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By Gabriel Sánchez Vissepó
February 5, 2021
International Van Line Moving Companies Review
Money; Getty Images

For 20 years, International Van Lines (IVL) has provided services for over two million local, international, and cross country moves. The Coral Springs, Florida-based company services the entire United States as well as 180 countries worldwide, and is licensed by the American Moving & Storage Association as a ProMover.

International Van Lines Pros and Cons

PROS

All-in-one movers. International Van Lines’ main benefit is the variety of services it offers relative to other moving companies.

The company offers relocation services for interstate, international, and local moves. For domestic moves, it provides vehicle transport services, and storage and crating options for household goods. For international moves, IVL can coordinate air or boat freight for a customer’s belongings, as well as vehicle shipping.

While some moving companies are strictly brokers, that is, they outsource and coordinate with local movers to do the job, others are carriers, meaning they arrange and complete the job themselves.

International Van Lines is both: as a carrier, it has its own trucks and personnel to carry out moves in states where it is accredited by the Department of Transportation (DOT), specifically California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas. As a broker, it coordinates moves with partnered local companies in states where it is not licensed as a carrier.

The company is also licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission, authorizing it to ship goods overseas.

No matter if you’re moving from the city to the suburbs, or to another continent entirely, International Van Lines has full service options to fit your needs.

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CONS

Minimal information online. Customers who wish to know right from the start how much a move will cost them are out of luck. Although International Van Lines’ website does include an instant estimate calculator, users need to input their name, email, and phone number to receive it. Further, this estimate can be very different from the actual final cost.

International Van Lines details a few of the fees that may be applicable, but it’s far from an exhaustive list. Customers who wish to know how much they’ll end up paying for a move must complete the entire quote process, which involves a phone call with either a pre-recorded message or a company sales rep.

Broker complaints. Although being registered as a broker and a carrier provides customers with options no matter where they live, this also means that International Van Lines will not directly carry out many of the moves for which it is contracted.

The company has partnerships and agreements with local subcontractors in several states. While this is common among movers, it can lead to confusion on the customer’s part.

In fact, several online complaints for the International Van Lines stem from moves made by local companies that were subcontracted. It is recommended that customers also research the reputation and reviews of the moving company being used by IVL.

International Van Lines Moving Services

Whether you just bought a new home or are relocating to a new city, International Van Lines provides services to help you on your way for short and long distance moving. Among the services IVL provides are:

  • Out-of-state moving: For long-distance moves to and from any location in the continental United States.
  • Local moving: Provides moving services for shorter distances. IVL also offers packing, bubble wrap, and loading as part of the essential service.
  • International moving: IVL is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission, allowing it to transport items via ocean freight. It can also provide air freight services to over 180 countries.
  • Auto transport: Includes options for single vehicles or even fleets within the continental US.

International Van Lines also offers long-term, short-term, and temperature controlled storage options while you wait for the move, or if you need to put away some items for a while. It can coordinate warehouse storage for longer periods, portable cubes for temporary stowing, and vehicle storage.

International Van Lines Pricing

As mentioned in the Cons section, International Van Lines does not have all their costs and fees readily accessible so customers can compare with other companies. Potential customers need to complete the free quote process to be able to get a sense of what they’ll end up paying, and even then the estimate can vary from the final price.

To be fair, this happens with most movers since the final cost depends on many varying factors. The movers have a base fee which can include labor and fuel for the move, but this will depend on several factors, including:

  • the size of the home being moved (1-bedroom home, 2-bedroom home, or more)
  • the distance to the new home
  • the number of valuable items that need extra care

Whatever the quoted amount might be, International Van Lines requires a 25% deposit to book a moving date. The remaining balance of the move is paid in two installments: half on the pick up date and the other half on the delivery date.

Depending on the move, other fees may apply, such as:

  • A long carry fee, which applies when the truck is parked more than 75 feet away from the customer’s door. The charge will be $75 per each additional 75 feet of distance.
  • Shuttle service fee, which results when destinations cannot accept 18 wheel semi-trailers and the items need to be transferred. Although most moves will not require this, some might, and the transfer will be charged at 75 cents per cubic foot, with a $350 minimum.
  • Storage fees can vary depending on the type of storage required (short- or long-term). Occasionally, International Van Lines offers 1-month free storage, though it should be managed directly with the moving officer.

For customers who do not wish to go through the packing process themselves, International Van Lines offers packing services. However, the exact costs are not available online.

International Van Lines Customer Service and Website

Few moving companies are well-reviewed online. The moving process is one of the most stressful hassles you can go through. Everyone wants their moving experience to run smoothly. Therefore, any hiccup, even the most minor, could probably compel customers to vent.

Nevertheless, online reviews for International Van Lines are generally positive, with most issues resulting from discrepancies in estimate versus final costs and problems with subcontracted local movers.

As for customer service, IVL has a live chat option and a 24/7 telephone assistance line that are both very prominently displayed on its website, sometimes obtrusively so.

The International Van Lines website is not intuitive as it does not have clearly defined tabs and sections. To find useful details, customers need to navigate through multiple links and relevant information is not the easiest to come by.

The best way to get answers to questions might be to initiate the aforementioned chat or call them directly.

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International Van Lines FAQs

Does International Van Lines use its own fleet of vehicles for the move?

International Van Lines is certified by the DOT as a carrier in California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas, meaning it can conduct moves with their fleet to and from those states.

For other moves, including interstate moves where it is not registered as a carrier, International Van Lines coordinates with other local moving companies.

The original estimate and total cost of moving are way different. How do I know if a moving company is charging me the right amount?

Before accepting any terms or signing any agreement with a moving company, customers must understand what they are getting into and how much they’re going to pay.

For one, moving companies must present an estimated cost for the move. This should include a site inspection so they may ascertain the size of the home being moved, the amount of items which need to be packed, and their value.

Federal law prohibits moving companies from charging more than 110% of an estimate, but it’s important to have it in writing.

However, additional costs may arise due to the nature of the move, specifically regarding the location of the current and new home. Factors such as flights of stairs, tight corridors, and difficult to access roads may, in fact, trigger extra fees.

Communicate with the moving company beforehand to know all the costs that could potentially add up.

How do I know if a moving company is legit?

By law, interstate movers are required to register with the Federal government. The company’s DOT number must be displayed and accessible on its own website so customers can check for issues or complaints related to the moving company.

Customers would also do well to research the company and look at online reviews to gauge other customer’s experiences.

International Van Lines: Summary and Key Takeaways

  • Provides local, interstate, and international moving services.
  • Registered with the federal government.
  • Additional packing, unpacking, and storage options are available.
  • Functions as a broker or as a carrier, depending on your location.
  • Website has a calculator so you can have a ballpark estimate of costs
  • Customers won’t know total costs until after the quote process is completed.
  • Even a binding quote can omit additional fees such as transportation and transfer fees.
  • Customers can check for complaints on the FMCSA website.