Get a Quote

What Is the Difference Between Moving Brokers and Moving Companies?

If your clients are not doing their move themselves, there are two ways they can hire a moving company to do their move. One way is to hire a moving broker and the other is to hire an actual mover

Here are some of the differences between them.

What is a Moving Broker?

Moving brokers are middlemen between the household who is moving and moving companies. The brokers are not the actual movers and typically do not own trucks or moving equipment or have a professional moving staff. They provide the convenience of finding a moving company and are salespeople who "sell" the move.

Typically, moving brokers give estimates for a move either over the phone or on the Internet and collect payments from the person who is moving. The brokers then bid out the job to moving companies based on the estimate. The benefit of using a moving broker is that the move could be accomplished cheaper than hiring a moving company directly.

However, there are some risks involved with using a broker. There is the possibility that the job might not be accepted by a moving company, usually because of a low estimate, availability of resources, and the customer would be left without a mover on moving day. In addition, unlicensed or uninsured movers might be hired for the job or the moving company might charge extra fees once they see the totality of the job. Interestingly, the brokers do not accept any liability for the acts or omissions of the moving company hired.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is working to provide stronger consumer protections when using a broker. Therefore, moving brokers must:

  • Be registered with the FMCSA.
  • Provide the customer with the FMCSA Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and the Ready to Move brochure.
  • Provide a list of the moving companies they use.
  • Use only movers that are registered with FMCSA.
  • Have a written agreement with the movers they use.
  • Base binding or non-binding estimates on the tariff of the mover that will transport the shipment.
  • Reference in their advertisements their physical business location, motor carrier number, and their status as a broker that does not transport household goods but arranges for this service.
  • Have the mover that is transporting the shipment perform a physical survey of the household goods to be moved if they are within a 50-mile radius of the mover or its agent's location, whichever is closer. It is the client's option to waive this requirement.

Moving Companies

Moving companies are the firms that do the actual move. They own trucks and moving equipment and have a professional moving staff. Moving companies will come to the house and give an estimate for performing the move, which will most likely be more accurate than the estimate from a moving broker. The price will normally depend on the weight and amount of the items and the distance of the move.

While making an agreement with a moving company might provide more confidence with a move, since the company can be held liable for anything that goes wrong with a move, there are additional fees to consider when using professional movers, including extra valuation coverage for the goods; additional services, such as preparing appliances for the move or moving a piano; and extra charges, such as expedited services and long-haul charges.

Why You Should Choose a Mover over a Broker

Brokers do not have the same level of expertise as moving companies. They don't have trucks or moving equipment. They also don't have the ability to offer discounts. This means that when you hire them, you're going to pay more than if you had hired a real moving company. Moving brokers usually work out of a call center, which means that you'll be calling them every time there's an issue. Their offices might be located hundreds of miles away from your new home.

Regardless of whether clients choose a broker or a moving company to perform a move, they should always research online the credibility and reputability of the firm by checking with the Better Business Bureau and the FMCSA.

There are benefits and risks with both moving brokers and moving companies; therefore, it might be a good idea to provide your client with a list of those firms that you have worked with before and trust.

Comparison Chart

Moving Brokers vs. Moving Companies: How Does Allied Van Lines Compare?

FeatureMoving BrokersTypical Moving CompaniesAllied Van Lines
Service ScopeActs as intermediaries, arranging servicesProvides actual moving servicesOffers comprehensive moving services directly
PricingMay offer lower initial estimates, but with potential for additional costsPricing based on actual services providedTransparent pricing with detailed estimates
ExpertiseLimited; dependent on third-party moversVaries; some may have specialized skillsHigh expertise with specialized services for various needs
Equipment and StaffDo not own equipment or have moving staffOwns equipment and employs trained staffOwns state-of-the-art equipment and employs professional moving staff
CustomizationLimited; dependent on third-party capabilitiesVaries; some offer customizable optionsHighly customizable moving plans tailored to individual needs
Customer SupportOften outsourced or limitedVaries; can range from minimal to comprehensiveDedicated customer support with real-time tracking and assistance
International CapabilitiesLimited; dependent on third-party moversVaries; not all companies offer international movingExtensive international moving services with a global network

This chart clearly compares the typical services offered by moving brokers, general moving companies, and the specific services provided by Allied Van Lines. We aim to offer transparent, comprehensive, and high-quality moving solutions that stand out in the industry.

Allied Van Lines: Comprehensive Moving Services

At Allied Van Lines, we offer a wide range of moving services tailored to meet your unique needs. Our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction ensures a smooth and stress-free moving experience. Here's a breakdown of our key services:

  • Local and Long-Distance Moving: Whether you're moving across town or across the country, we have the expertise and resources to transport your belongings safely and efficiently.
  • International Moving: Our global network allows us to provide seamless international moving services, ensuring your items arrive securely at your new destination, no matter where it is in the world.
  • Packing and Unpacking Services: Our professional team can handle all aspects of packing and unpacking, using high-quality materials and techniques to protect your valuables.
  • Specialty Item Moving: From pianos to fine art, we have the expertise to move your special items with the care and attention they deserve.
  • Storage Solutions: We offer secure, climate-controlled storage facilities for short-term or long-term needs, giving you flexibility during your move.
  • Corporate Relocation: We provide comprehensive relocation services for businesses, ensuring minimal disruption and a smooth transition for your employees.
  • Vehicle Transport: Our vehicle transport services make it easy to move your car, motorcycle, or boat along with your household items.

Request your free estimate today!