Estimating Local and Intrastate Moving Costs


Moving within 50 miles or less is usually considered a local move, while relocating beyond that distance in the same state is an intrastate move. Intrastate moves are priced based on the mover’s published intrastate tariff, which is kept on file with the state government. A local move is commonly charged at an hourly rate and includes additional charges for services.

An intrastate move is usually based on the weight of your shipment, similar to a long distance move. The moving truck will be weighed before it’s loaded and then weighed with its cargo to determine a net weight for your items. Your charges are then based on that weight, multiplied by the rates that the mover has set. Other charges listed in the mover’s tariff are determined by the types of services your shipment will need. Packing and unpacking services are usually charged at a per-carton rate. Bulky items such as pianos, big-screen televisions, motorcycles, riding lawn mowers, large outdoor swings and exercise equipment which require extra labor, will incur an extra charge (normally flat rate). The mover’s tariff also includes charges for valuation, fuel and other items.

Carefully review estimate

The written estimate that you receive for an interstate or local move should be thoroughly reviewed and signed by both the mover and yourself. If you’re requesting a binding estimate that will not allow your charges to be higher than estimated, you should make sure it’s specifically stated this way on the estimate.

Pricing for a local move

Determining a price for a local move is not as complicated. If you’re requesting packing for a local move, this service is usually charged as a price for the cartons. Packing labor charges are usually charged by the hour, per person rate. Depending on the amount of packing needed, you may require a couple of packers or several, and the number of hours will depend on the number of cartons to be packed. Loading and unloading is normally an hourly, per-person rate.

The size of your current home will determine the number of people needed on a moving crew.

  • 1 bedroom: two movers
  • 2-3 bedrooms: up to three movers
  • 4 bedrooms: up to four movers
  • More than 4 bedrooms: four or more movers

Your mover will have rates for each crew size. Rates are usually on file at the moving company for your review.

As expected, the more men working on your move, the faster the move can be completed. It’s a good idea to compare the differences between moving companies to determine what’s best for you. The higher rates of some companies usually reflect the experience and training that they provide to their crew. Depending on your budget and the value of your items, this premium may be well justified.

It’s a good idea to do an in-house survey of your goods to determine your costs. The mover should be willing to see your goods and ensure that you have no surprise charges. As with all types of estimates, you’re entitled to receive the survey in writing. Verify that the estimated charges include all of the services promised to you.

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