Art of a truck in Portland Oregon

Long Distance Moving & Deadheading

Long Distance Moving: A Three Party System

A common question can be, why are there three parties involved in the long distance moving process? Why can’t the mover I call for my estimate (the one I choose to do my move) be the only person involved? The answer: to make your move affordable by grouping shipments and avoiding deadheading (coming back with an empty trailer). In order to make everyone’s moveĀ  affordable each truck carries multiple shipments simultaneously and must travel to where the next shipment is waiting. If the truck instead just took one shipment to its destination and then returned, not only would it likely come back empty, but it wouldn’t be able to go to multiple destinations for other loads. Therefore, without this system each move would have to pay for the entire truck to make a special trip just for them making it prohibitively expensive.

For more information regarding the logistics of a cross country move, be sure to read our logistics of a long distance move article.

So why do you need more than one mover to avoid a deadhead; can’t the same mover just handle the whole shipment on their own? To understand the answer this it’s first important to understand the four logistical conditions required to make your move happen.

Long distance moving conditions:

1) There must enough space in the semi-trailer to accommodate your goods.

2) The trailer has to be designed for household goods and have the proper equipment.

3) The truck transporting your goods has be in your exact location on the exact day(s) you need it to be.

4) The truck has to be heading in the direction you’re moving to.

At first glance this might seem like a simple feat, but it’s actually not. If you think about it there are millions of miles to cover in the Continental US, multiplied by the 365 days in the year, a limited number of household goods trailers, and finally compounded by the various directions the truck must go. Since most movers only have enough resources to own a few trucks it makes the probability of all four of the above conditions extremely unlikely. Instead it’s necessary for them to tap into the thousands of trucks available in the entire market rather than just the couple they personally own.

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