NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

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gunbuster
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NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby gunbuster » Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:27 pm

Thank goodness for this site! I foolishly had volunteered my information on some of these internet sites and got a number of quotes for my move. My wife and I life in a large studio apartment, and will be planning a move for mid-November.

The first round of calls resulted in companies calling such as 212 Moving, All American Moving and Storage and Amerigo. First mistake, I did it an estimate by phone -- they came in at $1500, $1100 and $1050. I checked the BBB but not much was found.

I had a nagging feeling so I decided to do a lot more research. Luckily, I happened upon this site and found quite a few of the companies that I had seen or heard from being on the BAD list.

Anyway, tomorrow, I'm having an in-home estimate from Allied/Liffey and Wheaton/Moving Man. I'm also going to give Delancey-NY a call to see what they can do.

I'll be adding more to this post as I get the information. I'm trying to get educated as quickly as possible, but would appreciate any help in trying to understand some of the information that'll be coming at me.

One question, is there any value to weighing our own belongings, just to get a feel for how much we should expect the weight to come in at? I'd prefer to do that than to take someone else's number for granted when the day arrives....

gunbuster
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby gunbuster » Wed Oct 20, 2004 12:18 am

Also curious if anyone has used Broadway Express in Manhattan? Seems that this might be the more economical and possibly more reliable way to go. A few wrinkles though:
- The condo board might have an issue with a 70' truck parked in the driveway
- Most of our stuff is boxed up and should be (relatively) easy to move, but I'm wondering how to move a 36" television, wardrobe and some bookcases. Can I use a service like Labor Ready to handle this?

Seems like with the size of our studio (500') BE might make a whole lot more sense than Allied or Wheaton... ? Plus there is the issue of short-term storage -- I know approximately what zip code I'm heading towards, but I don't have an exact address. Do they offer some sort of short-term storage, or would I have to rent a storage facility in San Diego and perform a local move later on?

Diane
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby Diane » Wed Oct 20, 2004 12:38 am

I'll let others advise about weighing your own belongings. I remember my parents doing something like that, and I would think it would work if you had very little to move, but I can't picture how you would weigh large items like tables and sofas.

I'll just tell you my thoughts about Delancey-NY (845-278-0314). Several weeks ago I spoke with their office manager to try to arrange a move for someone who had to find a mover at the last minute. (They were booked two weeks ahead so it didn't work.) The manager told me a little about their operation and their equipment. They are a very small company with only 10 full-time employees (mostly drivers) and I think she said 5 part-time crew members. They have only one tractor-trailer, one 24' box truck, and two 15' box trucks. During the summer they do 3-4 local or regional jobs a day and also make 1 trip a month to Florida and back. I was surprised to see "tamarcita" post that she was moving with them to CA (but see below for a possible explanation).

So, Delancey-NY is very small. I asked the office manager about damage to items, because I had heard that was a problem with Delancey in general (although they are said to pay claims promptly) and she said that they had recently had had people come in from Delancey-CA to train their people better in how to avoid damage. My conversation with her was very pleasant and I was favorably impressed by her comment that Delancey employees don't dwell on the past (many have criminal records, as you may know) but demonstrate who they are by what they do. The CA Delanceys have five or six good reviews on this messageboard.

What occurred to me is that you might get in on a return trip to CA with Delancey-SF (415-957-9800) or Delancey-LA (323-890-2300) rather than with Delancey-NY. It could be that "tamarcita" is actually being moved by one of the CA Delanceys on a return run. I like the social focus of this company - http://www.grass-roots.org/usa/delancey.shtml - and judging from what "tamarcita" posted, its prices seem very reasonable. I do think there might be a somewhat greater risk of damage than with an agent of a major van line because of the employees having less training.

I'm listing the direct phone numbers for the various Delancey Street moving companies because they are somewhat difficult to get. You have to call the Delancey Street Foundation in each city and get the numbers from them. Delancey also has branches in New Mexico and in Greensboro, NC. Its employees live in group housing at night and loss (i.e. theft) is reportedly nonexistent. Participants in the program are carefully screened.

I'll be very interested to hear what you think of Moving Man. Some have felt that they gave high estimates and/or their sales reps were a bit aggressive and have ruled them out for that reason.

I just saw your post about Broadway Express--we must have been posting simultaneously. Here are a few answers to your questions:

Lots of people have used Broadway Express in Manhattan. One review that I recall is by "Ray" but I think there are others among our 50 reviews. The truck can normally double-park while you load, especially if you have a very small amount of things, as you would seem to if your apartment is only 500 square feet. Some people have talked about using alternate side parking to their advantage--I don't understand this but you probably do. You could use LaborReady for what you have but should tell them in advance that you have a 36" TV. Maybe the driver could help a bit with that so you wouldn't have to hire so many LaborReady workers; you could call and discuss it with BE.

BE can store things in its warehouse in IL but in your situation it would probably make more sense for you to have them deliver to mini-storage in San Diego. Yes, you would have to perform a local move later on, but at least your things would be accessible. Someone would have to be at the mini-storage when BE delivers.

Weight is irrelevant if you go with BE--all that matters is the floor space in the trailer that your things occupy. I would guess that you have about 5 linear feet, far less than their 10 foot minimum.

gunbuster
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby gunbuster » Wed Oct 20, 2004 8:00 am

Diane,

Thank you so much for the information. I'll post back here after I get the estimates for Allied and Wheaton, but after doing more reading on BE last night, I might be leaning towards using them. Again, the only big item we have is a 36" television. Am I responsible for packing the 36" TV? I'm not sure how I'd begin to protect it.

The BE + Labor Ready sounds more and more attractive as I keep reading. Is there any particular reason why it's better to have a local mini-storage in CA? I won't need access to our stuff until we have found our permanent home in CA... ? Or is it advised against to use BE's storage?

Diane
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby Diane » Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:58 am

Hi - when you talk with BE, you should ask them how you would protect your TV and how many people will be required to lift it and also which storage they would recommend. They will be trustworthy as far as advising you which storage arrangement would be better. I just have a feeling that it might be less expensive to store in San Diego but am not sure.

gunbuster
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby gunbuster » Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:21 pm

Got the first estimate from Wheaton/Moving Man. The estimator was polite and answered my questions. I don't know if I asked the right ones though.

Anyway, we already had about 20 boxes of stuff packed up and piled against the wall. Because of this, he said that he couldn't make a GTNE estimate, since he wasn't able to see the contents. So he provided a non-binding estimate of $3808. Estimated weight was 3000 lbs.

Here's what I see as the breakdown:
Transportation: $5866.40
Add'l Transportation Origin: $521.10
(I didn't see this before, so I'm not sure what this is for, we won't need a shuttle to get to our building)
Add'l Transportation Destination: $156.00 (for a shuttle)
Aux Surcharge Origin: $1239
Aux Surcharge Dest: $809
Fuel Surcharge 10%: $586.64
Insurance Surcharge 4%: $234.65
Packing/Supplies: $116.14
Subtotal: $9520.93
Then he applied a 60% discount --> $3808.00

Nearly $4000 and its not even binding. I'd be hard pressed to suggest that the total of all our possessions is much more than that.

I also spoke with BE and they quoted me $2251 to move from NYC to San Diego. I guess there's some heavy tolls on the truck getting in/out of the city, which is why its significantly higher than the $1600 rate from their site to move from region 2 to 8 for 10 linear feet.

Have people tried using the ABF in Manhattan with success? Since I definitely need less than 10 linear feet, I'm wondering if it'll be much of a difference.

Nonetheless, I'm leaning more and more towards either using BE, or just selling/shipping things off and then starting all over in San Diego :).

Diane
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby Diane » Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:03 pm

Hi - did you discuss the storage question with either Moving Man or BE?

The BE website needs to be updated to reflect the city fees more accurately, I think. They do have to allow for the fact that there are often parking tickets and fines in the cities (which they pay) as well as tolls.

If you have 3000 pounds, that is around 6-7 linear feet of space on an ABF or BE truck, so 10 feet isn't actually all that much too much. You should go to the ABF website at www.upack.com and price 6 feet. It will probably be much less than BE but I moved with ABF and if I were you I would go with BE because of the added amenities.

I think it would be worth it for you to get a quote from Delancey Street. They do in-house estimates.

It's a mystery to me why Moving Man wouldn't give you a GNTE. Maybe they thought you had very heavy things like books in the boxes, but if so, I would think the guy could have lifted one of them to see. It's not like you had a concealed storage shed off the bedroom or something.

Guest

Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby Guest » Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:28 pm

More updates:
Delancey Street didn't have anyone available that could do the move. They *just* had a return truck leave New York, and don't have any scheduled return trucks from LA or SF, and the NYC isn't available.

I also just got the estimate from Liffey/Allied. The guaranteed price rang in at $3997. I asked about a GNTE, but they said that they go w/ a guaranteed price and assured me that their estimates were accurate.

I asked regarding the storage as well. Liffey provided a month of storage at $150, which is reasonable. BE suggested that I get mini-storage in San Diego rather than to use them.

ABF quoted me $1295 plus $195 additional and $75 for the ramp at each destination. Doesn't seem like they provide anything else. So although that prices at $1645, I'll have to put in extra for moving supplies or whatever else.

Sounds like its a tossup between BE, ABF or shipping necessary boxes via UPS and selling off the rest.

Diane
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby Diane » Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:09 pm

So Liffey is $4000 plus they will give you a month's storage at $150.
And BE is $2250 plus you will have some labor costs, maybe $400.
And ABF is $1650 plus the same labor costs and some other costs and hassle for moving blankets.

I guess in my mind it would be worth considering Liffey if they have really given you a GNTE price. Make sure it is a guaranteed not to exceed (which can go down if your weight is less) and not just a guaranteed price.

Thanks for investigating Delancey Street. The truck that just left must have been the one with "tamarcita"'s things on it, and as I suspected, it was a return run to CA and not a NYC-based truck.

gunbuster
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby gunbuster » Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:50 pm

I guess I'm leaning towards either BE or ABF. $4000 is a lot to move items that really don't have *that* much (monetary) value. It wouldn't seem to make sense to pay $4K to move say, $6K worth of goods. Take away the TV and maybe it's $5K of goods. Also their quote was a guaranteed price. He woudln't give me a GNTE, just claimed that his estimate was good enough.

Makes me wonder if its just better off to sell/donate everything save for clothing, important documents and valuables and ship those and just start over in San Diego ?

Moving blankets are about $15/ea from Box Brothers. Only really needed for the TV. The wardrobe and bookcases are el-cheapo Ikea and well, I could care less if they disintegrate :) Add in the labor, and ABF might be around the $2200 + $150/mo for mini-storage -- and then the additional cost for the local move. I'm not sure what a local move might cost though.

Or, I could just fly out to San Diego first, secure an apartment and then have ABF deliver straight to the location? Tack on another $300 for a R/T ticket (or use miles), but at least I can avoid having to do a local move...

Diane
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby Diane » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:04 pm

I like your last idea. Any time you have to deal with storage it gets expensive and complicated. I would still recommend BE over ABF for the convenience factor. ABF would probably want to do a "live load" while the driver waits. What is the $195 additional ABF fee you cite above? You can check the reviews on Epinions to see whether anyone moved from Manhattan using ABF.

gunbuster
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby gunbuster » Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:13 pm

Oh the $195 was per additional linear yard beyond 5". How long will the ABF drivers wait for the "live load"? A live load is actually preferable in my situation.

The condo rules control when moves can take place. Moves can only take place on weekdays, only between 9-5. And to make things worse, you only get 4 hours (morning or afternoon).

So the option of leaving a container behind and loading it at my convenience isn't there -- I've got to get the whole thing loaded up and ready to go as quickly as possible.

Diane
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby Diane » Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:37 pm

You should call ABF to confirm that they would want to do a live load, but that's what people have said about major cities such as NYC and Boston. You may get varying answers about how long the driver will wait without charging extra.

The official answer is 1 hour. However, from talking with the head of customer service at ABF I've found that they actually will allow you up to 2 hours to load. After that, though, there are hefty charges which at last notice were around $27 every 15 minutes. This is a tariff item and the charge is so high because the drivers' time is extremely valuable. If they weren't waiting on Houston St. for you to load they could be moving trailers around at the ABF terminal or whatever.

If you have 3000 pounds of goods and you have professionals helping you, they can load 500 pounds per man per hour, so to load in two hours you would theoretically need 3 people. You would have to figure the relative cost of paying the $108 per hour waiting time for the ABF driver vs. paying probably $20/hour for each extra loading person. Semi-professionals like LaborReady might not be able to load 500 pounds per hour. Amateurs like us can load about 300 pounds per hour.

Do you have to guarantee that the truck will be at your condo within a specific 4-hour block of time? That could be a problem for both BE and ABF, I think. Being there between 9 and 5 shouldn't be a problem, though.

gunbuster
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby gunbuster » Thu Oct 21, 2004 12:20 am

The rules for a move constrain you to reserved time slots. But since November is fairly slow and I'm on good terms w/ all the doormen, I probably won't have any issues. I think they put up a bigger stink to incoming tenants rather than outgoing tenants.

I'm looking over at the amount of stuff we have (and no way that it's 3000#). Makes sense to use ABF or BE and just toss the stuff into mini-storage.

I'd rather pay for the mini-storage than rush into a year-long lease in an apartment that I'll be unhappy with. I figure once we find our apartment, we can always move the boxes into the apartment a bit at a time, or when time permits, rent a truck and do the rest of the move.

Diane
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Re: NYC to San Diego -- The adventure begins...

Postby Diane » Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:38 am

If you're sure that you have less than 3000 pounds, it might make sense to use ABF, which you say came in at $1295 for 5 feet or $1490 for 6 feet plus $150 for the ramps.

That's $1445 (or $1640 if you use 6 feet) for ABF vs. $2250 or so for BE--a savings of $600 to $800. There's supposed to be a $50 off coupon for ABF in the USPS mail forwarding packet, plus you can get $25 off for booking on line.

2000 pounds is around 4-5 linear feet and 2500 pounds is around 5-6 linear feet. When we moved with ABF we had a sparsely furnished one bedroom apartment and it took up 5 linear feet on the trailer. I made a list for someone else of what we fit in that space if you want to look at it for comparison with what you have (third post on the thread) - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1421

I'm a little concerned about your large TV in the ABF trailer. Some of the trailers have hooks on the walls to tie things to and some don't. Ours didn't, so we had to jam everything in really tightly to prevent it from shifting. Someone mentioned in an ABF review on Epinions that they were able to ask for a trailer with hooks and they got one.

You want to make liberal use of good pads to prevent things rubbing against each other or against the sides of the trailer. Someone recommended using old quilts bought at thrift stores. The pads I saw at places like Box Brothers were made of flimsy nylon cloth so I didn't buy them but instead used old blankets and quilts that I had on hand plus a few thick moving blankets left over from prior moves.


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