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Different Types of Movers

The Difference between a “Local Mover” and a “Long Distance Mover.”

Did you know that there are two different types of moving companies?

It is important to know that there are two different types of moving companies because properly matching your moving needs to the right type of mover can save you money and time.

The two different types of moving companies are referred to as intrastate movers, versus interstate movers, otherwise known as ‘local movers” versus “long distance movers.”

What is a Local Mover

A local mover refers to a type of moving company that is licensed and insured to be able to move you from one city to another within the same state. Local movers have fewer restrictions and costs that are required for their long distance moving counterparts.  So with a lower cost structure, typically the overall cost of your move is typically a lot less when moving locally.

How Do Local Movers charge?

Local movers charge by the hour and often will have a fuel charge. If you are moving locally, this is almost always the most cost-effective option. Local movers often have smaller truck options, less overhead and fewer restrictions than their long-distance counterparts, so their costs are a lot less. Often local movers will provide you with an estimate over the phone, versus doing in-person estimates. This isn’t always true but often is the case.

When moving with a local mover, it is really important that you are ready to go, with all your belongings packed in moving boxes before your movers arrive. The reason why it is important to be ready is when moving with a local mover you are paying by the hour. If your movers have to wait for you to finish getting ready, this just costs you money.

Be careful though, as a lot of long distance movers also will move “locally,” only their hourly rate is typically a lot higher than a company that only does “local moving.” If you are moving locally, look for a mover that only specializes in local moving in the city you are living in.

How do long distance movers charge?

Long distance movers charge by the pound. With any long distance move, a salesperson will come to your house and do an inventory of your belongings and provide you with a written estimate based on the pounds of belongings you have. (A good idea to have a garage sale before your salesperson does an inventory)

  1. Most local movers have a 4-hour minimum time frame. This means that even if your move takes less then 4 hours, you will be charged for 4 hours of service.
  2. Look for experienced local movers that you feel comfortable with and have been moving in that city for a long time. Good moving companies stay around with positive word of mouth. Be very careful when choosing a local moving company that has not been around that long.
  3. Make sure that any local moving company you go with is insured, licensed and in the local BBB.


If you are moving locally from one city to another city,  in almost all cases it is recommended to hire a “Local Mover,” versus a long distance mover.

If you are moving from one state to another, OR you are moving from a long distance from one city to another such as San Diego to San Jose, then you may consider going with a long distance mover, even though it is still within the same state.

If you need moving boxes and moving supplies, order from Moving Box Delivery.


Written By:     
Kirstie Berzanski
President & Founder                    
Moving Box Delivery