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Apr 12, 09:33
Question by JJNY36 (JJ)


Is it safe to move interstate with companies with 1-2 trucks?

Thanks for your repsonse on Volt Relocation. I have gone back to request quotes from your site. I have noticed many of the movers have only 1-2 trucks. Should I be concerned with companies that have only 1-2 trucks for inter-state move? Please advise. Thanks. - JJ

Apr 12, 10:46
Answer by alexzehn (Alex Z.)

Unfortunately,

Not only you should be very concerned about moving interstate with companies that have 1-2 trucks, but also with companies that have 10 trucks listed.

I happened to have an unfortunate experience working as a dispatcher for 2 month for a notorious scammer in the Bronx called Precision Movers (still not rated on our site, but that's where I learned about the many tricks used by those movers, and about the real nature of the moving business in NYC, something I am very happy to share on this site). Those guys have a fleet of around 8 local and one interstate truck, and during the summer period they overbook, because that's the time to rake in the shekels. Let me tell you something - 95% of their interstate jobs where subcontracted and picked up by several trucking companies and even independent truckers that they work with.

It's important to understand the nature of the moving industry. Although people think paying $6000 for a move from NYC to e.g. L.A. is a lot of money (six grands could indeed be somebody's life's savings...), try imagining shipping all those items and boxes with lets say UPS...I think you get the picture. It now should seem like it is actually cheap.

Moving companies manage to maintain this level of prices due to the fact that different parts of the move are done by different companies. For example, have you booked with company like Volt the scenario of your move will probably look like this:
  1. They will come with their (or probably a rented) truck, pack and load your shipment, go to the weighing station (probably the one in Jersey, but not necessarily), and then go to their storage.
  2. In the storage they would unload your items and place them on several wooden pallets and wrap each of those bundles with stretch wrap.
  3. Then the dispatcher will mark your shipment in their system as having XX cubic feet (its normal as long as they charge you by lbs), and will call you to finalize the bill.
  4. Now s/he starts looking for a company that can pick it up from their storage and haul to whatever your destination state is. Each company has several contacts they use for that, but they often are stuck with shipments during the summer season, when hauling space becomes too scarce.
  5. That is when the customer becomes stressed out and starts calling the dispatch office. To solve this "problem" dispatchers are often forced to find "solutions" such sending the shipment with a trucker they otherwise would prefer to avoid.
As you probably understand already, there are several points at which your move might not go smooth. The safest way to move in that case would be to have an interstate mover (or even an independent trucker that serves the route from your origin to your destination) come to your place and load your shipment directly to the interstate truck. But here's a problem - 99% of those companies and individuals DO NOT book their own jobs, for the reason I mentioned before - it is not cost effective for them.

So you basically end up with a difficult choice of either:
  • Risking your moving experience for a cheaper option with one of the companies that have 1-5 trucks (even if they tell you that they have their own interstate truck don't believe them, since it is (a) probably not true (b) even if it is true the chance your shipment will end up on that truck is ridiculously low).

    Now, its important to understand that thousands of moves are performed each year, and many of those result in at least satisfactory experience from the customers. The reason why I call this option a risky one is because some 60-70% of all interstate complaints come from people who moved this way.

  • Try to find a company that only have interstate trucks and will be willing to pull it over next to your home. You have a good chance to find one only if your shipment is really big (at least 7000 lbs and up)

  • Book with a very large independent company or with an agent of a major Van Lines. That would be expensive and chances are your shipment will still go to the storage first, but at least it will all be done within the same company or van lines network.

  • You can also rent a truck and go for a road trip, or hire one of the self moving companies. At least thats the alternative.

P.S. By the way, F rating doesn't necassarily make Volt Relocation a scammer. I happen to know the owner of Volt and he is a really nice guy. Our rating is to show the consumer his chances to be unsatisfied from moving with that particular company. Unfortunately, choosing to be an interstate mover with just one truck is a huge risk, since you have to havily rely on other companies. As you can see - 65% of their complaints have to do with Delivery Issues, which corresponds with what I described earlier.

Have he chosen to do local moves only his rating would be much better. But here is a thing - in New York you have to be an interstate mover at least 2 years before you can apply for your local license. Let me just tell you that starting your own moving company is no picnic.



Good luck with your move,

Alex Z. @ MovingAnswers.org


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