left your previous address.

International Moving Companies

For individuals moving from one country to another, an international moving company provides the services they need for a smooth transition. Remember that shipping your belongings by sea or air can prove a laborious and complicated process, so it’s nice to have professionals there to help.

A fantastic international moving company specializes in moves between countries. They know how to handle every aspect of this complicated process. They’ll address import restrictions and can also guide you in finding the right insurance for your belongings.

How do international moving companies charge customers? By the volume of your shipment measured in cubic feet. They also consider the distance to the new location and how you’ll receive your items upon arrival.

Commercial Moving Companies

As the name suggests, commercial moving companies deal with relocating businesses. They rely on special equipment and vehicles for dealing with cargo considered sensitive. This cargo includes paperwork and data records of your employees.

Commercial moves require excellent planning so that employee schedules experience the least amount of impact. After all, office activities will be limited until the relocation is complete.

Movers must also have expertise in packing expensive electronic equipment such as multi-function printers (MFPs) and computers.

How do professional movers decide on the final amount a company pays? Like residential moves, factors such as the weight of the goods moved and the distance will impact the final price tag. The average cost for relocating a business is $1.20 to $1.40 per square foot.

Specialty Movers

Do you have delicate or valuable items that you’re not sure how to relocate? Perhaps you need to transport an art collection, a cellar filled with expensive wines, or antiques? If so, you should consider working with specialty movers.

Besides properly packing the most delicate and valuable items, they also prove skilled moving difficult and bulky items such as pianos, pool tables, and safes.

When you hire one of these companies, you can rest assured your items arrive without damage. You’ll also avoid the physical risks and injuries associated with trying to move unwieldy items.

Auto Shipping Companies

Residential moves also often involve shipping one or more vehicles to another state or country. Whether you have multiple cars or simply want to avoid an unnecessary road trip, there are many reasons to consider hiring an auto shipping company.

Like other moving companies, there are hundreds of car shipping brands from which to choose. How do you find one that provides excellent customer service at a reasonable price? Start with online research about companies that move vehicles.

Look for ones that service your origin and destination points. They should also provide various services, including open car haulers, enclosed carriers, and expedited transport for relocations on a fast turnaround. Some companies even offer mobile home transport.

Most vehicles do well transported on an open carrier. But if you have investment-worthy automobiles (e.g., race cars, exotics, antique vehicles), you’ll want to go the enclosed carrier route.

The Characteristics of Excellent Moving Services

You also want to find a company that epitomizes trustworthiness, professionalism, experience, and affordability. Any company you choose to work with should meet all of their criteria. After all, they’re going to be in charge of one of the most valuable assets you own.

What are some practical ways to ascertain whether a company’s right for you? Check out these customer reviews online to see what other consumers have to say about their services. You should also ask for their US DOT and MC numbers.

These numbers prove that a company’s registered to make long-distance moves. What’s more, you can use these numbers to verify a company’s safety record. Find out more about why these numbers matter.

After you’ve vetted a list of companies online, spend some time getting shipping quotes. Most companies have a car shipping calculator conveniently located on their website. You’ll fill in some basic information that impacts price and then get an immediate, no-obligation quote.

Check out this car shipping cost calculator to get started.

moving boxes

The Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

As you can see, there are a wide variety of different types of moving services and companies out there. Finding the right one for your needs will depend on your budget, the kinds of items you need moved, and how much you feel comfortable doing on your own.

You’ll notice the diversity of moving service types in the list that we’ve developed of the best long-distance companies. They include:

American Van Lines
Colonial Van Lines
United Nation Van Lines
Empire Moving Group
Safebound Moving and Storage
24/7 Logistic Services
Bold Moving and Storage
Mayflower Moving
Moving APT
International Van Lines

From full-service movers to rental truck services and partial service companies, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to long-distance relocators. Let’s take a look at how each of these companies continues to meet and exceed customer expectations.

American Van Lines

What puts American Van Lines at the top of our list? Their commitment to up-front pricing, many service options, and unbeatable customer service. American represents a first-rate option for any type of move, whether you’re taking local, interstate, or international.

What services does the company provide? They include:

  • Packing, loading, and unloading
  • Furniture disassembly and assembly
  • Storage options
  • Specialty moving options

In other words, American Van Lines proves your one-stop-shop for long-distance moves. Coupled with their determination to go above and beyond when it comes to customer satisfaction, you can’t go wrong working with this brand.

We also appreciate the company’s up-front, flat-rate pricing and binding estimates. That means no unwanted surprises or hidden fees on moving day.

The company does thorough background checks on all of their movers, and they’ll price match the competition. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to the company after you do a little comparison shopping.

There’s a caveat to this service, however. A lower offer must come from a reputable carrier as American refuses to price match companies known for scamming customers.

When it comes to specialty items, employees are certified antique and piano movers. This expertise means peace of mind with even your most cherished possessions.

The only things we don’t like about the company? Once they get a hold of your number, expect endless calls. You’ll also have to call them because they don’t offer online quotes.

Colonial Van Lines

With more than 50 years of experience in the relocation industry, Colonial Van Lines is a family-owned company with an impressive track record of service. A national brand, they provide transportation within the lower 48 states, making customer service their top priority.

The team at Colonial is licensed and insured for long-distance moves. But they don’t have any locations in Alaska or Hawaii.

The service will move you anywhere within the continental United States, and they even offer a mobile app, which makes coordinating your upcoming move a cinch.

They provide the following services:

  • Long-distance moves
  • Corporate relocations
  • Packing services

When you work with Colonial, you’ll receive a detailed inventory of your items. That way, you can ensure that all of your belongings have made it safely and securely to your new location.

They also offer flexible packing options designed to meet each customer’s unique needs. You can even stipulate that the movers pack one specific item, as would a specialty mover.

They provide plenty of extra packing materials and can also take apart and put furniture back together safely within the confines of the moving vans.

Additional Relocation Services Offered Through Colonial Van Lines

For businesses on the move, Colonial also offers relocation services. Their teams have expertise in the complexities of business moves.

You can add short- and long-term storage solutions to your belongings if needed, too. When you visit the company’s website, you’ll find resources to help you organize and streamline all of the parts of your move.

These resources include a Moving Checklist, which prioritizes the various steps of the moving process. There’s even a place on the site where you can order moving supplies. Colonial Van Lines has gone the distance when it comes to making moves simpler and hassle-free.

Colonial even offers moving help internationally, a service lacking from so many other relocation companies’ wheelhouse.

United Nations Van Lines

United Nation Van Lines is a top-rated moving company that goes the extra mile when it comes to delivering stress-free, long-distance moves.

They provide an impressive list of services, yet prices hover around $2,500 to $5,000 making them one of the more affordable services on the market. Prices vary based on the scale of your household items and the distance they need to move.

The company’s core values are reliability, speed, and affordability. The services that they provide include:

  • Long-distance moving
  • Senior relocations
  • Military moves
  • Corporate relocations
  • Packing services
  • Storage services

The company is properly licensed through the FMCSA, and they have not been subject to any safety violations or consumer complaints within the last four years. For seniors, they offer a full service moving option coordinated with retirement community management.

Employees also meet all military guidelines, codes, and standards for their military moves. And they offer special short-term storage for military personnel who may experience lapses involving the availability of their new home, delays with the sale of their existing home, etc.

moving boxes

Long-Distance Moving Services

When it comes to long-distance moving services, you have plenty of options available to you. As you start searching the internet for long-distance moving quotes versus pods moving cost long-distance, take time to find the service that best suits your unique needs.

After all, some individuals need help with everything from packing to furniture disassembly and reassembly. Others may need help with specialty items such as pianos or wine cellar collections, and still others will want nothing more than a container they can load in their own time.

You’ll also find that many of these long-distance moving companies offer car transport services. That said, these services don’t always take priority. Since your car is the most valuable item you won after a home, you don’t want to leave its safe relocation to change.

Instead, work with an experienced, reliable auto transport company that understands the unique needs of vehicle relocation. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more answers to your transportation needs.