Decoding Rates of Movers and Packers in India

So you have decided to hire movers and packers and even asked for a few quotations. Great…! But a word of advice: there might be some hidden charges in the quotation your relocation service company may not divulge at first.

Curious? Spare 5minutes and give this a read.

Movers and packers companies in India offer end-to-end home shifting and relocation services. Obviously there is a cost associated with the shifting that movers and packers companies will charge from you. But did you know that a domestic shifting basically is a combined process of multiple small tasks and there are different cost heads under which a mover and packer service provider is going to charge you? Some times it becomes really hard for you to understand why a mover has charged certain fees and you could have avoided paying such fees.

This post is going to give you a good idea of how to avoid paying more when hiring movers and packers in India for household  shifting services.

Rates of movers and hidden costs in home shifting

So, are you ready? Let’s head ahead and get into the details.

Standard rates of movers and packers in India for domestic shifting

Local home shifting does not cost you a lot of money and it’s straight forward. There is less scope for complicating the process and the bills. So we’ll leave it to that. But when you talk about long distance home shifting (domestic moving services) it is way more complicated than local home shifting.

Even if the title of this section says ‘standard rates’, let me tell you that there are no standard relocation. Rates of movers and packers companies in India are very much variable and rightly so because needs and service requirements also vary from case to case basis.

Some of the major factors that come into play when packers and movers service provider calculate house shifting estimate for local or domestic household shifting in India :

Distance between source and destination cities,
Volume of goods,
Size of the truck which is required to move your goods,
Amount of Insurance needed,
Quality of packing materials,
Handling and labour charges,
Value added services like unpacking and re-arranging after moving,
Whether storage will be required or not,
Applicable service tax on overall charges
Now,   let’s understand the common cost heads of home shifting in India.

Here you go.


Packing Charges

Depending on the volume of goods and its nature different types of packing materials in different quantity will be required. It’s the duty of the movers and packers companies to procure packing good quality materials and ensure that your goods are packed in such a way that it can be moved and transported in safe and sound condition. So expect to see a cost head for packing charges in home shifting quotations submitted by the movers.

Transportation charges

Transportation charge is anyways self explanatory and it’s the cost of moving your goods. But how much they will charge for transportation services again depend on the distance as well as the volume of goods. Depending on the volume, a mover can check the feasibility as to whether they need a larger truck or a smaller one and moving cost will vary accordingly. So expect to see this cost head in your moving estimates and quotations.

Labor charges

Obviously there are labor involved in handling and carrying out all of the packing and shifting. Labor costs usually covers labor charges for packing, loading, unloading, unpacking etc. But since this is a generalized cost head, it is better to ask your mover to explain this cost head.


Buying transit insurance could be a life saver in worse case scenarios. Even if insurance is not offered by movers and packers companies, they have tie-ups with leading insurance service provider and some time they pay to the insurance company and include it in the bills to charge from you. So ask clearly about the insurance and see the certificate or receipt of the payment for transit insurance. There is no point in paying more for this.

Applicable taxes

There are different kinds of taxes applicable and movers and packers companies will charge you those taxes and later pay it to the government of India. Some of the most common taxes which may be applicable are service tax and octroi or state tax. Ask your mover to explain about any such tax and check that when they are charging you, they have genuine reasons for the same.

That pretty much covers the general costs heads and you can find them on most of the quotations that movers and packers companies will submit for you to evaluate. But apart from these heads, depending on the situation, a mover may charge you under other shifting and relocation cost heads.

Beware :There may be some hidden costs in the quotations as well !

Most of the movers and packers companies who are established will be happy to disclose everything before they agree to help you. I call them genuine and trustworthy service providers. They won’t try to trick you by agreeing on the costs you propose and once hired, they start manipulating you. But it’s not at all strange to find such relocation service providers in India. They will agree on lower rates and as the work progress, they’ll come up with new excuses and invalid reasons to charge you. What are those possible excuses? These are basically the hidden costs which was not mentioned in the initial quotations, but it appears as you progress with the shifting of your house. Let’s take a look.

Costs for local transportation

There is a term in packing and shifting and it’s called as door-to-door shifting services. Like local shifting is always door to door where goods are packed, loaded and delivered from one house to another house. But in case of long distance move when you don’t enough of household stuff so that a mini truck can be loaded, then movers and packers will send your goods using a shared truck. That means, when a truck with full load is heading toward that route, they will send your goods in the same truck. On the way, they will unload your goods and put it in a warehouse which is usually outside of the city. They will again hire a mini Tata ace kind of a vehicle to transport your goods from the warehouse to your home and they will charge you for that. But initially, they won’t disclose this process to you, but thank me because you know this now. Be aware and ensure that you don’t have to pay anything for local transportation and it’s their duty to deliver it at your door by whatever means they have to.

Costs for in-transit storage services

Sometime your goods have to be stored in a warehouse in certain situations like your new home is not yet ready for possessions and it’s going to take another week. In such cases when movers know that you don’t have a choice, they may start charging you for storage services. However, if you negotiate which you should before finalizing anyways, they will be happy to offer free storage services for a week or two.

Third-party service charges

Sometime, movers have to avail third party service during packing and shifting. They may have to hire an electrician, plumber or a carpenter to perform certain tasks like disassembling or disconnecting certain appliances. It may be a valid reason or an invalid one, but you should be aware of such costs. So even before you finalize a mover, let them clearly mention that they will charge certain amount or it’s included in the quotations.

Other value added service charges

Apart from the above services, movers and packers companies when packing a shifting a house offers other value added services. If you discuss and negotiate about these services in advance, they may offer such services for free to grab your work order or at least offer some kind of a distance for values added services like unpacking, re-assembling and re-arranging after move.

Time to take some action people..!

If you are planning to Hire Packers and Movers for Home Shifting Services, then keep these facts in mind. Do not forget to negotiate with them carefully and if you do it right, while hiring a movers and packers company in India, you can really save lots of money and save yourself from any dispute moving forward.

Also remember, rates should not be the only criteria to select a movers and packers company. There are other parameters based on which you should take a decision

So tell us how was your personal experience? Did you find any discrepancies in the quotations or have any experience to share about hidden costs or higher rates of movers and packers companies in India? We would love to hear from you..!