We hope this moving guide helps you as you prepare for your local or long-distance move.
Please review our Moving Process, Customer Responsibilities, and Transit Protection details. It is important that you read and understand this information and let us know if you have any questions.
1. Determine the estimated weight of your goods.
The first step of the moving process is to determine the estimated weight of the goods you are shipping. This can be determined from a list of items obtained from an in-house estimate, from an e-mailed list of goods from you to us, from a list of goods obtained over the phone, or from a list submitted through your booking agent’s website.
2. We provide you with an estimate.
Once we know the weight of your shipment, where you are moving to and from, and when you are moving we provide you with an estimate of costs. Your Moving Consultant reviews all details and services with you and lists them on your Estimate.
3. You book your move.
A deposit is required for your reservation and is taken at the time of booking, this deposit is deducted from your total charges. A reservation (registration) number is issued and your move is booked for the agreed-upon date. We e-mail you all moving-related documents for your review and records, so it is important that we have your correct e-mail address at the time your reservation is made.
4. We reconfirm your move details.
We will contact you again by phone or e-mail at least two days prior to your move or packing date to reconfirm your start time, address and services. If for some reason we have not been able to reach you it is important that you contact our Dispatch Office at least two days prior to your move date so we can review all details with you.
5. Our crew is sent to your home.
The crew that has been assigned to your move will be dispatched and arrive by your scheduled start time. In the event that they are delayed due to traffic or any other unforeseen circumstances, they will contact you in advance of your start time to advise you of the delay and expected arrival time.
6. Review of your contract, services, and list of items.
When we arrive at your home on your move date, you will be introduced to your moving crew and we will lay floor runners to protect the main traffic areas of your home. The Van Foreman will ask you to sign the contract and will complete a walk-through of your home with you to review the list of goods to be shipped, and the services we will be provided as listed on your Bill of Lading and Estimate Form. It is important that your list of items being moved on the day of the move is the same as was listed on your estimate. Your reservation is based on this weight and space needed and we may not have room for additional items. Any additional items may have to be moved at a later date on another truck.
7. Packing (we can help with that)
If we pack your household goods all items are professionally packaged in moving cartons; and provided that you have declared value on your goods, all items we pack are covered under our transit protection (see details below). You are welcome to do your own packing as long as you understand your goods do not carry the same coverage; because we cannot confirm that contents were properly wrapped and packaged. However, if it is proven that there is negligence (exterior carton damage) caused by our crews to your packed cartons, we may be liable for content damage. If you notice exterior damage to your cartons open the carton, inspect the contents, and identify and record any damage in the presence of your Van Foreman on the Inventory Form under the Delivery Exceptions Column.
8. If moving into storage or long distance.
If your goods are moving to storage or long distance, an Inventory of the items you are shipping and their condition at origin will be created. It is important that you review this Inventory with the Van Foreman to ensure you acknowledge the original conditions of your items being shipped.
Sofa/Couch sets (with the exception of leather) and upholstered goods, mattresses and box springs should be plastic wrapped to prevent damage. The cost per piece is $10.00 – $15.00. All other furniture will be blanket wrapped in professional moving blankets.
10. Figuring out the final balance you owe.
Your shipment is weighed (scaled) to determine the final charges. Before the truck arrives at your home it is weighed at a certified scale. This process provides the ‘Light Weight’ (Tare) of the truck before we load your shipment. After the truck is loaded we return to the scale to get the ‘Heavy Weight’ (Gross weight.) The Tare weight is subtracted from the Gross weight to give us the ‘Net Weight’ or weight of your shipment. If a scale facility is not available your shipment weight may be determined using the Constructive Weight. In this method your shipment weight is determined by the volume of space it occupies in the truck. The length x height x width x 7 pounds per cubic foot = your shipment weight. This information is forwarded to our Dispatch by the Van Foreman and within 2 business days, the final charges are forwarded to you by e-mail.
11. Notification of delivery at destination.
Your Van Foreman will be in contact with you at least one day prior to arrival to your new residence. At this time your final delivery date and time will be scheduled. Please make sure we have adequate parking and that elevators are reserved if required.
Unloading of your goods
Upon arrival, the crew will lay floor runners to protect your floors in the most traveled areas of your new residence. You will also be required to instruct the crew as to the room and location you would like your items delivered to. You are required to check the items off of your Inventory and to verify that there is no damage or missing items upon delivery. If damaged or missing items are noticed, note them on the Delivery Exceptions column of your Inventory Form beside the corresponding number of the damaged or missing item.
The final bill of lading and inventories – Once everything is unloaded and you have confirmed that you have received your goods, you will be given a final signed copy of the Bill of Lading and Inventories for your records.
Don’t forget to submit your moving expenses to your accountant; most moving expenses are tax-deductible.
Tractor Trailer units are on average 80 feet long and require at least 100 feet of space to park. It is your responsibility to advise us of any access issues such as parking restrictions, construction, inaccessible driveways and any other circumstances that would prevent the tractor-trailer from getting within 100 feet of your residence. Sidewalks and driveways must be free of debris and snow. Please be aware that if your tractor-trailer does not have adequate access, a smaller unit may be required to shuttle your goods at an additional charge to you. A shuttle involves loading your goods from a residence on a small truck and then transferring them to the tractor-trailer unit at another location.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you or your representative is available at your residence throughout the packing and loading process to authorize the move, instruct the crew, and sign all relocation documents such as the Bill of Lading and Inventory Forms.
It is your responsibility to ensure items such as freezers and electronics have been serviced (disconnected, defrosted, cords wrapped) and is ready to ship on moving day.
Any items that you pack are not covered for damage under your Transit Protection unless negligence occurs on our behalf. However, if we pack and damage occurs you have full coverage. Loose unpacked items such as mirrors, TV’s, glassware or anything that can fit in a carton must be packed. Shipping loose items may result in damage or loss and this will be at your risk.
Most customers declare a value of $8.00 per pound on their articles. This means that if you have a 40-pound carton and you declared $8.00/lb the maximum compensation you would receive in the event of a loss is $8.00/lb x 40lbs = $320.00. It is possible to have cartons with a much higher value than this minimum amount, and so you should declare your value appropriately if more coverage is needed. We consider any carton with a value of goods that is more than $1000.00 to be a high-value article (with the exception of televisions as they are considered standard items). These high-value cartons and articles must be identified on a High-Value Article Form by you and reviewed with our Van Foreman on loading day. This process will require inspection of the contents, a listing of the article on a High-Value Article Form and extra care taken of these High-Value Articles by our crews. High Value and fragile articles such as marble, glass, artwork or paintings, should be crated or packed; if they are shipped unpacked, they are shipped at your risk. We do not accept articles of extraordinary value such as cash, jewelry, valuable documents, coins, and stamps – you must carry these items with you. Please ensure you do not ship items such as passports and your driver’s license – carry these items with you as well.
It is your right to review the Inventory Forms and approve the list of items shipped and the conditions of the items at the time of pick up and to question any item that does not appear to be correctly listed.
You will be required to complete an inspection of your home once we have completed loading to ensure we have packed and removed all items. Items left behind will be your responsibility.
Please ensure we have contact phone numbers for you at the destination – this is the only way we can reach you, so please advise us of all phone numbers and any e-mail addresses you may have. They must be listed on your contract.
Please ensure we have adequate access to your moving truck at delivery. Tractor-trailer units require up to 100 feet of space to park. If we do not have adequate access a shuttle truck will be used at an additional charge.
Have your final payment ready for the driver at delivery. This is due prior to unloading and must be of the type listed. If you are paying by credit card, the cardholder must be present with the card at the time of delivery. Credit card payments should be made online at the time of delivery or in advance if you do not have internet access.
It is recommended that at least two people be available to receive your shipment: one to check the items off the Inventory Form as they come into your home and a second to inspect the conditions of the items and direct us to the location you would like them placed.
Any damaged or missing items must be noted on the Inventory Forms prior to your driver’s departure to be considered a valid claim.
Please ensure you have a complete set of signed and dated documents (Bill of Lading and Inventory Forms) prior to your driver’s departure.
Great Canadian Van Lines is committed to providing you with the best possible transit protection for your goods. Although we have one of the lowest claim ratios in the moving industry, loss or damage of your goods can still occur. We offer two types of protection for your goods while in transit:
Type I: Released Value Protection
Released Value Protection is the most economical type of protection for your goods. This coverage is mandatory as per the Motor Carrier Act and is offered to you at no additional cost. However, this coverage is minimal and will cover your goods to a maximum of 60 cents per pound per article.
Although this coverage is the most economical you must carefully think before choosing this type of coverage because the average household goods are worth considerably more than 60 cents a pound. This coverage restricts the total value of your goods by multiplying the weight of your entire shipment by 60 cents. Loss or damage claims are settled based on the pound weight of the article multiplied by 60 cents.
An example of how these coverage works are as follows:
Your 48” TV is dropped and destroyed and you have chosen Released Value Protection. The weight of the TV is 60 pounds and the maximum amount of payment you would receive is 60lbs times 60 cents which equals $36.00 (60lbs x .60/lb/article = $36.00). The TV cannot be replaced with $36.00 but this is all that you will receive.
Great Canadian Van Lines does not recommend Released Value Protection of your goods unless you have secondary coverage for your goods such as a home owner’s policy that covers your shipment while in transit. Please note that some homeowner policies have costly deductibles which are not worth paying. We recommend checking with your insurance broker before choosing your coverage.
Type II: Replacement Value Protection
This type of coverage is the most commonly chosen as well as the one we recommend in this moving guide. This protection is the most comprehensive plan available for the protection of your goods. When choosing Replacement Value Protection, if an item is lost, damaged or destroyed, we will either repair, replace with the same or like item, or offer a cash settlement for your item. The value of the item is determined at current market value and is not calculated based on depreciated value.
You have the option of declaring a value based on the weight of your shipment times an amount not less than $8 per pound. This means if your shipment is 5000 pounds you can declare a minimum $8.00/lb times 5000 pounds or $40,000.00, or choose a higher value such as $10 per pound. You can also declare a lump sum value (as long as it is higher than $8 per pound) such as $100,000.
Although, this option is superior to the others there is an additional cost for it. Every thousand dollars of declared value for your goods will cost you $6. This means that if you request $100,000 of coverage it will cost you $600 (100 x $6).
An example of how these coverage works is as follows:
Your shipment weighs 5000 pounds and you decide to take the minimum $8 per pound option. This would cost you $240.00 (5000lbs times $/lb = $40,000, 40x$6 =$240.000.
If your 48” TV is damaged and you have Replacement Value Protection, your TV would either be replaced with the same or comparable TV at the time of damage or you would be given the fair market value of the TV in a cash settlement.
Exceptions from Transit Protection
Although you may have declared the Replacement Value Protection, Great Canadian Van Lines cannot cover certain items while in transit. The following is a non-exclusive list of non-protected items.
Owner packed cartons: Items not packed by us which have damage are not covered under transit protection unless there is exterior physical damage to the carton which is recorded on the inventory forms at the time of delivery and it is proven that we did the damage.
Items of extraordinary value: Any unusual article whose value exceeds $100 per pound such as: art, computer software, antiques, extremely high-end furniture, and family heirlooms must be accompanied by an appraisal certificate from a reputable appraiser and provided to us in advance of your move or these items will not be covered.
We cannot move cash, valuable documents, and precious metals such as gold, silver, and jewelry. These items are not covered and settlement will not be made for items such as these if reported lost or missing. This is one of the most important things to note in this moving guide.
Mechanical condition: Great Canadian Van Lines cannot cover mechanical or electrical items due to their fragile and sensitive nature unless there is physical exterior damage to the unit. Examples of these items include but are not limited to:
T.V’s, DVD players, stereo equipment, computers, machinery, and appliances.
It is recommended that in extreme hot or cold weather conditions that you let all electronics warm up to room temperature (manufacturers recommend 24 hours) before you plug them in, plugging them in and turning the power on before this 24 hour period could result in damage and will be your responsibility.
Prohibited items: Dangerous goods such as flammables, explosives, paints, aerosols, propane tanks, fuel, and equipment containing fuel, ammunition, and flares must not be shipped.
Plants: We do not recommend shipping plants and they are not covered under Transit Protection.
Liquids: We do not recommend shipping bottled liquids or wine as they can leak or break and cause damage to your goods, damage caused by leakage of liquids you ship are not covered under your transit protection.