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Published: Aug 04, 2023 30 min read

Selecting a moving company is no easy task. The best mover will depend on your needs, budget, and timing.

We analyzed some of the top names in the industry, factoring in availability, services, cost, and customer reviews to find the best moving companies for any situation.

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Best Moving Companies

  • American Van Lines - Best for Specialty Moves
  • Bekins Van Lines - Best White-Glove Service Option
  • Mayflower - Best Technology
  • JK Moving Services - Best Full-Service Packing
  • Two Men and a Truck - Best Local-Branch-Based Mover
  • U-Pack - Best DIY Mover
  • PODS - Most Flexible Container Mover
  • International Van Lines - Most Flexible Full-Service Mover
  • North American Van Lines - Most Predictable Pricing
  • United Van Lines - Best Full-Value Protection
  • Moving APT - Most Transparent Broker
  • Interstate Moving & Relocation Group - Most Experienced Broker
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Compare The Best Moving Companies

  • Service Area: 48 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: 10-50%
  • Licensing: Carrier/broker (USDOT 125563)
Pros
  • Moves antiques, pianos, and other valuables
  • Storage available
  • Expert military moves
Cons
  • May require a large deposit
  • Uses third parties for some moves
  • Not available in AK or HI

Why We Chose It

American Van Lines (AVL) has been around since 1995 and has since become one of the countries largest movers.

It did this by focusing on quality. It can handle everyday moves – typical household furniture and other goods – but also employs highly-trained crews to move valuables like pianos, antiques, and family heirlooms. It can even move entire art or wine collections.

The company’s focus on quality shines through in its online reputation. The company has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), receiving a rating of 3.44 out of 5 stars. It also received Newsweek and Statista’s Best Customer Service Award for moving companies.

The company isn’t perfect, though. It could improve its bidding process, as some customers complain of price increases at the last minute. Plus, many customer complaints revolve around its use of third-party contractors.

All in all, though, AVL is a solid choice for your everyday or specialty move.

Features and Services

  • Local and long-distance moves
  • International moves
  • Antique and piano moving
  • Moves fine art collections
  • Disassembly and reassembly of furniture or large valuables
  • Online shipment tracking
  • Optional storage
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Moving supplies

Learn More: American Van Lines Review

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: None
  • Licensing: Carrier (USDOT #2256609)
Pros
  • On-time guarantee
  • Specialty packing
  • Full-replacement value protection available
  • Optional priority service moving
Cons
  • Some complaints about damage
  • No online estimates for local moves

Why We Chose It

Bekins Van Lines is the oldest still-operating moving firm in the U.S., founded in 1891. Apparently, it has stuck to its core value of “showing customers value and respect” all this time, judging by its 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Reviews and solid track record on other review sites.

Customers reported careful handling of household items as well as competitive pricing. Staff was called “professional” in many online reviews.

The company offers an array of services for just about any move. Local, long-distance, military, and senior moving are all within its wheelhouse. It can move big, antique, and fragile items like pianos and family heirlooms.

What we liked best about Bekins is its Priority Relocation Service, or what we call its white-glove option. This is a fast, full-service way to move your belongings door-to-door with the utmost attention to detail and speed. Though it comes at a steep price, the service is perfect for the consumer who would rather leave all the details to the mover. What you get:

  • Last-minute service request
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Unshared truck space
  • Guaranteed on-time delivery ($100-per-day late payment)
  • Peak moving season availability

Still, using its everyday service could come with downsides, according to reviews that spoke of damaged items and later-than-promised deliveries. We recommend getting full-value protection if you choose this company, though reports of damage were rare.

Whether you need a budget across-town move or white-glove cross-country one, Bekins Van Lines is a reputable company to consider.

Features and Services

  • In-state and state-to-state long-distance moves
  • Local moves
  • Senior moving
  • Packing and unpacking
  • IT equipment moving
  • Storage
  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit required: None
  • Licensing: Carrier/broker (USDOT 125563)
Pros
  • Easy-to-use online moving portal
  • Virtual quotes available
  • Binding estimates
Cons
  • Limited local moves
  • May use third-party companies

Why We Chose It

Mayflower Transit, LLC offers the best online tools to support your move.

Its iOS or Android apps let you keep all aspects of your move organized. You can complete checklists, add moving contacts, schedule pickup and dropoff, and even set up utilities at your new address.

Track your shipment 24/7 with the company’s online system, giving you the ultimate peace of mind during your move.

But what about its reputation? According to Consumer Affairs, 63% of its reviews are 4- and 5-star, with just 12% being 1-star. This rating is very good for a moving company.

Mayflower’s few negative reviews revolve around using third-party companies. In some cases, customers reported damage or missed delivery dates.

Still, complaints for a company of this size are unavoidable, and its A+ rating on the BBB indicate that it effectively responds and resolves complaints.

Features and Services

  • Local, long-distance, and international moves
  • Small moves
  • Debris pickup and move-out cleaning
  • PC network and home theatre moving
  • App-based moving portal

Learn More: Mayflower Transit Moving Company Review

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: $250
  • Licensing: Carrier (USDOT #1065394)
Pros
  • Expertly-trained packing crews
  • 0% financing for qualified customers
  • GPS shipment tracking
Cons
  • Local moves limited to VA, MD, DC
  • Less competitive pricing

Why We Chose It

JK Moving Services offers the best packing service in the industry, hands down.

It built a fully-furnished two-story home at its headquarters in which it trains staff to move items in and out without damage. Mistakes are made in their home, not yours.

This focus on quality shows up in its reviews. It has earned a customer rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on the BBB, where it has an A+ rating. The company fares even better on Google Reviews with a 4.5-star average.

As with most things in life, quality comes at a higher cost. Some customer comments state that JK Moving is more expensive than most moving companies. But if you appreciate white-glove service, the cost is likely worth it.

Features and Services

  • Long-distance moving
  • Enclosed vehicle shipping
  • Storage available
  • Employee relocation
  • Commercial moves
  • Superior packing and unpacking
  • Affordable financing

Learn More: JK Moving Services Review

Pros
  • 350+ local branch locations
  • Experienced local and long-distance mover
  • Crate option for small moves
Cons
  • Experience varies by franchise
  • Not available in AK, HI, NH, WV

Why We Chose It

From the quirky name to the hand-drawn logo, Two Men and a Truck is perhaps the most informal brand on our list. But that doesn’t mean it takes moving lightly.

On the contrary, this is one of the largest movers in the country, with 9 million moves performed to date and over 350 independently-owned franchises in nearly every state.

We liked that this is a national company with local franchises. You get to support a local small business without sacrificing the benefits of a nationwide mover.

These local franchises also know your neighborhood better, meaning better door-to-door service whether you need a local move or full-service move across the country. Luckily, the company offers flexible options for both.

Value Flex: Two Men’s budget partial DIY crated option for smaller moves.

Expedited: Door-to-door service including packing and unpacking, typically for larger moves.

The company has plenty of fans, with 96% of customers saying they would refer the service to friends according to the website. About 78% of reviews on Consumer Affairs are three, four, or five stars, which isn’t as glowing as the company’s self-reported numbers, but still good.

The company isn’t perfect, though. Because each location is independently run, you may experience differences in service based on location. Plus, it may not be able to pick up or drop off items in every corner of available states.

But, the bottom line is, if you want the power of a national company with a local touch, try Two Men and a Truck.

Features and Services

  • Full-service long-distance moves
  • Crated long-distance moves
  • Local moves
  • Packing and loading
  • Moving supplies
  • Home staging
  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: No
  • Deposit: None
  • Licensing: Freight forwarder/broker (USDOT #914011)
Pros
  • Transparent pricing
  • Pay only for what you use
  • No one has access to your items during shipment
Cons
  • No local moves
  • Does not deliver everywhere

Why We Chose It

U-Pack is the control freak’s dream. You pack and lock up your items. No one has access to your things for the duration of the journey. The company simply picks up your containers or trailer and delivers them to your new address on your schedule.

Pricing is predictable, too. You pay only for the containers you use, even if you reserve more than you need. With the trailer option, you pay by linear foot and lock your things behind an adjustable wall.

This option is cheaper than a full-service mover, too. One online reviewer reported saving about $10,000 on a 2,500-mile trip.

However, make sure the company can deliver your items to your exact address. For some locations, you may have to arrange a move from their local facility to the final destination. Also, the company doesn’t perform local moves.

Features and Services

  • Partial DIY moves
  • Container or trailer option
  • Long-distance and interstate moving
  • Offers local packing and unpacking company referrals

Learn More: U-Pack Moving Company Review

  • Service Area: 46 states
  • Can Pack For You: No
  • Deposit: 1-month storage fee
  • Licensing: Broker (USDOT #1397252)
Pros
  • Take as long as you want to load
  • Lower cost than full-service movers
  • Contactless moving
  • Offers driveway storage solution
Cons
  • Not available in AK, MT, ND, WY
  • Packing service not available

Why We Chose It

PODS is the most flexible container mover, giving it a slight advantage for some types of moves over its competitor, U-Pack, which also made our list.

What makes it flexible? The ability to store household items in your driveway for any amount of time. While U-Pack gives you three days to pack up your home, you can declutter your home little by little for months before you move with PODS.

Simply pay a one-month storage fee starting at $149 and get a container of eight, 12, or 16 feet dropped in your driveway. When you’re ready to move, schedule pick-up and drop-off. PODS offers a great way to de-clutter your home to sell or just move out at your own pace.

Pricing is less complex than full-service movers: it’s based on the size of your POD, how long you have it, and the distance of the move. Plus, you can use PODS if you’re not moving at all, such as during a home remodel.

Sixty-nine percent of reviews on Consumer Affairs were 4- or 5-star, with negative reviews mainly speaking of missed delivery dates and hard-to-reach reps. Still, this is a great solution for someone who wants to pack and unpack at their own pace, or just have a handy temporary storage solution in their driveway.

Features and Services

  • Local and long-distance moving
  • Temporary driveway storage options
  • Moving supplies
  • Packing and loading company referrals
  • Car shipping
  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: 25%
  • Licensing: Carrier (USDOT# 2293832)
Pros
  • Refundable deposits 48 hours before the move
  • First month of storage is free
  • GPS tracking
  • Virtual walk-through option for quotes
Cons
  • Uses third-party movers outside its core areas
  • Cash or check required for final payment

Why We Chose It

International Van Lines (IVL) won a top spot on our list for being the most versatile mover we found.

It can do long-distance moves, local moves, and international and corporate relocation. It can combine those services with storage, full- or self-packing, fragile and antique moving, furniture disassembly and reassembly, and more.

One of the reasons the company can commit to just about any job is its large network of third-party partners. Where it doesn’t have a large presence – outside of the east and west coasts and midwest – it partners with other moving companies to complete your job.

As a consumer, this can be a plus or minus. On one hand, it eliminates calling multiple companies to find one that offers your exact needed service in two locations (pick-up and drop-off addresses). IVL can most likely handle any situation. But, you may encounter other companies with various quality standards. If dealing with one company is important to you, ask whether IVL will be handling all aspects of the journey.

Not surprisingly, most complaints revolve around these third parties, not IVL itself. Another downside: it requires a 25% deposit.

Other fees customers should be aware of:

  • $75 for every 75 feet the truck must park away from the residence
  • $75 for each additional flight of stairs after the first one, or for any use of an elevator
  • $1 per cubic foot or a $400 minimum “shuttle fee” required when a semi-truck can’t operate on the street
  • Parking permits

Overall, IVL is a reputable company that performs thousands of moves per year. Have a complicated move? International Van Lines could be your solution.

Features and Services

  • Local and long-distance moves
  • International moves
  • Corporate relocations
  • Custom crating
  • Storage
  • Car shipping

Learn More: International Van Lines Review

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: Up to 50%
  • Licensing: Carrier (USDOT #70851)
Pros
  • Binding estimates
  • Large owned fleet
  • Easy claims process
Cons
  • Doesn't offer storage everywhere
  • Brokers moves in some areas

Why We Chose It

North American Van Lines (NAVL) is one of the largest moving companies in the country, with over 1,400 of its own drivers plus 500 partner companies. Due to this large network, it covers just about every corner of the U.S., offering moving solutions for almost any situation.

We liked NAVL’s binding estimates. Moving is expensive, even above and beyond moving company costs. So you don’t want a surprise in the end. To combat surprises, NAVL offers these estimate options:

Bottom Line Pricing: A binding estimate, which is a guaranteed price.

Not-To-Exceed Pricing: Your final cost might be lower, but never higher.

Customized Pricing: You can add services to this binding estimate if needed.

The company isn’t perfect, though. Some online reviews talk about lower-quality third-party movers in areas NAVL doesn’t cover. While contracting part of the move is common in the industry, some customers may want to find a company that handles their entire move with their own staff and equipment.

But if you want one experienced company that can get the job done, NAVL is a good choice.

Features and Services

  • Vehicle shipping
  • Storage
  • Corporate services
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Loading and unloading
  • Moving calculators and checklists
  • Service Area: 46 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: None
  • Licensing: Carrier/broker (USDOT #77949)
Pros
  • Superior property protection
  • Custom crating
  • Online tracking
  • Online claims
Cons
  • Needs to better vet third-party contractors
  • Mixed customer ratings
  • Higher than average pricing

✗ Higher-than-average pricing

Why We Chose It

Whether you move yourself or have a company handle everything for you, there’s a chance an item that’s important to you will break.

The risk is unavoidable, but United Van Lines (UVL) offers some of the best protection in the industry to mitigate it.

While most companies offer base coverage of $0.60 per pound, UVL offers $6 per pound standard. If a 100-pound table breaks in transport, the company will cover it at $600, compared to $60 with most other companies.

You can also declare high-value items before moving where weight is not commensurate with value. For example, a $1,000 diamond ring is covered at that value once declared.

Despite its best-in-class protection options, the company has downsides. Some customers complain about third-party contractors. Many moving companies contract out all or part of your move. They do this to expand their geographic coverage.

But the practice comes with risks since it’s difficult for a company to property vet all contractors. And, third-parties aren’t ultimately responsible for damage. We think UVL should better screen contractors before adding them to its network. Still, the complaints are rare considering the company travels 100 million miles per year according to the FMCSA, and has an A+ rating with the BBB.

UVL costs more than competitors, which is expected considering its base protection level is ten times as much as most moving companies offer.

Features and Services

  • Vehicle shipping
  • Storage
  • Small moves
  • Military moves
  • Packing and unpacking

Learn More: United Van Lines Moving Company Review

  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit required: Yes, amount varies
  • Licensing: Broker (USDOT #2247863)
Pros
  • Identifies the best mover for your situation
  • Only uses licensed moving carriers
  • Discloses which carriers it uses
  • Offers plenty of sample rates
Cons
  • Is a broker, not a carrier
  • Mixed reviews

Why We Chose It

Moving APT is a moving broker, meaning it arranges your move with the carrier – the company that performs the moving job.

This model has benefits and drawbacks, but the major “pro” is that Moving APT shops movers for you. Often, the best moving company for someone else isn’t the best one for you. APT analyzes your whole scenario to find the best service and price for you, a lot like an insurance broker.

Evidently, it does this job well. It has an average 4.3 out of 5 stars with 367 Google Reviews and just 14 complaints in the past 12 months on BBB’s site. It’s also transparent about the companies it uses, the likes of which you’ve heard before in this review: American Van Lines and United Van Lines.

But the broker model might not be for you if you’d rather know upfront which company will provide the service. Rest assured, though, that APT offers 24/7 customer support if issues arise.

And, if you’re curious about price, APT’s website is better than most. You can run sample scenarios based on moving type, size, and location.

Features and Services

  • Packing and unpacking
  • Moving supplies
  • Furniture moving
  • Car shipping
  • Storage
  • Service Area: 50 states
  • Can Pack For You: Yes
  • Deposit: Varies
  • Licensing: Broker (USDOT #3034100)
Pros
  • Negotiates prices on your behalf
  • Finds the best mover for you
  • Pre-screens moving companies
Cons
  • Not ultimately responsible for damage
  • Could improve its refund policy

Why We Chose It

As a moving broker, Interstate Moving & Relocation Group (IMRG) shops around for the best mover so you don’t have to.

It’s good at its job, too. With 25 years in the business, it made our list as the most experienced moving broker. According to Consumer Affairs, 80% of 312 reviews are either 4 or 5 stars, an impressive number for any mover, and even more impressive for a moving broker.

One reviewer, Amy from Georgia said, “We are a family with a decent amount of stuff, some of which is antique and very meaningful…On arrival…I gave them the basic layout, told them which rooms were which…and in no time they were done.”

If you’re like most of us, you don’t know which moving company is best for each situation off the top of your head. This makes choosing a mover difficult (which is why you’re reading this in the first place). But IMRG does have these insights and can make your moving company selection easier.

But if you use this company, make sure you can commit. It has a strict cancellation policy: you must cancel within 72-hours of booking.

Features and Services

  • Full-service packing
  • Long-distance moving
  • Car shipping
  • Storage
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Selecting The Best Moving Company

No matter which mover you choose, here’s a checklist of items to complete to help you select your company.

  • Establish a budget: Decide how much you can spend on your move. Those on a tight budget may want to go with a container mover rather than a full-service moving company.
  • Take stock: Take an accurate inventory of your belongings, especially things that may require specialized service. If the moving company arrives at your home and discovers more items or weight than you initially disclosed, you may need to pay a lot more before items are loaded.
  • Choose a type of move: In today’s market, you can select a variety of move types. You can use a container-based option, DIY, or full-service door-to-door moving.
  • Look for reviews: Find honest reviews from past customers. Keep in mind, though, that most people only leave a review for bad experience. Look at the number of bad reviews in relation to how many moves the company performs. Number of miles traveled, which indicates how large the mover is, can be found on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
  • Compare quotes: It can be tedious getting two or more quotes for your move, since an accurate quote involves an in-person or virtual walk-through of your home. However, you could save thousands by comparing your moving quote to at least two others.

Factors that Impact Moving Costs

Getting a ballpark online quote is nearly impossible with any mover. That’s because there are potentially dozens of factors that go into a quote.

Distance

This one is fairly simple. The farther your move, the more it will cost, since you have to pay for the driver’s and loaders’ time, vehicle fuel and maintenance, and more. Plus, if you’re moving across state lines, the company must be specially licensed, adding to the cost.

Amount of items

The moving company will not only look at volume, but the weight of your items before issuing a quote. Heavy items like a solid oak table could add to your fee.

Specialty services

Many movers offer specialty services, such as piano moving or even transporting an art or wine collection. However, these typically take special crews, and, as you might guess, can cost way more than moving typical household items.

Insurance

Licensed companies must offer protection, but the base (usually $0.60 per pound) is usually inadequate. Additional protection or insurance will add to your cost, but may be worth it.

Timing

Moving in January (the cheapest month) is more cost-effective than moving in June (most expensive). If you can delay your move to non-peak times, you’ll do better on price.

Moving Tips

With any moving company, the following tips can make the process easier:

  • Make a moving checklist: Create a moving checklist with all your tasks and timelines. Many movers supply checklists on their websites, and some even provide an app with items to complete at each step of the journey.
  • Update your documents: Moving to another state often requires re-registering your vehicle and other tasks. Research what your new state will require.
  • Map out your new home: Label packed boxes where they should go in the new home. This will make it easier for your movers to drop items in the right places so all you have to do is put things away.
  • Declutter your home: Donate, sell, and downsize before you move. You might find that selling or giving something away, then buying it again in your new location, is cheaper than moving it (old furniture, items you haven’t used in over 12 months, etc.)
  • Keep some items out of the move: Once your items get on the moving truck, they may not be accessible for weeks. Decide which bare essentials you’ll need to take with you in your car or flight to the new location.
  • Know what to expect: Research your mover’s policies and track record of meeting delivery dates and costs. Get a binding estimate and guaranteed arrival time if possible.

Should You Use A Moving Broker?

Above, we recommended two moving brokers. As mentioned, these companies don’t perform the move but use their insider knowledge to find the best mover for you.

This model works well for those who don’t know where to start when selecting a moving company. Like an insurance or mortgage broker, a moving broker shops your scenario with various companies. For example, someone moving from a 4-bedroom house in New York to one in Chicago is much different than a student moving from their dorm room to a nearby apartment.

And, usually, the experience is a great one. Reviews for moving brokers tend to be higher than for moving companies.

But brokers come with downsides, too. Ultimately, they are not responsible for damage to your items. The licensed moving company is, but you may need to work through additional channels to make a claim or receive compensation when using a broker.

Make sure you’re using a reputable broker that is licensed with the FMCSA. Licensure requires them to use only licensed carriers and must disclose the ones in their network.

If you’d like more control over who will perform the move, you may want to choose a licensed carrier. You can review company licensure on FMCSA’s website.

How Do Moving Scams Work and How Can I Avoid Them?

Moving scams are becoming a bigger problem. Due to the high-cost nature of moving, plenty of bad actors pose as moving companies to gain a quick buck.

Typically, scams involve holding your things hostage until you write an enormous check.

Some due diligence should protect you from most moving scams. According to the FMCSA, you should:

  • Identify a physical street address of the company
  • Check their USDOT number on the FMCSA website
  • Review insurance information on the website
  • Avoid companies that won’t give a written quote
  • Check third-party review sites
  • Don’t fall for too-good-to-be-true quotes
  • Refuse to give upfront cash payments to drivers

Be aware that some companies will appear legitimate, with slick websites and fake reviews on a variety of sites. Always check sites that can’t be manipulated, such as the official FMCSA site.

Best Moving Company FAQ

Why are moving companies so expensive?

Moving a large amount of physical items is not cheap. In a move, you pay for driver and moving staff labor, fuel, truck maintenance, federal licensing, and much more. The features you choose could increase the price from there. To save money, try a DIY move. It could be thousands less than a full-service move that involves full packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading.

How do I know if my moving company is reputable?

Check the official FMCSA website for the company’s U.S. DOT number. It’s also a good idea to check third-party review sites like BBB, although keep in mind that reviews can be faked.

What is the cheapest month to move?

The cheapest month to move is typically December or January, since moving demand is lower and companies offer discounts. The holidays, bad weather, and complications with moving during the school year discourage many people from moving during winter months.

How do I avoid surprise fees when I move?

Make a complete inventory of your items with the help of a moving specialist at your chosen company. Do not trust an online quote, but get a written, binding quote from the company after an in-person or virtual home walk-through. Ensure to let the company know every item that will need moved.

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How We Chose the Best Moving Companies

At Money.com, we prioritize providing our readers with thorough, trustworthy reviews.

In order to give you the best recommendations for moving companies, we’ve reviewed more than a dozen movers using these metrics:

  • Services: We analyze each moving company based on the types of services and features they offer, comparing them to other providers in the industry.
  • Availability: We also factor in each company’s state availability, highlighting the areas in which they’re licensed to serve.
  • Pricing: In our analysis, we also zero in on pricing and compare quotes across multiple moving companies. That includes evaluating how transparent a company is about its cost structure, additional fees, and cancellation policy.
  • Reputation: We pay close attention to each moving company’s brand reputation by reading third-party reviews and checking for proper licensing and accreditation through the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration database.
  • Customer experience: We reviewed dozens of negative reviews from real customers for each moving company. We incorporated comments into our ratings and addressed common themes in each review.

Summary of Money’s Best Moving Companies of July 2024

  • American Van Lines - Best for Specialty Moves
  • Bekins Van Lines - Best White-Glove Service Option
  • Mayflower - Best Technology
  • JK Moving Services - Best Full-Service Packing
  • Two Men and a Truck - Best Local-Branch-Based Mover
  • U-Pack - Best DIY Mover
  • PODS - Most Flexible Container Mover
  • International Van Lines - Most Flexible Full-Service Mover
  • North American Van Lines - Most Predictable Pricing
  • United Van Lines - Best Full-Value Protection
  • Moving APT - Most Transparent Broker
  • Interstate Moving & Relocation Group - Most Experienced Broker