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Moving Company Rates

Price is often a factor when a potential customer is deciding what moving company to book. When comparing the rates that moving companies charge, many people have difficulty understanding why the price for a moving crew from one moving company can vary drastically compared to the rates charged by another moving company. This is to be expected as most people do not deal with moving companies often and do not know what criteria a moving company uses to determine the rates it charges for moving crews.

A good rule of thumb is, as with any product or service, you get what you pay for. A properly operating, professional moving company should not be able to put a two-person moving crew with a moving truck on the road for less than $70 per hour or a three-person crew for less than $90 per hour (see bottom of page). At these rates, the company would be operating almost profitless and could not afford to stay in business. Companies may charge less than this but probably charge additional fees for insurance, surcharges, and certain supplies among other things in order to compensate. Companies that charge more may include key features that other lower priced companies do not such as premium insurance coverage, wardrobe boxes, bags for your beds and may also have more professional staff.

A harder working, more experienced crew can usually complete a 'professional' move in less time and with less damage than a less experienced crew with substandard work ethic. For this reason a moving company charging $70 per hour could end up costing the customer more than a moving company that charges $100 per hour. On the same note, disreputable moving companies often advertise low rates in order to attract customers. Then when the crew arrives on moving day, they purposely prolong the job to make more money. This allows them to bring in the same revenue as the ethical company but with very little overhead in comparison. This is one of the biggest scams in the moving industry. Although the industry has a very bad reputation for this sort of thing, a large portion of the problem is caused by consumer ignorance. If consumers made more of an effort to inform themselves, the illegitimate and unprofessional moving companies would not be able to take advantage of them. You can protect yourself by making sure the company is a member of the BBB and check it's standing, verify it's insurance coverage, and search for complaints against the company. You can also visit for a list of Ottawa's Top Movers. The moving companies listed on that site have been verified to meet important criteria that help protect consumers.

All too often, companies offering low prices are cutting corners somewhere in order to still be able to profit. This can be through the quality of the movers they hire. Poorly paid workers do not usually reflect the same work ethic as well paid workers. It only stands to reason that a good, careful, experienced mover with good values and a strong work ethic would not be attracted to low pay and would be sought after by reputable companies. They can offer poor or no insurance coverage to save money. Many companies advertise they are fully insured but don't give the customer access to that coverage, offering a protection plan instead. A protection plan is a legitimate alternative but can not be referred to as insurance as it is not regulated by the insurance industry or the law. You are relying on the company to live up to it's word and pay you for damages. Often, when major damages occur, these companies refuse to settle and if it goes to court, 'fly-by-night' companies close the business and begin operating under a different name. That's if the company was even registered in the first place. If it isn't registered, you are uaually flat out of luck. Another way these companies can save a buck is to scrimp on the trucks and equipment. Having your moving truck break down after it was fully loaded with your belongings could prove to be a major setback. This can happen with older trucks that are not well maintained. The crew not having the proper tools to disasseble your furniture can be problematic. Not having proper equipment such as moving blankets, straps, dollies, bed bags and floor protectors can lead to damages and cause the move to take longer. These are just a few of the problems caused by cutting corners.

The largest noticeable price differences are usually between legitimate, registered moving companies and illegitimate, 'fly-by-night' companies. This is because the illegitimate movers do not have to worry about the same overhead that a legitimate moving company must absorb.
Some of these costs include:

  • business registration
  • BBB (Better Business Bureau) registration
  • business phone lines
  • accounting
  • cargo insurance
  • liability insurance
  • employee bonding
  • payroll deductions (CPP, EI, taxes)
  • WSIB (workers safety insurance)
  • vacation / holiday / overtime pay
  • proper equipment
  • proper tools - furniture (dis)assembly
  • office equipment / expenses
  • proper vehicle maintenance
  • advertising / marketing
  • uniforms
  • many other related costs

Ignoring all the indirect costs associated with running a moving company, the following is a breakdown of the basic directly related costs that a moving company must pay out (keep in mind that these related costs only represent about 85% of the actual cost of running a professional moving crew). These figures are only estimates based on averages for the 2015 year and may not be 100% accurate.

Labour - $23.38 per hour per person
(average including employer contributions)
  • Salary - $18 per hour
  • Workers Safety Insurance - 6.72% of wages
  • Canada Pension Plan - 4.95% of wages
  • Employment Insurance - 2.632% of wages
  • Vacation pay - 4% of wages
  • Holiday pay - 3.1% of wages
  • Administrative - 12.5% of wages

Truck - $20 per hour
  • truck lease / amortization of purchase
  • fuel / oil / other fluids
  • maintenace / repairs
  • licensing / permits / reports
  • Insurance (cargo / liability / bonding)
  • Equipment / tools

1st Rate Movers - Ottawa

Professional Movers
Serving Greater Ottawa
(613) 260-0505
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