5 Factors that Affect Fluctuating Moving Rates

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5 Factors that Affect Fluctuating Moving Rates

Staff Writer · Apr 8, 2010

Moving rates fluctuate, making it difficult to create a budget too far in advance. If you requested moving quotes and it’s been a couple of months, you may want to confirm that those rates haven’t gone up. There are many factors that affect changes in what moving companies charge. 5 common factors are:

1 – Labor Costs

The economy and the market affects what moving companies pay professional movers. In some cases, it’s union involvement, strikes or other related activities. The salary or hourly wage that’s paid to the movers is included in the moving rate that you pay. If the moving company has to pay more, then the moving rates will go up. When it goes down, the moving company has the option of charging less to remain competitive, or it may offer a sale or a discount.

2 – Packing Materials

Professional movers offer an additional service to pack and unpack your items. Included in that service is the purchase and use of packing materials. The cost to the moving company to buy boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper and other moving supplies changes. Their supplier can charge more or less, depending on the market or their company’s finances. The adjustments that the moving company must make will be reflected in moving rates, which is why it fluctuates over a period of months or years.

3 – Fuel Costs

In your own personal finances you see the impact of fluctuating fuel prices. The same is true for a moving company, but worse because they have to pay fuel costs for moving trucks. This is part of the transportation costs that are factored into the moving rate. If you’re moving during a time where there are higher fuel prices, you can expect to pay higher rates. When gas prices go down, the moving rates will follow.

4 – Toll

This applies if you’re moving to a city or across several states with tolls that the movers have to pay. The cost of tolls don’t change rapidly, but the costs do go up every once in a while, which will cause the moving rate to change. It’s a factor of the transportation cost, and you won’t realize that’s it’s included unless you ask.

5 – Storage

There are times when your belongings have to be stored by the movers, either in the truck or in a facility. For example, if you’re unable to move into the apartment yet, due to a delay on your part or the landlord’s, the moving company can store your items in the truck or in a facility at your new destination. Your moving rates will change on the spot if that happens, although this was probably accounted for in the moving contract you signed. Costs to store items also change due to higher heating and cooling utility costs, labor costs for workers at the facility, or if it’s stored in the truck, parking fees.

Timing for your move is key if you don’t want fluctuating moving rates to negatively impact your finances. Keep abreast of sales and discounts offered by companies, and take advantage of those when moving.

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