Best Rated National Moving Companies

Best Rated National Moving Companies

  1. Choosing a Reliable Moving Company You Can Trust Isn't Always Easy
  2. How We Decided On The Best Moving Companies
  3. Ideally, Company Websites Had To Answer Basic Questions
  4. A Bearable, If Not Pleasant, Quote Procedure
  5. Visible Claims Departments, Or At Least Existing Claims Handlers
  6. Let's Voyeur On The 500 People Surveyed On Their Recent Move
  7. And The Contenders for the Top Moving Companies Are...
  8. Runner-Up
  9. The Old Standbys
  10. Other Maybe Considerable Moving Companies
  11. You Should Know This: Quotes & Estimates
  12. The Meat and Potatoes of Moving
  13. Take Action
  14. American Moving Trends
  15. Top States People Moved to in 2015
  16. Top States People Left in 2015
  17. Invest in the Right Company For You and Your Needs

1. Choosing a Reliable Moving Company You Can Trust Isn't Always Easy

Relocating your worldly goods is not to be taken lightly, and there are just so many available options. So what we did was review a survey conducted on 500 people and the associated telephonic quotes from 20 moving companies, to ascertain whether it’s best to get a buddy to move you or fork out for full-service professional relocation. Of course, no-one promised you a rose garden, the best one can shoot for is reputable moving companies affording a pleasant quote experience.

If you look at it logically, the average Joe Soap might move house less than a dozen times in a lifetime, whereas professional movers do it day in and day out, almost every day. So a comparison between your bowling buddy packing you up, for a couple of beers and a burger, and the international van line relocating you is quite unfair.

It’s no mean feat to organize moving your entire worldly possessions, and possibly auto-transporting your family car, however people trained to do so with all the best resources have a great advantage, you’ll agree.  These resources include less obvious imperatives such as appropriate insurance, licenses, and accreditations to safeguard the customer should the untoward occur, like Great Aunt Milly’s ancestral crystal heirloom plummeting from a great height. The top achievers in the survey, Atlas and Bekins service the entire U.S, cut to the chase with pricing and services, and follow through with a no-fuss claims procedure.

2. How We Decided On The Best Moving Companies

Having started with 82 Contenders in the Moving companies who claim to move-anyone-anywhere category, we whittled this down to the best two. This is how we did it:

Although local movers are invaluable in their communities, being that they know the lay of the land and everyone living on it, we focused on hard-core national movers. The reason for this is that we’re interested in ascertaining the best in the market for ‘moving anyone anywhere’, therefore highlighting ‘Movers Not Shakers’ operating throughout Small-Town, the USA wouldn’t help ‘Prospective-Migrant’ from another state.

Of the available options who seemed to meet the criteria to ‘move anyone anywhere’, it was soon discovered that, while many companies could indeed move to anywhere, they were limited in the ‘from anywhere’ part. So they were not considered. Furthermore, only legally compliant contenders were eligible, backed by valid Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) licenses. Risking your possessions to an unlicensed mover may result in lost or damaged goods and your household being held ransom for payment exceeding their estimate.

3. Ideally, Company Websites Had To Answer Basic Questions

Laying out their services concisely online saves you the time and hassle of laboring through a phone call with a moving company who turns out not to provide what you’re looking for (storage, full service, etc.).  The best sites have a helpful FAQ’s section and a concise list of the services or resources they provide. A live chat help or full day customer service feature isn’t a deal-breaker, but it certainly is noteworthy.

  • Eliminated: 16 Contenders

4. A Bearable, If Not Pleasant, Quote Procedure

This is by no means fun, but you really need to eliminate companies who are not worthy of moving you. Get a minimum of three free, written estimates from the market at the get-go. Disregard quotes far above or below the average price.

There are a few ways to acquire quotes: A company representative conducts a home visit; You provide a video which they use to quote with; on-line questionnaires.

In the quest to reveal the top moving companies, the contenders were tested on their estimate process. It was found that the average phone quote was done-and-dusted in 10 minutes, but it is important to note how easy or difficult it was to get to speak to a human, and once shared, how helpful the human proved. Some calls were never answered, some failed to respond to voicemails and others required the traversing of time-consuming phone trees.

While it can be warming to deal with a company representative who seems knowledgeable, willing and professional, beware of the pushy sales staff. Moving company scams are real, and you should never be pushed into paying a deposit during your quest for written estimates. By entering into such an agreement you may well face a stand-off with the scam movers holding a truck-load of your possessions ransom for extra money. A pushy salesperson who insists on money-up-front relegates their company to non-Contender status.

  • Eliminated: 7 Contenders

    excellent moving companies ranked

5. Visible Claims Departments, Or At Least Existing Claims Handlers

This is tricky to test when you haven’t actually had goods transported, and so none could get damaged or lost. What was required therefore was to ascertain the availability and usability of the company’s claims department? Most people have a disinterest in the mechanics of ensuring goods in transit, they simply want to get paid out if their possessions fail to reach the new home in the same condition in which they left the old one. The first step to getting reimbursement is filing the claim, and contenders without a clear-cut claims lodging process were sent packing.

Case in point was PODS. PODS and U-Pack are companies who passed the website test but failed on the accessible claims department test. It’s all very well having a storage unit delivered to your door and then onward to your new door, but without a means to claim, what happens when mayhem strikes between the two doors?  

  • Eliminated: 7 Contenders

6. Let’s Voyeur On The 500 People Surveyed On Their Recent Move

This is how it was done:

We asked - Who did you hire? and How would you rate your experience?

They responded using the classic 1–5 scale (1 = terrible, 5 = excellent)

The results were not unanimous or similar. Respondents’ scores on the same question ranged from very low to very high and everything in between, averaging most companies out at a rating of 3.  No matter the planning and research behind it, hiring a mover may simply be a roll-of-the-dice on who is going to land up on your threshold on moving day.

Amongst the remaining contenders, Wheaton and Arpin were clear losers in this rating, with most of the respondents citing their moves as a negative experience:

7. And the Contenders for the Top Moving Companies are:

Let’s just skip the fuss and go right ahead with the winners:

  • Atlas Van Lines is tops for no-fuss scheduling and the only claims service offering “delay” claims. The findings revealed Atlas Van Lines as Best Overall, with happier clients than the other contenders. Findings proved them to provide friendly service and exhibit flexibility with scheduling.

Getting the Quote:
This proved a welcoming experience, traversing from phone tree to human, ready to schedule our in-home estimate, in a mere minute-and-a-half. As front-line, our human was pleasingly reassuring when we raised the horrors experienced by home-movers we know. She offered us their first availability in three days, with a flexible time schedule spanning all day from morning to early evening.

Their claims process affords you separate forms and procedures for lost/damaged items or delayed items.
Atlas has a user-friendly website, without the bling. All you need, from quotes to claim forms, can be found here. They are the only company to insure you if your shipment arrives late, which helped them earn 69% surveyed customers with a positive experience.

8. Runner-Up

Bekins Moving

  • Bekins Moving and Storage, for their high profile and reputable status, earned a well-deserved Runner-up position. They have a proven track record of customer satisfaction.

Getting the Quote:

Bekins were more transactional and less friendly than Atlas, but they were efficient and fast. Our in-home estimate was booked within 8 minutes, having covered all the basic questions needed regarding our relocation. Our attempts at an on-line quote proved Bekins response to be slower than Atlas. 62 percent of past clientele surveyed came up happy, having had a positive experience, with half of them awarding 5 stars.

9. The Old Standbys

Getting the Quote:

United Van Lines and Mayflower have been moving people for around 90 years, making them two of the US’s oldest movers. They are competitors, owned by the same parent company, UniGroup, and share a common process. Our phone operator was cheery in a non-committal kind of way and kept us on the line for 7 and a half minutes, of which a minute and a half was spent waiting to be connected. 

  • Mayflower was on a par with their stable-mate, United Van Lines.

Getting the Quote:

Refer to our review of United, same minute and a half on hold before Joanie clicked on the line, who was all procedural with the questions and without any banter. This had our in-home estimate booked and us off the line in under five minutes.

United and Mayflower achieved a smack-in-the-middle between terrible and excellent from 29 percent of past customers surveyed.

10. Other Maybe Considerable Moving Companies

Who knows whether they could have given our winners a run for their money? You have to be in it to win it, though, and if we can’t access you, you can’t move us.

Wheaton’s website was thorough and reassuring, with FAQ’s, all-encompassing resources, how-to suggestions including video-packing demos and a blog guiding you to pack like a pro. Of course, they’re a moving company, so they suggest to pack like a pro, you should just hire the pro.

Their online response was fast, affording an immediate confirmation response to our request. We had their estimate in our e-mail inbox within 24 hours.

59 percent of our survey respondents cited a negative experience, which seems to fall more in line with our phone-in experience than our website one.

With a majority (35% of respondents) awarding a 1-star rating of “Terrible”, 43 percent surveyed had a neutral or positive experience. MyMovingReview.com shows similarly bad ratings.

Getting the Quote:

Our online request for an estimate was never answered, but our phone call was pleasant. The phone was immediately answered, whereupon Arpin’s representative bantered a while before assessing our moving needs. Our estimate was duly scheduled for six days anon, with flexible times and dates offered.

We had a good time, but the people have spoken, and with such low marks, we’re moving on.

11. You Should Know This: Quotes & Estimates

In-person quotes are best, preferable to email and telephonic estimates which may hide surprises. Having a representative walk through your home ensures an accurate and exact estimate, which should be followed up with a contract stating a price. The FMCSA requires that all interstate moving companies conduct an in-person visit to homes within 50 miles of their location unless the customer waives this in writing.

Basic estimates need to know: how far you’re going and how much your stuff weighs? Having an agent assess this in person makes for a precise evaluation of your possessions, without the risk of inadvertently omitting items from the inventory. There’s also a big difference in the evaluation of a Target bedstead compared to a solid brass antique bed.  

An in-person evaluation will ascertain exactly which of their resources you will need, from full-service packing and unpacking to safely shipping your baby Grand.

Quotes are not all created equal, and preliminary estimates are merely rough guides and are not binding. A ballpark quote is what you get when you’re still determining what needs moving and you hop online or call to get an idea – it’s really a guesstimate since your actual cost is related to weight and company tariffs. It remains safe to assume that your final bill will be higher than your estimate, and remember to get written confirmation of tariffs up front.

Movers are obligated to honor a binding estimate, and you are not required to pay for their mistake if they underestimated the weight of your load. However, if you have additional items to those included in your estimate, you will be liable to pay extra for them. So anything that didn’t sell on your auction is not the mover’s problem.

Should the company have overestimated the weight, their company policy will dictate whether you pay the agreed-upon amount or whether it is reduced accordingly. They will provide you with a written outline of their policies.

Any claim lodged will have a settlement period before you are paid out.

You should be around while the Movers note the condition of your possessions during the drawing up of the inventory. Make sure you agree with their findings. When they deliver your possessions, the inventory will be checked for damage incurred in transit. You are expected to lodge a claim timeously if required. Although you might have up to nine months to do so, the sooner you submit a claim the better. Claims can be filed online or telephonically, depending on the company’s claims department and process. A claims adjuster will usually inspect the damaged property within a week of the claim being lodged. The claim will then be processed before a settlement is made.

12. The Meat and Potatoes of Moving

Moving remains a bother despite having the best moving company. The upside is that friendly and efficient service across all lines - online, telephonic and personal – will take the edge off. A mover with a reputable track record will up the chances of you being moved without being scarred.

13. Take Action

Time and Research are your friends in planning a Move. By pre-determining any loopholes and potential pitfalls, you’ll avoid landing in them. Entangled in a moving company scam is not where you want to end up, so a good move should present with less than ten complaints when you research, and these should all be resolved.

Don’t procrastinate, you should have estimated at least five weeks before you want to move, to ensure you find the best fit, date-wise, and service wise.

Once you’ve chosen a mover, make sure your contract (Bill of Lading) details all aspects of your move – estimates, resources, and services – before signing. All charges involved in your relocation must be itemized down to whether or not bubble wrap is included.

Regardless of ensuring that everything chargeable appears on your Bill of Lading, be equipped to pay up 110% on delivery. It is entirely feasible and possible that you overlooked something, which then hiked up the fee, and most movers will expect 10% of any extra’s plus the original estimate upon delivery. The remaining amount due will be payable within 30 days.

High Rated National Moving Companies

14. American Moving Trends

Americans are always on the move in all different aspects of their lives. This relates to our jobs, our personal lives and with where we live. On average, some predict that most Americans will have had 12-15 jobs within their lifetime. They find this especially true with younger generations. That number correlates with statistics that the average American moves 12 times during their lifetime. Which, when compared to other countries, is very high. We are in a constant state of pursuing something different. Whether it be our careers or our own personal dreams that consistently landing us in different parts of the city or country.

Moving season is almost here, which is made up of the months May-August which is when most people are making their moves. Warmer weather makes some roads more accessible during those months. For families with kids, this offers up the summer holiday as a perfect time to pack up and head out.

Generally, the trends from last years moving season are a good rule of thumb to predict what will also be the moving trends for 2016. Moving trends generally stay constant over the course of a few years.

Below is a list of the top states that Americans are moving both in and out of.

15. Top States People Moved to in 2015

1. Oregon
2. South Carolina
3. Vermont
4. Idaho
5. North Carolina
6. Florida
7. Nevada
8. District of Columbia
9. Texas
10. Washington

16. Top States People Left in 2015

1. New Jersey
2. New York
3. Illinois
4. Connecticut
5. Ohio
6. Kansas
7. Massachusetts
8. West Virginia
9. Mississippi
10. Maryland

17. Invest in the Right Company For You and Your Needs

Many families or individuals have reasons for moving but overall it is important if you are moving from state to state to find the best. You want the ideal candidates for the jobs at hand. Generally, it can be hard to find trustworthy and reliable movers interstate. You want to invest in best of moving companies state to state. Larger cities have so many choices it can be hard to filter the good from the bad. However, while in more remote areas it can be difficult to get coverage where you currently live.

Using a specialized search engine tools will be the best bet for anyone that is looking to or at least thinking about moving to find exactly what they are looking for. Moving from state to state is no easy task! Moving Authority has now expanded to cover all 50 states! (Yes that now includes Alaska and Hawaii) A state-by-state moving tool is the easiest way to get you on your way. Happy Moving!

There are currently no comments

Add Comment


required (not published)


Did You Know

Question In many countries, driving a truck requires a special driving license. The requirements and limitations vary with each different jurisdiction.

Question As we've learned the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was crucial in the construction of the Interstate Highway System. Described as an interconnected network of the controlled-access freeway. It also allowed larger trucks to travel at higher speeds through rural and urban areas alike. This act was also the first to allow the first federal largest gross vehicle weight limits for trucks, set at 73,208 pounds (33,207 kg). The very same year, Malcolm McLean pioneered modern containerized intermodal shipping. This allowed for the more efficient transfer of cargo between truck, train, and ships.

Question The decade of the 70s saw the heyday of truck driving, and the dramatic rise in the popularity of "trucker culture". Truck drivers were romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws (and this stereotype persists even today). This was due in part to their use of citizens' band (CB) radio to relay information to each other regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. Plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and using CB slang were popular not just with drivers but among the general public.

Question "Six Day on the Road" was a trucker hit released in 1963 by country music singer Dave Dudley. Bill Malone is an author as well as a music historian. He notes the song "effectively captured both the boredom and the excitement, as well as the swaggering masculinity that often accompanied long distance trucking."

Question During the latter part of the 20th century, we saw a decline of the trucking culture. Coinciding with this decline was a decline of the image of truck drivers, as they became negatively stigmatized. As a result of such negativity, it makes sense that truck drivers were frequently portrayed as the "bad guy(s)" in movies.

Question The Federal Bridge Law handles relations between the gross weight of the truck, the number of axles, and the spacing between them. This is how they determine is the truck can be on the Interstate Highway system. Each state gets to decide the maximum, under the Federal Bridge Law. They determine by vehicle in combination with axle weight on state and local roads

Question As we know in the trucking industry, some trailers are part of large trucks, which we call semi-trailer trucks for transportation of cargo. Trailers may also be used in a personal manner as well, whether for personal or small business purposes.

Question AMSA wanted to help consumers avoid untrustworthy or illegitimate movers. In January 2008, AMSA created the ProMover certification program for its members. As a member, you must have federal interstate operating authority. Members are also required to pass an annual criminal back check, be licensed by the FMCSA, and agree to abide by ethical standards. This would include honesty in advertising and in business transaction with customers. Each must also sign a contract committing to adhere to applicable Surface Transportation Board and FMCSA regulations. AMSA also takes into consideration and examines ownership. They are very strict, registration with state corporation commissions. This means that the mover must maintain at least a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As one can imagine, those that pass are authorized to display the ProMove logo on the websites and in marketing materials. However, those that fail will be expelled from the program (and AMSA) if they cannot correct discrepancies during probation.

Question Business routes always have the same number as the routes they parallel. For example, U.S. 1 Business is a loop off, and paralleling, U.S. Route 1, and Interstate 40 Business is a loop off, and paralleling, Interstate 40.

Question The United States' Interstate Highway System is full of bypasses and loops with the designation of a three-digit number. Usually beginning with an even digit, it is important to note that this pattern is highly inconsistent. For example, in Des Moines, Iowa the genuine bypass is the main route. More specifically, it is Interstate 35 and Interstate 80, with the loop into downtown Des Moines being Interstate 235. As it is illustrated in this example, they do not always consistently begin with an even number. However, the 'correct' designation is exemplified in Omaha, Nebraska. In Omaha, Interstate 480 traverses the downtown area, which is bypassed by Interstate 80, Interstate 680, and Interstate 95. Interstate 95 then in turn goes through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Furthermore, Interstate 295 is the bypass around Philadelphia, which leads into New Jersey. Although this can all be rather confusing, it is most important to understand the Interstate Highway System and the role bypasses play.

Question A relatable reality t.v. show to the industry is the show Ice Road Truckers, which premiered season 3 on the History Channel in 2009. The show documents the lives of truck drivers working the scary Dalton Highway in Alaska. Following drivers as they compete to see which one of them can haul the most loads before the end of the season. It'll grab you with its mechanical problems that so many have experienced and as you watch them avoid the pitfalls of dangerous and icy roads!


The Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula is a mathematical formula used in the United States to determine the appropriate gross weight for a long distance moving vehicle, based on the axle number and spacing. Enforced by the Department of Transportation upon long-haul truck drivers, it is used as a means of preventing heavy vehicles from damaging roads and bridges. This is especially in particular to the total weight of a loaded truck, whether being used for commercial moving services or for long distance moving services in general.
According to the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula, the total weight of a loaded truck (tractor and trailer, 5-axle rig) cannot exceed 80,000 lbs in the United States. Under ordinary circumstances, long-haul equipment trucks will weight about 15,000 kg (33,069 lbs). This leaves about 20,000 kg (44,092 lbs) of freight capacity. Likewise, a load is limited to the space available in the trailer, normally with dimensions of 48 ft (14.63 m) or 53 ft (16.15 m) long, 2.6 m (102.4 in) wide, 2.7 m (8 ft 10.3 in) high and 13 ft 6 in or 4.11 m high.

Question Logistics is generally the ability to organize and put in place many complex operations at a single time. It is the management of the flow of things to meet the needs of customers or corporations. Resources managed in logistics includes tangible items such as food, materials, animals, equipment, etc. Not to mention the items that are not tangible such as time and information. This means that the movement of physical items, such as in the moving industry, involves a clear understanding of solid workflow. Such logistics can involve the handling of necessary materials, producing, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and often security.

Question The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) was organized and founded on December 12, 1914. On November 13, 1973, the name was altered to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. This slight change in name reflects a broadened scope of attention towards all modes of transportation. Despite the implications of the name change, most of the activities it is involved in still gravitate towards highways.

Question Throughout the United States, bypass routes are a special type of route most commonly used on an alternative routing of a highway around a town. Specifically when the main route of the highway goes through the town. Originally, these routes were designated as "truck routes" as a means to divert trucking traffic away from towns. However, this name was later changed by AASHTO in 1959 to what we now call a "bypass". Many "truck routes" continue to remain regardless that the mainline of the highway prohibits trucks.


The rise of technological development gave rise to the modern trucking industry. There a few factors supporting this spike in the industry such as the advent of the gas-powered internal combustion engine. Improvement in transmissions is yet another source, just like the move away from chain drives to gear drives. And of course the development of the tractor/semi-trailer combination.
The first state weight limits for trucks were determined and put in place in 1913. Only four states limited truck weights, from a low of 18,000 pounds (8,200 kg) in Maine to a high of 28,000 pounds (13,000 kg) in Massachusetts. The intention of these laws was to protect the earth and gravel-surfaced roads. In this case, particular damages due to the iron and solid rubber wheels of early trucks. By 1914 there were almost 100,000 trucks on America's roads. As a result of solid tires, poor rural roads, and a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour (24km/h) continued to limit the use of these trucks to mostly urban areas.

Question Smoke and the Bandit was released in 1977, becoming the third-highest grossing movie. Following only behind Star Wars Episode IV and Close Encounter of the Third Kind, all three movies making an impact on popular culture. Conveniently, during that same year, CB Bears debuted as well. The Saturday morning cartoon features mystery-solving bears who communicate by CB radio. As the 1970's decade began to end and the 80's broke through, the trucking phenomenon had wade. With the rise of cellular phone technology, the CB radio was no longer popular with passenger vehicles, but, truck drivers still use it today.

Question 1941 was a tough era to live through. Yet, President Roosevelt appointed a special committee to explore the idea of a "national inter-regional highway" system. Unfortunately, the committee's progress came to a halt with the rise of the World War II. After the war was over, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 authorized the designation of what are not termed 'Interstate Highways'. However, he did not include any funding program to build such highways. With limited resources came limited progress until President Dwight D. Eisenhower came along in 1954. He renewed interest in the 1954 plan. Although, this began and long and bitter debate between various interests. Generally, the opposing sides were considering where such funding would come from such as rail, truck, tire, oil, and farm groups. All who would overpay for the new highways and how.

Question The industry intends to both consumers as well as moving companies, this is why there are Ministers of Transportation in the industry. They are there to set and maintain laws and regulations in place to create a safer environment. It offers its members professional service training and states the time that movers have been in existence. It also provides them with federal government representation and statistical industry reporting. Additionally, there are arbitration services for lost or damaged claims, publications, public relations, and annual tariff updates and awards. This site includes articles as well that give some direction, a quarterly data summary, and industry trends.

Question Heavy trucks. A cement mixer is an example of Class 8 heavy trucks. Heavy trucks are the largest on-road trucks, Class 8. These include vocational applications such as heavy dump trucks, concrete pump trucks, and refuse hauling, as well as ubiquitous long-haul 6×4 and 4x2 tractor units. Road damage and wear increase very rapidly with the axle weight. The axle weight is the truck weight divided by the number of axles, but the actual axle weight depends on the position of the load over the axles. The number of steering axles and the suspension type also influence the amount of the road wear. In many countries with good roads, a six-axle truck may have a maximum weight over 50 tons (49 long tons; 55 short tons).