Ask A Mover: What’s The Difference Between an Independent Mover and a Van Line?

Editor’s Note: Welcome back to “Ask A Mover,” a series of blog posts addressing a specific question or part of the moving process. Today’s topic is, “What’s the difference between an independent mover and a van line?” We invite you to leave any questions you want answered in the comments below, or on Facebook, on Twitter using the hashtag “AskAMover.

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During an interstate move, the question will come up whether to use an independent mover or a van line agent. What’s the difference between the two and why is this distinction important for long distance moves and not local moves?

With a local move, the same crew will load your belonging and deliver them to your new home. With a long distance move, your mover will load with their own crew and the crew at your new home will be different. The only consistent person throughout the move will be the driver.

Where does the new crew come from?

This is where the distinction between independent movers and van line agents is apparent. As an independent mover we can carefully select which movers across America we want to partner with. With more than thirty years of experience and active participation in AMSA (the American Moving & Storage Association, the moving industry’s premier professional trade group), we know the vast majority of movers available to us. It also allows us flexibility because we can make changes with the delivery if necessary. Additionally, we hold all of the moving companies we partner with to the same high standards that we hold our own employees. That means they are all drug-tested and background checked before they enter your home.

Van line agents operate differently than an independent mover because they have offices across the nation. These agents have to work with other agents of the same van line when providing long distance services. They do not have the freedom to pick and choose movers based on objective quality controls or other benchmark standards.

When preparing for your long distance move, make sure that you receive three in-home estimates. And as you discuss the move, ask each move consultant how they decide who the delivery agent will be. Knowing the answer will help give you a fuller understanding of your move and who will be managing your belongings.

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