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Nov 13, 15:57
Question by sjohnson (Sam)

Should I use a van line for my move?

I plan on using a van line agent for my move. Do I need to be as thorough checking them out as I would checking out an independent moving company?

Nov 14, 13:27
Answer by cmorris (Charlie Morris)

First, some definitions.

A van line is just a very large moving company that operates like a franchisor – its "franchisees" are van line ‘agents’ in local communities around the country. So, ABC Moving Company of Wherever, USA might be an agent for Mayflower Van Lines.


The upside is you get to work with a local company, which is always key when choosing a mover. And that moving company is backed up by a parent company that can provide it specialized training, substantial insurance coverage, and a eye on quality control so you won’t have to worry about getting a rogue moving company -- the van line in theory doesn’t want a bad apple in its system, so it will root out these companies.


The van lines also can draw on other van line agents for equipment needs. So if the agent you’re working with has trouble locating a truck for your move, they can call on its other agents to do the job for you.


That said, just being a van line agent doesn’t mean the agent is a great moving company. Just as you might find the Applebee’s in your town is much better than the one in the next town over, van line agents can also differ in quality. True, you might be less likely to have problems, but you are NOT guaranteed a hassle-free move. And the independent moving company in your hometown might be a better deal, although you should probably do a bit more research on them.


So think of the van line agent moving company as already having passed a valuable first screen. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still check them out against the competition.

Interested in learning more? Check out this article on how the moving industry operates -- it's worth your time to understand the industry's terms and terminology.

Charlie Morris is a certified moving consultant at, a sister site to

Good luck with your move,

Charlie Morris @

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