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5 Best Military Moving Companies 2021

Receiving a new assignment across the country or overseas is one of the most exciting aspects of a life in the armed forces. But it can also be one of the most stressful. Military moves require a unique level of precision, especially when it comes to customer care and pricing. To help ensure your move is efficient and seamless, consider working with one of the best military moving companies listed below.

Best for Storage Services

SpareFoot

4.6
  • Provides self-storage services
  • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
  • Reserve storage space online

Best Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

American Van Lines

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

The Best Military Movers

  1. Best Full-Service Movers: International Van Lines
  2. Best Moving Add-Ons: American Van Lines
  3. Best for Long-Distance Moves: Safeway Moving Systems
  4. Best for Protection Insurance: JK Moving Services
  5. Most Competitive Pricing: U-Pack

Quick Overview

In this guide, we’ll explain how to find GSA-approved movers that provide a reliable, affordable, and efficient transition that meets your military standards. Below, we’ve broken down all the relevant information to help you make an informed decision regarding your next move:

Provider Quote Superlative Average Cost* Service Model
International Van Lines Free Quote Best Full-Service Mover $2,015 – $3,445 Full-service carrier and broker
American Van Lines Free Quote Best Moving Add-Ons $3,900 Full-service carrier
Safeway Moving System Free Quote Best for Long-Distance Moves Call for a quote Moving broker Only
JK Moving Services Free Quote Best for Protection Insurance Call for a quote Moving broker w/ carrier capabilities
U-Pack Free Quote Most Competitive Pricing $2,600 – $3,300 Moving container company

*The average costs above are based on a two-bedroom move from New York to Iowa (1,100 miles). Shipping weight and move distance are the primary determining factors in your cost, so be sure to request a personalized quote from multiple companies.

Let’s take a look at the best military moving companies in more detail:

1. International Van Lines

International Van Lines has been an industry leader for the last decade. Despite only getting into the American market recently, they now maintain a schedule of 10,000-plus moves per year. With a strong reputation for transparency and quality of work, they have continued to grow, with little sign of slowing down.

Best Full-Service Mover

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Their Services

As a carrier and a broker, IVL is more than capable of carrying out any kind of move. They can assist you with:

  • Local, long-distance, and international moves
  • Full and partial packing services
  • Custom crating
  • Storage services
  • Debris removal
  • Auto shipping
  • And more

International Van Lines Cost

By using IVL’s cost calculator, we were able to secure a preliminary estimate for a two-bedroom apartment move of around 1,100 miles. This range of costs given was $2,015 – $3,445.

Urgent moves to farther-away destinations can cost far more, should your career require such a relocation. Likewise, add-on services like packing, crating, auto shipping, and others could inflate costs.

Be sure to request a free quote to get a more accurate figure for your specific move.

Their Availability

International Van Lines has a reach that extends beyond the United States, to 150 other countries around the world. Their global reach makes them a solid choice for military personnel and their families. Whether you’re moving across the country or overseas, their team will be ready to serve you.

Why We Like IVL

International Van Lines has a robust list of add-on services, experienced movers, and superior customer service. With two dedicated points of contact on each move and the right equipment at the movers’ disposal, clients can feel confident about choosing this provider.

2. American Van Lines

American Van Lines is a residential, commercial, and military moving expert. With over 25 years of experience, they have received high marks for customer service and excellence in local, long-distance, and international moves.

Best Moving Add-ons

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Their Services

American Van Lines’ strength lies in its workers. The majority of their employees have years of experience in the industry. This bodes well for any family requiring a great degree of care during their move, regardless of services required.

Of course, when it comes to services, AVL has much to offer, including:

  • Local, long-distance and international moving
  • Military and commercial moving
  • Climate-controlled, secure storage
  • Antique moving
  • Piano Moving
  • Full or partial packing
  • Custom crating for fragile items

American Van Lines Cost

We were able to procure a sample price of $3,900 for a two-bedroom, 1,100-mile move. This assumed a shipping weight of between 5,000 and 6,000 lbs. As shipping weight and move distance are the primary factors in determining long-distance move costs, your price points could vary greatly. Request a free quote to get an estimate customized to your needs.

Their Availability

AVL serves all 50 US states, with three main hubs in Pompano Beach, FL, Greensboro, NC, and Dallas, TX, plus many smaller locations across the country. They are also experienced in the international moving market, which is a great advantage for military moving clients.

Why We Like AVL

American Van Lines’ experienced workers and flat-rate pricing options combine to make for happy clients. Knowing what you’re signing up for when moving is a huge factor in customer satisfaction. AVL does an excellent job at keeping clients informed throughout the process.

3. Safeway Moving Systems

Safeway Moving Systems is a veteran-owned moving broker that specializes in military relocations. They are one of the best military movers operating today.

As a broker, they don’t directly carry out the work that they facilitate. Instead, they work to contract work to their carefully vetted partner companies throughout the country, finding the best match for your needs. For military families, the flexibility of being able to contract work out to companies in other locations is a huge plus.

Best for Military Moves

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Their Services

Safeway’s position as a broker allows them to contract out services across the country. They offer a full range of services to help your move go as smoothly as possible, including:

  • Long-distance moving
  • Military relocations
  • Full and partial packing
  • Storage
  • Piano moving
  • Auto shipping
  • Basic furniture assembly and disassembly

Safeway Moving Systems Cost

Safeway doesn’t provide an estimate tool or sample pricing directly on their website. That said, this broker operates with a policy of transparency and flat-rate pricing. The number you see is what you’ll pay for your move. Request a quote with them to find out more.

Their Availability

Based in Chicago, Safeway is licensed nationwide. They have an extensive network of partner companies that they hold to the highest standard. The carriers they work with offer a level of insurance well above the national requirements, and they are in compliance with nearly all apartment and condo complex regulations as well.

Why We Like Safeway

Safeway Moving was built on military principals of commitment and excellence. As a veteran-owned company, you can rest easy knowing that your military move will be in the hands of someone who is experienced with your lifestyle and needs. Their straightforward business practices are what set them apart from the competition. When booking with Safeway Moving Systems, you know exactly what you’re getting in terms of pricing and professionalism. They offer binding rates with no hidden fees and a 100% guarantee on all moves.

4. JK Moving Services

Over the last 40 years, JK Moving Services has completed more than half a million relocations for a variety of clients. With a crew of background checked, vetted employees deployed on every job, it’s no wonder that they consistently rank near the top of the industry by all metrics.

Best for Protection Insurance

4.5
  • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
  • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

Their Services

JK Moving offers a comprehensive range of services to fulfill any and all of your moving needs, including:

  • Local moving (in MD, VA & Washington D.C.)
  • Long-distance moving to all 50 US states
  • GPS shipment tracking
  • Full packing services
  • Climate-controlled storage
  • Financing for payment of your move bill
  • Valuation coverage options

JK Moving’s Cost

JK Moving Services offers little in the way of sample pricing on their website. Comparing more than 21,000 individual customer reviews, however, the average homeowner moving long-distance with JK paid about $4,500.

Requesting a quote from this military moving company is fairly easy, with their 24/7 customer service availability.

Their Availability

JK Moving Services operates as a carrier in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. For all other locations throughout the United States, they work as a broker. This means that they contract work out to other carriers, matching you with the best provider for your needs.

Why We Like JK Moving Services

JK Moving has some of the most highly trained and experienced workers in the industry today. Fully background checked and vetted, they are continually trained by their employer to stay at the forefront of the industry. This keeps them abreast of any new practices their competitors may be employing. The company also offers convenient 0% financing options and a full range of services to make your move as convenient as possible.

5. U-Pack

U-Pack is one of the best moving container companies operating today. The independence allowed by their “load at your own pace” method of moving is a hit with clients are willing to do some labor on their own in order to save money.

Most Competitive Pricing

4.4
  • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
  • Portable Storage Service at U-Pack Warehouse
  • Negligence & Catastrophic Liability Coverage

Their Services

Apart from the delivery and shipping of containers and trailers, U-Pack doesn’t offer labor or any other moving-related services. Should clients be in the market for labor help, U-Pack’s website does provide some resources, however.

U-Pack Cost

We were able to get a basic estimate from U-Pack for a two-bedroom move of 1,100 miles. The total came out to $3,375, using 13 feet of a 28-foot ABF trailer. With U-Pack’s model of “pay for what you use,” you can shave a little off your bottom line by getting rid of unneeded furniture or items before your move.

Their Availability

U-Pack only serves moves of at least 150 miles, and your move must cross state lines. That said, U-Pack’s 240 locations around the country service all 50 states. Clients can save money if they’re moving to a location closer to one of these facilities. Similarly, they can save if they opt to load and unload directly from one a U-Pack facility, rather than having a container delivered to their home.

Why We Like U-Pack

U-Pack provides clients with consistently flexible pricing and the autonomy to structure their own move as they go. Low base pricing and the self-loading model allows clients to reduce costs while moving at their own pace.

Request A Quote

Moving is a major life event, no matter how often it may occur. There is almost no avoiding the stress and disruption that it can cause, even when it is necessary. Now that you have a better idea of the best military moving companies, be sure to request quotes from each mover that you’re interested in. This will help ensure you get the best rate for your needs:

Best for Storage Services

SpareFoot

4.6
  • Provides self-storage services
  • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
  • Reserve storage space online

Best Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

American Van Lines

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Military Moves

Safeway Moving System

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Best for Protection Insurance

JK Moving Services

4.5
  • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
  • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

Military Moving Basics

You typically have two options when moving as a military service member. You can either do a Household Goods (HHG) move with a government provided mover or a Personally Procured Move (PPM) with a third-party mover of your choosing. If you choose to do a PPM, you will be reimbursed based on a budget determined by your rank, the type of move, and your dependency status.

If you’re on the hunt for an excellent military moving company, you’re likely handling a PPM. This is not to be confused with a Household Goods Move (HHG) which is fully handled by a government-approved team of movers.

Personally procured moves are more ideal for large families, homes with fragile items, or simply for those who prefer to manage the transition on their own. Military families receive a stipend to cover 100% of relocation services up to a certain weight.

Whichever moving method you choose, you will either have a permanent change of station (PCS) move or temporary duty (TDY). PCS moves refer to active-duty relocations of more than 20 weeks, while TDY means you’ll be spending a shorter time there. Clearly, each type of move requires different services—such as storage, for example.

How to Choose the Best Military Movers

Here’s the trick—if you don’t spend your entire PPM allotment, you get to pocket the rest of the cash. In other words, it’s financially and logistically important to find a top-rated military mover that:

  • Offers military discounts
  • Understands the PPM system
  • Have GSA approval
  • Understands the urgency of a cross-country military move
  • Offers weight tickets for reimbursement

What to Look For: Step by Step

Let’s walk through the essential steps to finding the best movers for active service members:

1. Check Credentials

The government keeps a close eye on moving companies, requiring both federal and state regulations to practice as a household mover. Always start your search for a mover by completing a quick background check on two or three prospective companies. Here’s where to begin:

2. Consider Your Needs

You are not locked into hiring one specific type of mover for your PPM. For example, while full-service movers handle all the heavy lifting and driving, you may be willing to cut out some of the labor by handling it on your own.

Working with a storage container or moving truck rental company often ensures lower rates and more flexibility. Here are the three main types of moving companies to consider:

Full-Service Mover

While these companies are the most expensive, they take the guesswork out of the relocation process. Turn to these companies for long-distance moves, complex local moves, or last-minute relocations.

In addition to loading, unloading, and driving the truck, full-service movers often provide:

  • Packing and unpacking
  • Storage services
  • Furniture assembly and disassembly
  • Motorcycle, boat, and car shipping
  • Full value protection against accidents
  • Moving coordination services
  • Specialty crating
  • Antique moving
  • Piano moving

Moving Container Companies

Moving containers are ideal for military moves for several reasons. Not only are the costs a bit lower, but you can often transition your items into storage in between stations. Here’s how they work:

  • Drop-off. The company drops off a storage unit in front of our house two or three days before the move.
  • You are in charge of filling the unit on your own with the help of hired movers.
  • Pick-up and shipment. The movers then pick up the unit and drive it to your new home.

The great thing about this model is that you only pay for the weight that you use. In other words, if you downsize your home and go under the allotted amount, you simply pay less for the pod.

Truck Rental Companies

Many active military members prefer to handle moves on their own, especially if they’re only moving a small apartment. If you’re looking to skip the moving team, consider renting a truck from a company like Penske or U-Haul. Your price comes down to the size of the truck, fuels, tolls, and overall distance.

This DIY approach to moving is a great way to save money for both long-distance and loving moving needs.

3. Understanding Your Moving Quote

Military personnel can’t afford to deal with a company that wastes their time or money. The best military moving companies should understand the urgency of getting you to your new assignment.

When you reach out for a free moving quote, you’ll likely work one-on-one with a team member. The movers will then likely offer a virtual or in-person walkthrough of your home to provide either a non-binding quote—which is subject to change—or a more accurate and locked-in binding quote.

Signing Your Contract

Once you choose the right company for you, you’ll have the chance to read and sign a contract. Never hire movers without completing a full contract. A contract is the primary way to avoid scams and financial issues down the line. You may also be required to show your moving contract for reimbursement. Your contract should contain the following:

  • Your binding or non-binding quote
  • Long-distance or local moving rates (how your quote was determined)
  • Payment schedule
  • Accepted payment methods
  • Your moving date
  • Delivery schedule
  • Cost of extra services like packing or use of storage facilities
  • Number of movers
  • Size of the moving truck
  • What to expect on moving day

Be sure to speak with your movers if the total cost of your move is unclear. Keep in mind, however, that movers have the right to change prices if you add more items to your inventory or request more services.

Best for Storage Services

SpareFoot

4.6
  • Provides self-storage services
  • Compare prices with other storage services by amenities, discounts, and more
  • Reserve storage space online

Best Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines

4.8
  • Provides Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
  • IVL is a Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker
  • Live Chat Option & A 24/7 Telephone Assistance Line

Best Moving Add-ons

American Van Lines

4.7
  • Local & Long-Distance Moving
  • Storage Options Available
  • Specializes In Fine Art, Antique, & Piano Moving

Best for Military Moves

Safeway Moving System

4.6
  • Safeway Moving is an FMCSA-Licensed Broker
  • Brokers Connect Clients With Local Moving Options at Advantageous Pricing
  • Select Locations Provide 1 Month of Free Storage Services

Best for Protection Insurance

JK Moving Services

4.5
  • Long-Distance, Interstate, Local & Int'l Moves
  • 24/7 Customer Support & Great Mobile App for Customers
  • Low-Interest Financing Available with JK Moving partner

Our Methodology

At Pro Mover Reviews, we are committed to providing our readers with comprehensive and unbiased information on each provider that we review. Our methodology is a step-by-step process that ensures we maintain your trust through transparency and data that is backed up through routine check-ins. Our staff has spent hundreds of hours reviewing dozens of local, long-distance, and international moving companies to bring you our recommendation for the best moving companies in the US. We then narrowed down our findings based on criteria that we find to be the most helpful for you to choose the best moving company for your needs.

Our Rating Categories:

  • Company Transparency
  • Pricing + Cost
  • Services Offered
  • Overall Reputation

While there are many sites out there that compare movers, we believe our rigorous standards give us more insights into company performance and better data to share with our community.  For each moving company we check for:

  • Confirmed Licensing with the DOT
  • Updated & Verified Business Registration
  • Real & Recent Consumer Reviews
  • Industry Ratings and BBB Complaints
  • Accuracy of Online Quotes
  • Services Provided & Total Service Area
  • Pricing & Services vs. Competitors

From here we created a comprehensive, 100 point, rating scale based on the following factors:

  • Moving services (25): Companies that offer more flexibility in their services are rated higher.
  • Coverage of services (5): The more items a moving company can handle, the higher the score.
  • Pricing (25): We compare this to the industry average when rating pricing.
  • Trustworthiness (25): We comb through hundreds of reviews and check on BBB ratings to determine the trustworthiness of a company.
  • State availability (5): Finding a moving company in your state can be a challenge depending on where you are located. The more states covered, the higher the score.
  • Customer service (10): Is this moving company responsive? Do they respond quickly to issues that are brought to their attention? Are they helpful in answering questions? All of these factors are considered when rating customer service.
  • Additional benefits (5): Moving companies can sometimes offer special promotions or deals when contracting them for a move. The companies with the most benefit scored higher.

Of the dozens of different military movers that we’ve reviewed, we’ve broken down the top companies in your area. To keep our ratings and data current, we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, cost, service, and dependability. This list is ever-changing, as companies will update policies and procedures, and we will change our information accordingly.

FAQs for Military Moving Companies

Will the military pay to move you?

If you’re reassigned to a new station, the military provides a certain level of financial or logistical assistance depending on your rank. For example:

  • The military will fully manage and fund a Household Goods Move (HHG), including storage-in-transit services
  • You can manage your own move and receive up to a certain weight of reimbursement in what’s known as a Person Procurement Move (PPM).
  • Unaccompanied baggage (UB) sends necessary items ahead to you as you wait for the rest of your household goods.
  • Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) Shipment/Storage assistant with shipping one of your vehicles when sent out of the U.S.

 

Will the military move you themselves?

You’ll find a long list of military-approved moving companies for local, long-distance, and international moves. While some companies manage the move directly through the military—known as an HHG—you can also hire movers on your own for reimbursement for a PPM.

 

How much are military discounts for moving?

Top movers offer military discounts of 10%-25%. If you are a member of military discount organizations, you may be able to receive additional price cuts in addition to special services, such as packing, storage, and car shipping.

 

How long do military moves take?

While packing and loading your items into the moving truck should only take a couple of hours, the length of the move depends on distance. Cross-country movers typically take between two days and three weeks to deliver your items, so it’s important to have essentials packed separately for the interim.