"What the heck is a linear foot"?
This question (worded one way or another) is probably asked by U-Pack customers more than any other question. However, even when I answer that it is one foot of length by eight feet wide by nine feet tall I still get "Huh?". I think that a mental picture is worth a thousand words of explanation.
A U-Pack moving trailer is like a loaf of bread with twenty eight slices that are each one foot thick. Each slice is the same width (8 feet) and height (9 feet). Our customer only pays for the amount of footage (number of slices) that they use. Each moving quote has a base price for an estimated amount of space and a price per foot and can be adjusted as you load. To get an idea of the linear footage that you may use for your move you can enter individual furniture pieces and boxes in our Room-by-Room Space Estimator.
"Back on the Bread Aisle (Comparing Moving Quotes)"
Most of us were raised to be comparison shoppers, me included, so I understand the need to check out different rates. Comparing moving quotes can be confusing when movers use a variety of ways to calculate them.
"Full Service" movers usually load, unload and transport your belongings. They will normally give moving quotes based on the weight of the shipment or cubic footage that they will be loading and include a hefty charge for labor.
Let's say you are back on the bread aisle. You are looking at two loaves of bread. They are both the same size and make the same number of sandwiches. Each loaf is priced at $1.00 per pound. Until you pick it up and weigh it, you don't know whether you are getting light, fluffy "Amazing" bread or something that doubles as a door stop. You also don't know how much it will cost. The same is true with weight based moving quotes. The mover gives you an estimated weight based on an inventory or in some cases an in-home estimate. If your quote is for 8,500 lbs. before they load it and actually ends up weighing 10,000 lbs. you are going to have a much higher cost than you expected. In fact, unless you weigh every stick of furniture before it leaves your house you really don't know if you are being charged accurately at all.
Cubic footage is the other common way to quote full service moves. Cubic footage moving quotes charge by the number of 1'x1'x1' blocks of space that your items take up. The drawback to this pricing is the fact that, since the mover is loading the truck, they control how they load it and the number of cubic feet you will be using (and paying for). To stretch the bread analogy to the limit I would compare cubic footage to croutons. A bag of croutons may have 100 pieces which can be stacked compactly in a nice, tight cube or laid out in a shallow layer with a lot of empty space on top. With moving quotes this empty space may be counted as the customer's space since it can't be used for anything else. Unless you measure everything you can't be certain how much your total will be until it is given to you by the person in control of the pricing.