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Ask the Expert: Will Movers Take a Small Load?

Editor's note: Charlie Morris is a certified moving consultant with over 20 years experience in the moving industry.

Question: I only have a few large things to move, will a moving company even be interested?

Answer: Yes.

Moving companies consolidate shipments in order to most efficiently use a truck's space – any empty space is a loss for the mover.  So if a mover can piece together several shipments or get a small shipment to fill out the load, it makes the moving company happy.

However, as the customer, you might not be as happy. You will probably pay more per pound for hundred pounds, as most movers like to calculate charges, to ship a small load. Many movers will charge for a minimum amount of weight (often around 2,100 pounds) – or a minimum amount of time (for local moves) -- for any load they pick up.

So even if your load weighs little, you might get charged for a higher amount; same goes for time. Like so many things, the mover has certain upfront cost that are always there, no matter what the weight of the shipment. Also, some movers will charge an extra fee to transport your items from your home to their warehouse to hold it for a moving van headed in the direction of where you want your items shipped.   

You will also be somewhat at the mercy of the mover's loading and delivery schedule – because it's a small load, you might not have much latitude over when you can get the shipment picked up, moved, and/or delivered.  Often, because your small shipment is being combined with other shipments, it is not always easy for the mover to pinpoint your exact dates. (Then again, time might not be much of an issue for you.  For smaller shipments, flexibility is key.)

Still, it never hurts to ask if a moving company is interested in handling your small shipment.  Even though you might pay more to have it done, you will have trained professionals moving your belongings and you will be spared doing all of the work yourself.  Also, you will have options for protecting your items against damage while in the mover's possession.  When you do the move yourself, all responsibility falls back on you.

There are also moving companies - like Mini-Moves - that specialize in this sort of moving, so be sure to check out these other options, too.

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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