If you’re planning a long-distance move, there’s a lot of logistical issues to manage, especially when considering how you’ll transport your treasured possessions to your new home. Two popular options are shared van lines and long-distance moving companies, but which of these would be best suited to your household?

We here at Bellhop are experts in long-distance moving, so let us break it down for you from our perspective.

What is a Shared Van Line?

With a shared van line, you’ll only pay for the space that you use on the truck. This can offer cost savings, especially for people who don’t have a lot of items to move. However, with a shared van line the truck may not take a direct route to your destination so you can’t be certain exactly when the items will be delivered.

In many cases, when you rent space via a shared van line all you get is the space. If you’re young and fit or have friends or family members who can help you with loading and unloading the van, this may not be an issue. Those who might struggle to move furniture or heavy boxes may need to hire separate labor-only movers to help with the loading and unloading.

Bellhop Long-Distance Pros

The Benefits of Van Lines

The primary benefit of choosing van lines is that they can often be relatively inexpensive. For those who don’t have a firm deadline as to when they need their belongings to arrive, they can be an affordable way to get your belongings to your new home.

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If you’re moving a long way, don’t mind how long it takes your items to get there, and only need a small amount of space on a van, it may make sense to choose a van line over hiring a dedicated truck.

The Downsides of Van Lines

With van lines, depending on the route the van takes and how many other people’s items need to be unloaded first, you could find your belongings being loaded and unloaded multiple times at various warehouses.

Each stop along the way is a chance for items to get damaged or go missing, no matter how careful and diligent the people handling your items are. You could find yourself waiting weeks for your items to arrive, then discover that some of them are missing or damaged.

What is a Moving Company?

A moving company specializes in providing personal moving services, including packing, loading and shipping your belongings. When you hire a moving company, they’ll come to your property and load your items up onto a truck that has been reserved for your use. They’ll then take the items straight to the destination where they’ll be unloaded for you.

The Better Way to Move

Hiring a long distance moving company can be more costly than using a shared transportation service. However, for that fee you’ll get faster service and peace of mind.

Not all moving companies offer long distance moving services. Many smaller companies focus on shorter distance moves. We do offer long-distance moving services, however, and we take pride in taking good care of the belongings of our clients.

The Benefits of Moving Trucks

If you have a lot of items to move or you have a tight schedule to complete the move, choosing a dedicated moving company could be a good idea.

Moving companies offer several potential benefits, including:

  • Guaranteed delivery times
  • Less risk of items getting damaged
  • Less risk of items going missing
  • Faster deliveries

When you work with a dedicated moving company, the only belongings loaded into the removal van will be yours. This means there’s no risk of your belongings getting mixed up with other people’s and going missing. In addition, since the van will go straight from your old home to the destination your belongings won’t be disturbed during the trip.

The Downsides of Moving Companies

Moving companies do cost slightly more than using a shared van line, and that fee may be excessive if you don’t actually need all of the space in the van. In addition, if you’re moving from one coast to the other you may find some smaller moving companies can’t help you. Fortunately, there are dedicated long-distance moving companies that can (like Bellhop, hint hint.)

Long-Distance Container Moves – a Third Option

We here at Bellhop have a variety of moving options available for you. While most consumers think of us for dedicated long-distance truck moves, we can also work with our partners at PODS to load and unload your belongings into a dedicated storage container that will help ensure your belongings arrive at their destination safely, and often much cheaper. Our Bellhop Pros will load and unload your storage container on both sides of your move, ensuring your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Which is Best?

In our opinion, for most people, using a long distance moving company makes the most sense. Having peace of mind that your belongings have been loaded onto a van by a professional and are now on their way directly to your new home can be invaluable.

No matter what you decide – a van line, a dedicated moving company, or a long-distance container move, we can help. Get in touch today to let us help you figure out your moving needs.

Nick Valentino