Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

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ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby ENugent » Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:12 pm

I have a new job in the Seattle area, so we'll be moving in January (I finish work at my old job in December, and start the new one January 31). We don't have a date set yet, nor do we yet have housing in the new location. We have a 3-bedroom house (plus attic and basement), including a lot of books and paper, but not too much furniture. We also have an 8-month-old, and the prospect of trying to pack the house in advance with her around is not at all appealing, so I'd prefer to have professional packers.

I now have scheduled to come for an in-home estimate:

Gentle Giant
Humboldt
Graebel Movers (contacted via Julian Wright)
Wakefield Distribution

I'll be asking for quotes for packing and moving. Can anyone give me a ballpark amount for what they think this is likely to be? The company is giving me a relocation allowance of $8000, but if I can save some of it for rent when we get there, that would be great.

I also wanted to ask whether anyone had previously used a packing service (not a moving company), in conjunction with someone like Broadway Express. Specifically, I spoke with a company called Benezra Boxes, that said they could pack me in one day (3 people) for about $1600. What are the pluses and minuses of doing it this way?

Finally, I'm expecting to be in rental housing for at least a couple of months in Seattle before we buy, maybe longer. So we may be looking at storing stuff for a while, and we're definitely looking at multiple moves. What (if anything) can we do to make this easier on us?

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

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:39 pm

Hi - all four companies that you name have been mentioned here as being reputable. On the question of cost, "Bobbi" just posted that several majors quoted her $8000 for a similar-size move from Phoenix to Oregon. I don't know whether it included packing. Almost certainly a packing service plus BE would be much less expensive than $8000. If you're thinking of going that route, I would interview several packing services and would be cautious about any company run by Israeli nationals. Based on practices that occur in the NYC area, I feel that there would be potential for overselling of overpriced packing materials.

moveman
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 8:44 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby moveman » Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:48 pm

You'll be looking at about $10,000-$11,000 for a full service move based on about 12,000lb. The packing of boxes alone will be about $2100.00. Be careful with 3rd party packing compnaies. This creates liability caps that your mover can take advantage of. If they pack it and your mover moves it, was it broken by poor packing or poor moving? Each will blame each other. :evil:

If your mover does the packing, they have maintained all the control and will make amends no matter who's at fault. :D

But you need replacement cost coverage, of course. I included $60,000 of relpacement cost coverage in the ballpark above.

Humboldt is an agent for United and Graebal is also a major carrier, both with good track records. I have heard of Gentle Giant but not sure if they are your best bet on a long distance move. I have never heard of Wakefield Dist.

Good Luck!
Moveman
an honest mover

ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby ENugent » Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:03 pm

I just cribbed a list of questions from another post, and updated them for my situation. Any comments on these? Anything else I should be asking?

What is your full company name?
What is the company address?
What are the company phone numbers?
What are the company DOT and MC License Numbers?

Who will be the origin agent?
Who will be the van line?
Who will be the destination agent?

How long has your company been in business?
Will any of the work be subcontracted? If so to whom?
Do you carry Workmen’s Compensation insurance?

What is your record of providing on-time, claim-free delivery?
Will my belongings be on the same trailer for the duration of the move?
Will there be only one driver for the duration of the move?

How many days do you estimate the move to take?
Are there any special documents needed to move into WA?

How is the charge determined (linear foot, cubic foot, or weight)?
Is your estimate binding or non-binding?
What happens if I exceed my estimated space or weight?
What happens if I do not use all of my estimated space or weight?
Will I be provided with a written estimate?

Are packing services and packing materials charged separately?
Is the moving cost the same whether or not we use your packing services, and will the packing services be separately estimated?
Will my car ride on the same truck, be towed, or be transported separately?
Is storage in transit available? At what rates? Can part of the load be stored, while part is delivered?

Will my belongings be the only ones on the truck? If not, how will they be secured and sectioned off from the rest of the truck?
Who has access to my belongings during the move?
What else will be on the trailer during my move?
What happens if I am not satisfied with the condition of the truck upon arrival?
Is the trailer air or spring ride?

Please explain your valuation (insurance) policies.
Please explain the procedures for filing a claim, if needed.
Do you take credit cards? What are the methods of payment? When is payment due?

Do you have an online tracking system?

Can you provide me with a list of references?

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby Michael » Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:42 pm

Nugent,

I just gave a family a quote to move from Holly Springs, NC to Portland, OR. 12,000lbs (plus a few hundred) with an auto, full pack, and full valuation came to $12,800 (give or take), about $11,300 wihtout the auto, sorry I dont have the actual numbers in front of me. That was with a 65% discount.

So dont fall into a trap with movers that promise to save you cash. Except for maybe the BE or ABF, how much you would save I have no idea, but it may be more around your allowance.

I would suggest you plan on spending the total allowance on your move. And if you do have any left over great. But dont fall into the trap of thinking your going to save a couple thousand for rent and a few hundred for this or that.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby ENugent » Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:54 pm

I'm really glad I found you guys before I booked anything. We can afford to chip in money in addition to my relocation allowance if we need to, and I'd much rather spend the money to get my stuff moved properly. Now I just need to convince my husband that it's really going to cost that much to get it done right. He was sure that it couldn't be more than $6000 to move us.... :roll:

(By the way, Wakefield Distribution is an Allied Van Lines agent).

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

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:05 pm

I'm thinking that you might be able to save money by mailing your books and papers at media rate to get the weight down. Also, I was curious--what's the connection between Julian Wright and Graebel?

ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby ENugent » Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:29 pm

Julian Wright is an agent for Graebel. I contacted them (they had been recommended by someone on this site) via their web site, and got a phone call from Graebel to book an in-home estimate. Not entirely sure what's up with that, but we'll see who shows up and what they say about the move.

Mailing the books and papers is an interesting idea, especially since most of them are not at all time-sensitive. I'll look into that. Thanks!

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

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby Diane » Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:38 pm

I don't want to push a self-move since you seem to want full-service, but weight doesn't matter with a company like BE or ABF, so a lot of cost-conscious, book-heavy students and professors have been very happy with those companies.

ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby ENugent » Mon Nov 15, 2004 11:11 pm

Last time we moved, it was local, and we packed ourselves and had movers load and unload. I learned that we are terrible at estimating how long it's going to take to pack everything - if my mother hadn't come to stay with us for a week and pack our things, we wouldn't even have been half done in time. And that was before we had a baby! I can't see us managing to get everything together by moving day in a self-service move. And Mom can't come do it for us this time. :)

Maybe it's just because it's been so long since I moved farther than a few miles, but this all seems terribly daunting to me. Finding a new place to live, getting the logistics of the move in place, finding new daycare for the baby, getting a new car so I can drive to work (I've always taken public transit, but that won't be nearly as convenient in the new area). Adding a self-pack on top of that just seems like too much for us to handle.

ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby ENugent » Tue Nov 16, 2004 3:36 pm

Just got a call from Patriot Moving. They quoted me $2476 without packing, and another $600-$700 if they pack me. And they have a special on - they'll give me 4 wardrobe boxes and 10% off if I prepay the whole move by November 30! :roll:

I'll let you guys know when we get the estimates from the real companies.

By the way, I have another question. Do you think I should let these guys know that I'm a lawyer? When we bought our house, we made a point of not telling the other side, because our realtor thought it would scare them off. But I don't know that it would faze a moving company.

Also, we're planning to take digital photos of as much stuff as possible right before or on moving day, in case we need to document a claim. Is it a good idea to take photos while the packing and/or loading is going on? Is it going to have any effect (positive or negative) on the behavior of the movers?

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

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby Diane » Tue Nov 16, 2004 3:56 pm

I don't see any advantage to telling the moving companies that you're an attorney. On one movers' forum, I've seen owners commenting that they won't move any attorneys who aren't their own relatives.

The relatively low-level guys who come to move you probably aren't going to care whether you're taking photos as long as you stay out of their way so they don't stumble over you. I kind of question whether your photos will capture the level of detail needed to prove condition, though, if that's what you have in mind.

Of the movers that you're considering, I think Humboldt probably has the best reputation. You might want to compare notes with another person (not registered) who is thinking of using them for a move from Boston - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2946
Graebel has also been said to be good if it's a company-paid move (not sure whether yours qualifies, but if Graebel has moved people from your firm on a regular basis, that would be a plus in my opinion).

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby Michael » Tue Nov 16, 2004 9:22 pm

I will say that the agent for Graebel in Seattle is outstanding. Well they were when I use to work there, in the early 90's. But I understand that most of the same people are still there so thats good. Their Boston office has had problems since I can remember and not much has changed.

But definitely make sure from what Diane mentions, that if your company has a contract with them then your chances of getting a good to great move increase compared to if your a COD or One Time National Account (As we call it in the biz).

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

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

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby Diane » Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:11 am

In line with a comment above, I remember someone posting that Gentle Giant said it didn't do long-distance moves, at least in the summer.

ENugent
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:37 pm
Location: Norwood, MA

Re: Boston -> Seattle move - advice wanted

Postby ENugent » Fri Nov 19, 2004 11:06 am

First two quotes are in (both nonbinding)

Gentle Giant: they use Rainier Transportation Systems as their carrier. I was concerned because I couldn't find them at the FMCSA site - it turns out that they're a rail company. Anyone know where to look those up? We probably won't be using them, anyway, but now I'm curious.

Estimated 12,000 lbs - $11,600 loading/transport, $2000 packing, $2000 to take the car.

Graebel: Estimator says that they are both the origin and destination agent (no transfers from company to company). Told my husband that we didn't have to pay more than 10% over the estimate, but the estimate itself has the standard "10% over on delivery, balance at 30 days" of a nonbinding estimate. I'm nervous about the low weight estimate and the "miscommunication" - I'm going to call and see if they can give us a binding estimate.

Estimated 6,000 lbs - $9,000 loading/transport, $2000 packing, $1600 to take the car.


I do think that Gentle Giant's weight estimate was too high - despite the book situation, we really don't have much else - not much furniture at all, and most of it is cheap and lightweight. But 6,000 sounds low to me, too.

Humboldt is coming this afternoon, and Allied on Monday. Will post updates then.


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