Movers vs Brokers: What’s the Difference?

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    Movers vs Brokers: What’s the Difference?

    Searching for the right moving company, it can be easy to get confused between movers and brokers or not even realize there’s a difference at all between the two. However, knowing what type of mover you’re using and how they operate can make or break your move – especially if they’re not using optimal methods to move your household items. So how do you spot a mover vs. a broker, and what difference does it make between either type of moving service? We’ve got all of the answers to ensure that you’re working with a company that will work for you.

    Movers vs. Brokers

    When getting a quote from professional movers or when booking a moving company, always ask whether they’re actually a moving company or whether they’re a broker. Contrary to what many might believe, a moving broker is not the same thing as an actual professional moving company.

    What are Professional Movers?

    A moving company owns its own trucks and employs its own in-house staff and moving crews that will handle your move from start to finish internally. Interstate movers should always be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and should always provide you with their USDOT number in order for you to check their licensing and registrations.

    What are Moving Brokers?

    In contrast, a moving broker arranges your household items’ transportation but hires an external moving company to actually perform the job. Brokers are sales teams that book your job, and then often either hire a company or auction your move off to the highest bidding company. They often work out of call centers, without any headquarters or ability to perform your move themselves.

    Though brokers also have to register with the FMCSA, hiring outsider moving companies to perform your move absolves them of any responsibility for your items, and they’re also not authorized to transport your items. These brokers also usually do not have their own moving trucks or crews.

    Many brokers can be risky to work with, as your items are actually being handed off to a moving company that you haven’t vetted or talked with before booking them. Brokers are also sometimes unable to sell or auction off your move to a moving company, which can leave you without a moving company on the day of your move.

    If you choose to work with a moving brokerage, always cover your bases to ensure that your move is handled safely and is being put into the right hands. Ask them about their registration with the FMCSA, and ask for a copy of consumer documents required by law, like the FMCSA’s Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet. Additionally, ask for a list of the moving companies this brokerage works with for your research, and ask for a copy of their written agreements with the movers they use.

    After you obtain the list of moving companies the brokerage uses, as well as their agreements with each, do your research to ensure that each of the moving companies they use is registered with the FMCSA themselves. You should also ensure that the brokerage and all of their moving companies have viable US DOT numbers, and ask for a written record of the estimate you receive from them.

    How to Choose a Moving Company

    Working with moving brokerages vs. a professional moving company can be a risky choice if you don’t cover all of your bases in your research. After all, nobody wants a moving company showing up at their door that they don’t trust, or don’t know anything about. Instead, it’s recommended to work with moving companies directly that you can research thoroughly and trust to move your items. Having professional movers with in-house moving representatives and moving crews saves you a lot of hassle, and will let you trust the company you’re directly working with.

    Looking for the right South Carolina moving company for your move? See what Carey Moving & Storage can do for your relocation needs when you give us a call today. No matter if you’re looking for residential or commercial moving services, we’ll give you the best local moving, long-distance moving, and international moving services possible for your business.