My move from Houston to Maryland

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MDAggie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:09 am
Location: Maryland
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My move from Houston to Maryland

Postby MDAggie » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:50 pm

I’d first like to thank all of you who have posted in the past. Without your experiences, I wouldn’t have one to share.

About six years ago, I spent more than $4K (Allied) relocating to Houston from Maryland. Everything was fine, just expensive. I was dreading the costs and decided to sell most of my belongings this time around. While selling some of my furniture, a buyer recommended I check into U-Pack. She had a huge move from CA to TX the previous year and said U-Pack saved her thousands. After receiving outrageous quotes with the major moving companies, I decided to check into ABF/U-Pack and discovered this site. I wasn’t moving my entire house, but enough to be a headache and too much to drive it alone.

I contacted A1-Best Movers out of Houston who specialize in U-Pack packing. Since I didn’t have much (5 linear feet), I opted to have the movers come to my house, load me up and pack me at the U-Pack terminal. The owner gave me a list of items to purchase to ensure my goods would travel well. I packed four large, plastic storage containers with heavy items so they could be rolled. Someone had mentioned on a post they were easier to roll and kept belongs dry in the event moisture was in the trailer. Aside from that, I had mostly small/medium boxes, a bike and bedroom suite. The furniture posed my biggest concern because it was high-end and a recent investment. The owner of A1 told me to stock up on furniture pads, shrink wrap, and purchase extra boxes so they could crate it to the best of their ability. I also bought ratchets to secure the load. I purchased 6 linear feet (because I figured I had underestimated) but the movers were able to fit it in 5. The bulkhead was broken but the guys at ABF brought a replacement and installed it for me. I took before pictures, just so I could see how much movement occurred during transit. The trailer left on Tuesday and was constantly updated online.

Per your recommendations, I looked up suggested car carriers as well. But in comparing prices, delivery times, and user reviews, I found one on my own: All Auto Shipping (AAS). I have a Mercedes ML 500 so I was willing to spend extra to make sure the truck arrived damage-free and in a timely manner. When I made the initial request, I expressed the importance of my vehicle being picked up Tuesday at the earliest but no later than Wednesday at noon; my flight left later that evening and I wanted to give myself some cushion. AAS is a broker, as most are, and assigned me to a local carrier, Dejah-Vu Transport. I called Dejah-Vu, just to confirm his arrival. He told me he was delayed due to the last pickup, but would arrive early afternoon at the latest. Long story short, I had to call him at noon to track him down, and he was in – low and behold – ALABAMA. Well, obviously, I’m moving from Houston to Maryland. Why a truck, that was supposed to already be at my house, was all the way in Alabama is beyond me. I’ve come to the realization that people are so hungry for money, they’ll make any promise they can to make a buck.

At any rate, I immediately called Trish at AAS and she was on fire. Hung up with me immediately, got on the horn, and found another carrier. As fate would have it, a trucker – who lives five minutes from my MD home, was in Houston and on his way home. You don’t know how happy I was to see Waldorf, MD on the side of the truck. Cristian Molina of MCKI Towing was the angel of the day. He even let me load the back of the truck up with some extra items. As he loaded the truck, he said he’d be back Friday, Saturday at the latest. Although a winter storm hit, Cris called me at 10:30 am Saturday to say he had arrived. The truck was dirty from the ride but looked just like she did when we left Houston. I paid $200 to AAS and $525 to Cris. I still think it was a bargain, especially to be without a car for only two days! Although I had an issue with the first carrier, I still recommend All Auto Shipping because they were responsive and able to locate a carrier in an instant.

The following Sunday, I decided to track the ABF trailer and wouldn’t you know, it was already in Elkridge, MD! It wasn’t scheduled to arrive until Tuesday. I quickly started looking up labor assistance and rented a Budget truck. Minero Movers (also recommended on this site) quickly responded to my email request. I was quoted $45/hr + $25 one time travel fee (two-hour minimum) for two guys. I arrived at ABF on Monday and Minero Movers was already there – ready to work! Unfortunately, ABF had no one who could move my trailer (although I was scheduled for a morning pickup) so I wasted 45 minutes.

Upon removal of the bulkhead, I quickly saw how much the load moved during transit. :shock: One of the ratchets came loose and boxes tumbled. Although the furniture was in the center, I could still see there could be possible damage from the fallen items. We quickly transported the goods into the rental truck and went to the storage unit and repacked. The guys at Minero were hard working and quick to point out damage they weren’t responsible for. For the most part, the protected edges of the legs weren’t so protected after all. Most of the damage is on the legs, which can be repaired or isn’t really noticeable. I’d recommend putting socks on legs of furniture, wrapping them in hand towels, THEN crating them for extra protection. I still can’t believe we were able to unload the trailer, load the truck, drive to storage and pack the big items with the remaining time. I’ll be sure to use them when I moved into my permanent home. They traveled all the way from northern Virginia to Elkridge, MD (close to Baltimore) for two hours of work. That says a lot in my opinion.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: **My move from Houston to Maryland

Postby Diane » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:35 pm

Hi - thanks so much for this review of ABF U-Pack and the auto broker and carriers, which I'll re-post on the appropriate review threads. And thanks for the tip about protecting the furniture legs with socks. :)
Diane
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.


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