Movers vs. Brokers
Are you hiring a household goods mover or broker? What is the difference?
A moving broker is a company that arranges for the transportation of your cargo, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Moving brokers are sales teams that book your move and sell it to an actual moving company.
A moving broker is not a mover. A broker does not assume responsibility for, and is not authorized to transport, your household goods. Brokers do not have moving trucks or professional movers. Brokers for interstate moves are required to use only movers that are registered with FMCSA.
Sometimes the broker is not able to sell the job to a moving company for various reasons – low estimates, no availability, limited resources, etc. – and in this case you can get stuck without a mover on the day of your move. Many moving brokers operate from call centers located anywhere in the country.
What do I do if I am working with a broker?
When you book your move, make sure to ask the company whether they are an actual moving company or broker. If they are a broker, they must:
- Be registered with FMCSA;
- Provide you with FMCSA’s Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and the Ready to Move brochure;
- Provide you with a list of the moving companies they use;
- Use only movers that are registered with FMCSA;
- Have a written agreement with movers they use;
- Base binding or non-binding estimates on the tariff of the mover that will transport your shipment;
- Reference in their advertisements their physical business location, MC number, and their status as a broker that does not transport household goods but arranges for this service; and
- Have the mover that is transporting your shipment perform a physical survey of your household goods if they are within a 50-mile radius of the mover or its agent's location, whichever is closer. It is your option to waive this requirement.
To check whether your broker or mover is registered with FMCSA and/or check its complaint history, use our search tool.