The Best Long-Distance Moving Companies

Atlas Van Lines' customer portal simplifies communication with the movers.

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Moving to a new home is both exciting and stressful—and it can present added difficulties if you’re traversing multiple states. But with the right help, a cross-country move doesn’t have to be so anxiety-inducing. 

Packing assistance, vehicle relocation, truck tracking, and the like are essential factors to consider when hiring movers. In order to save you time as you prepare for this big transition, we’re highlighting the best long-distance moving companies after researching and reviewing nearly 20 nationwide services. 

Though we’re confident in our recommendations, we still think it’s important to receive quotes from multiple companies in order to find the best fit for your move and your wallet. Rest assured, all of the companies featured here are properly insured and licensed, clearing the way for a more seamless experience. 

Best Long-Distance Moving Companies of 2022

Best Overall : Atlas Van Lines


Atlas Van Lines logo

Atlas Van Lines

Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 50 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • Long-distance capabilities extend to state-to-state, cross-country, and international moves

  • Customer portal streamlines entire process

  • Offers full-service packing and storage

  • AAA members receive Full Value Protection when moving across state lines

Cons
  • Hard to predict additional fees that may be incurred

Why We Chose It

Atlas Van Lines is our pick for best long-distance moving company because of its extensive packing, loading, shipping, and storage services. In fact, there don’t appear to be many limitations when it comes to the types of moves Atlas can perform. The list even consists of military and government relocations.

If you decide to go with Atlas, take advantage of its full-service offerings like packing, which can include everything you own or just one pesky piece of furniture that needs a little extra care from a professional. The company also provides in-transit storage, so you won't have to wonder where your valuables are being kept during a multi-day move or fret about your stuff arriving before you do.

As an Atlas Van Lines customer, you'll receive access to the online portal, where you can see your requested quotes, make payments, contact customer support, get 24/7 tracking updates, and more. With over 70 years of industry experience behind them, it’s clear that the Atlas team has its processes down to a science.

Best for Cross-Country Moves : Allied Van Lines


Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 50 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • Available across all 50 states and in more than 130 countries

  • Offers both short- and long-term storage

  • Quick-fill online quote form

  • Allied Express option for smaller shipments

Cons
  • Must call to get a binding quote

  • No mobile app

Why We Chose It

Relocating across the country can feel like an international move, so it’s no small thing that Allied Van Lines offers car shipping and multiple storage solutions in addition to traditional moving services. If you don’t want to drive your vehicle to your new home, Allied operates both enclosed and open carriers for transport, providing up to $100,000 in valuation coverage in the event something happens to your car while it’s in the company’s care.

Long-distance moves don’t always stay on deadline, so Allied’s 90-day storage-in-transit option is particularly useful if you can’t move into your new place right away. Items remain packed and ready for delivery whenever you need them, keeping you from having to make two separate moves.

The company is also registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which requires interstate and international movers to offer two types of liability coverage — Full Value Protection and Released Value — making it a little bit easier to watch your belongings drive away.

Best for International Moves : United Van Lines


United Van Lines logo

United Van Lines

Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 50 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • Facilitates international moves to more than 150 countries

  • Dedicated consultant assists with customs clearance, delivery dates, and more

  • Can request a quote online to get started

  • Digital shipment tracking


Cons
  • Price can quickly balloon with additional service fees

  • No moving container option

Why We Chose It

With almost a century of experience under its belt, United Van Lines knows its way around a customs counter. The company successfully executes air and sea shipments to over 150 countries around the world.

During your initial consultation, a United team member will walk you through your options and give you a customized quote based on the specifics you provide. Customers are then connected to a move manager, who serves as their main point of contact throughout the rest of the process. Our data collector got through to customer service quickly and found the representative on the other end to be “incredibly patient and knowledgeable.”

Given the added hurdles associated with an international move, each manager becomes a personal assistant of sorts—collecting and completing the necessary paperwork for customs clearance, tracking your items as they make their way to your new home, and confirming delivery dates. By planning for the worst, United has built up a tried-and-true operation.

Best Packing Options : Colonial Van Lines


Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 48 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • Packing services range from single-item to full-home wrapping and boxing

  • Special materials used for antiques, artwork, and other fragile objects

  • Helpful customer service team

  • Ability to buy packing supplies through the mobile app

Cons
  • No live tracking feature

  • Initial deposit required

Why We Chose It

The main type of moving service that Colonial Van Lines provides is long-distance, so it makes sense that the team is full of experienced packers. One of the packing options highlighted is single-item, which could be an oddly-shaped piece of decor that doesn’t fit in a normal box or furniture that requires unconventional wrapping.

Colonial will also pack up your kitchen, taking extra care of breakables such as dishes and mugs, or you can opt for a full pack if you’d rather let the professionals box up all of your things. Any packing option you choose will cost extra on top of the standard moving fees, and prices vary depending on what you’re asking the movers to handle.

Colonial Van Lines’ mobile app also aims to make the packing process easier. Simply upload photos or a video of your belongings and leave specific instructions for the packers. The company can then use those images to provide you with an accurate quote. One downside to the app is that it doesn’t have a tracking feature, but customer service can provide location updates as needed. Our researcher noted that a member of Colonial's team was “hands down the most patient and well-informed customer service representative” that he talked to across more than 15 companies.

Best for Moving Pods : PODS


Pods Moving logo

Pods Moving

Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 44 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? No

Pros
  • Three different container sizes

  • Contact-free delivery

  • Containers are weather-resistant and secure

  • Storage calculator gives an accurate estimate of how much space you’ll need

Cons
  • Containers are not designed for homes with more than two bedrooms (or over 1,200 square feet)

  • Vehicle relocation is not an option


Why We Chose It

While PODS is well known for storage unit rentals, you can also have its 8-, 12-, and 16-foot containers transported cross-country or to Canada. This is a great option if you want to handle the packing, loading, and unloading yourself, but need assistance getting your stuff from point A to point B.

One tool we love is PODS’ moving and storage calculator, which will help you determine what container length to rent. Simply check off the rooms you’re packing up, any major items you're moving, and the number of boxes you anticipate using, and the calculator will suggest the size and amount of containers you should rent. It’s important to note that PODS is not recommended if you're moving more than 1,200 square feet worth of furniture.

Thanks to the company’s contact-free delivery policy, you don’t have to be at your new home when the container arrives. And since rentals operate on a month-to-month basis, customers can take as long as they want to unload their PODS. You can even set up autopay if you anticipate keeping your container for awhile. 

Best Storage Services : Wheaton World Wide Moving


Wheaton World Wide logo

Wheaton World Wide

Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 50 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • In-transit storage available for up to 180 days

  • Items can be retrieved from storage within 24 hours

  • Ballpark estimates available via the online quote system

  • Third-party carrier not required for vehicle relocation

Cons
  • No way to track your belongings online or through an app

  • No smaller moving container option

Why We Chose It

Like every company on this list, Wheaton World Wide Moving has long-distance services, but the main attraction is its storage offerings. Short-term, long-term, and in-transit storage are all available through Wheaton, and the latter allows you to keep your belongings in one of the company’s nationwide facilities for up to 180 days (that’s six months).

If you choose the short- or long-term options, Wheaton will wrap and safely store your things until you’re ready for them. In order to get your items delivered, all you have to do is give the company 24 hours’ notice.  

To receive a quote for moving and storage services, you first need to fill out an online form with your contact information. A Wheaton World Wide Moving representative will then schedule an in-person or virtual estimate, depending on your preference. Once you book, you’ll receive a range of possible delivery days, but a firm date will be nailed down 48 hours before your items arrive at your new home.

Best Auto Shipping Company : Mayflower


Mayflower Movers logo

Mayflower Movers

Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 46 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • Offers both open-sided and enclosed car carriers

  • Will transport luxury and antique vehicles

  • Guaranteed deliver-by date

  • International shipping is available

Cons
  • No agents in Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, or West Virginia

  • Chat function is not that helpful

Why We Chose It

Unlike some other companies on this list, Mayflower lets customers request a quote for car shipping on its website. The service uses open-sided and enclosed carriers to transport your car across the country, and if you’re planning an international move, Mayflower can arrange for your vehicle to be shipped.

While open-sided transportation is certainly cheaper, an enclosed carrier is recommended for cars that are more than 25 years old or cost over $60,000 in book value. Mayflower also accommodates specialty ships for oversized or inoperable vehicles, as well as boats, golf carts, and riding lawn mowers. 

The company's quotes are binding, so it doesn’t offer ballpark estimates through its online system. The information you provide via the website and on a call with a Mayflower representative is used to build a comprehensive quote that won’t need to go through several rounds of revisions. Most domestic auto shipments can be completed in eight to 10 business days, and Mayflower will set a guaranteed deliver-by date when you book the service.

Best Piano Moving Company : Nationwide Moving Services


Nationwide Moving Services logo

Nationwide Moving Services

Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 50 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • Excels in specialty moves (pianos, fine art, etc.)

  • Nationwide services include military and senior moving

  • Online instant quote form

  • Car shipping is an option

Cons
  • An initial deposit is required to confirm your move

  • Not a lot of details are offered on the website

Why We Chose It

If you own a piano, you’ve likely dreaded having to one day move it. Luckily, Nationwide Moving Services is up to the task. In addition to offering standard long-distance moving services, the company’s specialty jobs apply to valuable and heavy items, such as fine art, pool tables, vehicles, and, of course, pianos.

Though Nationwide doesn’t offer explicit details on how it moves these objects, we were told by a customer service representative that the phone line is always open to answer specific questions about your moving needs. The company also has experience with military relocations and senior living facilities.

When moving a high-priced item, it’s essential to prepare for the worst, so you’ll be happy to hear that Nationwide’s valuation coverage extends to property damage and lost or missing items (a $10,000 policy comes with a zero-dollar deductible). To get started, simply call the company or request a free instant quote on the homepage. If you need to back out of your move with Nationwide for any reason, the service also takes cancellation requests online.  

Best Access to Customer Service : JK Moving Services


Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 50 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • 24/7 customer service support

  • Get in touch via phone, email, live chat, or online form

  • GPS tracking provided throughout your move

  • Any items you choose to store are under constant surveillance

Cons
  • Requires an initial deposit

  • Doesn’t offer moving containers

Why We Chose It

When prepping for a long-distance move, you shouldn’t be wasting time trying to get movers on the phone. JK Moving Services earns the top spot for customer service thanks to its 24/7 support team that can be reached via phone, live chat, email, or online form. When our data collector was prompted to leave a voicemail, a representative from the company called back with an answer to his question in less than five hours.

To get started, potential customers can list out their high-level needs using the online form, and someone from JK Moving will get in touch to discuss additional services and provide an accurate quote for their move. It should be noted that an initial deposit is required at the time of booking, and according to multiple online reviews, that fee is $250 no matter how much you’re spending to transport your belongings. 

Best Tracking Feature : North American Van Lines


North American Van Lines logo

North American Van Lines

Key Specs

Nationwide availability: 50 states

Storage services? Yes

Vehicle relocation? Yes

Pros
  • 24/7 tracking capability

  • Tracking is available for both domestic and international shipments

  • Offers furniture assembly and appliance installation

  • Moving resources hub with a packing calculator, checklists, and more

Cons
  • Must conduct a virtual walk-through in order to receive an accurate quote

  • No live chat function for quick questions

Why We Chose It

North American Van Lines’ superior tracking system is particularly appealing if you’re in the midst of a long-distance or international move. Customers can access their shipment’s status 24/7 by typing in their six-digit registration number and the first three letters of their last name. The process varies slightly for overseas shipments — Hawaii is included in this category — but you’ll never have to wonder where in the world your belongings are once they leave your possession.  

While its tracking functionality couldn’t be easier, North American’s quote process is less straightforward. To get a binding quote, customers must participate in a virtual walk-through with a company representative. The good news is that once you receive a quote, North American promises that the bill will not exceed the number you were given. If your move ends up costing less than what you were quoted, the company will adjust the bill accordingly.

In addition to standard moving services, North American provides full-service packing, fragile-only packing, storage options, furniture assembly, and appliance installation.

Final Verdict

Final Verdict

It’s hard to fault Atlas Van Lines. The company is equipped to handle all types of long-distance and international moves, and it offers full-service packing, car shipping, and a wide range of storage solutions, as well as add-ons for specialty items like motorcycles and playsets. Pretty much every part of your move can be managed through Atlas’ customer portal, including payments, claims, and shipment tracking. You don’t even have to call customer service to get a free estimate—all you have to do is fill out a request form on the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Far in Advance Should I Book Movers?

Movers are not like Ubers—you can’t schedule them at a moment’s notice. However, the timetable varies depending on the type of move you’re planning and when it’s happening. Here are some numbers you should keep in mind when booking movers (FYI, busy season is April to September and off season is October to March).

  • Local move (busy season): at least 2 months out
  • Local move (off season): 2 to 4 weeks out
  • Intrastate move (busy season): 2.5 to 3 months out
  • Intrastate move (off season): 1 to 2 months out
  • Interstate move (busy season): at least 3 months out
  • Interstate move (off season): at least 2 months out
  • International move: at least 3 to 4 months out

Do Movers Pack for You?

Yes, movers can pack up your home for you, but that’s often considered an add-on service, meaning it’ll cost extra. Different companies offer different levels of packing services, from single-item wrapping to boxing up every room in your house. Many movers also provide specialty packing for large or oddly-shaped objects, such as pianos and pool tables. Our top pick for packing, Colonial Van Lines, even has a "kitchen pack" package that’ll keep your pots, pans, and dishware secure and organized during transit.

What Should I Pack First for a Move?

You never want to leave packing to the last minute when preparing for a move, but it’s hard to know where to begin when you’re dealing with multiple rooms. First, you should pack any items that aren’t essential to your everyday life (think decor, books, etc.). If you’re still feeling overwhelmed by the task ahead, start with your least cluttered room to ease yourself into the process.

Methodology

To find the best long-distance moving companies, our research team reviewed 19 nationwide services, collecting a total of 589 data points. Ratings were created by assigning weights to each of the 31 moving criteria we considered.

Our top picks received high scores in heavily weighted areas such as customer experience (23 percent), coverage and long-distance capabilities (20 percent), moving services (20 percent), and pricing structure (20 percent).

The information presented here was verified by at least two data collectors through customer service calls. If we were unable to fill in data due to multiple failed attempts to contact a company, the company in question received a zero for any piece of criteria that couldn’t be confirmed. For more details on our research process and scoring system, head to our complete moving methodology page.

Side view of boy helping mother in unloading cardboard box from van

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