During your move, you are likely to use the services of a moving agent. These agents handle the logistics of the move, such as making the appropriate arrangements and acting as a liaison between you and the moving company. Though you are likely to use moving agents for any type of move, their roles are especially crucial during long distance and international moves.
Since agents are such an important part of the moving process, it is good to know exactly what their duties are. First of all, there are a few different types of moving agents, each specializing in a different part of the moving process.
1. The booking agent plans the move and assigns duties to the moving crew
The first agent you are likely to interact with is the booking agent. The booking agent can either be one person working independently or someone at your moving company.
Your booking agent handles the initial steps of the move, which include:
- Informing the customer about the moving services available
- Providing an estimate for the price of the move
- Filling out the pre-move paperwork
- Working with the client to set up the time and date of the move
2. The origin agent plans picking up your goods at your old home
Since these duties are closely related to those of the booking agent, often times the same person will handle both roles.
The origin agent's responsibilities include:
- Planning and fine-tuning some of the more specific details of the overall move
- Working with the customer to settle the cost of the move and deciding on the mode of payment
- Preparing the bill of lading and other paperwork
- Setting up the time frame for packing, loading, shipping, unloading and unpacking your goods
Should any problems arise on the day of the move, the origin agent will advise the booking agent and the moving company's customer service representatives, so disputes can be settled properly.
3. The destination agent takes care of the delivery of goods
Just as the origin agent organizes the duties at the location of your old home, the destination agent takes care of the tasks associated with delivering your goods to your new home.
The destination agent is responsible for:
- Arranging for a storage facility close to the destination (if needed)
- Mediating and advising on any disputes encountered at the destination
- Closing out the move by taking care of the paperwork after the goods are safely delivered to the destination
For a long distance or international move, the destination agent will be responsible for hiring a crew to unload everything off the truck.
4. The freight agent oversees the transportation of your goods by ship
You will only need a freight agent for an international move or a long distance move to an island or other location that isn't accessible by truck.
The role of freight agents consist of:
- Coordinating and supervising the freight shipment
- Collecting information about the freight and deciding on the best method of transportation
- Determining the dates and times for pickup and delivery
- Taking care of all the customs documents, licenses and other paperwork
- Tracking the progress of the shipment and giving customer status updates
- Collecting payment once the shipment has safely arrived at the destination
Whether you use one or all of the moving agents above, their job is to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible. By making the appropriate arrangements and acting as the liaison between you and your moving company, moving agents ensure your move is handled safely and professionally.