Long distance moves are typically characterized as any move over 50 miles. Long distance moving services can include everything from full-service box packing of a home, loading, moving, unloading and unpacking to basic moving that only entails transporting boxes and furniture. Several factors affect the cost of long distance moving. Movers generally measure what are called "consolidated moves" by the cubic foot and “exclusive moves” by the geographic area to which they are driving. In a consolidated move, movers pack multiple people’s belonging onto one tractor trailer to consolidate their long-distance driving efforts and reduce costs. With an exclusive move, only one client’s belongings are on the truck.
Many movers calculate moving costs based on how many cubic feet of belongings a client has rather than on the square footage or the number of rooms in a house. A four-bedroom home could be sparsely decorated while a studio apartment could be full to the brim, so measuring the cubic feet of belongings is more accurate. Simply Moving & Storage charges about $2,000 for a consolidated move of a standard one- or two-bedroom house on the east coast.
To manage timing with a consolidated move, some movers may store a client’s belongings for a short period before moving them. For consolidated moves, a company may deliver boxes within a specified time frame rather than on a set date. For example, Simply Moving & Storage guarantees a delivery window between two and 14 days.
The farther the movers have to drive, the more expensive the overall bill. For example, Simply Moving & Storage charges a $1 difference per cubic foot moved to account for transportation costs depending on if the move is on the east coast or farther afield.
Consolidated moves to destinations on the east coast: $5 per cubic foot
- Consolidated moves to destinations in the central states or on the west coast: $6 per cubic foot
With exclusive moves, clients do not have to wait to accommodate various schedules. Exclusive moves are more expensive, however, because they cost more for the moving company. Exclusive moves are typically requested for bigger jobs or to protect higher-end belongings. Simply Moving & Storage does not calculate the cost of exclusive moves based on cubic footage but rather on a set price that includes the transportation cost to a specific geographic region. For example:
Exclusive move from New York to Florida: $5,500
- Exclusive move from New York to California: $16,000
Moving baby grand pianos, pool tables and delicate furniture will all affect the cost of moving services. Many full-service moving companies also offer carpentry skills to disassemble and reassemble furniture, which will also increase costs.
Many moving companies offer packing services in addition to moving services. For boxes and labor to pack them, here’s what Simply Moving & Storage charges:
Books: $5 per box
Linens: $10 per box
- Fine china and glassware: $18 per box
Long distance moving companies often provide storage services for free during the holding period before a consolidated move. After that time frame, costs can vary. Here’s what Simply Moving & Storage charges for storage:
First month for long-distance moving clients: free
- Beyond the first month: $60 per cubic square foot
Stairs create more risk for movers’ physical safety as well as for damage to a client’s goods. Movers typically charge more for stairs, depending on how many there are in both the pickup location and the new destination. Each mover has a different way of calculating this cost. Simply Moving & Storage charges 8 cents per cubic foot per flight of stairs. So for 1,000 cubic feet of goods, the additional charge would be $80.
Packing all boxes ahead of time and having everything organized, well-labeled and easily accessible for pickup will reduce overall cost if paying by the hour.