Best Local And Long Distance Moving Companies in Baltimore
Finding a new service provider is usually not high on our list of fun things to do, especially when it’s a business that seems complicated, and we don’t have to use it very often. For most of us, hiring a mover falls in that category: we don’t understand the terminology, we are in a hurry and stressed out, and we hardly ever need one, so we can’t remember who the great company as we used last time. But put in the effort to find the best moving company for your upcoming relocation, and you will be glad you did.
How can I find the best mover in Baltimore?
Finding the best local mover in Baltimore really means finding the best Baltimore area mover for your moving project. There are many movers, and you just need to find the one that is right for your job. Moving jobs come in all shapes and sizes, but moving companies are generally small businesses. Some of those small companies are part of a bigger one—for example if the mover is an agent for a national or even international shipper. It could also be a locally owned franchise of a corporation that provides some guidance and support. It might not matter to you, especially if your move is local. If you are moving a long distance, the added resources of a company with corporate connections could be helpful.
To get started, create your moving timeline, and familiarize yourself with some of the standard terms that movers will use when you talk to them. This knowledge will help you when the movers come to provide estimates for the cost of your relocation. Here are some of the key vocabulary words:
- Accessorial Charges: Extra charges from a moving company for packing, unpacking, crating, or appliance disconnection. These fees are added to the baseline cost.
- AMSA: American Moving and Storage Association, an industry professional organization. In Maryland, there is a state organization called the Maryland Movers Conference.
- Bill of Lading: A sheet of information that outlines the details of the move. It is a legally binding contract. A bill of lading is very similar to an order for service but presented on the loading day.
- Bulky Article Charge: Moving companies can assess extra charges for large items, including pool tables and exercise equipment.
- Elevator Charge: An additional charge applied when moving requires an elevator.
- Estimate: The anticipated cost of a move. Also known as a quote. Estimates can be binding or nonbinding.
- Flight Charge: An additional charge for a mover to carry items up or down flights of stairs.
- Full-Service Moving: When a moving company performs the entire moving process from start to finish for the customer. This service includes providing materials, packing, loading, transporting, unloading, unpacking, and clean-up. It may also include rubbish disposal, furniture arranging, and storage.
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is an agency within the Department of Transportation which regulates moving companies. Movers that travel across state lines in the course of business must register with FMCSA and follow the regulations.
- Full-Value Protection Insurance: Insurance that covers an item’s price or the cost to repair an item if it’s damaged or lost by a moving company. Not included in the price of the move, but available for an additional fee.
- Household goods: Contents of a residence, items to be moved.
- Impracticable Operations: Conditions that prohibit a moving company from completing loading or delivery with their standard equipment or that require additional labor. These terms are delineated in a moving company’s tariff. Additional charges may be added to the final invoice for moving.
- Line-Haul Charges: The transportation portion of the moving bill. In conjunction with the accessorial charges, makes up the total bill.
- Long Carry Charge: An extra fee applied when a mover carries goods a long distance from a residence to the moving truck or vice versa. The applicable length and the charge are identified on the tariff.
- PBO: Packed By Owner. Designates that a customer packs goods, which can affect liability. Moving insurance provisions may protect the moving company from responsibility for damage if something is broken in a box if the box is intact.
- Peak Season Rates: Quotes for moves during high demand times for moving companies, usually during the summer.
- Storage-In-Transit (SIT): Temporary storage of your shipment before delivery for a variety of reasons. It can result in additional charges.
- Survey: Visual inspection of items to be moved. The basis of the inventory and estimate.
When you begin your search for the ideal Baltimore mover, keep in mind that prime moving season is the summer. If you are moving during this time, be advised that competition is high, and prices may be higher as well. Moves in periods with less demand don’t have to be scheduled as early as moves in the warmer months. Families prefer to move when children are out of school, and month-end is often a heavily booked time also.
Next, determine what type of move experience you are looking for. You can obtain a range, from bare-bones to white glove, with accompanying price variations. A service that includes only loading and unloading with you doing all the preparation work will cost far less than a full-service move. Full service means the professionals handle everything from packing, furniture disassembly and reassembly, appliance disconnection and reconnection, artwork crating, etc. The movers can outline the options for you and explain how adding services will change the pricing. For a local move, the price will depend on how long the company estimates the job will take to accomplish. For a long-distance job, the most significant cost formula elements are the shipment’s weight and the move’s distance. In either case, the ancillary services add to those base costs.
Some services are required. These add labor needed to complete the work and are based on logistics at either the origin or destination residence. The presence of stairs, elevators, and parking restrictions, along with moving of heavy or bulky objects, are included in these costs. The mover will list these fees when they provide the estimate. You can decide whether you want to pay for packing, but you can’t change the layout of the property you are moving to or from.
Before you choose the mover, don’t forget to check references. This task is a great way to ensure that you are hiring a reputable company. The mover should be willing to give you contact information for some recent customers so you can ask about their experience with them as a service provider. Don’t just rely on the reviews you may see on their website; it’s better to speak directly with actual clients. Also, check the Better Business Bureau website. The BBB collects positive and negative reviews about moving companies. Their site also offers helpful tips you can use to avoid moving industry scams.