There's got to be an easier way...
June 4, 2008 7:19 AM   Subscribe

Is there an easy and relatively inexpensive way to ship a pallet of furniture and household goods halfway across the country?

Basically, I'm looking for a company that will drop a pallet off in northern va, then pick it up once it's all loaded up, then ship it to Chicago. I know I've heard of this service before, but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called. Ideally, I'd like to pay no more than $200 or so for it.
posted by Oktober to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was going to suggest PODS or one of the other companies that will deliver a shipping crate to you and then store or move it, but they don't offer quotes on their web site for long distance moves (you can call their customer service number), so I don't know if it fits in your price range... but they will do what you want them to do.
posted by LolaGeek at 7:37 AM on June 4, 2008

I think what you're talking about is "self-service" moving. Lot's of companies offer it. ABF calls it's service "U-Pack.

There was once a company that had these little storage shed like things they would drop off. You'd fill them up with your stuff, they'd come and pick them up whenever you'd like. I don't remember their name, and I seem to remember that they went out of business.

Even though self-service is based on space in a truck and not mileage, I think you're going to be hard pressed to find anything under $200, but wish you the very best of luck :)
posted by vertigo25 at 7:46 AM on June 4, 2008

Doh! PODS is the above mentioned company I was thinking about. Disregard my bad memory :)
posted by vertigo25 at 7:46 AM on June 4, 2008

Sorry but I really doubt you'll be able to find anything. PODS are really expensive and from experience, movers should run you min $1000 (it has to be worth their time).

Maybe someone here is going out that way and might be able to help but other than that I really don't think $200 will work.
posted by doorsfan at 8:09 AM on June 4, 2008

Response by poster: Yeah, PODS was what I was thinking of too, and they're definitely too expensive for what I need to move. To Craigslist!
posted by Oktober at 8:18 AM on June 4, 2008

If $200 is your limit you may want to reconsider bringing furniture with you, depending on how attached you are to it. I think Chicago has a good scene, so you shouldn't have a problem finding furniture to suit your taste once you're there even if you don't want to buy brand-new. Goodwill is a great place to shop for housewares, too. (and some have some functional used furniture, but probably not too attractive.) Not to mention you'd help the environment by shipping only what you really need.

When I was in college I would send my clothes, books, and other knick knacks and electronics back and forth with UPS ground, which would be probably one of your cheapest options if you can fit everything into boxes. But that will likely depend on how much you really need to bring with you. Moving is a *great* time to reconsider all the stuff you've acquired and pare down to only the things that are worth paying to move. :)

Good luck! I hope you like Chicago!
posted by inatizzy at 8:20 AM on June 4, 2008

Donate/sell all your stuff and ship the bare essentials UPS. I am moving all the way across the country and that is the cheapest option I've found. $200 is completely unrealistic.
posted by bradbane at 10:54 AM on June 4, 2008

I had a very pleasant and shockingly inexpensive experience with ABF U-Pack's "Relocube" service around a year ago. The Relocube is much smaller than a POD, but I was able to fit all furniture and belongings accumulated in a roughly 900 square foot apartment. The pricing is very similar to their "rent space on a truck, by the square foot" method, but infinitely more convenient for most. I wound up spending around $300 for a 500 mile move (Philadelphia to Columbus, if it matters.) I recieved a $50 discount for scheduling the move online, and I had no trouble getting someone on the phone to help me rescuedule (twice!) If you decide to go this route, also look for or tell them you had a $50 coupon from the USPS moving guide that you "can't find." The coupons weren't distrubuted in my area, but I was able to locate one online. This was the cheapest route for me, by more than a thousand dollars.
posted by biggity at 11:01 AM on June 4, 2008

Heck yeah. I wholeheartedly recommend ABF. To hell with POD - their containers are really flimsy. ABF is significantly cheaper, and they use solid steel square shipping containers.

In fact ABF also has a nifty pay-by-the-foot option, where you pack your stuff into a trailer, and other people's stuff is packed in as well. They split the cost between all parties. You only pay for the part you actually used. Having the cubes dropped off for door-to-door transfer may be simpler, but do remember that in some neighborhoods you'll need a permit to drop them in the street if necessary (we moved from NC to MN, needed no permit in NC but did have to get one for MN - four big-ass Relocubes handled an entire house worth of our junk, furniture and all).
posted by caution live frogs at 11:39 AM on June 4, 2008

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