Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

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meydele
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby meydele » Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:56 pm

I had Flat Rate come out to my house in LA to do an in-house estimate for my move to Brooklyn. I have a lot of boxes (~175 book boxes according to a van line estimate, and dish packs, etc.) and a moderate amount of furniture. The van line estimates I got were each over $15,000 - which I don't have. I liked both of the estimators who came out, both agents have good BBB ratings and, at least one has very good comments on this site, but the cost just stopped me cold. Flat Rate has given me a guaranteed rate of $7945. But I just checked their FMCSA data and there were plenty of red flags. Broadway Express quoted me $6,063 and I would have to hire moving companies at both ends to load and unload the truck, which I am nervous about in terms of cost and reliability. I checked out a ReloCube from ABF, figuring that books in boxes are not breakable and even in size. The cube would cost me $1,460 door to door and I've guessed 2 guys for 6 hours to fill it with close to 200 boxes coming out of my house up a hill (estimated as 2-3 flights) and gotten a bid through eMove.com of $340 in LA and $384.93 in Brooklyn of loading and unloading the ReloCube. That adds up to about $2200. One of the van lines estimated that eliminating the books would bring my cost down under $10,000. Another estimated it would reduce his bid by about $4,000. So, I guess it comes down to how much it will cost me to hire movers on both ends to load the Broadway Express truck and whether that will end up being substantially cheaper than going with a van line and using the ReloCube with loading help. Anyway I slice this, it is costing me more than i planned. Have I missed anything?

Diane
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby Diane » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:14 pm

Broadway seems to have quoted you for 21 linear feet. Each foot holds about 500 pounds, so that is 10,500 pounds. A skilled worker can load 500 pounds per hour, unskilled about 300 pounds per hour. Therefore if you hire 4 workers, they can theoretically load 2000 pounds per hour and it would theoretically take just over 5 hours. Most eMove.com companies charge about $50/hour for 2 workers or $100/hour for 4 workers. So, for 4 workers for 5 hours it might cost you about $500 to load. (Actually it might cost somewhat less since so much of the load is easy-to-load book boxes. However, it also might cost somewhat more since you say you have a hill to contend with.) Unloading usually goes around twice as fast as loading, as long as the items are just offloaded to the ground, but if you have stairs and so on in Brooklyn it would take more time.

I am thinking that it might cost you around $1000 max for combined loading and unloading. That, plus BE's $6000, would be around $7000. Even if it cost $8000, that's still way below what it would cost for a full-service mover plus a ReloCube.

I'm not sure why you're nervous about hiring eMove workers to load a BE trailer and not nervous about hiring them to load a ReloCube. It would be virtually the same process.

I guess my feeling is that if you're going to send some of the stuff via BE, send it all that way - don't divide the shipment. It's just too much of a hassle to have all those different pickups and deliveries. This is just my opinion.

As for Flat Rate, I think it's worrisome that its quote is so far below the quotes from two reputable companies, and that it approaches the cost for a freight company.

Big Dog
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Location: Colorado Mountains

Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby Big Dog » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:54 pm

Diane: Don't forget the possible shuttle in Brooklyn. A lot of those addresses present challenges for over the road vehicles. 8)

meydele
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby meydele » Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:49 pm

The 21 linear feet was the figure I gave them, based on the inventory. At least 1/3 - 1/2 of what I have are boxes, particularly book boxes, which aren't big, but are heavy. I've been getting estimate of 15,000 lbs by weight. Have I reserved too little space??

Diane
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby Diane » Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:17 pm

Hi - you know, I am not an expert on this but I think for a dense load, 21 feet could hold 15,000 pounds. I hope others will jump in here to comment. A 1.5 cubic foot box the size of a wine box would normally be rated at 10.5 pounds if filled with average household goods but people have told me that they can actually weigh around 45 pounds when filled with books. I suppose the weight of the boxes could slow down the loading somewhat if they have to be carried up a hill. However, I still think your loading and unloading expense will not exceed $2000 total. About the shuttle - BE should be able to tell from the address whether they can get in with a tractor-trailer. Brooklyn is variable, as you probably know.

If you call Shea Moving or All Star in NYC (companies endorsed here) and ask them how much they would charge to unload 21 feet heavy on books, they should be able to give you a ballpark figure. They often unload ABF and BE trailers.

meydele
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby meydele » Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:40 pm

Just an update. I'm using Lindemann Moving at the LA end. Dave Lindemann came out today, at my request, because I thought their estimate of how long it would take to do the packing I'm requesting (including crating 2 granite table tops) and moving everything out was too low. He was very knowledgeable, very calming. I decided to go with 5 guys - 1 extra for packing - and they will bring 2 trucks to be sure that the move goes quickly. Broadway Express has confirmed my driver and I am delighted to say that Lindemann and the Broadway Express driver are coordinating everything between them, not requiring me to be in the middle. I've also decided to go with Five Star Moving on the Brooklyn side. They are able to meet the Broadway Express truck in Hoboken, saving me considerable charges that would be incurred if the cross-country rig went into the 5 boroughs of NYC. Broadway Express is coordinating directly with Five Star, so again, I'm not in the middle. I like the idea of professionals dealing directly with professionals. While this process is not easy (SO much junk to sift through on my end - boxes and boxes, closets and clsoets), I feel I am in the hands of pros and am feeling hopeful that things will go smoothly. I will post after the load-in on Monday.

Rick
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby Rick » Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:07 pm

meydele, if you don't mind sharing, what is the total estimated cost for your 15,000 lb move from Los Angeles, NY to Brooklyn, NY (including the packing and crating charge, loading crew charges at origin, transportation cost, delivery crew charges at destination, insurance and shuttle fee(s) (if applicable), or any other accessorial service charges that you are incurring?

ArchieWhite
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby ArchieWhite » Sat Mar 22, 2008 6:57 am

Yeah, I 'd like to know that also, my guess is, it will be about the same as a major van lines price.

BigLeeCalif
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:38 am

I agree with Archie. I'm inclined to think with all the extra labor charges factored in, the cost for door to door full service won't present that much difference in cost.

And 15,000 lbs won't fit into one Relocube. We use SAMS at our place, and we have seen the average weight packed into them as being from 3000 to one case of a former mover packing 5400 lbs into one SAM. So I'm guessing you'd need 3 - 5 relocubes.

And with the amount of weight, the company in NY is probably going to cost the same as a metro shuttle.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Diane
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby Diane » Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:07 am

I just checked, and if delivering 21 linear feet to NJ, BE would charge much less than if delivering to NY ($4888 as opposed to more than $6000). So that is an extra $1200 that the customer could spend on labor. I still think that the total cost will be around $8000 as opposed to the full-service movers' estimates of around $15,000. BE and ABF normally cost about 40% less than a full-service mover. That would be $9000 in this case.

To the original poster - can you please post contact information for Lindemann and Five Star so I can be sure which companies you are talking about? A website or phone number or address would be good.

BigLeeCalif
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby BigLeeCalif » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:03 am

My big question on a shipment having that much weight is where does the liability for claims lie? There would be several entities involved, so it would be a huge issue were there damage claims.

I agree that there is a substantial savings involved "if all goes as the scenario suggests." But should something valuable get damaged, there will be fingerpointing and delays trying to determine liability.

And all it takes is a lazy loader, and the density won't be there.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

Diane
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby Diane » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:10 am

I agree, but regarding claims, remember that half of the shipment is books. What's certain is that it takes a careful and motivated person to arrange such a move. I think it's a good sign that he/she actually had Lindemann come out to look at the situation beforehand, thinking that their initial quote was too low.

meydele
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby meydele » Mon Mar 24, 2008 9:02 pm

I am in the middle of the load-in. The person who said this will be a problem if there is any damage claim is dead-on. The van driver and the Lindemann people disagree on how to pack the truck. I've gone with the van driver's recommendation, which is to build in a deck for the fragile items, even though I have my doubts. I ended up in tears at one point, because I felt caught in the middle between conflicting advice. Talk about stress! I am beyond stress into a zen state. It is, after all, only stuff, I keep telling mself. Having cancer was worse, than this move, but it is comparable in terms of the feeling of panic. Lindemann took MUCH longer to pack and load than the boss estimated. I think that is because the fifth guy I contracted for is not really a packer! Great. I've had really good packers in past moves, they are incredibly quick, and it was clear that the guys assigned to packing were not skilled packers. I found things unpacked throughout the house that I had pointed out needed packing. They had 2 trucks, so they could cut down on the time to load the van. Luckily, the guys on the second truck were more efficient and they methodically went through the house and picked up on everything the "packers" left undone. The first crew didn't really communicate well with the second crew, so I left the van and went back to the house to be sure that everything ended up being packed that I wanted to be packed. If all goes well, I will have saved a lot of money. But at this point, I am sorry that I didn't go with a full service mover and let them hassle, not me. Of course, it's a little hard to do that without the $17,000 in pocket that the full service movers were estimating. At this point, it is what it is. News from the van: All issues appear to be resolved and the report is that the packing that the driver is supervising is nice and tight. I'm crossing my fingers. I really like the Lindemann guys, just wish the first crew had been more methodical.

Diane
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Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby Diane » Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:14 pm

Oy vey. The more experienced the loaders, the more confrontational they are likely to get with the BE driver, I think, from reviews I've read. Hope it ended up OK. These DITY moves are not for the faint of heart (I did one too). I thought you had someone to help you manage it; didn't know you were trying to do it alone. :(

meydele
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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Current Interstate Experiences w/Flat Rate Moving?

Postby meydele » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:47 am

Well, the Broadway van is loaded and off. Came out to 24 feet, total, not the 21 estimated, which isn't too bad of a differential. And, at the end, the drivers and the loaders all agreed that the load had packed in nice and tight and they were all feeling good about it, which gives me some comfort. But the packing and loading took more than double the estimated time. All told 13 1/2 hours!! Labor costs, exclusive of supplies totaled over $2000 for Lindemann. When you add in what I paid the Broadway driver to help with the loading (>$600), this is quite high. I added in about an additional 2 hours (1 hour w/additional packing and 1 hour to help me move things that did not go on the long-distance van), but even so, this is quite a bit more than the time estimate I got when Dave Lindemann came out at my request on Friday. I really feel that the packing and loading of the shuttle wasn't handled very efficiently. Very disappointing, given the strong reviews which Lindemann's had gotten from others. So now, I wonder how much I'm going to end up paying Five Star at the Brooklyn end. I figured the advice that the packing and loading and unloading could be accomplished for $2000 was low and in my head was expecting a total of $3000 at both ends. Certainly didn't expect to spend $3000 just at the LA end! Not for the faint of heart, indeed.


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