Moving home is one of the most stressful experiences in life, with most people describing it as more traumatic than getting married, going through a divorce, and even having children. Unfortunately, it's not something that we can always avoid, with the average American moving 11 times over the course of their life. Thankfully, there are certain things that can help lessen the stress and make the move a little easier than it would be otherwise. Choosing the right mover can make all the difference, and with over 7000 licensed, active movers in the US, you'll not be short of options. Of those movers, around 3600 are members of a moving company. Some specialize in local moves, others offer both local and international shipping. Most offer full-service moves, while others provide the equipment and the driver only. Here, we take a look at the 10 biggest moving companies in the US based on both fleet and agent network size.
10. Arpin Van Lines
Arpin Van Lines is a privately-owned moving and storage company headquartered in West Warwick, Rhode Island. In addition to helping residential customers with their moving needs, they also provide services to corporate, government, and military customers. Arpin has a network of more than 385 agents nationwide and offers over 4.7 million square feet of climate-controlled, containerized storage space. The company has been in operation for over 100 years, making it the longest-running, family-owned and operated moving and storage company in the US.
9. Graebel Van Lines
Graebel Van Lines was founded in 1950, and has been one of the leading movers of business, residential, government, and military customers ever since. Headquartered in Aurora, CO, it serves as one of the largest privately-owned moving companies in the US. For customers who need extra time in between moves, Graebel offers storage centers (many of which are climate and temperature control) that can accommodate both short and long-term storage needs.
8. Bekins Van Lines
Bekins Van Lines was founded by John and Martin Bekins in 1891. Operating from its headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, it offers a wide range of relocation and logistics solutions across the US, including corporate moves, interstate residential relocations, military moves, and senior moves. In 2012, Bekins was acquired by Wheaton World Wide Moving. However, the Bekins brand name continues to serve as a separate brand. With a nationwide network of over 300 locations and with warehouse space of over 4 million square feet, Bekins ranks as the 8th largest moving company in the US.
7. Wheaton World Wide Moving
In 1945, Wheaton World Wide Moving was founded under the name of Clipper Van Lines by Earnest S. Wheaton. Six years later, the company changed its name to Wheaton Van Lines, Inc following a lawsuit with Pan Am. In 1987, it rebranded again, this time to Wheaton World Wide Moving. Throughout its history, it's been recognized as one of the leading moving companies in the US, earning recognition as one of the top 101 service companies on several occasions. With over 250 authorized agents, it offers a wide range of services, including corporate relocation, interstate household moves, international shipping, special commodity shipping, and military and government relocation.
6. North American Van Lines
North American Van Lines was founded in 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio by a group of 12 agents. After rapid expansion, it relocated its headquarters in 1947 to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Specializing in both national and international home and office relocations, their network covers over 500 agent locations nationwide. According to moving.business, they currently have around 1700 trucks in their fleet, making them the 6th biggest moving company in the US.
5. Allied Van Lines
According to Wikipedia, Allied Van Lines was established in 1928 as a cooperative non-profit organization owned by member agents to help with organizing return loads and minimizing dead-heading. Since then, it's grown dramatically - as has its reputation. Last year alone, Newsweek recognized it as one of America’s Best Customer Service Providers; it earned the Women’s Choice Award for the sixth consecutive year; and received the 37th Annual Quest for Quality Awards recognition from Logistics management. With a large global network, it's a full-service mover geared to handle both local and international moves.
4. Mayflower Transit
Mayflower Transit was founded in 1927. With a network of over 250 agents and a fleet of 2100 trucks, it now serves as one of the longest-running and largest moving companies in the US. In March 1995, the company was acquired by the transportation and relocation group UniGroup, but it continues to operate under its own brand. It functions as an agent-owned co-op, utilizing independent contractors who maintain their own local and interstate businesses. The company offers both interstate and international relocation services, along with both short and long-term storage solutions.
3. Atlas Van Lines
As the flagship of Atlas World Group, Atlas Van Lines serves as the third biggest moving company in the US. According to movingcompanyreviews.com, it currently has 3759 trucks in its fleet, along with a network of almost 500 agents. The company is agent-owned, with each agent operating the equipment and warehouses for a specific local area. Despite the local nature of the business, the company operates across both interstate and international lines.
2. ABF U-Pack
ABF U-Pack operates on slightly different lines to many moving companies. Rather than provide a full-service move, it provides a moving trailer or container to the door of the customer, who then packs and loads it. Once it's been fully loaded, ABF U-Pack will pick it up and store it securely at a storage center, ready to be delivered to the customer when required. The business model is designed to offer both convenience and cost savings - considering ABF U-Pack is now one of the largest nationwide moving companies, it's obviously a hugely popular concept.
1. United Van Lines
With a fleet of 7500 trucks and a network of approximately 400 affiliated agencies, United Van Lines is the biggest moving company in the US. Formed in 1988 and headquartered in suburban St. Louis, it offers full moving and relocation services along with tailored storage solutions. Local, interstate, and international moves are all accommodated. Over the past decade, the company has expanded its services to offer customized movers insurance, global mobility management services, and the sale and lease of moving equipment.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson