Third-Party Moving Companies and What You Should Know

Third-party moving companies and what you should know

We’ve touched on third-party moving before, but this is where we’ll be going in-depth with what you should be concerned about. Third-party moving is as common as traditional moving, if not more so. We’ll cover questions you should ask and how to tell if you’re being third-partied. Let’s take a look.

What is it?

A third-party moving service is a local company that may or may not have a partner business in your destination area, hiring out to a larger trucking service to transport your goods. Let’s say that you use Jay and Kyle’s Moving Service in San Francisco to pack up your house. They place your items on a nationwide cargo transportation truck. In Bowling Green, Kentucky, you use Jim and Dan’s Moving Service to take your belongings from the truck and bring them into your house. This is a perfect example of third-party moving.

How do I find out if I’m using a third-party mover?

Most third-party moving services will be honest about the process. If you are working with a local company and you are moving across the state, ask them if they will be using a partner or an “alliance carrier” at the destination. Though they are not required to divulge this information, most will. Why? The paperwork you sign to allow them to carry your belongings should have the name(s) of the company on it.

In other words, you’ll know once you’re ready to sign the dotted line. Simply asking the company prior to booking a move will usually get you a yes or a no. If they say no and you find that the company has booked your shipment third-party, inquire as to why this event occurred. Perhaps one of their vehicles broke down on the road and they have to use a replacement temporarily, so they are trying to keep delays to a minimum and maintain the service they promised. It’s also possible that they’ve simply been overrun with requests and are trying to service everyone that needs movers.

If this happens to you, simply ask for the insurance policy of the third-party carrier and for a reference person or website where you can review their track record.


Though the most common way third-party moving happens is via truck, it does occasionally happen in air cargo, too. More than likely, you’ll never know if another party had to take your shipment at the last moment. All air cargo companies will occasionally do each other a favor, and that may just mean that your boxes are flying on American instead of DHL.

While airlines across the board maintain much the same coverage, regardless of who it is, truck companies have a wide variety of insurance to cover your belongings. Third-party shipments are a safe, sensible way to help keep moving companies on the road, servicing everywhere that needs them.

The biggest jump comes when a trucking service suddenly needs to use air cargo to meet their deadline, or when an airline service asks if they may give you a discount and place your shipment on a slower method of transport.

Moving Partnerships

The moving industry is deeply interconnected. It doesn’t matter if it’s air, truck, or water transport. Everyone knows each other and they constantly offer partnerships to help get shipments where they need to be. When it comes down to it, if you are offered third-party shipping, it is for very good reason. They are trying to make certain that your shipment will be there in the time window they promised you. Request information for the third-party mover and keep up with all companies involved.

We offer corporate relocation in Roanoke,VA and surrounding areas. We have experience in all types of commercial moving. From office and manufacturing plants to libraries and logistic centers. Our commercial movers get the job done right.