Moving is a headache, even if you have impressive organizational skills. It’s tiring, stressful, and overwhelming, and we all know that lots can go wrong in the process. While all interstate relocations require extensive planning and logistics, moving to the mainland from Hawaii can be particularly challenging.
That’s why it’s essential to find reliable, experienced, and affordable Hawaii movers to mainland. They can help you ship your items, take care of storage needs, and ensure your items arrive safely.
But how can you choose the best moving service among the many options available? A great way to narrow your search is to ask your potential movers these 15 critical questions.
1. Are You a Broker or a Mover?
When researching moving companies, Oahu to mainland, or any other destination, you should ask whether the company is a brokerage. It’s easy to confuse movers and brokers, as their services overlap significantly.
Some brokers even advertise as movers, but they specialize in connecting you to a moving company and organizing the move. However, moving companies take the burden of managing the risk, loss, theft, and other potential issues.
While brokers might work for some when shipping household goods from Hawaii to mainland, working with movers is usually a better choice.
2. Are You Licensed?
Before you ask for quotes or negotiate the cost, it’s vital to ensure that the company in charge of relocating you from Hawaii to the mainland is adequately insured.
But what should you ask for specifically?
Two government agencies regulate U.S. moving companies. The first is the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the other is Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA.)
When moving to the mainland from Hawaii, ask your movers for a DOT number. Ideally, they will have it prominently displayed on their website, but you can ask them directly if they don’t.
Once you have the DOT number, go to the official FMCSA website and enter the DOT number. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the search field.
This search will yield results about the mover’s operating status, the number of trucks in their fleet, and whether they are authorized to ship household goods.
3. What Is the Scope of Your Services?
What services you can expect is a fundamental question when researching moving companies. Hawaii to mainland relocations are complex, and you will likely need all the help you can get.
The best moving companies have an overview of their services listed on their website, and they can tell you about them in detail if you call customer service.
Moving to the mainland from Hawaii means you will need container shipping and air cargo. While loading and unloading are standard services for most moving companies, it doesn’t hurt to ask whether some limitations may apply.
Also, if you’re moving your corporate offices, the process may differ, and you’ll need a mover that knows how to handle it.
4. What Is Your Experience with Hawaii to Mainland Moving?
One of the biggest challenges of finding a moving company is that many of them only work within Hawaii. Some specialize in relocations between islands but might not have experience shipping household goods from Hawaii to the mainland.
So, if you’re located in Honolulu, you’ll probably need to search for “moving companies Oahu to mainland.” But even when you find a company that offers this service, it’s essential to ask about their experience.
Moving to the mainland from Hawaii is not the same as relocating from Arizona to California, for example. A skilled crew and well-maintained trucks are only the start.
The moving company also needs to move your belongings to a shipping container, ensure it’s loaded onto a ship correctly, and make sure everything is in order when your items arrive at the port. After that, it’s usually back to trucks on the mainland until the destination.
If the prospective Hawaii movers to mainland don’t have considerable experience with road, ocean, and even air freight logistics, they might not be the right fit.
5. Is Your Crew Well-Trained?
When you’re planning a move, so much needs your attention. Some questions may seem obvious when researching movers, but others you wouldn’t think to ask.
For example, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask the movers what training program the crew received. If you have belongings that require special attention, would they know how to handle them?
But even if none of your items are overly bulky or complicated to move, don’t skip this question when searching for moving companies. Mainland to Hawaii or vice versa – these types of moves require a well-trained and experienced crew.
6. Do You Offer Any Insurance?
Again, there is a lot to consider when shipping household goods from Hawaii to Mainland. Cost is one of the most important factors, but also the coverage in case of cargo damage.
Your first instinct might be to ask about “moving insurance,” but that’s not the term accepted in the moving industry due to licensing reasons. However, you are still entitled to coverage protecting your items and the entire move.
So, what should you ask when interviewing moving companies? Hawaii to mainland moving companies typically offer two types of coverage: full-value protection and released value protection.
In most cases, when movers talk about comprehensive moving insurance, they mean full-value protection. Essentially, this type of coverage protects your items and replaces the total value of cargo in case of any incident.
If your items are stolen, damaged, or lost at sea, the moving company will either pay for the repair or the full sum that covers the damages.
You will definitely need great coverage when moving from Hawaii to Mainland. Cost of full-value protection depends on the value of the shipment, and you can ask for an estimate when you get a quote for the move.
Released Value Protection
Every moving company has policies about move protections, and not all offer full-value protection. However, they may attach released value protection, which basically means that the company will reimburse $0.60 per pound per item in case of damage or if an article is lost.
It might seem like a pretty good deal, but this isn’t the best option for those who have high-value items that are relatively light. On the other hand, released value protection could be a good solution if you’re relocating hefty objects.
7. Do You Offer Free and Non-Binding Estimates?
Free estimates are a fantastic way for any service company to attract clients. Indeed, some movers in Hawaii will offer free quotes, which can help immensely when planning your move. But perhaps it’s more important to check whether their quotes are binding or non-binding.
A binding estimate includes a thorough inventory sheet with all the items you plan to relocate. If there are no changes in the meantime, the listed quote is the price clients will pay.
On the other hand, a non-binding moving quote usually means a home walk-through or even a virtual moving survey.
So, it’s up to you to choose which type of estimate works best for you when moving from Hawaii to mainland. Cost of a non-binding estimate is based on the total weight of the cargo and which services the company includes. Keep in mind, though, that some movers offer only one type of estimate, while others may consist of both.
8. What Additional Charges Can I Expect?
A detailed estimate, whether binding or non-binding, allows you to prepare for your move with some peace of mind. But don’t be surprised if a nagging thought makes you wonder if there are any hidden or additional charges the company hasn’t mentioned.
Don’t forget to ask your mover about a possible hidden shipping household goods from Hawaii to mainland cost. Expenses of the move may change if an apartment complex doesn’t have a large enough elevator and the crew must use the stairs.
Another possibility of extra charges is a narrow street at your destination in which freight trucks can’t fit. These logistical obstacles may result in higher moving costs, so remember to inquire about that.
9. Do You Offer Any Special Services?
It’s a smart move to ask your Hawaii to mainland movers about special services, even if you don’t have any in mind at that moment. For example, you may ask if they offer 24/7 emergency moves or whether they offer military moving services.
Some people may need to relocate their piano or jacuzzi, items that require extra care and attention. Consider making a list of all the services you need specifically and ask if the moving company can accommodate your needs.
10. Do You Have a Cancelation Policy?
Stuff happens, and you may need to cancel your move. This can be incredibly frustrating and only worsen if your moving company has a strict cancelation policy. Therefore, when receiving your quote, take the time to ask what you can expect if you cancel your move.
In some instances, you may receive a full refund, and in others, the company may keep the deposit. Either way, having this information can save you some headaches down the line.
11. Will a Crew Wait for Us at the Destination?
The Hawaii-based crew doesn’t come with your belongings to the moving destination. Naturally, this will make you wonder who will be there when my items arrive.
A reliable and experienced moving company will have a partner or a sister company that will send a crew once your belongings arrive.
As a client, you shouldn’t have to search for another company in a different state. If you have selected an excellent moving company in Hawaii, you can assume they’ve worked with the partner movers.
Therefore, they likely stand by the quality of their services. You can expect fewer mistakes when moving. Hawaii to mainland relocations can be tricky, but you have less to worry about with a trustworthy mover.
12. How Long Will the Move Take?
There are two crucial parts to this question. First, your moving company should tell you the probable start of the moving process, which will depend on packing times and availability. You’ll likely receive an accurate assessment if they go through your belongings and home during the estimation process.
But a probably more important part of the question is when the items will arrive at their destination. Even the best moving companies may struggle to give you the most accurate timeline. That’s because ocean freight scheduling is more fluid and sometimes even hectic.
The weather conditions play a significant role too. You will likely receive an approximate deadline, though. That’s why moving companies offer storage services and keep your items safe until they can complete the move.
13. What Is Your Preferred Payment Method?
This question may weed out moving companies that only work with cash. That’s not a standard business practice, and don’t be misguided with low prices followed by “cash-only” signs.
Experienced professional movers accept various payment methods, all of which can be tracked. If a specific payment method works for you, make sure to ask about it specifically.
14. Do You Offer Auto Shipping?
If you have one or more cars, you may want to add this question to the list when looking up moving companies. Mainland to Hawaii or vice versa, moving sometimes includes shipping the client’s vehicle. Not all companies offer this service, so don’t assume they do.
Car shipping requires additional steps, like securing the vehicle properly and considering additional insurance. The total cost of the move will increase too.
That’s why some people choose to sell their vehicles before moving to the mainland. But if you’ve invested in your car and want to keep it, look for a moving company that can transfer your car from Hawaii to Mainland.
15. Do You Offer Junk Removal Services?
In recent years, moving companies have started offering junk removal services. It makes the moving process more manageable. Clients won’t have to call a dedicated junk removal service to remove old furniture, mattresses, drywall, old appliances, yard debris, glass, carpeting, and even old appliances. If you have items you won’t need to move, ask the moving company if they could remove the junk for you.
Moving Hawaii to Mainland: It Doesn’t Need to Be Complicated
Moving to another state usually represents a fresh start and a significant change in one’s life. The relocation planning will likely become somewhat chaotic regardless of why you’re moving from Hawaii to the mainland.
But if you take your time to ask moving companies the questions we’ve discussed, you’re several steps closer to finding the best moving service. Don’t be afraid of having high standards and letting the movers know that you’ve covered all the bases.
If you need a Hawaii to mainland moving company that offers comprehensive services and detailed quotes, contact Movers Hawaii.