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Licensed Moving Companies in Philadelphia, PA

How to Hire a Good Moving Company in Philadelphia

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 35 million Americans move every year, roughly over 60,000 of these moves happen in Philadelphia alone. However, moving can be a horrible experience if you hire an incompetent mover or fall victim to a moving scam. Before you settle for a mover in the city, ask the following questions to make sure you are hiring the best company for the job;

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Mover in Philadelphia

  1. Are You Licensed to Practice as a Moving Company in Philadelphia?

    Household goods movers in Philadelphia must be licensed by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), maintain proper insurance coverage, and charge costs that have been allowed by the PUC to operate legally in the city. Moving businesses must also be registered with the FMSCA in order to legally undertake interstate movements. A mover's application takes roughly three months to process and the filing fee is $350.

    A mover can apply using any size vehicle, which must however be owned by the applicant. The applicant must also charge hourly rates or weight rates, and provide written estimates and Information for Shippers Form to customers. The moving company must also provide proof of Motor Carrier Insurance within 60 days of approval. Within 180 days of certification, home goods carriers must also undergo a safety fitness review and a review of household goods customer service standards.

    While the PUC does not have an automated system for validating the licenses of moving businesses in Philadelphia, consumers are invited to visit the Commission's website to see the full list of carriers with the PUC operating authority. A fine of $1000 is imposed for operating as a mover without a license.

    It is also important to register the business with Philadelphia. In order to do that, the business structure, that is, whether it is a sole proprietorship, partnership or what have you, must be determined. A business tax account number must be obtained from the City for taxation purposes. Also, a Commercial Activity License by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections must be applied for. To get more information about licenses in Philadelphia, contact the Public Utility Commission at (717) 787-3834.

  2. How Much Do You Charge Compared with Other Movers in Philadelphia?

    When planning a move inside or outside of Philadelphia, it is prudent to know how much you will need to pay for the services you require. The size and number of objects being transported, the distance from the point of departure to that of destination, extra services such as property storage and furniture assembly or disassembly, and tipping fees are all factors that determine moving prices in the city. Moving businesses in Philadelphia are required by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to charge customers using the following methods:

    • Written binding rates: in this case, the mover gives a written estimate that includes all transportation expenses and agreed-upon services, as well as an inventory of the things to be moved. This is usually the only pricing method that allows for a precise estimate of the move's cost before the operation is completed.
    • Charges are based on the length of time it takes to accomplish the job, including the time it takes the mover to get to and from the houses in question.
    • Weight/distance rates: charges are computed using this approach based on the weight of the goods being transported and the distance traveled during the transport.

    Prior to choosing a moving company for your move within and outside the city, it is a fantastic idea to get and compare moving rates from various movers in the area. Also, always request a bill of lading from the moving company at the time of pickup, regardless of the technique used to compute moving charges, as the bill can act as a receipt for your belongings that were moved.

    Transportation and material moving workers in Philadelphia earn an average annual wage of $40,670. The list below compares the hourly average wages earned by these workers in the city against those of transportation and material moving workers in other parts of Pennsylvania as well as several other major cities in the country:

    Philadelphia Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $19.55
    Pennsylvania Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $18.97
    Los Angeles Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $21.09
    Seattle Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $25.50
    Chicago Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $20.86
    Houston Movers Hourly Average Wage
    $20.53

    Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  3. Will You Get a Moving Permit as Required by Philadelphia Regulations?

    Philadelphia requires moving companies to obtain a Temporary No Parking (TNP) permit from the Philadelphia Department of Streets. To apply, the moving company must provide the following:

    • their name and contact information.
    • the address where the moving truck will be parked, and so forth.
    • the number of moving containers or dumpsters, as well as the length of the moving vehicle.
    • the start and end time for your permit.

    Application for a permit must be made at least four business days ahead of time. Movers are to contact the Streets Department's Right-of-Way Unit at (215) 686-5500 if they have not been contacted three days before they need the permit. The cost and duration of the permit are determined by how they intend to use the parking space. The location or size of the truck they are parking may also have an impact. Two parking spaces are roughly equal to forty feet. The rate for a 40-foot spot in Center City or University City is $50 per day. In the rest of the city, the cost is $25 per 40 feet of space each day.

    To apply for a temporary no-parking permit, the moving company must fill out an online form. Application per permit should be done for one address only. The application will be reviewed by a member of the Right-of-Way Unit, after which an invoice or a request for additional information will be sent to the moving company. Payment should be made via the payment center online or one of the other options on the invoice. The final permission will be issued after a reviewer has verified payment. After this, the moving company can print their permit and bring it to a police district headquarters in Philadelphia. They will be given temporary no parking notices from the police district.

    If you have any questions, contact the Right-of-Way Unit of the Department of Streets at (215) 686-5500 or visit the Department's office at:

    • 1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
    • 7th Floor
    • Philadelphia, PA 19102-1676
  4. What Kind of Moving Services Do You Offer?

    It is necessary to seek a moving company that not only provides the services you require but also has the necessary experience when moving inside or outside of Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, moves or relocations are often divided into five categories namely:

    • Local move
    • Long-distance move
    • Inter-state move
    • International move
    • Small move

    A local move takes place within 50 to 100 miles of your current address and does not need you to leave the state. Long-distance moves occur within the state, although they cover a longer distance than a local move. You're relocating to a new state when you make an interstate move. The cost of your move is influenced by the weight of your belongings and the add-on services. If you're relocating from one country to another, you'll need to find a mover who specializes in international moves. The cost of the transfer is determined by the size of the package, which is measured in cubic meters or cubic feet. Finally, a small move is any local move including items worth less than 2000 pounds is referred to as.

    Additional services offered by movers can be divided into two categories. The first is a full-service move, which means you won't have to lift a finger. Everything will be handled by the staff, including packing, loading, transporting, unloading, and repacking your goods once they arrive at their final location. The moving firm just loads, transports, and unloads the belongings in a self-service move. Packing and unloading will be your responsibility.

    When getting into any agreements with a moving business, it is always a good idea to, first of all, check out the exact nature of the services they provide to verify that they will satisfy your specific demands. Remember that it is your obligation to notify the moving company about the type and number of items you will be relocating, as well as any additional services you may require. This allows them to provide you with an accurate estimate of the cost of the moving services and avoid any future misunderstandings or disagreements.

    The costs of basic relocation services supplied by professional moving companies in Philadelphia are listed below:

    Local/long-distance residential moving
    $111.22 - $127.44 per hour (includes cost of labor and moving truck)
    Piano moving
    $311.64 - $348.71 (within Philadelphia)
    Mobile home moving
    $2,662.81 - $3,300.57 (for single-wide trailer at a distance of no more than 50 miles)
    Moving out of studio apartment
    $333 - $665 (includes cost of packing and unpacking items)
    Moving out of two-bedroom apartment
    $715 - $915 (includes cost of packing and unpacking items)
    Moving out of three or four-bedroom apartment
    $1,042 - $1,279 (includes cost of packing and unpacking items)
  5. Do You Provide Packing and Storage Services?

    Before your belongings are relocated to your new home or company, you may need to store them at a storage facility, which can be mobile or stationary. Apart from this, there are a number of other reasons why you might need self-storage, which include:

    • Renovations that could damage your belonging
    • Future relocation plans
    • Long-distance move that requires time to settle
    • Relocation to a space that won't accommodate all of your possessions.

    Knowing if your chosen moving company provides packing and unpacking services saves you time and energy while also ensuring that your valuables are safely packed and sorted before and after your relocation. Moving firms in Philadelphia usually provide the following types of packing services: full packing services, partial packing services, professional box handling and organization, and used box pick-up services.

    You should always check to see if your prospective moving company offers the packing and storage services you need and how much they will cost regardless of the reason for needing these services. If your chosen moving company does not offer both packing and storage, choosing one that does will make the process go more smoothly because you will be dealing with a single organization. Determine how your belongings will be housed and identified, as well as if you will be able to view the storage facility ahead of time to ensure suitability. Some movers even let customers save money by bringing their own packing supplies, so enquire if yours does.

  6. What is an Appropriate Tip for Your Movers in Philadelphia?

    Whenever a service provider does an excellent job, it is customary to thank them with a tip, and movers are no different. Always keep in mind things like the difficulties of the move and the care with which the movers transport your stuff. If your movers go above and above, consider tipping them at the higher rates. Ask yourself the following questions while considering whether or not to tip your movers in Philadelphia:

    • Did the movers have to stop at more than one location, such as your home and a storage unit off-site?
    • During your move, did you encounter a lot of stairs or numerous levels?
    • Was there a lot of bulky furniture in the room?
    • Did they go out of their way to add extra padding to fragile objects or carefully follow special instructions?
    • Did they take particularly great care of any antiques or emotional items you had?
    • Were they pleasant, kind, and efficient to be around?

    Tipping movers is generally calculated using an hourly average of $4 to $5 per mover per hour. This tipping method works better than tipping 5 to 10 percent where, if your moving budget is $2,000, you might tip between $100 and $200 and divide it evenly among the movers. This is because total expenses often include distance costs and other fees, the bulk of which do not require the movers to do any actual work,

    You are not compelled to tip your movers. As a result, moving companies do not include the expense of these tips in their overall moving charges. Before making any hiring arrangements with your chosen moving company, ask them what they consider an appropriate tip for their movers. It is reasonable to leave no tip if the movers are rude or unprofessional, damage your belongings, or try to defraud you. In such a case, you should also notify your moving company about their movers' lack of professionalism.

  7. Do You Carry the Necessary Insurance Policy for Movers in Philadelphia?

    According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation and material moving workers accounted for 20 percent of all on-the-job injuries that needed time off from work in 2018. Before being granted motor carrier licenses by the Public Utility Commission, moving companies in Philadelphia must meet certain state-mandated insurance standards. It is critical to confirm that your chosen moving company meets these insurance standards, since it protects you from unexpected expenses and potential legal obligations if any work-related damages or accidents occur during your move.

    Federal law mandates that interstate movers provide a minimum of 60 cents per pound in damage insurance; however, this protection is based on the item's weight rather than its worth. In addition to this, the PUC requires an insurance of $5,000 for loss or damage to cargo carried on a motor vehicle is also required. If you want total coverage, you should also purchase full damage coverage from the mover or a third party insurance company. You can also see if your homeowner's or renter's insurance will cover any loss or damage that occurs during the move.

    It is advisable to always ask for proof of insurance from the moving company you are considering, and be sure that it covers liability and property damage, as well as cargo, workers' compensation, and disability insurance, if applicable. Confirm that the insurance is current and adequate to cover the extent of your relocation project by contacting the insurance provider that offers it. It is crucial to keep in mind that whatever homeowners' or renters' insurance you may have will not cover the cost of property damage caused by your move. If you have any questions about the insurance requirements for a moving company in Philadelphia, you can call the PUC at (717) 787-1227.

  8. Can You Provide References or Recommendations in Philadelphia?

    Referrals are usually a sign that a moving company follows through on its promises and provides competent service, and some moving companies post these referrals on their official websites. As a result, if your desired movers in Philadelphia are hesitant to supply potential consumers with references or letters of recommendation from delighted existing clients, consider it a warning sign. Nonetheless, you should always double-check any references you are given by contacting them and receiving a first-hand account of their moving experience.

    You can tell a moving company is open to the idea of referrals and recommendations by its attitude to providing extraordinary customer service. In the moving industry, customer service is what makes a mover stand out from the bunch. Also, a company that actively seeks reviews and encourages social sharing, engages influencers and trains staff for referral purposes is one that is dedicated to reassuring its potential clients of its trustworthiness.

How to File a Complaint Against a Bad Moving Company in Philadelphia

Scams in the moving industry take many forms, but they can all be identified by specific signs, such as providing cost estimates before evaluating the things to be moved, conducting perfunctory inspections, and demanding full upfront payment or significant deposits before moving. As a result, when looking for professional movers in Philadelphia, be on the lookout for signals that you might be working with a phoney mover and take precautions to prevent becoming a victim of a moving scam. These steps are as follows:

  • Refuse to Pay for Moving Services in Advance: You should not accept an offer to pay for everything in advance, or if they require that you pay them the majority of the final price before the process even begins. Some genuine businesses will require a deposit, but do not agree to anything more than ten percent.
  • Compare Quotes from a Several Moving Firms: The best method to see if pricing is competitive is to check with a few different moving companies in your region. Some moving companies in Philadelphia will provide you with a free estimate on their services so you can simply compare prices and determine if the price your selected team offers you is too low or too high in comparison to the industry standard.
  • Be Wary of Moving Companies without Functioning Website: If you can't find the company's website or it's "down" every time you refresh the page, consider checking other internet websites like Yelp. Except for their own website and forum, a trustworthy and respected company will always have reviews on various websites and forums. This could be a significant red flag if you can't discover any information or reviews about them online.
  • Always Request a Contract and Carefully Read It: A trustworthy organisation will provide you with a legitimate contract, not a counterfeit one. A dubious company, on the other hand, will try everything they can to avoid providing written evidence and deceive you into believing it isn't required. Even if they do provide you with a piece of paper, do not sign it until you've thoroughly read it, particularly the fine print.

If you have been a victim of a moving scam in Philadelphia, you can contact the Philadephia Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit at (800) 441-2555 to make complaints.

You can also file a complaint against any unscrupulous household goods moving company using the FMCSA's National Consumer Complaint Database online or by calling the agency's toll-free number at (888) 368-7238.

You can also report moving scam to the Philadelphia Police Department online or by visiting the Department's office at:

  • Police Headquarters
  • 400 N. Broad Street
  • Philadelphia, PA 19130