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How Long Does it Take to Move Across the Country?

Cross-country moves are challenging, but wise planning will reduce the stress. Use our guide to plan out how long you can expect it to take to move your belongings across the country.
How Long Does it Take Movers to Move Across the Country

In this article

Normally, you can expect the average amount of time to complete a cross-country move to be up to two weeks, but the actual process of moving your stuff from one location to the other could happen in as little as 3 days. Depending on some factors, it could be delayed for up to a few weeks.

You can expect that your moving company will give you a window of up to two weeks to allow for delivery in the event that unforeseen circumstances pop up.

Expected Amount of Time

Miles  Days
0-200 miles 1-3 business days
200-500 miles 2-7 business days
500-800 miles 3-10 business days
800-1200 miles 4-12 business days
1200-1700 miles 5-14 business days
1700-2500 miles 6-21 business days
2500-3300 miles 7-21 business days

Factors That Can Affect the Delivery of Your Stuff

There are several different factors that could influence how long it will take for your staff to show up to your new house. When your out of state movers actually get going, keep a few of these factors in mind to give you an idea of how long it might be before it shows up.

1. How far you are moving

Obviously, the distance from your old home to your new one is going to be a major factor in how long it takes to arrive. Naturally, the farther away your new house is, the longer you can expect it to be before it shows up. A good way to remember it is that if you are moving a state or two away, you can expect your delivery to take a few days.

However, if you are moving from one side of the country to the other, don’t be surprised if your delivery takes a couple of weeks.

2. Any other pickups and deliveries that need to be consolidated

As part of their business model, it is normal for moving companies to consolidate shipments that are going in the same direction. This maximizes the efficiency of the company, saves on fuel expenses, and gets things where they need to go more quickly.

This can reduce overall moving costs, but might also mean that your moving company will have to make several other stops along the way that are unrelated to your move. How complex these other jobs get can influence how long it takes for your stuff to arrive, as well.

If you’d like, you can always pay extra to have the truck be exclusive to your move – so if time is of the essence when it comes to getting your belongings to your home, think about ponying up a little extra cash to make it happen.

3. Adverse weather conditions

Obviously, inclement weather can put a damper on moving things from one place to another. If a sudden storm comes up during the move, it can force road closures, become flooded, and more. It never hurts to be aware of the weather forecast during your move and working to plan around it, but unexpected storms do show up, and need to be thought about.

If you try to save some money by moving during the winter, you should also keep in mind that the colder months often have more adverse weather conditions to deal with, which could also affect the delivery time of your belongings when moving.

4. High amounts of traffic

It is highly important for everyone on the road to be wary of one another and drive safely, and this is no different when moving. High amounts of traffic on the road can slow down transportation, so if you are moving during busy times of year or the roads just happen to be populated with other drivers when your belongings are on the move, you can expect your delivery to take a little longer.

Plenty of things can happen on the road, as well. You could expect traffic jams, accidents that need to be driven around, the moving truck could get a flat tire, and more.

5. Transportation law

You should also keep in mind that driving laws can have a huge effect on your overall delivery time. You see, no movers will be able to drive straight to your new house during a move if you are moving across the country.

This is because, in the interest of safety, laws state that transportation drivers cannot go more than a certain amount of miles or hours each day.

Your drivers will need to be able to stop and take a rest break, and obviously, this will affect how long it takes your stuff to arrive to your new home. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your movers to find out about the status of your move.

Give them a call, see where they might be, if plans have changed, and any other questions you might have. You should also call on the day before the expected delivery date, so you can be sure that you are home and ready for them when they arrive.

In the Event of a Late Delivery

When it is time to begin your move, you should receive a Bill of Lading which shows the details of your belongings in the truck, how far the truck is going, and when your expected delivery time frame is.

If that time frame is exceeded, then your delivery is late, and you might be able to get some compensation back, usually moving companies pay $15-$25 per day of delay.

If your delivery ends up being late, keep calm and get in touch with your movers. While it is never fun to be kept waiting for your own stuff, something might have happened that could have affected the process.

If you are working with a professional and honest company, however, you shouldn’t have to do a big song and dance with them in order to get some sort of accommodation or compensation back for the late delivery.

In fact, many professional movers already have policies about what they can do to help their customers in the event of late delivery. Simply talk with your movers and you will be able to arrive at a solution that works well for everyone.

If you can’t get in touch with your moving company, though, you might need to call the police, as you may have been scammed by what is known as a rogue moving company.

Hopefully, you’ve hired a great moving company that will take your move seriously and works hard to get you where you need to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Planning a move and knowing how long you might be waiting to get your belongings can certainly be stressful, but when you have information on your side, it can make things much simpler. To help simplify your move even further, here are a few questions commonly asked about this process, along with their answers.

How much will it cost to move my stuff cross-country?

The cost of a move is something that is very hard to pin down, because every move is completely unique. The cost of your move will depend on things like which professional cross country movers you hire, how far you are moving, how much of your stuff to plan on taking with you, and much more.

With that being said, the average cost to hire movers using a freight trailer for cross-country moves can be anywhere from $2500-$3000 or more. The best way to estimate your cost is to have your movers give you moving quotes before the move ever begins.

Do movers steal your things?

Professional moving companies would never consider stealing your items, but there are some “movers” out there who do end up being thieves. Known as rogue movers, they will abscond with customer property and then demand a hefty sum for its delivery, essentially holding your things hostage.

If you end up in this unlucky situation, the first thing you should do is get in touch with the police so your stuff can be safely tracked down, and the rogue movers apprehended. Always make sure you do your research into the movers you hire to ensure you are only working with a reputable moving company.

When is the best time of year to move cross-country?

If you are looking to save the most money, the best time of year for a cross-country move might be during the colder season. This is because it is going to be during most across country movers’ off-season, which means that you will be paying less for the move since the company is not booked to the brim like they usually are during the spring and summer months.

Getting Ready to Ship Your Stuff With Confidence

Ready to get your cross-country move underway? Moving can be a very stressful experience, but you can make it a little easier with good planning and ensuring you are only working with reputable and trusted long distance movers. Hopefully, in no time at all, you will be set up in your new home, and all of your stuff will show up right on time so you can get it all set up the way you would like it, officially wrapping up your long move.

Joey Sasson

Joey Sasson

Joey Sasson is an executive and author with over 30 years of experience in the moving industry. As president of sales and logistics at Moving APT, Joey’s been a driving force behind our company’s success. He’s known around the office for his expertise and dedication, and he’s probably working on another article right this moment. Joey has a lot to say about the moving industry, but he also writes about other elements of business, leadership, self-improvement, and more.
Green Group

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