Moving companies consolidate shipments in order to most efficiently use a truck's
space – any empty space is a loss for the mover. So if a mover can piece together
several shipments or get a small shipment to fill out the load, it makes the moving
However, as the customer, you might not be as happy. You will probably
pay more per pound for hundred pounds, as most movers like to calculate charges,
to ship a small load. Most movers will charge for a minimum amount of weight (often
around 1000 pounds) – or a minimum amount of time (for local moves) – for any load
they pick up. So even if your load weighs little, you might get charged for a higher
amount; same goes for time.
Like so many things, the mover has certain upfront cost
that are always there, no matter what the weight of the shipment. Also, some movers
will charge an extra fee to transport your items from your home to their warehouse
to hold it for a moving van headed in the direction of where you want your items
shipped. You will also be somewhat at the mercy of the mover's loading and delivery
schedule – because it's a small load, you might not have much latitude over when
you can get the shipment picked up, moved, and/or delivered.
Often, because your small shipment is being combined with other shipments, it is not always easy for
the mover to pinpoint your exact dates. (Then again, time might not be much of an
issue for you. For smaller shipments, flexibility is key.) Still, it never hurts
to ask if a moving company is interested in handling your small shipment. Even though
you might pay more to have it done, you will have trained professionals moving your
belongings and you will be spared doing all of the work yourself. Also, you will
have options for protecting your items against damage while in the mover's possession.
When you do the move yourself, all responsibility falls back on you.