A semi-truck on the highway

Long Distance Moving

Long Hauls 101

A long haul move is a complicated logistical process. It involves the coordination of packing, preparing, loading, transporting, and unloading hundreds of items over hundreds of miles – for just a single move. Most people are familiar with the loading mover, the one they call to get an initial estimate. However, during the vast majority of long distance moves there are actually three separate movers involved in your transaction, the loader, transporter, and unloader. For a more detailed explanation of why three parties are needed during cross country move, be sure to read our long distance moving: three parties article and our how-to on choosing your mover. This post will talk about the role of each of these movers and allow you understand the moving process better.

The three long distance movers are:



The loading moving company is the most important party involved in your move. They are (or at least should be) your "mover". They will be the one you call when you want an estimate, who you meet in person, and who you call when you have a question. Ultimately, they coordinate all the logistics for your move, they line up the other parties and are responsible for making your move as smooth as possible. In summary the loaders responsibilities are: • Provides your initial estimate • Accepts your down payment (and possibly final payment) • Arranges the logistics for your move, hires the transporter and unloader • May provide the labor involved in the load of your move, packing your belongings, preparing them for shipment, loading them into the truck. • Provides the truck for ferrying if the semi-truck is unable to access your home • Provides customer service and contact throughout the move



The Transporter is the party responsible for taking your goods across the country. While they're not required to load/unload your goods the driver will usually perform loading/unloading services with the help of your loader. They are a completely different type of business than your loading/unloading mover; they are a trucking company. Their job is to drive one or more trucks moving across the country, covering thousands of miles, picking up and dropping off goods. Sometimes your transporter may be a single individual who owns his/her own truck, other times they may be part of a larger fleet. When you select a Vanline to perform your move the transporter is almost always branded with that Vanline as a requirement of accepting those shipments. However, they're ownership is still completely separate from that of your loading/unloading mover. The Transporters responsibilities are: • Provides the semi-truck to hold your belongings • Provides all the non-consumable supplies to protect your furniture such as pads, straps, bulk heads, ramps, and decking. • Drives the truck to your pickup location, attempts to park the truck as close as possible to your home • Drives the truck across the country to your drop location, attempts to get as close as possible to your drop off home • Provides customer service when concerning the delivery timeline



The unloader is the party that will vary the most, depending on the mover that you chose for your initial estimate. It is also the least complicated task. Most reputable moving companies will hire experienced movers to handle the unload of your goods. The truck driver that handled your shipment may be one of the unloaders depending on their willingness to do so. The unloader is the party that is responsible to having the ferrying truck if it's necessary for your move. The unloaders responsibilities are: • Unload your shipment, setup your furniture, unpack if necessary • Arrange ferrying of your goods if the semi-truck cannot access your home.
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