Should You Choose a National Moving Company or a Local Moving Company?

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When moving across the country, a national moving company may provide the best services. However, as America becomes more transitory and moving for employment becomes more common, local moving companies are offering long-distance moves. Large, corporate moving companies and local moving companies are not the same, though, and prior to hiring movers, it is necessary to understand the differences, benefits and drawbacks of each.

Corporate Moving Companies Explained

Corporate moving companies often have the advantage for interstate moves. What is typically unknown, though, is that these larger moving companies are actually franchises in which the larger company sells their name to locally owned proprietors. While a company may boost the name of one of the larger companies, therefore, it is most likely in fact owned and managed by local residents.

Corporate moving companies often have larger trucks, carry more insurance and have a larger pool of resources. These factors make it easier for national companies to handle longer and bigger moves. Typically, these companies also offer packing and unpacking services. While the FMCSA provides dispute resolution procedures, these national moving companies also often offer twenty-four hour customer service.

Small Business Moving Companies Explained

A locally based moving business will be owned by a local owner. Usually, such companies offer fewer services and have less availability because they own a smaller number of trucks and employ fewer people. Local movers often offer the same services as a national company, such as packing and unpacking, and are usually required by their state to hold insurance and abide by the FMCSA.

Choosing a National or Local Company

When deciding between a local or national company you must consider the specifics of your move.

First, analyze the distance and complication of your move. If your move is long-distance, extremely complicated or consists of high value items, a national mover may be the best choice because of the company’s expertise with similar moves. If you are moving within the city or state boundaries or your move is uncomplicated, a local moving company may fulfill your needs.

Second, consider your budget. While more common than not, it is not universal that national movers will charge more than a local company. For a long distance move moving charges will be calculated based on the weight of your goods. In a shorter, local move, costs will be based on the distance and amount of time for your move. However, thoroughly investigate every estimate you receive and do not merely pick the cheapest.

Next, determine the amount of insurance you would like for your move. Moving companies that cross state lines are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency governs registration, operation and dispute resolution for carriers and customers. A local moving company that only operates in one specific state is not governed by the FMCSA, but may be subject to state agency guidelines. Because of the shorter distance of a local move, there is less chance for breakage and other damage to your goods. As such, you may not need the best insurance offered by the company.

Finally, and most importantly, consider the customer service offered by different companies. Because local moving companies must carefully protect their reputation, it will not necessarily be more difficult to resolve disputes even though they operate on a smaller budget. Similarly, while seemingly offering constant customer service, because of their larger size a national moving company may actually be more difficult to contact.

While both national and local moving companies offer the same services, the costs charged, insurance offered and customer service provided will drastically differ. Before either a local or long-distance move, you should contact and obtain written estimates from both types of companies. Thoroughly investigate each company, including their reputation and any complaints filed by previous customers, before signing any agreement.

4 Responses to “Should You Choose a National Moving Company or a Local Moving Company?”

  1. July 09, 2010 at 8:33 am, Jason Davies said:

    Choosing the right mover depends on you! First, educate yourself about moving and whats invloved. Is your move a local move or is it a long distance move? Some movers specialize in one or the other. Then go to and get free moving quotes and great moving tips and advice from the 5Movers Moving guide.


  2. November 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm, Jeff said:

    The most important thing if you choose a local company for a longer move is to choose one from the city you are moving TO. While it’s probably more convenient for the estimate to use one from your origination city, as soon as your stuff enters your destination city, you’ll be much happier if your moving company is headquartered there. ANY problem will be much easier to deal with, and they’ll be more interested in protecting their reputation, too.


  3. December 07, 2010 at 10:18 pm, Shawn A. Banks said:

    i say defiantly local movers with good reputation no doubt


  4. February 13, 2019 at 12:08 pm, Jessie Allen said:

    Wonderful Article! I really like reading it, thanks for sharing and keep up the amazing work.


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