Moving Company Rates
Price is often a factor when a potential customer is deciding what moving
company to book. When comparing the rates that moving companies
charge, many people have difficulty understanding why the
price for a moving crew from one moving company can vary
drastically compared to
the rates charged by another moving company. This is to be
expected as most people do not deal with moving companies
often and do not know what criteria a moving company uses
to determine the rates it charges for moving crews.
A good rule of thumb is, as with any product or service,
you get what you pay for. A properly operating, professional
moving company should not be able to put a two-person moving
crew with a moving truck on the road
for less than $70 per hour or a three-person crew for less
than $90 per hour (see bottom of page). At these rates,
the company would be operating almost profitless and
could not afford to stay in business. Companies may charge
less than this but probably charge additional fees for
insurance, surcharges, and certain supplies among other
things in order to compensate. Companies that charge more may
include key features that other lower priced companies do not such
as premium insurance coverage, wardrobe boxes, bags for your beds
and may also have more professional staff.
A harder working, more experienced crew can usually complete
a 'professional' move in less time and with less damage
than a less experienced crew with substandard work ethic.
For this reason a moving company charging $50 per hour
could end up costing the customer more than a moving company
that charges $100 per hour. On the same note, disreputable
moving companies often advertise low rates in order to
attract customers. Then when the crew
arrives on moving day, they purposely prolong the job to
make more money. This allows them to bring in the same
revenue as the ethical company but
with very little overhead in comparison. This is one of
the biggest scams in the moving industry. Although the
industry has a very bad reputation for this sort of thing,
a large portion of the problem is caused by consumer ignorance.
If consumers made more of an effort to inform themselves,
the illegitimate and unprofessional
moving companies would not be able to take advantage of them.
You can protect yourself by making sure the company is
a member of the BBB and check it's standing,
verify it's insurance coverage, and search for complaints against the company.
You can also visit OttawaMovingCompanies.ca for a list of Ottawa's Top Movers.
The moving companies listed on that site have been verified to meet important criteria that help protect consumers.
All too often, companies offering low prices are cutting corners somewhere
in order to still be able to profit. This can be through
the quality of the movers they hire. Poorly paid workers
do not usually reflect the same work ethic as well paid workers.
It only stands to reason that
a good, careful, experienced mover with good values and
a strong work ethic would not be attracted to low pay and
would be sought after by reputable companies.
They can offer poor or no insurance coverage to save money.
Many companies advertise that they are insured but are really
only offering a protection plan. A protection plan is legitimate
but can not be referred to as insurance as it is not regulated
by the insurance industry or the law. You are relying on
the company to live up to it's word and pay you for damages. Often, when
damages occur, these companies refuse to settle and if it
goes to court, 'fly-by-night' companies close the business
and begin operating under a different name. Thats if the company was
in the first place.
If it isn't registered, you are uaually flat out of luck.
Another way these companies can save a buck is to scrimp
on the trucks and equipment. Having your moving truck break
down after it was fully loaded with your belongings could prove to be
major setback. This can happen with older trucks that are
not well maintained. The crew not having the proper tools to disasseble
your furniture can be problematic. Not having proper equipment such as
moving blankets, straps, dollies, bed bags and floor protectors can lead to
damages and cause the move to take longer. These are just
some of the problems caused by cutting corners.
The largest noticeable price differences are usually between legitimate,
registered moving companies and illegitimate, 'fly-by-night'
companies. This is because the illegitimate movers do not
have to worry about the same overhead that a legitimate moving
company must absorb.
Some of these costs include:
- business registration
- BBB (Better Business Bureau) registration
- business phone lines
- cargo insurance
- liability insurance
- employee bonding
- payroll deductions (CPP, EI, taxes)
- WSIB (workers safety insurance)
- vacation / holiday / overtime pay
- proper equipment
- proper tools - furniture (dis)assembly
- office equipment / expenses
- proper vehicle maintenance
- advertising / marketing
- many other related costs
Ignoring all the indirect costs associated with running a moving company,
the following is a breakdown of the basic directly related
costs that a moving company must pay out (keep in mind that
these related costs only represent about 85% of
the actual cost of running a professional moving crew). These
figures are only estimates based on averages
and may not be 100% accurate.
Labour - $21.36 per hour per person
(average including employer contributions)
Truck - $20 per hour
- Salary - $16 per hour
- Workers Safety Insurance - 6.43% of wages
- Canada Pension Plan - 4.95% of wages
- Employment Insurance - 2.492% of wages
- Vacation pay - 4% of wages
- Holiday pay - 3.1% of wages
- Administrative - 12.5% of wages
- truck lease / amortization of purchase
- fuel / oil / other fluids
- maintenace / repairs
- licensing / permits / reports
- Insurance (cargo / liability / bonding)
- Equipment / tools