Choosing an Independent Mover or a Van Line for Your Long Distance Move

van lines vs independentFor those making interstate moves, you have an important decision to make—van line agent or independent mover. What is the difference and why should you choose one over the other?

With local moves, you will usually see the same crew throughout—the same group that packs and loads your belongings will also be delivering and unloading your items at your new home. However, with long distance moves, the crew at your new home will be different (except the driver). Where they come from depends on what type of company you hired—an independent mover or a van line agent.

Independent Mover

Independent movers, such as JK Moving Services, carefully select partners to complete long distance moves. Independent movers aim to partner with companies that will reflect their own standards. For JK, this means all of our partners’ movers are drug-tested and background-checked, and that the company meets JK’s standards for safety and customer service. As an AMSA (American Moving & Storage Association) ProMover, JK is knowledgeable of all the top movers available to partner with. We know exactly which movers match our high standards and care for your belongings just as we would. Van line agents do not have the luxury of being so selective.

Van Line Agents

Franchise-owned van lines have agents across the nation. When conducting long distance moves, van line agents from different offices cooperate to manage your move. These agents often operate largely independent of the larger, franchise-owned van lines. While van lines can have guidelines for their agents, the high volume of agents from all over the country makes it difficult to set a high standard. Therefore, the guidelines tend to be a mere baseline quality, and agents then have the choice to go above the standards set by the van lines. Because of these inconsistent standards, the moving crew from one agent could do a great job packing and loading your belongings, but the crew that delivers and unloads your belongings (from a separate agent) may not hold the same standards. There is nothing to ensure consistent quality between the different agents.


Nobody enjoys putting all of their belongings in the hands of strangers. Choosing independent movers allows you to rest assured that any issues that surface during the move will be taken care of by the mover, not you. With an independent mover, the accountability remains with the mover, even if local-market partners are used. You will not be passed around between different agents, as you would with van lines. If you have a problem, a question, or want to request changes during your move, the independent mover will contact their crews or partner for you and make all of the necessary adjustments for you. With a van line you may get the run-around; bounced from the origin agent to the destination agent if you have a concern to address or a claim to file. Independent movers also receive 100% of the profit, where van line agents must pay a percentage to the van line franchise. Because of this, independent movers are more invested in the quality of their moves, because they receive the rewards (or consequences) of the moves they conduct.


  • Independent moving companies offer consistent quality through selective partnerships for long distance moves and are directly accountable to their customers.
  • Van line agents have little choice in who handles your move and may not have consistent quality across their different offices.
  • Independent movers are more accountable for the quality of your move, as they are your point of contact throughout the move, and receive the full share of any profits.

If you are planning a long distance move, get started by requesting a free quote from JK Moving Services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *