Although Philadelphia has had its ups and downs in terms of population, it’s back to being the sixth-most populous city in the country thanks to a 5.1% increase between 2010 and 2020. If you’re moving to the City of Brotherly Love, you’re probably looking for a moving company to help you safely transport your belongings to your new location.
To help you in your search, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the top moving companies in Philadelphia for self-service, partial, and full-service moves. Keep reading for our recommendations of the best moving companies in the city.
7 Best Moving Companies in Philadelphia
Through in-depth research, we determined that the best moving companies in Philadelphia, PA, are:
- International Van Lines: Best Overall Full-Service Mover
- 1-800-PACK-RAT: Best Overall Self-Service
- JK Moving: Most Customizable Full-Service Mover
- American Van Lines: Most Experienced Moving Labor
- Safeway: Best for Contents Protection
- uShip: Best Mobile App
- U-Pack: Most Affordable
1. International Van Lines
We recommend International Van Lines for local, long-distance, and international moves. You can request full service for both moving and packing or partial service if you only have certain items you need help relocating. International Van Lines serves all 50 states and over 180 countries, and there’s a physical location within Pennsylvania. The company also offers specialty item handling and auto shipping, so it can take care of your entire move at once.
As with nearly all moving companies, International Van Lines sets prices based on the distance, timing, and size of your move. You’ll need to provide the company with specific information and an inventory to get a quote. Here are some pricing estimates for a 140-mile move from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.:
- One-bedroom apartment: $1,734–$2,104 plus $619 for packing
- Two-bedroom apartment: $2,065–$2,508 plus $738 for packing
- Three-bedroom home: $4,788–$5,668 plus $1,610 for packing
- Four-bedroom home: $7,980–$9,680 plus $2,735 for packing
For a free estimate from International Van Lines, fill out this easy form.
International Van Lines Pros & Cons
|Offers specialty handling services for pianos, motorcycles, fine art, and more||Requires a two-bedroom minimum for local moves|
|Has a physical location in Pennsylvania||Doesn’t provide much information online about storage solutions|
|Won Newsweek's Best Customer Service Award in 2021||Its online moving calculator can be inaccurate|
1-800-PACK-RAT provides both moving and storage on a self-serve basis. You can save money by packing your items into a storage container that can be moved to a new location or taken to a storage facility until you need it. There are three sizes of container available, and you can rent as many as you need. Although 1-800-PACK-RAT doesn’t provide labor, the company partners with Hire-A-Helper to find you packing and crating services, if necessary.
The price for your move will depend on the number of containers you need and how far you need to ship them. When receiving a quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT, make sure you ask for the standard 10% discount and be aware that the company offers price-matching with other storage container companies. For comparison, our team was quoted $3,239.76 for a 720-mile move from Chicago to Houston using a 16-foot container.
Fill out this quick form to get a free quote from 1-800-PACK-RAT.
1-800-PACK-RAT Pros & Cons
|Is less expensive than full and partial-service moving companies||Doesn’t have online booking available|
|Its website has extensive resources for helping you plan your move||Has an unclear pricing structure|
|Provides high-quality, all-steel storage containers||Representatives may try to upsell you on the largest container size|
3. JK Moving
Offering long-distance moves to customers in all 50 states, JK Moving is a nationwide broker that provides a variety of specialty moving services. You can choose from partial or full service moving, specialty item moving, and auto shipping. The company has physical locations in only a few states, but it partners with local movers all across the country to help you manage your move.
Because of its custom options, JK Moving needs extensive information to complete the quote process. You may need to submit an inventory of your belongings or schedule a walk-through with a JK Moving employee. However, a customer service representative can provide you with a ballpark estimate over the phone. For example, we were quoted $7,250 for a 720-mile move.
To start the quote process, call JK Moving at 1-571-487-8929 or visit the company’s website.
JK Moving Pros & Cons
|Has more than four decades of experience in the industry||No local moves or storage units offered in Pennsylvania|
|Has an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)||Doesn’t provide instant online quotes|
|Runs background checks on all employees||Doesn’t offer price-matching with competitors|
4. American Van Lines
If packing services are your primary concern, consider American Van Lines. This moving company is a nationwide carrier, not a broker, so American Van Lines employees will be the ones performing your move. This is important to note because these employees have experience and training with handling fragile and specialty items. They can even provide you with moving boxes if you need them.
American Van Lines’ moving services are priced by weight and distance, and its quotes are binding. This means you won’t be surprised with extra fees when it comes time to pay, but it also means the quote process is fairly extensive. You won’t be able to complete the process online, so you’ll need to speak directly with a representative. Here are some estimates for a move from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia:
- One-bedroom apartment: $1,850–$2,338 plus $430–$816 for packing
- Two-bedroom apartment: $1,962–$2,640 plus $546–$992 for packing
- Three-bedroom home: $2,864–$4,297 plus $1,106–$1,998 for packing
- Five-bedroom home: $3,601–$5,930 plus $1,746–$2,886 for packing
Call 1-877-960-3186 or visit American Van Lines’ website to start the quote process.
American Van Lines Pros & Cons
|Offers flat rates and binding quotes||Requires a substantial upfront deposit|
|Provides full and partial moving services||Some customers report high-pressure sales tactics from the company|
|Available for moves in the 48 contiguous states||The contract for claim settlements includes a clause prohibiting the customer from leaving negative reviews|
In business since 1964, Safeway Moving Systems is another broker that provides packing and moving services to all 50 states. Safeway stands out because of the outstanding insurance protection it offers—$1 million worth of liability insurance, which is substantially more than the $750,000 federal requirement. Safeway requires all of its carriers to provide this insurance, along with a high level of care when it comes to handling your belongings.
Unfortunately, there’s not much information about specialty moving services available on Safeway’s website, so you’ll have to call the company if you have a specific concern. When you do, you can also request a free binding quote.
To start the quote process, call Safeway at 1-844-509-4899 or fill out this simple online form.
Safeway Pros & Cons
|Is a BBB-accredited business||Doesn’t provide online tracking|
|Provides one month of free storage at select locations||Some customers report longer-than-expected transit times|
|Doesn’t charge surprise fees||--|
Unlike other moving companies, uShip doesn’t coordinate your move for you. What it does is provide a marketplace where you can find long-distance truck drivers with available space in their trucks to transport your belongings. You can look for available trucks or you can make your own post declaring what you need to ship and where it needs to go. Clearly, it would be difficult to accomplish a large, traditional move using only extra transit space, but if you have a few large or unusual items to move or you have time to space out your move, you can save a great deal of money without needing to rent your own truck.
Of course, this process makes it difficult to provide pricing estimates. You’ll be dependent on what’s available at any given time, as well as how much you’re willing to pay for available truck space. However, truck drivers can offer competing bids, so if you’ve got some time to put into finding the best deals, uShip’s nontraditional services may be a good option.
Create your own account on uShip’s website and start looking at the available options.
uShip Pros & Cons
|Is inexpensive compared to traditional moving services||Not suited to moving entire homes or apartments|
|Has an A+ BBB rating and accreditation||Truck drivers aren’t vetted by uShip|
|Provides a mobile app for checking postings and bids||--|
U-Pack is another great budget option that can handle a move of any size. The company provides storage containers called ReloCubes for you to fill on your own, though trailers are also available for rental. If you don’t need to move right away, you can store the ReloCubes at one of U-Pack’s many facilities throughout the country.
As you might expect, U-Pack prices depend on the number of ReloCubes you need, though if you accidentally order too many, you can return the unused cubes. Unlike with traditional, full-service moving companies, U-Pack can provide you with a quick online quote. Here are some pricing estimates for a two-bedroom move:
- Moving 450 miles: $1,620
- Moving 1,750 miles: $1,840
- Moving 2,050 miles: $2,730
- Storage at facility: $150 per month
To get a free estimate from U-Pack, fill out this quick form.
U-Pack Pros & Cons
|Customers only have to pay for the container space they need||Has medium-quality containers|
|Has an A+ BBB rating and accreditation||Isn’t available for moves of less than 150 miles|
|Offers instant online quotes||Doesn’t have a tracking app for the ReloCubes|
Conclusion: Which Is the Best Moving Company in Philadelphia for You?
For your move to or from Philadelphia, we recommend International Van Lines. It offers moving services to most locations nationwide, and its employees take great care to make sure your belongings arrive safe, sound, and on time. JK Moving, American Van Lines, and Safeway are also excellent choices for full or partial-service moves. For self-service, container-based moving and storage, 1-800-PACK-RAT and U-Pack are your best bets, though uShip is an inexpensive option for individual item shipping.
We ultimately recommend getting a free quote from multiple moving companies to compare pricing in your area. All of these companies offer free estimates, so call around before making a final decision.
Comparing the Top Moving Companies in Philadelphia
|Provider||International Van Lines||1-800-PACK-RAT||JK Moving||American Van Lines||Safeway||uShip||U-Pack|
|Provider||International Van Lines||1-800-PACK-RAT||JK Moving||American Van Lines||Safeway||uShip||U-Pack|
|Get a Quote||Visit Here||Visit Here||Visit Here||Visit Here||Visit Here||Visit Here||Visit Here|
|Our Superlative||Best Overall Full-Service Mover||Best Overall Self-Service||Most Customizable Full-Service Mover||Most Experienced Moving Labor||Best for Contents Protection||Best Mobile App||Most Affordable|
|Specialty Services||International moves, auto shipping, corporate relocation||Partners with Hire-a-Helper||Specialty item moving, auto shipping||Specialty item moving||N/A||Auto shipping, ability to ship large individual items||N/A|
Other Considerations When Moving in Philadelphia
If you’re moving to the Philadelphia area, there are other services to consider than just moving companies. If you’re moving from another city or state, you may need to find a lawn care and pest control service for your new residence. Additionally, consider purchasing a home warranty to protect your systems and appliances when they unexpectedly break from normal wear and tear.
Below are some helpful resources for Pennsylvania residents:
- Top Real Estate Agents in Philadelphia
- Best Home Warranty Companies in Pennsylvania
- Best Home Insurance Companies in Philadelphia
- 5 Best Lawn Care Services of 2021
- Best Pest Control Companies in Philadelphia
- Best Renters Insurance Companies in Pennsylvania
Our Rating Methodology: How We Chose the Best Moving Companies in Philadelphia
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 seven 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 review sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
FAQs About Moving Companies in Philadelphia
What do I need to do on move day?
Having a truly stress-free moving experience may be an impossible dream, but there’s plenty you can do in preparation to keep things simple. Get plenty of sleep ahead of time, wear comfortable clothes, and get started early in the day to give you more time to handle unexpected complications. Whether you’re paying for labor or doing it yourself, keep exit paths clear and keep children and pets out of the way. Make sure you give your old residence a final inspection on the way out.
Should I hire professional movers?
Although some people prefer to save money by packing and moving on their own, many people find professional labor to be well worth the cost. Professional movers have the experience and training to move your items quickly and efficiently, greatly reducing your moving-day stress.
What’s the hourly rate for Philadelphia movers?
If you choose to pay for labor when it comes to moving, you can expect to spend between $25 and $50 an hour with a two- or three-hour minimum.
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