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How does long distance moving work?

Whether you’re moving for work, school, or for a fresh start with your family, moving, in general, can take a lot of time and effort to complete from beginning to end. This is especially true for those who have never moved previously and who have decided to move long distances to another province or country. From cardboard boxes and disassembled furniture to loading ramps and moving trucks, to put it quite frankly, moving is a daunting experience that sometimes requires the help of a professional moving company to help lighten the load. Because of this, it’s common to have questions like, “how does long distance moving work?” among others. Therefore, to ensure that homeowners across Canada are able to tackle their long-distance move with confidence and ensure their families and belongings get to their new destination safely, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will give you more clarity to the questions you may have. As such, for more information on how long distance moving works, keep reading!


How do moving companies work?


A long distance moving company functions similarly to other moving companies. Generally speaking, a move is considered “long distance” if you are planning to move across the province, across Canada, or internationally. Furthermore, when calculating the cost of your belongings, a long-distance moving company will first require you to provide a list of items you wish to bring with you –sort of like an inventory list. This preliminary inventory list then allows your partnered long distance moving company to calculate an estimate on the price of services.


Fast forward to the day of your scheduled move; once all of your items have been loaded into the moving trucks, the total weight of your items will ultimately determine the final price of what you will be charged. Moreover, beyond helping homeowners move from one destination to another, long distance moving companies often provide additional services. This includes packing and unpacking, loading your items onto the truck, disassembling and assembling furniture, and selling moving supplies.


However, it is essential to remember that these additional services are not obligatory. Thus, allowing homeowners to customize their experience to their personal needs and expectations.


How should I plan for long-distance moves? 


One of the more challenging aspects of moving long distances is planning. This is precisely why we’ve put together a list of everyday tasks you’ll most likely have to complete before the day of your scheduled move. However, we should note that while this is not an exhaustive list of tasks and responsibilities you’ll most likely have when you are planning your move, it should help you get started! Here is a closer look at what you should consider completing:


  • Contact a professional moving company and confirm that they can assist you well in advance of your actual moving date.
  • To avoid overpacking, organize your belongings by getting rid of any unwanted items that you don’t want to take with you.
  • Purchase packing materials at least a move in advance to ensure you do not run out of supplies. 
  • Label your boxes by room and whether or not they are fragile.
  • If possible, disassemble large pieces of furniture.
  • Gather all of your essential documents and belongings before loading them into your vehicle on the day of your move.
  • Change your address for essential bills and subscriptions before your moving date.



How far ahead of time should a long-distance move be planned?


Furthermore, we can honestly say that the best way to plan your long-distance move is to start as early as possible. This can help alleviate some of the pressures you may feel throughout the process and ensure that you are rushing last minute to finalize all the details of your moving day. At the same time, it is also recommended that homeowners contact the moving company they wish to partner with weeks in advance before they plan on moving. Not only does this help better your chances of getting the moving day that you want, but it also provides the moving company enough time to work out details and prepare for your scheduled move on their end.


With that being said, if you find yourself in a position where you need to move immediately within a couple of days, a lot of long-distance moving companies can also provide you with emergency last-minute moving assistance. Again, it is always best to contact the moving company you wish to work with for your long distance move as soon as possible.


How long does it take movers to deliver?


Admittedly, disruptions are usual in most types of transportation. As such, the wait for your personal possessions to arrive safely at your new home is among the most challenging aspects of moving long distances. Because of this, it’s critical to keep in touch with your movers to stay updated on the status of your shipment. This will give you notifications on the existing timetable, postponements, as well as other variables that may interrupt your shipment’s predicted travel time.


Moreover, determining an expected delivery time for your possessions is not as easy as it may appear because many factors are taken into account as your personal possessions travel from place to place. With that being said, most long-distance moves can take anywhere between 10 days to more than two weeks on average. However, because of a number of unpredictable variables, this duration is likely to vary all across the process and between homeowners.


What factors affect the time it takes for items to arrive?


As we mentioned, the timetable on which your items will arrive at your new location will vary between households. This is due to numerous elements that can affect this process from being streamlined from start to finish. Some of these elements may include:


  • The distance of your move: This is obvious as the greater the distance, the longer the delivery will take to complete. 
  • Your shipment size: The more significant the shipment, the longer the delivery and transit time, which is why we always recommend that homeowners get rid of as many items they do not see themselves using in their new home. 
  • Peak moving seasons: Generally speaking, early summer, early fall, and late spring can often cause your shipment to be delayed because many moving companies are overbooked.


On the other hand, other factors that may affect the amount of time it takes to have your items shipped during your long-distance move include bad weather and other unforeseeable circumstances that may cause delays. Nonetheless, when working with a professional long-distance moving company, they should be able to provide you with an approximation as to how long it will take your items to arrive.


How can I track my belongings?


It is not yet possible to track your belongings during a long distance move as if they were a package. However, you can check in with the moving company or driver during the move to see how things are going.


You can make notes as to where your belongings are at any given time by inquiring ahead of time about the journey the truck or other transportation vehicles will take. Furthermore, make sure you have at least one of the movers’ phone numbers so you can contact them if they are going to be late. Remember, keeping in touch with your moving company throughout the delivery process will ensure a hassle-free shipment. Staying in touch with the company will enable you to monitor the headway of your delivery and ensure that you are not forgotten during the process. 


Final Thoughts on long distance moving 


As you can see, moving a long distance can be a hassle for homeowners who don’t know what to expect from the process. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the process, there are resources and help available to you if you need it. By using this guide, you can begin the process and ensure your long-distance move runs smoothly from start to finish. At the same time, one of the main ways you can gain assistance during your long-distance move is to partner with a professional moving company you can trust to oversee your experience.


At Atlas Care, we have more than 50 years of experience assisting Canadians to move all across the country and around the world, and we are prepared to ensure you get to where you want to go worry-free. Therefore, if you’re in the beginning stages of planning your long-distance move and require assistance, our team of friendly and experienced professionals is here to help whenever you need us.


Request a free moving quote from Atlas Canada’s long-distance movers today! We look forward to working with you!