Movers for a Cross-Country Move

Parent Q&A

Moving companies for East Coast move Jan 15, 2021 (5 responses below)
Arranging a Move from Afar Due to the Novel Coronavirus Aug 25, 2020 (5 responses below)
Working with Movers Remotely Aug 4, 2020 (1 responses below)
Cross country move Apr 19, 2019 (2 responses below)
Cross Country Movers? CA to NY Apr 15, 2019 (5 responses below)
  • Moving companies for East Coast move

    (5 replies)

    Hello! Most moving companies seem to have both positive and negative reviews. Have you moved from CA recently to the East Coast? Which company do you recommend?

    Thank you. 

    [Moderator note: For past advice see Movers for a Cross-Country Move ]

    We moved from Berkeley to Arizona last month using Suddath (United Van Lines) and had a very good experience with them. Their bid was also the cheapest of the quotes we received.

    Moved from NYC to Berkeley in June. I, hands down, recommend Move East –

    Affordable, nothing broke, early arrival, below quoted cost. They were used by family members who did a similar move years earlier.

    Are you looking for full service or low cost? Cost was a priority for us, so we looked into the moving cube (like Pods, but Pods didn't go where we moved to) and moving truck. We ended up going with U-Pack, getting space in a moving truck (we paid per square foot that we used) because it was cheaper than the cubes. We had to load and unload ourselves or with friends/college kids we hired on the other end.

  • Thoughtful BPN members,

    I write from IL, where I've been since just before the pandemic struck. I need to move the contents of my apartment in the Bay Area to here, and I'm completely flummoxed over how to do it from afar.  I have some friends in the Bay Area who have kindly offered to help with "whatever you need," but I don't know what to ask them to do, if anything. I hate to impose, and with moving, no less - it's an atrocious task in the best of circumstances. Does anyone have any ideas? Would you hire a moving company to pack and move your home, and if so, what company, or how would you evaluate prospective movers? What would you ask them? I don't know how to do this with any kind of confidence that I'll receive all of my apartment's contents or at the fee quoted in an estimate. I'm a little overwhelmed thinking "What if...' If you had to do this, how would you go about it to minimize the stress and maximize the chances that you'd receive all of your home's contents, intact, at a reasonable price, and in a reasonable amount of time? Thank you all very much, and I hope everyone is staying safe and sane.

    I understand your dilemma . I would hire West Coast movers to do a pack and move. I've used them several times and they are reputable and reasonably priced.. 

    I’ve used ADHD Movers. (You can check them out on Yelp.) They are extremely well priced and they do pack and moves.

    We used Flat Rate movers when we moved from

    NYC. They’ll pack all your stuff or you can pack it yourself. They gave me an estimate and that’s what I paid. It took about 3 weeks to get my stuff (back in 2011).  

  • Working with Movers Remotely

    (1 reply)

    Our family left the Bay Area a few months ago to move in with family out of state (and get childcare help!). We decided to make it a permanent move and are hoping that we can move out of our apartment without making the cross-country trip back. Specifically, we're looking for recommendations for:

    • A moving company to pack us up,
    • A company that can store our things until we have a permanent home and then ship to our destination (like PODS), and
    • A person to help us prep for the move. This would include cleaning out a 5'x5' storage unit, making a Goodwill trip, and bringing a few things to the curb.

    If you have any recommendations that might help with this process, we'd really appreciate it! Thank you!

    RE: Working with Movers Remotely ()

    It seems really risky to not be on site for any of the packing, IMHO. Just so many points where something could go wrong, especially if you are delegating a stranger to sort items that go to Goodwill versus those you want to keep.

  • Cross country move

    (2 replies)

    My family will be moving to Virginia this summer. We are looking at various container companies, since we will need storage as well. Anyone have experience with 1800 packrat? Pods? Also, we will be flying with our two cats. Would love any recommendations/advice on managing that in the least stressful way. Thanks!

    RE: Cross country move ()

    I used Door to Door and used the lock that they provided as part of the rental. I had my unit broken into while in their care, but because the lock (that they provided) was intact the company denied that it happened at all and then denied the claim. They assure that their facilities are secure but then have no security cameras, etc. Luckily I carried my renter's insurance during the move. I recommend you get your own lock, take a picture of the contents packed, of the closed lock and carry your renter's insurance the entire time. I also recommend you ask about security measures. I suspect my break-in was an inside job based on what happened. 

    RE: Cross country move ()

    Regarding the cats, we flew our three cats from FL to CA when we moved here three years ago.  Try and get a non-stop flight. Make sure the pet carriers are the airline approved size. Going through security was a little stressful but the TSA agents were very helpful and brought me to a little room, and I took each cat out of it's carrier (one at a time) and held it so they could scan the carrier.  Allow extra time at the airport for this. Lastly, we decided against giving the cats any type of sedative and they were all very quiet on the plane.  Safe travels! 

  • Cross Country Movers? CA to NY

    (5 replies)

    Hi!  My family is relocating back to New York!  Can anyone recommend a cross country moving company that they had a great experience with?  Also, any companies who will move 2 cars? How much did you pay approximately?  We have a small 2 bedroom house and trying to understand ballpark costs.  Thanks!

    RE: Cross Country Movers? CA to NY ()

    We used moveeast movers who specializes in CA to NY moves. We used them to move from a 2Bed apartment with storage in 2016. It was about 8-10K IIRC. Not sure about cars. We were happy with them and plan to use them to move back to the Bay later this year :)

    RE: Cross Country Movers? CA to NY ()

    I used CA to NY Express ( but I did the reverse move (NY to CA about a year ago). They were quite reliable and gave the best rate to us. We had a two bedroom apartment in NY and it came up to approximately $4,000. This is highly dependent on the items you want to ship. I liked the company because their price structure was very transparent, gave an excel sheet of all the inventory they saw in our apartment and gave a break down of cost per item so we could try and sell or dispose of things if we felt the move cross country wasn't worth it for a specific item.

    The other big selling point was that they do the drive cross country themselves all in one shot, beware that a lot of companies will contract it out and will group your shipment with others who are going to places other than NY or CA, so your item could take longer and its more unpredictable as it makes multiple stops. This can be quite tricky if they lose items as it may have gone with a number of other shipments on the multiple stops they made on the way.

    Good luck on the move!

    RE: Cross Country Movers? CA to NY ()

    We recently did the opposite move, from NYC to Berkeley, and used Oz Movers. I would use them again. We didn't have cars so can't speak to that. We had a 2BR 2 bath 1,100 sq foot apartment + full storage unit in the building and I believe the cost was around $7K, comparable to other movers I got quotes from. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Inexpensive movers for small cross country move

May 2015

It is likely that we are moving to the east coast at the end of July. We have a king sized bed, a couch, a desk chair, and maybe one other piece of furniture, as well as boxes of kitchen stuff, clothing and books. Not a ton, but more than we can move ourselves. I am trying to find cheap ways to get our stuff from here to there, but the option I thought would be the cheapest (those storage pods that you pack yourself and then have moved to your new location) is $5,000! I had envisioned spending a couple of thousand. Am I naive? Please provide any recommendations you may have. We are open to unconventional ideas, but would like our stuff handled safely and delivered intact. Thank you! rachel

We moved from NC to the Bay Area a year ago and used ABF. Depending on how much/how big your stuff is, you can either do the relocube or rent space in a large van (I think they are 28ft total?). We used (I think) 9 linear feet and it cost $2400. It took about 7-10 days to get our stuff, which was reasonable. Note that the truck can't go on certain streets so you may need to rent a moving van for the day to move your stuff out of your place to their depot. You can load it all yourself or pay movers (at least on the Oakland end, that would probably run you about $300-$400 if you pack yourself. We researched other options and ABF was by far the cheapest and the fastest. There was one other company (don't remember the name) but you might not see your stuff for 6 weeks! I think the only other comparable option is to rent a Penske truck and drive it yourself. ABF was great--very straightforward to deal with and all our stuff arrived intact. If you are going to load the truck yourself, you should probably do some research on how to pack things so that your furniture doesn't get damaged. Also, you will need to provide your own moving blankets/furniture pads. liz

Reliable Moving Company For Out Of State Move

March 2015

We will be moving to Washington state this July/August. We are having a very difficult time finding a reliable moving company to move our things. We are looking for a moving company that will move our furniture/household items 'Door to Door' [they leave our house and drive the moving van right up to Washington to our new home]. Most moving companies now stop and put all your things in a warehouse for 2 weeks or more, then move it with other peoples belongings. We do not want this.  Does anyone know of a good moving company that doesn't store your belongings in a warehouse over 2 weeks before driving your furniture & household belongs -- on a not so long distance of 700 miles ?? Judy

Hi, Bekins worked out very well for me and I was pleasantly surprised because it ends up helping the local economy anyway because they use people who live locally near you. Good luck. I got quotes from 3 different places. Kris

Movers? Cross country move to New York

April 2014

Has anyone used a moving company cross country in the last few years? Am looking for an affordable and reliable company to move a 2bedroom. Four years ago I use Moovers Inc with good result but would like to comparison shop. Thanks! Anna

Are you moving to NYC or greater NY state? If you are moving to NYC, I would caution you to comparison shop very carefully as most movers will 'warehouse' items in the outer boroughs and then transfer them to a smaller truck for delivery in NYC's small streets. There are many opportunities for things to get lost or stolen and almost no recourse for the customer. I would also suggest that you research the company that your mover partners with in NY to see their BBB (and, where possible, Angie's List) ratings. Disclosure: I moved to the Bay Area 5 years ago and used Moving Man in NY which partners with Wheaton Movers. Both are BBB accredited and all of my items arrived in tact, nothing was damaged or lost. I continue to recommend these movers to friends who are moving from NYC to the Bay Area and all have been very satisfied. On this end, perhaps you could look into Wheaton's partners (they have a few in the Bay Area) and see how their ratings and price stack up. Good luck! cautious mover

We recently moved from NYC to the east bay. We used They came to our house and gave us a quote. All of our belongings arrived in good condition in the time frame agreed upon. They were the best quote we found at the time. Been there.

We are moving overseas but the local leg is being handled by Moving Star out of Fremont. They have moved three of our friends in the last few years and they get only praise from all of them and our experience so far has been very communicative, respectful and professional. Moving is hard enough without dealing with difficulties with moving companies! Good luck with your move, Naomi

Hiring movers for cross-country move

Aug 2011

We're planning on moving cross-country in a couple of months and need to hire movers, as opposed to renting a U-Haul as we've done in the past. Looking for recommendations for reasonably-priced and reliable moving companies. on the move

i used a fellow named Phillip to move furniture from Atlanta to Berkeley. He is based in Georgia and makes cross country trips. He is at (706) 376-3038.

When his rig pulled away from my deceased mom's garage my sister and i looked at each other... in that, ''wow, wonder if we will see that stuff again?''

But, as promised, he arrived in CA with a much larger truck (he manages the consolidation) and unloaded. While we unloaded he and my brother in-law discovered they went to the same high school in LA...

an excellent experience, all in all. oren

Moving from Berkeley to Massachusetts

April 2011

We are moving from Berkeley to Massachusetts this August, and were wondering if anyone had any recent good or bad experiences with a full-service moving company and/or auto transport company. Because of a recent back injury, we'd like to pack as few of our own boxes as necessary. I have been reading the BPN archives on this topic, but am interested in recent experiences. future prof

We used Joyce van lines to move from CT to Berkeley this year. It was a good experience. They also packed up our apt as I was very pregnant and I couldn't pack. Nothing was broken or lost in the move. We paid for storage for ~1 mo. Anon

Moving from the Bay Area to New Hampshire

Aug 2010

My family will be moving from the Bay Area to New Hampshire in August. Anyone have a recommendation for a moving company they have used for this kind of cross- country move? headingeast

Delancey Street movers were great for us, living up to their stellar reputation. (A bunch of reviews on BPN, lots on Yelp.) They were on time, efficient, careful, etc. They give an estimate which they may legally have to stick to. Ours was quite reasonable -- but because we had stuffed way more into our small apartment than most people, they had to call in an extra truck and crew. They did that without complaint, even though it was really costly. They didn't charge us, so we essentially added on the extra cost to the tip -- which is tax deductible as a contribution to the Delancey Street non-profit.

Delancey Street's enterprises that we've used, including moving, restaurant, and cafe (the latter being at Brannan and Embarcadero in SF), provide excellent quality and value. The social reasons just make it all the more pleasurable to support them -- theirs is a nationally acclaimed, very innovative program for people recovering from serious bad patches (e.g., drug and alcohol abuse) that's based on mutual support and learning. It, and the individuals in it, are very impressive. But this is just the icing on the cake of service that's as good as any around, so even if you didn't care about this at all, they'd be an excellent choice. Jamie O'C

I recently moved with Lightning Van Lines; I was promised a worry-free move, I was promised that the price quoted would be the price we paid, and I was promised professional movers right through our move; their promises were kept to the letter as well as the spirit! We thank Lightning Van Lines for making a very difficult move the best it could possibly be. Often, movers who begin the day cheerfully become somewhat tired and ..... well, grumpy by the time the day is over. Lightning Van Lines employees were no such thing. The packers who loaded the vans were professional all the way through. The movers who unloaded the truck never lost the ability to smile, they remained courteous, even-tempered and helpful until the very last box was brought into the house and placed in the right spot. Lightning Van Lines, kept their word, and is to be commended for a job superbly done!! Thank you so much. We convey our thanks to Max, David, and the two gentlemen named John who expedited a very long and tedious move to the best of their abilities; with ease, grace, good nature, and expertise. These men are outstanding and have our undying gratitude. Should we ever, heaven forefend, need to move again, we will not hesitate to call upon Lightning Van Lines to do the job. They do both bay area & cross country moves. Anne

We hired Northstar movers in part based on BPN rec, but please do yourself a favor and look elsewhere. We had a huge move, out of state and they showed up late, way understaffed (and not what we contracted for), they severely damaged our hardwood floors among other structural damage to our house and refuse to recitfy the situation. Calls go unreturned by anyone with any power, namely Rom, the owner, and we've gotten huge attitude from the guy who does talk to us. Rick the sales guy is great, but the company eagerly threw him under the bus and he is totally powerless. This has been a nightmare. Do not hire these folks- if something goes wrong, they don't care! G.

Moving from Chicago to the East bay

May 2010

Our family is moving from Chicago back to the East Bay. We're looking for a reliable long-distance moving company. My husband has alot of crap, er, possessions, so anything that is reasonably priced would be much appreciated. Phuong

I have moved from SF to Dallas; Dalls to NC and NC to Seattle and Seattle to Oakland. I have used Allied Van Lines, United Van LInes and I highly recommend both. they provide boxes and packing paper, are great if anything is damaged, and timely and efficient.

Get the wardrobe boxes and dishes boxes; its worth the extra cost, if any. They are prompt, work quickly and safely. make sure you put EVERYTHING in boxes; even lamps and plants. If you need a car transporter, the company can make arrangements for that also.

I found that planning well in advance and giving myself a month to pack helped a lot, so that it is not overwhelming. good Luck and keep your sanity!! interstate mover


Earlier Recommendations

Interstate movers that pack your stuff for a move to the Midwest

May 2009

I am planning a move to the Midwest with my family, and would very much appreciate recommendations for reliable interstate movers (the kind that pack your belongings). There are many moving companies out there, but I understand that scamming is quite common. If you have had a good experience with a certain company and your belongings have not been damaged, please do share. Maya

We've used Allied and Bekins - from SF to Dallas, and from Dallas to LA. On a scale from 1-10, Allied=8, Bekins=0.

Bekins ''lost'' our stuff for over a week -- we learned later, a driver had parked the truck ''somewhere'' and went to celebrate Thanksgiving without updating the system -- mind you, delivery was scheduled for the Monday BEFORE Thanksgiving, so between that Monday and the following Tuesday no service rep or higher-up could tell us where our stuff was, while we ended up staying the holiday at a hotel, and they eventually delivered 12 days after the contracted date... not going into the details of the claim here...

Allied were punctual on all accounts, no broken/damaged stuff and everything was well accounted for - not a perfect score because they're too pricey, but I guess, as always, you get what you pay for. Moved-a-Lot

Graebel Relocation Services moved us from Wisconsin to Berkeley a few years ago. We had a positive experience: nothing lost/damaged, they were on time and efficient, excellent customer service, etc. I cannot comment on their rates, however, as our move was company-sponsored. Good luck! Brook

Full-service movers for out of state move

June 2007

If any of you have recently moved out of the area to another state, can you please let me know if you have a full service moving company you recommend? Thank you. martha

We recently moved from the East Bay to Chicago and had a great moving experience with All Points Moving & Storage, a Mayflower agent. They are the same company as Johnson & Daly Moving & Storage; I believe they do local moves under that name and long distance under All Points. They're based in San Rafael ( 415-457-1515) Sandy Sutherland was our relocation consultant. She came out and did an in-home estimate, answered all my questions, and was always good about returning my calls, emails, etc.

The binding estimate I got from them was not the lowest one I received (I got 5 I think!) However, I chose them because I felt a great deal of confidence after meeting with Sandy and hearing all about their procedures, and then researching their reputation on (A MUST read site for anyone choosing a mover), the BBB, etc.

On moving day, our driver and team arrived right on time, were clean, polite and efficient. I stood around with a latte and just watched! Because we had a smallish load (around 4100 lbs.) we had a fairly large delivery window - around 7-10 days. The van arrived on Day 2 of that window though, which was great! Nothing was lost or broken. What more can you want? Another nice thing was that we could track our shipment as it made its way across the country on Mayflower's website.

Also, Sandy was fairly cautious in her binding estimate for us. So, when our load was actually weighed, it came in about 400 lbs. lighter than the estimate, which meant we got a refund for that weight we didn't use (so it ended up costing about the same as the lower priced quotes I'd received.)

I recommend AVOIDING putting your details in to any online moving quote website. You'll end up getting hounded by dozens of shady companies via phone & email (trust me!)

Hope your move goes well! amy

Relocating to Portland OR

May 2005

Our family of two adults and one toddler are relocating to the Portland OR area this summer. We need some info advice re movers. I know there are companies that will transport your stuff if you load the truck, but does the opposite service exist? We are not physically able to load a truck and do not know the best way to place furniture in said truck, but we are quite capable of driving the truck. Does anyone know of ''professional loaders''? Failing that, which moving company would you use if you had to move again? Thanks for your help. Margy

professional movers pack in a very different manner than you might... We paid to have some of our belongings moved - they don't charge for packing balnkets but do charge for packing tape... well we figured no worries, all boxes would already be taped. But no, they cover all furntiure with the packing blankets and then tape them up really good. So they use a roll of packing tape per piece of furniture! You might be better off finding some college students (via craigslist?) to pack your things. And don't pack your linens in a box- use them to pad furniture. moved once too many

We've used Ben's Moving and Trucking several times and thought they were great. It's a moving company based in Berkeley. Although we didn't use this service, they told us they can also be hired to pack or move furniture around in your house. (For example we had a big heavy desk that we were thinking of moving to another floor.) So I'm sure you can hire them to pack the truck as well. I don't have their number, but know it's in the phone book.

Bekins for move from Chicago to Oakland

July 2003

We went with Bekins when we moved from Chicago to Oakland. The price of the move ended up costing less than if we had driven a U-Haul ourselves. They were very thorough and caring. When they could not find one chair of our kitchen set, the insurance paid for ALL of the chairs in a new set, so now we have even nicer chairs at our kitchen table then we started with. Happily moved

Moving to Knoxville from Oakland

May 2002

Can anyone recommend a long distance moving company (to use or to avoid)? The posts on the website are quite old. We are moving from Oakland to Knoxville, TN and have never used a commercial mover before. Cost is a big concern, but we'd also like to avoid making our baby drive across country. We're looking in to Delancey St. Movers and also ABF U-pack. The current plan is to have our household things driven by a commercial company, dad and dogs will go by car, and mom and baby will go by plane. Any other solutions out there? Anything to watch out for? Thanks for your help! Marguerite

I used ABF U-pack movers last summer. We did the loading--they will leave a trailer in front of your house so you can load it, then move it to the new location where, again, they leave it in front for you to unload. Priced by volume at reasonable rates compared to more full service commercial folks. Worked well for me. Employees were very helpful and courteous. I recommend looking at their video tape for advice on how to pack your goods and the truck before starting to load. Mary

I would not recommend Bekins for any move. For 11 years we stored our household items with the Richmond, VA Bekins agent. In 2000 we called them to arrange shipping. It took over a dozen calls. Finally the stuff is on the truck. The driver calls to say he needs payment for $1500+ more than quoted. He doesn't care that the amount is different. Corporate in Illinois will issue a refund. Desperate to get our stuff - we pay. (Big mistake) Then it turns out items are missing. Another 25 calls to Richmond. Months later they send some items severly damaged; others we never get. The driver tells us the general approach at Corporate is to ignore claims with the hopes that they'll just go away. Over the next 6 months, we called Corporate over 50 times to file a claim and get a refund from the overpayment. The claim was never resolved satisfactorily and was completely ignored when appealed. They were intentionally unresponsive and bureaucratic. I consider our Bekins experience as one of the worst customer service encounters I've ever had with any company. Joyce