Complicated moves call for an experienced moving company, especially if you’re headed across the country or abroad. International Van Lines has been managing both local and long-distance moves for over 20 years, earning a long list of industry awards along the way.
Our team explored everything you need to know about International Van Lines so you can decide if it’s the best company for your big move. In this article, we’ll cover:
- Transparency: Is IVL upfront about their estimates and moving services?
- Pricing: How do its prices compare to other moving companies?
- Services: What does IVL offer for both local and long distance moving?
- Reputation: What do past customers say about working with IVL?
We’ll take you step-by-step through the experience of working with International Van Lines, from prices and policies to reviews and services.
International Van Lines: An Overview
For over two decades, IVL has served as one of the leading full-service moving companies in the business. The company has locations in Florida, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and Texas but serves clients across the country with their own fleet and by brokering out to trusted partners.
While IVL offers a comprehensive list of services, the team truly shines in its international moving management. The company claims to cut out the hassle of moving abroad or across the country by teaming you up with moving coordinators and experienced professionals.
Quick Pros and Cons of International Van Lines
Let’s start with the basics. After all, not every moving company is right for every move. While IVL gets top reviews in many categories, here are some basic strengths and potential downfalls of the company.
- Licensed by the US DOT and Federal Maritime Commission
- Serves all 50 states and 180 countries
- Specializes in international moves, including sea transport and air freight
- Also offers corporate relocation services and military moves
- Lengthy quote process
- Outsources some local moving services
- Longer transport time for some long-distance moves moves
- Some negative reviews note communication issues
We’ll dive a bit more into each category, including the company’s trustworthiness and what you can expect to pay.
International Van Lines: Transparency
The moving experience is tricky enough without any unexpected surprises. Whether you’re prepping for a local move or looking for an international moving company, transparency is key.
On one hand, getting a detailed free quote from International Van Lines is a little more time-consuming than some other major players. At the same time, you will end up with a much more detailed and accurate quote. Here’s where IVL shines and struggles in this category.
Pricing and Quotes
IVL offers price ranges for local moves and things like packing services. InternationalVanLines.com offers a moving estimate calculator to get a ballpark price, but you’ll have to work directly with a rep to get a binding estimate. Your three options for this step include:
- Arrange a phone call with a sales rep
- Fill out their online quote tool
- Schedule an in-person or virtual walkthrough
Whichever one you pick, have a general inventory of your house at the ready. According to customers, you are required to enter a very detailed list of your household goods, address of your new home, moving date, and contact information.
The in-person walkthrough is always recommended whenever possible. A professional mover may spot details that can tip the scales of your estimate.
Base Services, Fees and Add-Ons
Your final estimate combines a base price for the move itself and the cost of extra services. IVL determines your base price by considering:
- The size of your home (i.e. one-bedroom apartment vs. four-bedroom homes)
- Estimated weight of household goods
- Estimated number of boxes
- Moving season and delivery date
You move may incur additional fees for things like staircases, elevators, or difficult access to your front door.
As a full-service moving company, you can also request services like packing, unpacking, special item transport, and storage. We’ll dive into this a bit more below.
How to Hire International Van Lines
Let’s say you’ve gotten your free quote and feel good about going forward. What happens next? IVL requires a 25% deposit on a credit card to hold your spot. While this may sound steep, the amount is fully refundable up to 48 hours before pick up if your plans change.
Quick note: In some cases, local moves work a bit differently than long-distance relocations. International Van Lines connects customers with trusted moving companies and services in your area.
If you’re not happy with your moving quote, the website recommends speaking directly with a sales rep. In some cases, IVL will try to match the price you received from other companies or suggest ways to save money. For example, altering your pick-up date by a few days could lower your costs.
Communication and Expectations
The worst experience with a moving company typically coincides with bad customer service. Luckily, many reviews compliment International Van Line’s communication skills.
On a basic level, the IVL website lists its phone number, customer service email, and an online chat option for any questions. Once you get started with your move, however, the company really shines. Customers can work with two account managers to ensure their move is stress-free.
Its history as a logistics company makes them stand out when it comes to streamlining the moving process. For this reason, the majority of IVL’s industry awards celebrate their customer experience.
Policies to Know
We didn’t spot any red flags in IVL’s policies. Since they manage more complicated moves, contracts can be a bit more complex. For example:
- Any additional supplies, labor, or complications on moving day (such as extra staircases or parking problems) can increase the final price.
- IVL drivers are not liable for standard interruptions to their travel schedule like traffic or closed roads.
- The company offers basic and full liability coverage for damage of $.60 per pound per article, up to $10,000.
- Customers receive a full refund of the deposit if they choose to cancel up to 48 hours before the move.
According to research, International Van Line prices fall right in line with industry standards. The range, however, is quite wide. A move with IVL can cost anywhere between an average of $1,500 to $11,000.
Why the large gap? Moving costs vary widely at IVL based on distance, weight, the size of your home, season, and several logistics. We’ll break them down below.
Basic Local Move Costs
The International Van Line’s website clarifies that local move prices are determined by the hourly rate and number of workers. For example:
Number of Movers & Hourly Rate:
3 – $150
4 – $200
5 – $250
6 – $300
Add $30 an hour to each category to include packing services as well.
So, how many hours does a move take? This comes down to how many things you have to move and how easy it is to move them. One researcher, a one-bedroom apartment moving 140 miles came out to $2,104.
Basic Long-Distance Moving Costs
Not to be confused with international moves, long-distance moves are considered anywhere over 300 miles away by IVL. The weight of your items and the size of your home play the largest roles in your final moving price.
For example, one researcher was quoted the following prices for long-distance moves:
One-bedroom apartment moving 1,011 miles cost $2,598.75
Four-bedroom house moving 1,100 miles cost $10,393
Moving across the world in IVL’s specialty. However, prices are a bit harder to nail down. The final cost is most dependent on the cubic feet needed for the move. Additional factors include:
- Accessibility and distance of your destination country
- Additional services like packing and specialty items
- Ocean freight vs. air freight moving
- Port-to-port service vs door-to-door service
As of Spring 2019, IVL noted that international moves base prices using ocean freight range from $1,400 to $8,500.
In each of your moves, you could end up paying extra for the following issues:
- Elevator or staircase fees
- Parking details or shuttle service
- Fragile or bulky items to transport
- Motorcycle and auto transport
- Packing services and packing materials
- Storage options
Cost of Additional Services
If you have more flexibility in your budget, IVL offers an impressive list of extra services that can simplify your move.
While you won’t find a breakdown of every service cost, IVL is pretty transparent about packing and storage prices.
- Local Move Packing: Add $30 to the hourly rate based on the number of movers.
- Long-Distance Move Packing: Ranges between $375 and $2500 based on cubic square feet.
- Storage in Transit (SIT): 50 cents per cubic foot per month.
For quotes on the list of extra services below, you’ll need to speak with a moving coordinator during your estimate process.
The company requires a 25% deposit when booking your move on a credit card. This allows IVL to easily reimburse your down payment should you need to cancel before the 48-hour window.
On the day of the move, the remaining balance is split in half — 50% due at pickup and 50% at arrival. Both of these final payments are due in cash, check, or money order.
As we noted above, you have until 48 hours before your move to cancel before losing your 25% deposit. International Van Lines notes that you can email your move coordinator or the general customer service address to cancel without explanation.
IVL for Local vs. Long Distance Moves
There’s no question that IVL shines in its coordination department. This does mean, however, that the price is not necessarily worth it for a simple or DIY move. For example:
- IVL is ideal for long-distance or international moves with complicated transport, fees, or schedule.
- IVL is ideal for complex local moves that require storage, piano transport, or other tricky factors.
- IVL is not as ideal for straightforward local moves without packing, storage, or coordination services.
One of the best perks about International Van Lines is their long list of extra services. If you know you have a complicated move ahead of you, this is arguably one of the best teams to call. Let’s break down how IVL moving services work.
Broker and Carrier Services
We’ve already noted a few times that IVL acts as both a moving carrier and a broker. What does this actually mean for you?
For the majority of local moves, IVL partners with trusted and highly vetted companies across the country. This allows them to reach every state in the US. In these scenarios, IVL will gather the best team of movers, packers, and storage companies to streamline your move.
The company does use its own fleet and services for long-distance moves, however. When heading more than 300 miles or out of the state, you can access their long-distance services and prices.
Both as a carrier and a broker, International Van Lines offers:
- Local moving
- Long distance moving
- International moving
- Logistics management
Every contract includes loading and unloading of the truck, basic furniture protection, and simple furniture assembly or disassembly. The contract also includes protection for up to $10,000 in damages with the option to upgrade to more comprehensive coverage.
As a full-service mover, you can truly personalize your contract. International Van Lines offers the following extras at an additional cost:
- Debris removal
- Auto transport
- Piano transport
- Fragile and heirloom items
- Additional insurance
- Ocean freight
- Air freight
- Moving guidance
- Motorcycle transport
- Crane service
- Door-to-door or port-to-port services
The IVL website also offers moving kits for sale. These include supplies like boxes, tape, wrapping materials and other common supplies.
International Van Lines helps customers manage storage options between moves. Their storage-in-transit option (SIT) provides access to their warehouse for short periods of time. Fees for the initial move and eventual delivery apply as well.
For more long-term solutions, IVL will store items close to the place of origin and can ship the items when its customers are ready.
IVL’s Best Features: Long-Distance and Coordination
Above all else, IVL has an abundance of resources for long-distance moves that make it stand above its competitors.
As we noted above, for example, the company offers flexible storage options, both for short and long-term stays. It also has ample experience coordinating with border control, air and ocean freight, and unique insurance options for shipping abroad.
Across its website, IVL highlights its unique coordination services. Customers receive at least two coordinators, as opposed to just one.
According to its website, International Van Lines handles over 10,000 moves a year. This a huge leap from where it began in 2000, when they started off managing the logistics of global relocations.
In 2012, INC500 recognized IVL as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the US. In recent years, some of its top awards include:
- Newsweek’s Best Moving Company of 2021
- Angie’s List 2018 Super Service Award
- ProMover Certification from the American Moving and Storage Association
Overall, the company is well respected in the industry and often makes top lists across the board. Its time and experience in the industry make it a good pick for complicated relocations.
Review for International Van Lines
Perhaps most importantly, what are customers saying about their experience working with IVL? The small details from personal experiences are often the key to knowing if the company is right for you.
Like all moving companies, International Van Lines receives its fair share of both positive and negative reviews. As of April 2021, its headquarters in Coral Springs, Florida received:
- 4.2 stars on Google
- 3.38 stars on Better Business Bureau
- 2.5 stars on Yelp
The most common compliments include:
- Efficient and speedy
- Communicative and supportive
- Fairly priced
- Highly organized
On the other hand, the most common complaints address:
- Complications with brokered third parties
- Confusion and delays during transit
Let’s break down specific examples of how customers felt about their experience in each major category.
IVL receives some of its best reviews for customer service. According to customer accounts, clients work with a team throughout the moving process. The company is responsive to questions and while solving logistics issues.
Cassidy reported on BBB, “The International Van Lines had texted me the day before to confirm and then a half-hour before arriving. I had chosen the option for them to pack everything, and they did a beautiful job. They took care of everything and were so professional. Couldn’t recommend them more highly.”
According to industry standards, IVL prices are on par, but can be a bit steep compared to self-pack companies. Many of the negative reviews on Yelp and Google complain about:
- Higher tips worked into the contract
- Unexpected costs at drop-off
- Higher quotes compared to competitors
Reviews are split when it comes to speed and efficiency. Customers applaud the speed of loading and unloading the truck, for example. When it comes to long-distance and international moves, the process has taken longer than expected.
Mateo D. on Google noted, “The 5-star rating is well deserved. From beginning to end, the service was outstanding. The guys who moved me were efficient, fast, and worked really well together. They only took 4 hours for the entire job”
Care of Items
While the vast majority of customers are pleased with the attentive and careful service, a few negative reviews complained of damaged items in transit. In some cases, the damage occurred with a third-party company brokered by IVL, but in other cases occurred with the company’s own fleet.
For example, Liana E. on Yelp reported, “And while our belongings did arrive quickly cross-country, several pieces of expensive furniture were significantly damaged and required major repair.”
Despite some hiccups with timing issues and damage during moves, past clients often report that IVL remains true to their word. The vast majority of Google reviews received five stars, a large portion of which noted their communication skills, timeliness, and stress-free coordination.
International Van Lines FAQs
Still have questions about IVL and whether they’re the best bet for you? Here are some of the most common questions we may not have covered in this guide.
How Long Do IVL Moves Take to Deliver?
International Van Lines estimates that long-distance moves — those over 300 miles — can take up to three weeks. However, this completely depends on distance, the location, and whether you move in peak season.
Transporting items by sea can take several weeks longer depending on the distance, but can be expedited by upgrading to air freight.
Can You Make Changes to Your Contract?
Yes, the IVL moving coordinators can help you make any last-minute changes such as moving date, inventory, or location details.
How Far Ahead of My Move Should I Book International Van Lines?
The IVL website recommends booking your long-distance move between two and four weeks ahead of time, depending on the busyness of the season. However, the company works with customers to manage last-minute moves as well.
Is International Van Lines Expensive?
Comparatively, International Van Lines is in line with similar full-service moving companies. Moves range anywhere between $1,500 and $11,000. Their ample coordination services can also help customers cut costs with complex long-distance and international moves.
International Van Lines is a solid option if you’re taking on a complex move. However, we always recommend comparing at least three moving companies to get the best quotes and service. Narrow down your search by comparing IVL with today’s top full-service movers and what you can expect on the big day.