When you are planning a move, you will want to engage the services of one of the shipping companies who will provide good service at a reasonable price. You want to find a firm that will make strong efforts to transport your belongings safely, help you with loading and unloading, provide insurance and other security to protect your possessions and furniture, and offer optional services that let you tailor the moving process to your individual needs.

When to start communication with shipping companies

Unless your move is sudden and unexpected – for example, if you are offered an excellent job at another firm and need to take up the offer in a week, with only that time to transfer everything from one office to the other – you should get in communication with the shipping companies you intend to use the services of at least one to two months before the actual date of the removal.

There are several reasons why this is a prudent approach. Shipping services are often in high demand, and the companies are likely booked solid for several weeks in advance. Making your arrangements two months before the moving date will ensure that the services are carried out punctually and you are out of your old home or office on schedule.

Starting your search for a good moving company early also allows you to collect thorough data on each firm, and make a more informed choice. You will get a better price and be able to find those professionals who will handle your furniture in a careful manner that will keep it undamaged.

How to choose a good removal service

There are many different shipping companies you might make use of during your move, some of which are skilled and capable, and others of which are less so. You obviously want a conscientious, experienced team of movers handling your possessions, but an advertisement often reveals little about how dedicated (or sloppy) a particular moving crew actually is.

Word of mouth is a powerful tool for finding high quality shipping companies to assist in a move. One of your best options, if you have sold your house and/or bought a new one, is to contact one or both of the realtors involved in the transaction.

Real estate agents have usually dealt with people moving from one place to another for years and have gained a lot of information about good and bad shippers from talking with their clients. A good real estate agent should be willing to provide you with a solid, objective recommendation of which company to use for shifting your possessions from one locale to another.

What extra services you can expect

When you engage the services of shipping companies for a furniture removal, a certain range of basic services is usually included in the service “package” and is included in the base price. For example, most shipping companies will send several muscular people experienced in moving furniture to carry your possessions from the house to the truck, wrap the items in shipping blankets, and place them in the truck; a driver for the truck, who will take your possessions to the next destination; and assistance in unloading the truck, either leaving the items at the roadside or, more commonly, carrying them into the house or office for you and leaving them for you to finish unpacking and positioning.

Many companies also offer additional services, either free as part of their basic service plan or as paid “add-ons” which you will have the option to purchase. Some of the services you might be interested in are:

  • High tech tracking of trucks with satellite GPS (global positioning systems) and cell phones to guard against hijacking, theft, and accidental misdelivery (delivery of your possessions to the wrong address).
  • Temporary storage of your belongings at a secure location on the shipping company’s premises.
  • Insurance against loss or damage in transit or as a result of mishandling during loading and unloading.
  • Professional packers’ services, with highly trained personnel available for hire to pack your possessions into cartons, disassemble and wrap your furniture for transport, and so on.
  • Special packing materials such as bubble wrap, cartons, sheet plastic, etc.
  • Cleaning services to ensure your new home is neatened in preparation for the move.