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Local vs Long Distance Moving: What’s the Difference?

By Quality Move Management Inc / October 20, 2023

Moving is exciting and overwhelming all at the same time, and if you’ve never done it before, the planning process can be filled with unknowns. When it comes to moving within Canada, there are some essential factors to consider based on the distance of your move. Whether you’re moving across provinces or just across the street, understanding the differences between local moving and long-distance moving not only makes the process less stressful but also makes the transition smoother. In this blog post, we’ll explore the contrasting elements of local vs long-distance moving and delve into the challenges and considerations for both types of household moving.


Local Moving

To better understand what is considered a local move, it's important to know that different moving companies may have their own definitions. However, in Canada, a local move is generally described as relocating within a set radius often within the same city, town, metropolitan area or in the surrounding suburbs. This includes moving from one city to a neighboring city within a set radius. So if you were planning on moving from Brampton to Mississauga this could be defined as local moving. 


Long Distance Moving 

So what is considered a long distance move? Similarly to moving locally, the definition may change depending on the moving company but generally, if you’re moving more than 400 miles from your current location or from one province to another, this can be treated as long-distance moving. So for example, moving from Toronto to Vancouver would require the help of a long-distance moving company.


How do Local Movers and Long Distance Movers Differ?

There are several factors that separate local moving companies from long-distance movers. Let's look at aspects of the moving process to see the difference between local and long-distance movers.


Logistics and Distance

The distance of your household move is probably the most obvious distinction between local and long-distance moving. The complex logistics of long-distance moving require much more careful planning and consideration than local moving. Although they require less time on the road, local moves still require thoughtful planning about the size of the load and the type of contents. 

Long-distance moving usually involves moving across provinces, often covering hundreds of miles. Planning for this type of move will require more navigational preparation and considerations like making scheduled stops or hotel stays. When moving between provinces, long distance moving companies will consider any restrictions around the transportation of goods across Canada.

Duration and Scheduling

In most cases, a local move can take less time than a long-distance move but this does depend on the size of the load and the schedule. For example, for a 2-bedroom household, a typical local move can be executed in one day but a  local move for a larger household may be done over several days if necessary. A good local moving company will be able to estimate the duration of your relocation when you receive your moving quote. 

Long-distance moving companies will also be able to estimate how long your move will take at the time of receiving the quote, however many more factors will impact the length of time it takes to complete your long-distance move. It’s quite common for large moving trucks to be divided up into sections for multiple customers. For better efficiency, your household contents would be loaded into its own palleted area of the vehicle and delivered to your final destination. When scheduling a household move, it’s worth considering the time of year and even the day of the week you’d like to move. At certain times of the year, long-distance moving companies are often in demand due to school vacations and the warmer months. Local moving companies may be more in demand over the weekend.


Rules and Regulations

Another difference between local and long-distance moving relates to the various regulatory requirements. When planning a long-distance move, being aware of provincial-specific regulations and restrictions is crucial. The conditions of carriage and bills of lading for moving household items are regulated in most provinces in Canada. Reputable long-distance moving companies plan relocations with these regulations in mind which can save you the stress of potential delays or complications if conditions aren’t followed. From regulations that protect consumers to regulations that protect what is transported into the province, these conditions can vary slightly in each province and your long-distance movers will let you know which rules apply to you.


Cost of Moving 

The way local and long-distance moving costs are worked out is another factor that can differentiate the two services. Both local moving services and long distance movers will consider the distance of the relocation, the estimated time it’ll take to pack and load as well as the amount of personnel needed. A pre-move survey helps moving companies determine the size load so that an accurate quote can be provided. Long-distance movers take a slightly different approach to calculating moving costs. While some of the ways of local and long distance movers calculate moving costs will overlap, long-distance moving companies will consider the distance between the two locations, the total weight of the load and whether additional services like storage or vehicle shipping will be needed.


Local and Long distance Moving with QMM

If you’re looking for a full-service moving company, QMM offers professional moving services and has many years of experience with long-distance and local moving. If you’d like to find more information or book a pre-move survey, contact our friendly team who are waiting to help.

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