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Best Interstate Moving Companies in 2021

Moving around Atlanta is hard enough, but moving from The Big Peach to the Big Easy? That’s when it’s time to call in the pros. Our guide to the best interstate moving companies can help.
By Home Service Reviews Team
Updated August 26, 2021
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Best Interstate Moving Companies

Let's face it—moving isn't easy. The planning, the packing, the heavy lifting. And if you are among the millions of Americans making an interstate move, it can be even more challenging. Luckily, there are long-distance moving companies that can lighten your load so you can save your energy (and your back) for the fun stuff, like decorating.

We've researched and ranked some of the best moving companies in the U.S. Each company on this list is licensed, bonded, and insured for interstate moves and offers competitive rates, reliable services, wide availability, and reputable customer service. No matter where your move takes you, you'll have peace of mind that you made the right choice. 

The price you see for each moving company below is based on quotes we received to move a three-bedroom home from Chicago to Dallas within three months, unless stated otherwise. 

These are our choices for the best interstate moving companies: 

Best Customization: International Van Lines 

Company Info 

  • State Availability: 50 states
  • Years in Business: 21
  • Type of Mover: Full service 
  • Cost: $4,200–$6,150

What We Like 

International Van Lines (IVL) is a full-service mover that acts as both a carrier and a broker to handle moves throughout the U.S. and in 180 countries. Its popular full-service options include packing and unpacking, crating, furniture disassembly and reassembly, specialty services, loading and unloading, and more. 

IVL works with customers to craft customized moving packages based on their budget and moving needs. If you need help with loading and transportation but prefer to pack on your own to save a few dollars, IVL will do that. IVL also offers adjustable contents protection (insurance) plans based on the amount of coverage you think you'll need for your belongings. This ability to mix and match gives customers more control over their move.

Customer's Take  

IVL provided a seamless experience for my long-distance move. All items arrived and in perfect condition. My assigned move coordinator and account manager were both very responsive. Overall good experience and would use them again.—Lynn L. via Yelp

Best Customization
International Van Lines

Best Overall: JK Moving Services

Company Info 

  • State Availability: 50 states (Local moves available only in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.)
  • Years in Business: 42
  • Type of Mover: Full service 
  • Cost: $9,200

What We Like 

Based out of Sterling, Virginia, JK Moving Services is our top pick for a cross-country move. The company brings more than 40 years of experience and top-tier full-service options, including furniture disassembly and reassembly, loading and unloading, and transportation. 

JK Moving Services is also one of the few companies on this list that provides financing options. Thanks to its partnership with Enhancify, customers are able to apply for a loan and choose from a variety of loan providers offering different repayment terms and interest rates. Based on your credit rating, you can receive rates as low as 0 percent.  

In addition to this unique perk, JK Moving Services has a useful mobile app for GPS tracking, managing inventory, and conducting a virtual survey for an accurate, binding estimate. This is an estimate that won't change over the course of your move. 

Customer's Take 

They were on time, professional, and very experienced and careful with my household items. All my fragile items were expertly wrapped and stored, and my furniture was wrapped well and stored efficiently with not a bit of wasted space on the pallet. … When I explained I could not empty the drawers on a Singer sewing machine my late mother left me -- there were too many memories. Tom said, not a problem, they would bubble wrap it "as is." And the team did.—Linnea J. via Yelp

Editor's Choice
JK Moving Services

Best for Antiques: American Van Lines 

Company Info

  • State Availability: 50 states
  • Years in Business: 54
  • Type of Mover: Full service 
  • Cost: $7,095*

*This information is an average price calculated on the American Van Lines website. 

What We Like 

American Van Lines is a full-service moving company that focuses on providing highly skilled and experienced movers. In addition to hiring only full-time, background-checked movers, the company trains each of its employees in specialty moves at its own facility. This makes it a great long-distance mover for antiques, fine artwork, pianos, and priceless heirlooms

In addition to full-service options, such as packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, and transportation, American Van Lines can also move all kinds of pianos, including grand and upright pianos. Its employees are able to dismantle and reassemble any piano, if needed or requested. 

Like JK Moving Services, American Van Lines offers binding estimates. This means the quote you receive at the end of the quote process remains the same during your move and isn't subject to change based on unexpected circumstances. 

Customer's Take

I … had to store my entire residential home inventory for a year at AVL's warehouse in Pompano, Florida. My moving consultant, Brian Maguire, was great and responded to my every call, text, or email. Every person tasked with any part of my move from packing, to transporting, to storage, to out of storage, to delivery kept me informed and followed through on their job responsibility. I highly recommend AVL, and I have no complaints.—Jill H. via Yelp

Best for Antiques
American Van Lines

Best Self-Service Mover: 1-800-Pack-Rat 

Company Info

What We Like 

Started by a North Carolina entrepreneur, 1-800-Pack-Rat is our top choice for a self-service moving company. It offers three sizes of weatherproof portable storage containers, called "pack rats" for their ability to store everything.

Pack-Rat's service model is DIY-friendly and straightforward. The company delivers a storage container to your home. You have 30 days to load your container at your own pace and notify the company when to pick up your belongings and take them to your new home. You then have another 30 days to unload your belongings at your own pace. If you'd rather not do it all on your own, Pack-Rat also offers the ability to hire affordable professional help for services such as loading and unloading thanks to its partnership with HireAHelper

The three available storage container sizes are 8 feet, 12 feet, and 16 feet. Pack-Rat also offers $10,000 in contents protection for all interstate moves.

Customer's Take 

Very happy with my experience with Pack-Rat. … Right on schedule, the containers were delivered, they were in very good condition and locked securely. On the other side of the country, they were delivered to us as scheduled, and we found they had been treated with care, no damage to any contents. This is a great way to move, you are very flexible because Pack-Rat can store any containers for you until you need them and is very good at meeting their commitments.—Eric L. via Yelp (Wake Forest, North Carolina branch)

Best Self-Service Mover
1-800-Pack-Rat

Best for Condos & HOAs: Safeway Moving Systems

Company Info

  • State Availability: 50 states 
  • Years in Business: 34
  • Type of Mover: Full service
  • Cost: $7,000–$10,000

What We Like 

Safeway Moving Systems is a veteran-owned full-service moving broker that aims to bring military precision to the moving experience. Safeway customers get services like packing and unpacking through its network of carrier partners, while receiving Safeway's comprehensive insurance options. 

The company requires all of its moving partners to carry a $1,000,000 insurance policy, which is 25 percent higher than the industry standard. This is because Safeway knows that some HOAs and condo associations often require a larger insurance policy for movers. If you own a condo, Safeway may be a great choice for you. 

In addition to its solid reputation for professionalism and speed, Safeway stands out for allowing its customers to earmark a portion of their payment for donation to St. Jude's Children Hospital.

Customer's Take 

They were on time, courteous, and made the process as smooth as it could be. There was a little hiccup in the beginning because there ended up being more things to move than originally anticipated. They were so nice even when I was annoying myself! Highly recommend them!—Michael via Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Best for Condos & HOAs
Safeway Moving Systems

Best for Storage Services: PODS 

Company Info

What We Like 

PODS, short for portable on-demand storage, is probably the best known self-service moving company. As with 1-800-Pack-Rat, customers can rent portable storage containers and control their own packing and unloading timelines, while PODS takes care of transportation.

But PODS stands out for its superior storage options. With 8-foot, 12-foot, and 16-foot container sizes, PODS offers flexibility and affordable rates. PODS's monthly rental fee starts at $149 and tends to be cheaper than some competitors, allowing customers to store items as close to home as their driveway. The company also has more than 230 storage centers across 45 states with climate-controlled units and 24/7 security.

Customer's Take 

We moved from Southern California to Franklin, TN. We ordered the smallest POD available with some help from some excellent customer service folks! We weren't taking any furniture! When we arrived in the Franklin area, the POD was right on schedule! I had excellent help from knowledgeable, friendly and genuinely nice folks all the way along! Finally, at the end, Kenny Lewellen … came to pick up the empty POD. Same as always, friendly, nice and efficient! PODS is awesome!—Kathie M. via Yelp (Nashville, Tennessee branch)

Best for Storage
PODS

Most Flexible Pricing: U-Pack 

Company Info

  • State Availability: 50 states (small moves have a 150-mile minimum)
  • Years in Business: 24
  • Type of Mover: Self service
  • Cost: $2,411

What We Like

U-Pack is a self-service mover with affordable pricing. Its 6x7x8-foot ReloCubes are typically cheaper than PODS's and 1-800-Pack-Rat's containers. Plus, they fit into a single parking spot, which makes U-Pack a great option for in-city apartment moves. 

Customers can also take advantage of U-Pack's pay-for-what-you-use policy. This policy allows customers to pay per square-foot for the space their belongings occupy in a larger moving trailer, offering greater flexibility in pricing. 

U-Pack does require that moves be at least 150 miles in distance. Additionally, U-Pack offers in-transit storage, but customers will not be able to retrieve belongings while they are stored. 

Customer's Take

I was very pleased with U-Pack's service for my cross-country move. It is very affordable (you actually pay what they originally quote you!), and I also appreciated that there was no up-front payment… . Overall, the staff communicated clearly and the drivers were friendly and skilled. I also fit way more than I thought I could into the ReloCube! Just make sure you are prepped with packing materials and people who know how to properly and securely load your things. - Sarah H. via Yelp (Durham, North Carolina branch)

Most Flexible Pricing
U-Pack

Types of Movers

There are three main types of professional moving companies: full service, self service, and moving brokers. Here's what you need to know to decide which type of mover is best suited for you and your needs. 

Full-Service Mover

A full-service moving company handles practically every part of your move for you. Full-service movers provide services such as furniture disassembly, packing, loading, crating, transportation, unloading, furniture reassembly, and unpacking. A full-service moving company provides an all-inclusive experience, so its customers can focus on other important aspects of their move. JK Moving Services, American Van Lines, and International Van Lines are examples of full-service movers. 

Self-Service Mover

If you enjoy taking things into your own hands, then a self-service moving company might be a better choice for you. Self-service movers tend to be cheaper than full-service movers, so you can save money as long as you are willing to put in some elbow grease. 1-800-Pack-Rat, PODS, and U-Pack are examples of self-service movers. 

Moving Broker

A moving broker is a company that partners with a network of carriers to provide moving trucks and labor for your move. Carriers bid for your job with the broker, which can be a benefit if you're looking to compare a variety of estimates easily. However, since pure brokers don't actually conduct your move, communications can be more complicated. Many interstate movers act as both carriers and brokers. Safeway Moving Systems is a moving broker.

How to Prepare for an Interstate Move

We know that pulling up roots can be stressful. Here are a few pro tips that can make the moving process a little easier:

  • Order all moving supplies: Just like the Scouts, you need to be prepared. Full-service movers should show up with blankets and protective pads, but you should make sure to order sufficient boxes, tape, bubble wrap, foam, and other necessary supplies in advance.
  • Consolidate your belongings: A move is a great time to declutter all those tools in the garage and ornaments in the attic. Create two piles as you pack your belongings. Place items you are going to take to the dump in one pile and items you can take to donation centers like Goodwill in the other pile. Drop them off a day or two before your moving day. 
  • Pack an 'essentials' package: Put a few days' worth of clothes, toiletries, medicine, phone chargers, and any other items you deem necessary into a bag to carry with you since you may be waiting for your belongings to arrive at your new home. This step can save some serious headaches if your shipment takes longer than expected. 
  • Notify important people: You are most likely already telling your friends and family about your upcoming move, but there are some other important people and organizations that need to know about your relocation. Make sure to update your new address with the post office, credit card companies, banks, your insurance provider, the IRS, and your cellphone provider. 
  • Transfer utilities: Check to see if you can transfer your utilities. If not, go ahead and see which provider you'll want to use at your new home and arrange to have electricity, water, and internet ready when you get there. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best interstate moving company?

This will depend on what type of moving company you're looking for. We find JK Moving Services to be the overall best choice for a full-service professional mover. If you want to go the DIY route, we recommend 1-800-Pack-Rat

What is the average cost of an interstate move?

Based on our research, most interstate moves tend to cost around $5,000–$7,000, depending on the distance of your move and what services you choose. 

What is the most affordable moving company?

On our list, U-Pack is the most affordable mover overall, while International Van Lines is the most affordable full-service mover. 

Methodology

Southern Living strives to provide objective, unbiased reviews for home services and products. Part of doing so involves being transparent about our methodology in assessing each provider we review. We evaluate each provider on a 100-point scale, broken down as follows: 

  • Service Type: Does the provider offer its services for local, long-distance, and/or international moves? 
  • Additional Perks: Does the company provide additional perks and resources with its services, such as moving calculators, checklists, packing supplies, GPS tracking, and financing options?
  • Quotes Process: Does the company provide ballpark estimates, or does it provide binding, fixed-rate quotes for its services? What information does the company require to provide an estimate?
  • Availability: How many states does the company provide its services in? 
  • Service Options: Does the company provide services such as packing and unpacking, crating, vehicle transportation, loading and unloading, specialty services, and storage solutions? 
  • Customer Service: Does the company feature a positive customer satisfaction rating on popular review sites, such as Yelp and the BBB?