A moving company provides all-inclusive services for residential and commercial relocations, from packing to transporting to reassembling. Some companies also offer storage, specialty moves and cleaning services for offices or warehousing facilities. The best moving companies can provide a range of services tailored to fit each customer’s needs and budget.

A reputable moving company will give a clear and explicit quote that lists all anticipated expenses and costs. It should also detail how the company will protect its customers’ belongings while in transit. Companies should also clearly explain what types of fees they charge and why, including charges such as mileage, insurance and fuel surcharges.

When choosing a moving company, it is important to do your research and compare quotes from multiple companies. Make sure these estimates are based on in-home surveys or detailed inventories of your belongings, not just over-the-phone guesses. Ask movers about their experience and track records, as well as their licensing and insurance coverage. You can also check their ratings on consumer protection websites like the Better Business Bureau.

For local moves, a reputable mover should provide a free estimate and full-service contract. This contract should include the estimated cost of your move, a statement of work and an order for service. It should also detail whether you’re getting a binding or non-binding estimate and the extra charges for moving services such as packing, disassembling and reassembly of furniture.

If you’re moving interstate, it’s important to understand the difference between a broker and carrier. A broker acts as middlemen and connects you with carriers who own and operate moving trucks. Some interstate movers offer both brokerage and carrier services, while others only offer either one or the other.

Before your move, a carrier or broker will send an inspector to look over your belongings and prepare a financial estimate for the total cost of the move. This estimate is based on the weight of your shipment and the exact distance between locations, plus any specialty services you require like additional packing materials.

The inspector will also note if your belongings are fragile or delicate and will recommend packing options accordingly. Most reputable movers will provide this information on their websites, but if not, ask them for a copy of their packing guide.

You have the right to observe your move’s weighing, and some movers may even let you watch as your shipment is weighed. This can be especially helpful if you’re shipping antiques or other valuable items. In addition, some movers allow you to track your shipment’s progress with real-time GPS tracking.

If you’re planning a long-distance move, you’ll want to consider the company’s cancellation policy. Some companies only allow customers to cancel with a certain amount of advance notice, while others offer flexible cancellation policies. If you’re concerned about being able to cancel your move at the last minute, contact your moving company’s sales representative to find out more about their policy.