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6 Best Moving Companies for Military Moves

Military moves can be unexpected and stressful, but a professional moving company can alleviate a lot of the stress. Read about our top picks for moving companies for military moves, where we compare cost, services, and discounts.

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If you are one of the many military families finding themselves called for a permanent change of station, or PCS, move, you may be feeling a lot of stress and uncertainty. One method to help alleviate some stress and hassle with the relocation is to use a professional moving company. There are many movers that can help with military moves within the United States and international duty stations, so it might get difficult to figure out which company is best for your personally procured move.

The This Old House Reviews Team has researched and reviewed the best moving companies in the United States to help you determine which mover best suits you and your family’s needs. This guide will help you learn which top companies provide services for service members and offer military discounts, as well as compare costs.

6 Best Moving Companies for Military Moves

After in-depth research and review, here is our list of the best moving companies for military moves:

International Van Lines: Best Overall Full-Service Mover

International Van Lines (IVL) is our top pick for a full-service mover. The company offers help for armed forces moves locally, long-distance, and internationally. Full-service options include packing and unpacking, loading and unloading, specialty services for pianos and antiques, and storage solutions.

The company also states that it is willing to work out a military discount for most of its military moves, as much as 10–15 percent off. You simply need to ask about a discount when obtaining a quote from IVL.

Pros & Cons

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of International Van Lines:

✔ Offers specialty services for difficult items like artwork, antiques, and pianos

✔ Provides multiple contents protection plans

✔ Offers partial-service moves to help cut cost

✘ Customer reviews vary according to location

✘ No sample pricing

Services

IVL creates either a full-service and partial-service moving package based on your budget and needs. The company also offers a full-value protection plan if you want comprehensive insurance for high-value items. The company also provides storage service through third-party providers.

International Van Lines’ services:

  • Packing and unpacking
  • Loading and unloading
  • Transportation
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly
  • Crating
  • Specialty services for recreational and sports equipment, fragile items, large appliances, pianos, antiques, and more
  • Vehicle relocation services
  • Contents protection plan options
  • Short-term and long-term storage
  • Moving supplies

Cost

International Van Lines quoted us a move from Fort McPherson in Georgia to Fort Hood in Texas for a three-bedroom home in about three months for a total of $4,200–$6,150. This includes loading services and all transportation.

If you want to see what sort of discount International Van Lines may give your personally procured move, we recommend you fill out this short form.

State Availability

International Van Lines helps with moves of any size in every state, and it extends its services to a wide selection of international locations.

Our Take on International Van Lines

International Van Lines is an excellent option if you want a well-rounded full-service mover for your military move. The company provides a comprehensive selection of services, such as packing, unpacking, transportation, loading, unloading, furniture assembly and disassembly. Its specialty services are a great addition to your move if you have difficult items like antique furniture to transport.

To get an accurate idea of what International Van Lines can do for you and your family's relocation, complete this easy-to-use form.

Learn More: International Van Lines Review

Allied Van Lines: Best for Vehicle Relocation

If you are looking to take the family boat or family RV with you on your military relocation, we recommend Allied Van Lines. This is because Allied offers its own in-house vehicle relocation services. This is a rare perk in the moving industry as most companies outsource this service to other companies. Allied provides its own trucks for vehicle relocation for vehicles such as cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, yachts, jet skis, motorcycles, and many more vehicles.

Pros & Cons

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of Allied Van Lines:

✔ Offers GPS tracking on all shipments

✔ Provides in-house vehicle relocation services

✔ Includes in-transit storage for up to 90 days

✘ Customer reviews mention that the claims department is hard to reach

✘ Prices may be higher than some competitors

Services

Allied Van Lines provides a comprehensive selection of full-service and partial-service moving options. One notable option is its fragile pack only option. This option has Allied’s movers pack any fragile, breakable, or high-value items. This is a great way to have your valuables protected while saving money.

Allied Van Lines service options:

  • Packing and unpacking
  • Furniture disassembly and assembly
  • Loading and unloading
  • Fragile pack only
  • Crating
  • Contents protection plans
  • Vehicle relocation services
  • Storage solutions
  • Moving and packing supplies

Cost

Allied Van Lines requires a detailed evaluation of your belongings to provide accurate estimates. The company bases its overall cost on the total weight and mileage of your move. Pricing will increase if you add additional services, such as vehicle relocation, labor, and storage services, to your move.

Allied Van Lines states that the average cost of a long-distance move with the company is about $3,500. This is based on an average weight of 7,000 pounds, which is roughly seven rooms’ worth of belongings. This estimate also includes a traveling distance of 1,000 miles, which is roughly the distance between Chicago and Dallas.

To begin obtaining a detailed quote from Allied Van Lines, fill out this short survey.

State Availability

Allied Van Lines helps with moves in all 50 states, and it also helps with international moves in more than 130 countries.

Our Take on Allied Van Lines

Allied Van Lines is a great choice if you are looking to pair vehicle relocation with full-service options. The company works to cater to military moves with features like GPS tracking and labor certificates to show all its background checked employees. Allied’s 90 days in-transit storage acts as a great safety mechanism in case things are not ready at your new location yet, too.

If you want to see how Allied Van Lines can help relocate your family's vehicles, complete this online form.

Learn More: Allied Van Lines Review

North American Van Lines: Best for Claims

North American Van Lines brings comprehensive coverage plans and an easy-to-use claims process to your military move. If your family has expensive belongings to transport, then you may want to consider North American Van Lines as the company offers custom full-value release plans so you receive coverage adjusted to the actual value of your shipment rather than a predetermined amount. The company is a General Service Administration (GSA) approved carrier, and it provides door-to-door services in 130 countries.

Pros & Cons

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of North American Van Lines:

✔ Detailed and transparent claims process

✔ Service members using the PPM program can receive a payment equal to 100 percent of the estimated cost the government would pay to move their items.*

✔ Provides an extensive collection of online tools and resources

✘ Available agents may be limited based on your location

✘ Storage options may be limited based on your location

*Available between May 26 and December 31

Services

North American Van Lines provides industry-standard full-service moves with services such as packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking. The company supplies the noteworthy service of assistance for installing appliances. Customers also get access to a wide range of online resources, such as relocation guides and moving checklists.

North American Van Lines’ service options:

  • Packing and unpacking
  • Loading and unloading
  • Installation and assembly for furniture and appliances
  • Transportation and delivery
  • Short-term or long-term storage
  • Vehicle relocation services
  • Fragile-only packing
  • Assistance with self-packing (such as help choosing which type and quantity of boxes and packing supplies are needed)
  • Moving and packing supplies

Cost

North American Van Lines gave us a quote to move a three-bedroom home from Fort McPherson, Georgia, to Fort Hood, Texas, for a total of $6,825–$7,540. This is just a ballpark estimate for a medium-sized load for this home.

The company also provides binding estimates through in-home and virtual surveys, which is a much more accurate way to plan for costs of your move. A binding estimate will not change due to unforeseen circumstances during the course of your move, unless your inventory changes significantly.

To schedule a virtual survey with North American Van Lines for a free binding quote, fill out this brief survey.

State Availability

North American Van Lines helps with military moves in all 50 states, as well as 130 countries.

Our Take on North American Van Lines

Between the company’s binding estimates and custom contents protection plans, North American Van Lines pairs substantial financial security with reputable full-service moving options. In the rare instance that something does go wrong, you stay stress-free due to the company’s transparent, detailed, and accessible claims process.

To see what sort of contents protection plan North American Van Lines can make you, complete this short questionnaire.

1-800-PACK-RAT: Best Overall Self-Service Mover

If you are looking to save money and handle everything other than transportation for your move, we recommend 1-800-PACK-RAT as the ‘best overall self-service mover.’ PACK-RAT provides portable storage container moves which add flexibility to your schedule and budget. If you desire assistance with loading or unloading, PACK-RAT’s partnership with HireAHelper helps provide moving labor to its moves.

Pros & Cons

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of 1-800-PACK-RAT:

✔ Provides $10,000 in contents protection for long-distance moves

✔ Wide range of online resources and tools

✔ Offers a price-matching policy with PODS

✘ Branches are only in 29 states

✘ Bookings must be completed over the phone

Services

1-800-PACK-RAT offers self-service moves. This means the company delivers a moving container or containers of your choice to your point of origin. You load the container up with your household goods at your own pace, and you then notify the company when to pick up and deliver your container to your new home. You unload the container at your own pace, too.

You also receive options for short-term and long-term storage as either a standalone service or additional service for your move with PACK-RAT. This adds a layer of flexibility to your move in case anything goes wrong with your new home.

1-800-PACK-RAT’s service options:

  • Portable storage container moves
  • Short-term and long-term storage solutions
  • Moving labor via HireAHelper
  • Contents protection plans
  • Moving and packing supplies
  • Vehicle relocation services

Cost

1-800-PACK-RAT quoted us to move from Atlanta near Fort McPherson, to Austin, Texas, near Fort Hood, for a total of $4,723.95. This includes the use of two 16-foot containers (enough for a three-bedroom home), all transportation, delivery and pickup, $10,000 in contents protection, and a no-cut security lock.

If you want to see how a three-bedroom home fits into 1-800-PACK-RAT's containers, complete this easy-to-use survey.

State Availability

1-800-PACK-RAT states that it helps with moves within a 100-mile radius of each of its locations easily. It also claims that it can most likely help with a move in the United States even if a location is not nearby. We suggest you contact a PACK-RAT representative to figure out if the company can help with your move.

1-800-PACK-RAT physical locations in the following states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C. and Wisconsin.

Our Take on 1-800-PACK-RAT

1-800-PACK-RAT is our top pick for self-service personally procured moves (PPM) or do-it- yourself (DITY) moves. The company provides a 10 percent discount on its services for all active-duty service members, and it provides short-term and long-term storage solutions in case your military move is temporary. PACK-RAT also offers professional assistance with services like loading and unloading due to its partnership with HireAHelper.

If you want a detailed estimate from 1-800-PACK-RAT for your PPM, fill out this online questionnaire for an instant quote.

Learn More: 1-800-PACK-RAT Review

JK Moving: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover

JK Moving is a full-service mover that focuses on tailoring your moving package in accordance with your budget and moving needs. The company has been a choice moving partner for the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Defense. JK Moving also allows customers to finance their move. This is not a popular offering in the moving industry. Some customers can get rates as low as 0 percent same-as-cash.

Pros & Cons

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of JK Moving:

✔ 24/7 customer service

✔ Offers financing through Enhancify

✔ Provides user-friendly mobile app for GPS tracking and virtual surveys

✘ Local moves are only available in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

✘ No online sample pricing

✘ Mixed customer reviews based on location

Services

JK Moving offers many industry-standard full-service options, such as packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unacking. JK tailors your moving package based on information about your move and your budget during the quote process. Other standout features from the company include its mobile app and specialty services.

JK Moving’s service options:

  • Packing and unpacking
  • Loading and unloading
  • Long-term and short-term storage solutions
  • Specialty services for difficult items likes antiques and pianos
  • Transportation and delivery
  • Freighting
  • Crating
  • Archive services
  • Car relocation services

Cost

Because JK Moving customizes each of its moving packages based around each customer’s needs, it does not share much pricing information online. The following factors will influence the overall cost JK Moving’s services for your move:

  • Your point of origin
  • The total distance of your move
  • The total size and or weight of your move
  • The date and the time of year of your move
  • Additional services you purchase
If you want to begin a virtual survey with JK Moving for an accurate quote, we recommend you complete this simple survey.

State Availability

JK Moving helps with moving long-distance in all 50 states, but it only helps with local moves in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. JK Moving also supplies assistance for international moves.

Our Take on JK Moving

JK Moving is another great full-service option for military families due to the company’s long history of dealing with government relations, including those involving the armed forces. If you are concerned about having all your moving needs met, then JK might be the option for you given how the company customizes each of its moving packages. The company’s partnership with Enhancify to provide financing is another standout perk.

To see what sort of moving package JK Moving can create for you, fill out this online form.

Learn More: JK Moving Review

PODS: Most Convenient

PODS is another self-service moving company that is great for military moves. The company provides 10 percent off for military members, and it also provides PPM/DITY weight tickets for you when your container is picked up. This eliminates further headaches and paperwork. PODS provides a greater sense of convenience than other self-service movers as it provides on-site storage and additional rental time starting at $149 per month. That is cheaper on average than 1-800-PACK-RAT’s additional rental fees.

Pros & Cons

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of PODS:

✔ Includes 30 days of rental in initial cost

✔ Includes $10,000 in contents protection on all long-distance moves

✔ Offers on-site storage for both short-term and long-term periods

✘ Packing and loading services are conducted by third-party companies

✘ Limited availability for short notice moves

Services

PODS provides three moving container sizes: 7 feet, 12 feet, and 16 feet. Each of PODS’ containers are sturdy and weather-resistant. The company also provides other services that can be provided to your move based on your location, such as packing and loading services.

PODS service options:

  • Portable storage container moves
  • Packing and unpacking services via third party
  • Loading and unloading services via third party
  • Storage services
  • Moving and packing supplies
  • Contents protection plans

Cost

PODS quoted us a move from Fort McPherson to Fort Hood within three months for a total of $4,600 plus tax. This quote includes the use of one 16-foot container and one 7-foot container (enough space for a three-bedroom home). It also includes six days of transit time, 30 days of rent, and $10,000 in contents protection.

PODS is a pay as you go service, so our quote was broken down into $777 for the initial drop-off, $3,430 for the transportation of the container to Fort Hood, and $391 for the delivery of the container to the new address and final pickup.

To see what pricing breakdown you might receive with PODS, fill out this easy-to-use questionnaire.

State Availability

PODS states that it helps with moves in all 50 states. PODS does not feature a physical location in every state, though.

The company does not have a physical location in the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

Our Take on PODS

If you want plenty of convenience and flexibility with your military move, we recommend you look into PODS. In addition to its affordable rates for rental, the company offers excellent on-site storage solutions that include options like climate-controlled units. PODS also offers a 10 percent discount for all military members and veterans.

If you want to see what flexibility PODS can bring to your move, complete this online survey.

Learn More: PODS Review

How to Prepare for a Military Move

Moving companies often provide materials and tools to help you remember important steps to accomplish during a move. Some moving companies offer personal moving coaches, and other companies provide a moving checklist online.

Even with these resources, there are some important steps that you might miss when you are preparing for your move. Read over some major steps to take below to make sure your move occurs with ease:

  • Condense Your Belongings: We recommend you make two piles as moving day draws near. In one of the piles, place items you can donate. In the other pile, place items you want to throw away. A few days before the movers arrive, you can spend some time taking each pile to its respective drop-off location.
  • Notify Important People: Be sure to notify your internet provider, your electricity and water companies, insurance companies, tax agencies, utility companies, the post office, and the Social Security administration.
  • Create an Inventory: An important step to take when making your inventory is to make note of the condition of your items and take pictures of them. These photos and notes will come in handy if you have to file a loss or damage claim for reimbursement.

Military Moves FAQs

How much does the military pay movers?

In a DITY move, the government will reimburse you 95 percent of what it would cost to move up to your maximum authorized weight allowance, which is determined by pay grades and dependents. It also supplies $25,000 of insurance coverage.

What is a military move called?

Military moves are referred to as PCS (permanent change of station). When using a moving company, they are referred to as either a “personally procured move” (PPM) or “do-it-yourself move” (DITY).

What moving company does the military use?

There is no set company that the military uses for PCS. We recommend International Van Lines as our top choice for military moves.

Other Resources

We’ve done extensive research on the best moving companies across the country and have compiled easy to digest comparisons:

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for moving service providers is on a 100-point scale based on 7 factors:

  • Moving Services (30): Does the company offer its services for local, long-distance, and or international moves?
  • Additional Services (29): What additional services does the company provide, such as packing and unpacking or loading and unloading?
  • Coverage (10): Does the company offer any additional insurance plans, such as full-value coverage?
  • Scheduling (7): Are customers able to schedule online, over the phone, or on both platforms?
  • Trailers/containers (7): How many trailer or container sizes does the company offer?
  • Additional Benefits (12): What additional benefits does the company provide, such as storage options, moving truck rentals, and financing?
  • Reputation (5): What rating does the company feature on popular reviews sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.