A moving broker, as the name implies, accepts moving leads or booked shipments, and then brokers these shipments to other companies. These companies are essentially sales organizations and the inherent problem is that they do not have the resources or infrastructure to always live up to their commitments. Moving brokers have actually significantly damaged the reputation of the industry. Although conceptually, brokering moves makes sense, the practical application can have disastrous consequences.
WHO IS A MOVING BROKER? A moving broker is anyone who will not actually do the moving for you directly or via their van line affiliation. It is not always easy to spot a broker given that their names are often designed to confuse the prospect into thinking that they are a legitimate carrier. In addition, these companies are often very good from a sales and marketing standpoint, and have a tendency to show up on the top of a Google search. Make sure that you read the fine print, and if you have any doubts, ask whether the person that you received the estimate from is, in fact, a broker. More useful information is available at the following government website: www.protectyourmove.gov
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE BROKERS? Theoretically there are no problems, and this is a legitimate business model. The practical implication, however, has revealed unscrupulous selling practices and a slew of stranded customers. These companies make their money by selling your moving services, taking a significant percentage, and then giving your move to a carrier. Because the cost structure is so low and their reputation so bad, most legitimate movers have no interest in associating with brokers.
WHAT IS BEING DONE ABOUT THIS? The industry has been lobbying for legislation to curtail the activities of moving brokers and rogue moving companies. In 2011 some legislation passed that will certainly hamper the ability of these companies to operate in the same questionable fashion that they have historically.