Moving Companies


What is the structure of moving companies in the USA?

Moving companies need to have proper structure moving quotes. This is so as to ensure that they are able to provide the best service to their clients as well as make a profit for their businesses.

The following are examples of cost structures associated with moving companies.


  1. Local Moves (or below 90 miles)

This varies in different states and cities. In some instances, some companies would offer their clients a flat rate leaving out how they get to that specific cost structure. Majority of the companies offer their clients an hourly rate.

Below is a breakdown  of these hourly rates

  1. Hourly rate
  2. Fuel surcharge
  3. Materials Charges
  4. Sales tax
  5. Insurance premium



  • Hourly Rate: this covers the moving trucks and the movers.
  • Fuel Surcharge: Depending on the company, this can either be included in the hourly rate or not.
  • Materials Charges: These include the boxes used for packing, tape and any other relevant materials.
  • Sales tax: This can be counterchecked with the given laws of a state to determine what can be taxed.
  • Insurance Premium: This is mandatory by law for moving companies to offer their clients $0.60 per pound for each item.


Other charges that may be incurred include:

  • Overnight Hold Charge: This is only charged to a client if their belongings are left in a moving truck overnight.
  • Hoist / Craning Charge: This applies to items that are big enough to be hoisted.
  • Storage Charges: These charges apply to instances where the moving company gets to store the clients’ belongings.
  • Piano / Large item Surcharge: These charges are charged ton items that are considered large by the moving company.
  • Disposal Charges: This applies only if you need the movers to do away with some items on your behalf.
  • Crating Charges: This is mostly considered on artwork that you may need to be crated.
  • Stair Surcharge: This is the most outrageous cost. It applies to some movers who would charge for per stairs if they are more than 10 from your house to where their moving truck is packed.



  1. Interstate Moves (or above 90 miles)


The law requires that moving companies charge their clients items by the measure of the pound. There are set tariffs in the US by the Department of Transportation which every moving company must adhere to It is from this that moving companies can offer their discounts. Other charges included here are the cost of fuel, storage fees, packing, loading and unloading and extra stops.

Before the pound per charge is set, the following is considered:


  • Binding Estimate: This will be given by a sales representative. It is based on estimates given according to your poundage. You are given the cost basing on the tariff and any discounts associated with this.
  • Weight: The mover usually weighs your shipment. This is done by checking on the weight of the truck before loading it and weighing the same truck after loading it. The charges on this are given in pounds per rate.


  1. International Moves


This highly is dependent on the company one wants to use while making a move. Different companies offer different charges by volume, others by cubic meters while for others it is done by cubic foot. After an estimate is done, the price cost of the move is determined and charged to a client.


Costs can highly impact a move. It is great when considering making a move that you look into the different cost structures moving companies have. This will help you determine the best companies to contract and the most pocket-friendly rates that are available for you.


Adrianne is a writer for TMQ and has written more than 100 posts about moving. Above is a mini-guide to the types of moving companies there are in the USA.