Answered by Nicole La CapriaApril 16, 2013
The length of time a long-distance move will take will depend on a variety of factors. The distance of your move, the company you hire, and the time of year you decide to relocate will all have an effect on the length of time you must wait to receive your shipment.
How Far Are You Moving?
The distance movers must drive your shipment is the main factor that will determine your delivery date. If you are moving clear across the country from New York to Los Angeles, your goods will have to travel approximately 3,000 miles. This can take anywhere between a week (if the shipment is transported directly to your destination) or two weeks or more (your belongings are consolidated with others' shipments and the truck makes several stops on its route). If you are simply moving to the next state, your shipment will arrive in several days, depending on other details of your move.
Other Factors to Consider
If you move during the spring or summer, it will be your movers' busiest season. Your belongings may take longer to arrive during this time because the movers will have a larger work load and many other moves to handle in addition to yours. However, if the movers are handling very few moves, it can also hold up the process. Movers sometimes wait until they have a full load going to a certain region or along a specific route before they send the truck out.
Many other factors can influence the time frame of your move, such as traffic conditions, weather, and mechanical trouble.
How Will I Know When My Shipment Will Arrive?
Movers usually cannot offer a guarenteed date or time for delivery, especially for a long-distance move. You will usually be given an estimated timeframe for expected delivery within a two-week window. If any unexpected circumstances arise that will delay your shipment, your movers should contact you immediately to notify you. They may also be required to compensate you for the inconvenience of being without your belongings after that point, such as reimbursing you for hotel stays, restaurant meals, etc.
Before hiring any moving company, ask them how long they expect your move to take so you can be better prepared for living without your belongings until they arrive.
How Can I Prepare For My Long-Distance Move?
There are several steps you can take to prepare for your long-distance move to facilitate the process. Planning ahead is the most important thing to remember in a long-distance move. If you are flying to California from New York, you will get there in just a few hours. Your shipment will not arrive for a week or two--so what will you do in the mean time? Ship sleeping bags or air mattresses to your new home several weeks before you leave, pack several changes of clothes, or book a few nights in a hotel. You should also discuss your expectations for your delivery date with your movers in advance so they can do their best to accomodate you.