Last Updated on July 1, 2019 by Kari-Ann Ryan
Planning a move across state lines? Then you’ll likely need to hire a van-lines agent.
Moving is extremely common, with 40 million Americans changing residences annually. Most people (around 85%) relocate within their own states. Around 12% make the move across state lines. Just 2% change gears completely and relocate to a new nation.
Complicated relocations, such as those that cross state or international borders, require the services of a van lines agent. For example, if you are planning a move from the bustling New York City to a quaint town in Montreal, Canada, you will likely book the services of a van lines agent.
What is a Van Line?
Moving is extremely common, with 40 million US residents shifting residences each year. Most people who relocate, around 85 percent, do so within their own state. Around 12 percent make the move across states lines. A meager two percent change gears completely and relocate to a new country.
The 12 percent of people who choose to move to a new state will be serviced by van lines. As full-service moving companies, van lines feature a network of affiliate agents that allow them to facilitate moves nationwide. These van lines agents are located throughout the country.
The van lines work in conjunction with its nationwide agents to perform interstate moves. However, processing the paperwork, dispatching moving crews, closely monitoring the move and routing shipments are handled exclusively by the van lines on behalf of their agents.
Upon receiving several moving quotes, you’ll settle on one. In the majority of interstate moves, the quote will contain two moving company names: one for the small mover (in large print) and another that represents the major, national brand name of van lines (usually in smaller print).
Your van lines agent will explain to you that these two companies are necessary to execute the move across state lines. It’s good to know that some national van lines are licensed by the Federal Department of Transportation, while others are not.
What hierarchy of van agents are expected to facilitate relocations?
Before you embark on your interstate journey, you’ll first need to book moving services through a van lines agent. Your point of contact will likely be a representative from a local moving company that works with van lines. The agent handles the booking process, as well as hauling and destination.
You may end up working with a booking agent, which may be either a company or individual who has the authority to sell, price, and register the move with specific van lines. Booking agents may or may not be physically based in the origin or destination of the move.
An origin agent may be the same as the booking agent and often functions in the state of origin. Responsibilities for the origin agent include origin services, which may be packing, establishing the driver of the moving truck and offering specialized services to facilitate the move.
Different agents make the rest of the move possible. The hauling agent owns the moving truck that the van lines designate to shift your property. Sometimes, the hauling agent may also serve as the booking agent. The hauling agents’ drivers load and transport your property to its new location.
Once your goods reach its destination, you’ll work with the destination agent, who provides the necessary services to complete the move, such as unpacking and debris removal. The destination agent communicates with the booking agent, notifying them of the move and facilitating additional services.
What level of quality is expected from agents?
Quality programs are in effect in certain van-line protocols. When such programs are enforced, drivers, employees and agents are expected to adhere to established levels of skill and integrity. Some van lines offer tracking systems permitting individuals to closely monitor shipments.
Quality programs are in effect in certain van lines protocols. When such programs are enforced, drivers, employees and agents are expected to adhere to established levels of skill and integrity. Tracking systems may be offered by some van lines to allow individuals to closely monitor the shipment of their goods.
Several van lines operate within North America. Some receive stellar reviews, while others are marginal in terms of service. The typical van line has several hundred agents, with specializations in a variety of moves, such as office relocation, household moving, and international moves.
When choosing an agent to facilitate an interstate move, thoroughly examine the reviews left for that specific moving agent. Even in a single van line, agents’ professionalism can vary significantly, with some providing exceptional customer service while others are negligent.
Are van lines agents expected to specialize in certain markets?
Since van line agents are independently owned and operated, customers have options when it comes to narrowing down their choice of agents and receiving customized services. Certain agents are more conducive to working in big cities, while others have limited gear and unskilled manpower.
For instance, agents who operate in major markets, like New York or Chicago, have special equipment to navigate narrow city streets. These agents employ movers who are experienced in conducting moves into or out of metropolitan high-rise apartment buildings or multiple-story office spaces.
Speaking of office spaces, some agents offer a range of moving services, including office relocation. Short- or long-term storage facilities, document management services and shipping valuable goods, such as artwork and new furniture, are additional services in the professional realm of some van lines agents.
Working with Mid-West Moving & Storage
Moving interstate is less stressful when you partner with the right long-distance moving company. Mid-West Moving & Storage is Chicagoland’s premier moving company. With extensive experience moving people and businesses long distance, Mid-West Moving & Storage is prepared to deliver optimum service.
Comprehensive moving services include swift packing and unpacking (within one day), loading and unloading, short- and long-term storage facilities, seamless communication throughout the moving process and a free estimate on long-distance moves.
Mid-West Moving & Storage partners with National Van Lines to provide you with the best in interstate relocation services. When you are shifting to a new state, consult the Windy City’s most trusted movers, Mid-West Moving & Storage. Specialists stand by, ready to answer questions and provide you with all the information necessary to get you started on the road to your new home or business.
To request a free quote for your next move, contact Mid-West Moving & Storage at 847.593.7201 or fill out a contact form to the right. We look forward to working with you soon!