You’re preparing to move to a new business location. Perhaps your company has experienced tremendous growth, which requires moving to a larger office or commercial premises. Or, your move may place you in a more attractive location that will allow you to attract more customers.
Whatever the case may be, you need to move your company’s equipment from Point A to Point B.
That’s where the challenge arises.
A business move may require you to transport large or sensitive cargo over large distances. As a result, standard moving services may not be up to the task. You need special business moving services. With a commercial mover, you ensure that your company’s valuable assets are protected and that you can set up in your new location with a minimal amount of stress.
You just need to learn more about commercial moving and storage companies before you move forward. In this guide, we explain what business moving services are, why they’re different from residential services, and how you can find the right moving company for the job.
What Are Business Moving Services?
As the name implies, business moving services specialize in transporting your company’s valuable equipment and assets from one location to another. Typically, this involves more than packing items onto trucks and driving them to their new location. A commercial moving service will often help you to plan the move and dismantle your equipment.
The typical business moving service may incorporate the following.
Assembly and Reassembly
The moving company will safely disassemble your equipment so that it can be packed safely onto their trucks. When unloading, they’ll reassemble the equipment at the new location, which means you don’t have to waste time and effort on doing the job yourself. This is particularly important for companies that use complicated machinery, as the people who work with those machines may not have the expertise required to take them apart or rebuild them.
You may require storage for several reasons. For example, your company might move to a smaller location, meaning some of your equipment needs to be sold or disposed of. Some commercial movers provide storage services where they hold onto your equipment until you’re ready to deal with it. You may also use storage services if your move takes place over several days or weeks. In these cases, you may need to keep some items in storage while others are unloaded and reassembled.
Most business moving companies offer a packing service that usually involves loading your company’s equipment into secure crates so it can be transported safely. If you choose to handle the packing yourself, your commercial mover may still be able to provide packing supplies and materials, along with instructions on how to use them.
How Does a Commercial Moving Service Differ From A Residential One?
Though commercial and residential movers offer the same basic service of transporting your items between locations, there are several key differences between the two types of service.
Difference No. 1 – Planning
Planning is critical when moving a business to a new location. While this is the case for residential moving too, planning in those cases relates to getting items packed up and ready to go when the movers arrive.
For a business, planning often requires the hiring of special equipment, such as forklifts and toe jacks. The business may also need to bring in people who understand how to disassemble and reassemble complicated machinery. Many commercial moving companies help business owners with this planning, in addition to providing the equipment required for the move.
Difference No. 2 – More Flexibility
Most residential movers operate to standard 9-to-5 hours, though there may be some variation. But generally speaking, residential movers tend not to offer overnight services because of the disruption involved.
Commercial relocation services often provide weekend and overnight moving services. This is particularly useful if the company wants to conduct the move without interfering with business hours. For example, a weekend move that incorporates an overnight service may allow a company to get a new location set up in time for employees to begin working there without having to take time off to account for the move.
Difference No. 3 – Transporting Sensitive Materials
While people moving to new residential properties have sensitive materials, they’re typically small enough to transport without the need for a moving company. Your passport, bank cards, and tax records can all be bagged up and carried yourself.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for most businesses.
Almost every business has sensitive materials that require additional security. A good example is offices. Even a small office may have dozens of computers and servers that need to be moved to a new location. Each of these devices may contain sensitive material, meaning they require more protection. Furthermore, the United States’ data protection laws require companies to keep any information they collect about customers secure at all times. This includes during a move.
To account for the extra protection requirement, most business moving companies institute strenuous background checks on all employees. Many also require new employees to provide multiple references to demonstrate they can be trusted when moving sensitive material. The mover may also use special vans that are more difficult for thieves to access. These special requirements also tend to mean that business moving services experience less turnover than residential services. Crews remain consistent as long as each member meets their security obligations.
Difference No. 4 – More Heavy Lifting
Heavy lifting is required for almost all types of moves. But with residential moves, it’s often restricted to a few bulky items, such as bookcases and furniture. Businesses often have a higher volume of heavy materials to move.
Again, we can focus on offices as an example.
Let’s say you have a 20-person office. That means your mover has to lift 20 desks, along with computers, chairs, and similar equipment. The office likely has a couple of printers, which count as heavy items too. Generally speaking, commercial movers have to lift more than residential movers.
Of course, this requirement for heavy lifting grows if the business is a factory or manufacturing facility. Heavy machinery gets added into the mix, much of which requires special equipment that residential movers don’t have to worry about using.
How Much Do Business Moving Services Cost?
The cost of commercial moving services varies depending on several factors:
- Your location
- The mover’s fee structure
- The size of the move
- How far the mover will transport your items
- The types of items being transported
On a general level, moving the contents of a 1,500-square-foot office typically costs between $750 and $4,500. Expect to pay toward the higher end of that spectrum if you need to move lots of files or have many units for the movers to disassemble and reassemble. Prices increase up to $9,000 for a 3,000 square foot office and up to $30,000 for a 10,000 square foot unit.
Some business moving companies base their fee structures around the number of truckloads required. In these cases, expect to pay between $500 and $1,500 per truck, with an additional $100 per hour for a truck with three movers.
Additional fees may also apply.
If you use a moving consultant, expect to pay between $450 and $3,000 for their services, depending on the size of your premises. Moving consultants help to plan the move by determining which items need to go with which truck and ensuring that the movers work on specific tasks to a set schedule.
Long carries, such as jobs that require items to be moved up and down stairs, may come with additional fees. You may also have to pay extra if the moving company needs to pack electrical equipment or if you want them to reconnect your electronic devices at your new location. Some business moving services also have tipping policies, meaning you must ask if your movers will expect a tip once they’ve completed their work.
What to Look for in a Commercial Moving Company
Now you know what makes business moving services different from residential services, you need to know what to look for in a good commercial mover. The following are key qualities that a commercial moving service needs to have.
Quality No. 1 – Experience and Equipment
A commercial move isn’t something that a regular moving company can undertake. Your movers need to have experience in working with commercial equipment, which includes understanding the importance of protecting sensitive items. The mover also needs to demonstrate that they have the appropriate equipment. Even if you don’t need all of this equipment, it’s still worth asking about it. A mover that has the necessary equipment for different types of commercial moves likely has the experience you’re looking for.
Quality No. 2 – Solid Reviews and Recommendations
Look beyond the mover’s website and on-site testimonials when looking for reviews. The content on the company’s website is designed to be as positive as possible, meaning it may provide you with a skewed view of the mover’s services.
Instead, look for reviews on social media, the Better Business Bureau, and on the mover’s Google Business listing. These will give you a more realistic idea of what it’s like to work with the company. The reason being, the reviews come from people who already have experience of the service provided.
Quality No. 3 – Good Storage Capabilities
If you anticipate that your move may take several days, you may need to use your mover’s storage services. If that’s the case, security is paramount. Good commercial moving and storage locations maintain storage premises that offer the following security features:
- Surveillance cameras
- A gated entry that includes ID checks
- A physical security presence that is available 24 hours per day
If a company doesn’t provide this level of security for its storage facilities, you can’t trust it to keep your sensitive equipment safe.
Quality No. 4 – Clarity
Are packing and unpacking included in your quote? What about assembly and disassembly? Does the mover provide a consultant to help with your planning? If so, is this included as part of the quote or is it an extra that you pay more for?
These are just a few of the questions you will likely ask when determining the cost of your move. However, you’re not only asking those questions to get the answers. You also want to see how transparent your moving company is. Any commercial moving companies that try to avoid answering these questions don’t provide the clarity and transparency you need. As a consequence, you may get hit with hidden charges if you use their services.
Quality No. 5 – Good Insurance
You’re transporting a lot of valuable equipment during a business move. Even a small office has thousands of dollars’ worth of computers, furnishings, and fittings. Large manufacturing companies may need to transport machinery that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Insurance for these valuables is a must.
Your commercial mover needs to have insurance that covers the combined value of every item they’ll transport on your behalf. If their insurance doesn’t cover everything, you’re taking a risk if you decide to use them. Any damage that occurs above the mover’s threshold becomes your responsibility.
Find the Right Business Moving Services
Planning to move to a new business location is difficult enough without having to worry about movers. Commercial moves present many challenges related to the size of the items moved, their weight, and the sensitivity of your business assets. Understanding what to look for in a business move specialist helps you to narrow your search down to companies that you know can do the job well.
Now, it’s time to find your commercial moving service.
At Baltimore MD Movers, we provide commercial moving services conducted by trained and experienced staff. You benefit from free estimates and a service that includes the disassembly and reassembly of your office furniture. We also don’t charge additional fees for long carry, transporting items up and down stairs, or for holiday and weekend moves.
Would you like to learn more? Check out the full details of our commercial moving service to find out how we differ from other companies in Baltimore. And if you’re ready to move ahead, contact us today by calling 855-383-7134 or getting in touch online to get a free quote