Home / Categories / Full-Service Movers / Bekins® Van Lines Comparison

Bekins® Van Lines Comparison

January 17th, 2018 - 8:57 AM

Compare Bekins Moving and U-Pack

Long-distance moving can be a lot of work, especially if you have a lot to move. For many, that notion may take a do-it-all-yourself move (i.e., truck rental) completely off the table. Essentially, two options are left: full-service and “you pack, we drive.” Depending on your needs and budget, one may be more appealing than the other. Bekins Van Lines®and U-Pack® are two examples of those options. Bekins, a full-service mover, and U-Pack a “you pack, we drive” service. See how they compare to determine which is the best solution for your move.

Bekins Van Lines compared to U-Pack

How Bekins Van Lines works

Bekins is a full-service moving company, which means they do the loading, unloading and transportation. In many cases they also pack, unpack, crate and store. Because they work with local agents, customers moving long distance usually deal with a different loading/unloading crew on each end of the move. This also means the ability to offer special services varies (capabilities differ by location).

Getting a quote

Full-service movers normally send a local agent to your home for an in-home estimate. The agent surveys the household goods inside and outside of the home and provides a rate based on the estimated weight of the items. Bekins offers four types of estimates (depending on the location):

  • Non-binding — an approximate price based on the estimated weight of the shipment. The actual cost depends on the final weight of the items after packing and loading.
  • Firm-binding — a specific price that doesn’t change if the actual weight is different. However, the price can increase if you add items or services not discussed during the estimate.
  • Option-binding —a cost based on the weight of the items, which can reduce if the actual weight is lower than estimated (also known as a “not-to-exceed estimate”). The price can increase if you add items or services not discussed during the estimate.
  • Ballpark — a range of prices depending on the size of your home and the services needed. Final costs depend on shipment weight.

Loading and unloading

On moving day, a crew arrives with a truck to perform the services selected when the move was booked. While full-service moves include loading, transportation and unloading, as mentioned, customers can often add services like packing, crating, unpacking, and packaging special items and electronics. Some locations also offer storage, including long-term, short-term and in-transit.  

To fully utilize the equipment, full-service movers like Bekins typically combine shipments that are moving in a similar direction. Because of this, transit times can vary. Customers are provided an estimated timeframe for the equipment to arrive, and once it arrives, a local crew performs the agreed upon unloading services.  

How U-Pack compares

U-Pack is an easy “you pack, we drive” moving service that works like this:

  • We bring moving equipment to your home
  • You load (or we can refer you to a moving crew)
  • We transport your belongings to the new home
  • You unload (or use a moving crew)
  • We pick up the empty equipment

Transit times average 2-5 business days.

Because you do the loading and unloading, the cost is normally significantly less than full-service options. And many find that even if you add labor to help with loading and unloading the big stuff, you’ll still save money. With U-Pack, you can also add storage or guaranteed shipping options (which guarantees the exact delivery day) to create a move that meets your needs.

Compare Bekins ballpark estimate and U-Pack moving quote

One big difference between a U-Pack self-move and a Bekins full-service move is that U-Pack bases rates on space while Bekins bases rates on weight. Here’s what that means: U-Pack prices depend on the linear footage your shipment takes up inside the moving trailer. When more space is needed, it’s available — just add the per-foot rate included in your moving quote. When less space is needed, subtract that same per-foot rate (down to a 5-foot minimum). As mentioned previously, the cost of a full-service move depends on the weight of the shipment.

You can get a U-Pack moving quote online or over the phone. It shows an estimated space based on the size of your home and the “per-foot” adjustment rate. You can also use our online space estimators to get a better idea of how much space you’ll use inside the trailer.

Sample move

While every move is unique (because origin, destination, move date and move sizes differ) and prices fluctuate based on these and other criteria, it can be helpful to see an example and get an idea of how companies compare. The example below is a hypothetical move from Portland, OR to Cleveland, OH, moving a 2-bedroom home. The first is a ballpark estimate from Bekins Moving and Storage. The second is a moving quote from U-Pack:

  • Bekins estimated a full-service move (loading, unloading and transportation) to be between $5,016.86 and $6,597.67. 
  • U-Pack estimates 13 linear feet in a moving trailer at $2,652 (you do the packing, loading and unloading, and we do the driving). If we were to refer you to moving labor, we would recommend two movers for five hours, which was $585 in this case. And since unloading goes a little faster than loading, only two movers for four hours in Cleveland was $510. So, this U-Pack move with labor would be $3,747

Have questions about Bekins Van Lines or U-Pack?                     

If you have questions about how a U-Pack move compares to full-service, or if you need help getting a U-Pack quote, leave a comment below or give us a call at 800-413-4799.

You can also check out these other helpful resources for more information:

U-Pack compared to full-service movers

Shipping rates for household goods

Moving estimates: what you need to know

Bekins Van Lines is a registered trademark of Bekins Van Lines, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.