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The 7 Best Moving Companies in Hawaii (2023)

Updated Jan 12, 2023

Updated Jan 12, 2023

Home > Moving > The 7 Best Moving Companies in Hawaii (2023)

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Moving is one of the most stressful life events you’ll ever endure. Moving to, from, or between the Hawaiian Islands can present you with plenty of other logistical hurdles aside from those moving clients generally experience.

We’ve researched and reviewed several dozen providers to make this process hassle-free and accessible. In this guide, you’ll learn more about the best moving companies in Hawaii and how to plan and budget for a move to or from the Aloha State.

The 7 Best Moving Companies in Hawaii

Our top recommended moving companies for 2023:


Compare the Best Moving Companies in Hawaii

Here, we’ve included some basic information about Hawaii’s top moving providers. The moving companies below are excellent options for long-distance, mainland, and local moves.

CompanyWebsiteOur TakeOur RatingBBB RatingLocal CostLong-Distance Cost
International Van LinesSiteBest Full-Service Mover9.8B$600 – $1,200$5,400 – $9,200
Allied Van LinesSiteMost Vehicle Shipping Options9.4A+$750 – $1,350$7,400 – $10,900
Safeway Moving SystemsSiteBest Overall Moving Broker9.6N/ANo local services$2,000 – $5,000
Moving APTSiteMost Moving Partners9.6B$850 – $1,700$3,900 – $7,000
U-PackSiteMost Widely-Available Container Service9.3A+N/A$4,100 – $5,100
North American Van LinesSiteBest Pricing Options9.2A+$750 – $1,350$7,400 – $10,900
PODSSiteMost Container Size Options9.1B$700 – $1,900$4,200 – $5,200

For your purposes, you should note that the local costs and the costs of 2,000-mile moves are most relevant. The former will cover inter or intra-island moves, while the latter will best apply to mainland relocations.


International Van Lines: Best Full-Service Mover

Our Top Pick
International Van Lines
  • Serving 50 states and 180 countries
  • Excellent customer service
  • One month of free storage

Why We Recommend IVL

International Van Lines is our choice for the best island mover. Though it’s a relatively recent entrant into the domestic moving industry, it is now one of the most easily recognized names in the business. It currently handles more than 20,000 moves per year. With operational ability in all 50 states and 180 other countries, you can truly depend on them for any moving need.

The most constant aspect of this provider’s track record is its commitment to customer service. IVL customers consistently report on this mover’s communication and accessibility throughout the moving process. Especially with how involved Hawaiian moves can be, this is a welcome addition for most moving clients.

Pros and Cons of International Van Lines

Pros

  • Available across the U.S. and in 180 other countries
  • Its customer service features heavily in positive reviews
  • One month of free storage included in moves

Cons

  • Limited locations in the U.S.
  • Brokers out many of its American moves

Services Offered

International Van Lines does local, long-distance, and international moves for both residential and commercial relocations. The service offerings include packing and unpacking, storage services (short-term and long-term), custom crating for fragile items, debris removal, auto transport, piano moving, air and ocean freight, and more.

International Van Lines Cost

International Van Lines consistently provides clients with some of the most competitive rates in the industry. Here, we’ve taken a quick look at expected costs for moves of varying lengths.

<250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$1,400 – $4,400$1,900 – $4,900$2,100 – $5,100$2,400 – $5,400
4 BR$3,200 – $6,200$5,100 – $8,100$5,700 – $8,700$6,200 – $9,200

Get a free quote from IVL here.

Read our full IVL review to learn more.


Allied Van Lines: Most Vehicle Shipping Options

Most Vehicle Shipping Options
Allied Van Lines
  • No hidden fees
  • Vehicle shipping is NOT outsourced
  • GPS tracking

Why We Recommend Allied

Allied is one of the oldest and most trusted moving companies in the United States today. In 88 years in the business, Allied has built a brand that’s synonymous with excellence across all 50 states. It provides a suite of excellent services backed by top moving crews. Currently, this mover maintains a 96% satisfaction rate — no small feat when it has handled 750,000 moves in the last 15 years.

Allied’s large moving vans and expertise allow it to provide a range of specialty shipping options. This includes shipping for several different vehicles and large items. In many cases, moving clients will have to broker any vehicle shipping needs out to third-party carriers. Allied being able to provide these services directly makes for a far smoother moving experience.

Pros and Cons of Allied Van Lines

Pros

  • Transparent pricing
  • Provides vehicle shipping in-house
  • GPS tracking offered for all moves

Cons

  • Claims process for damages can be lengthy
  • Elevated costs for longer moves

Services Offered

Allied’s international reach and service offerings could greatly assist you if moving to or from the islands. Allied offers packing and unpacking, furniture assembly and disassembly, car shipping, boat and specialty vehicle shipping, storage options, debris removal, GPS shipment tracking.

Allied Cost

Allied’s rates are slightly above industry averages but still within reason, considering the services it can provide. Here are some sample price ranges from recent Allied moves:

<250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$1,800 – $4,500$2,400 – $5,400$2,700 – $5,700$4,400 – $7,400
4 BR$3,300 – $6,000$5,700 – $8,700$7,500 – $10,500$10,900 – $13,900

Get a free quote from Allied Van Lines here.

Read our Allied review for an in-depth breakdown.


Safeway Moving Systems: Best Overall Moving Broker

Best Flat Rate Pricing
Safeway
  • Diverse service offerings
  • Flat rate for all moves
  • 30 days free storage

Why We Recommend Safeway

Safeway Moving Systems is our choice for the best moving broker available in the state of Hawaii. This Chicago-based firm operates throughout all 50 states via a network of trusted carriers and has upheld a positive reputation among customers. Its status as a broker allows it far more flexibility than many of its competitors and makes it a great choice for moves with multiple specialty requirements like car shipping, piano moving, or other similar add-ons.

Safeway’s commitment to integrity and accountability for its work has been one of its main calling cards over its tenure in the industry. That overall quality and the bottom-line pricing it provides means that there are no surprises when you book with Safeway. All cost estimates are clearly broken down and itemized so you can see exactly what you’re paying for at the beginning. You’ll know how much your move should cost and why your price is set at a certain point.

Pros & Cons of Safeway Moving Systems

Pros

  • Offers itemized estimates with bottom-line pricing
  • Provides premium basic and add-on services
  • 30 days of free storage (at destination) offered with each move
  • Garners consistently high customer satisfaction ratings

Cons

  • Website is somewhat lacking in pricing information
  • No local moving option available

Services Offered

Safeway’s exact service offerings will depend on where you’re located. However, in most cases, offerings include packing materials, short- and long-term storage, and car and piano shipping. Safeway also does commercial relocations with excellent full-valuation coverage options.

Safeway Cost

Safeway cost estimates include shipping weight, labor, add-on services, and more, and account for outside factors like time of year and carrier availability. As far as billing goes, you’ll be obligated to pay a deposit to Safeway to reserve your move date, with the remainder due upon completion of the job.

250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$2,000 – $5,000$2,100 – $5,100$2,200 – $5,200$2,700 – $5,700
4 BR$3,200 – $6,200$4,700 – $6,700$5,500 – $7,500$7,800 – $10,800

State Availability: 50  States

Learn More: Read our full Safeway review to learn more about Safeway Moving Systems, and how it can assist with your Hawaii move.


Moving APT: Most Moving Partners

Most Moving Partners
Moving APT
  • Profiles for most-used partners
  • Price matching and discounts
  • Large pool of moving providers

Why We Recommend Moving APT

Moving APT was founded in 1999 as a relatively small operation. The goal of this provider is to provide clients with added peace of mind and to ease the booking process for relocations of all sizes. Being a nationwide broker, it partners with many of the top moving companies in each state and locale around the United States. No matter your exact location, you’ll likely be able to find a Moving APT partner to assist with your relocation needs.

Moving APT’s provider breakdowns and summaries removes much of consumers’ guesswork when booking with a moving broker. Its more than 500 partner companies are all adequately vetted, registered, and insured, with Moving APT consistently checking to verify the operational ability of each carrier.

Pros and Cons of Moving APT

Pros

  • Its website includes full profiles of many of its most-used partners
  • Price matching and discounts offered
  • The number of affiliates equals excellent diversity of service

Cons

  • Service quality varies depending on the local partner used for your move
  • Some negative reviews and FMCSA complaints report price changing by local agents

Services Offered

As brokers, Moving APT’s service offerings are fairly unlimited and are among the most diverse in the business. Some of its more commonly provided services for local and interstate moves are storage (one free month included with all moves), piano moving, car shipping, packing services with supplies, appliance connection services, and some furniture disassembly and reassembly.

Moving APT Cost

Another of Moving APT’s leading features is its price-matching capability. Moving APT will match your price for any move if you get a competing quote. Because of this, and because it works with many of the leading movers in the business, Moving APT’s price points are typical for the industry. You’ll have to get a quote through its website to get your pricing estimate, but you can expect to pay $4,000 to $8,000 for a move to the mainland. For a more local or small move, you’ll typically pay between $850 and $2,000.

Get a free quote from Moving APT here.

Our full Moving APT review can provide you with further information about this moving broker.


U-Pack: Best Overall Container Mover

Best Overall Container Service
U-Pack
  • 240 locations nationwide
  • “Pay for what you use” pricing
  • 3-day grace period for loading/unloading

Why We Recommend U-Pack

U-Pack is our choice for the best overall container service due to its wide availability and the ease with which customers can carry out moves with them. U-Pack’s network of 240 locations and storage facilities across the country provide customers in numerous locations with easy access to DIY moving assistance. For all Hawaiian moving needs, its locations on both Maui and Kauai are excellent options.

U-Pack’s pricing structure allows clients to dictate their price points somewhat. When you book a move with them, you’ll be able to pay for only the space you use within its containers. This is an obvious plus, given the potential cost of shipping goods to or from the mainland.

Pros and Cons of U-Pack

Pros

  • 240 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada
  • Only pay for what you use
  • Three-day windows for loading and unloading

Cons

  • Accounting for parking accommodations for units and trailers can be difficult
  • No local moving services (under 150 miles)

Services Offered

With U-Pack, you’ll have access to the following options. ReloCubes can accommodate most studio apartments, while trailers are ideal for anything up to a three-bedroom home.

  • Your choice of an 8-foot ReloCube or 27-foot trailer
  • Short-term and long-term storage solutions at U-Pack shipping hubs
  • Moving help can be hired if needed through the U-Pack site

U-Pack Cost

U-Pack’s rates are among the best in the industry and are even lower than many of its container competitors. You’ll find a table of U-Pack’s average rates for recent moves here. Be sure to get your own quote to ensure accurate pricing before booking. Due to its lack of local moving services, you may be unable to stage an inter-island move with U-Pack. You should contact this provider to discuss your options on this front.

<250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$600 – $1,600$1,200 – $2,200$1,600 – $2,600$2,100 – $3,100
4 BR$800 – $1,800$1,800 – $2,800$2,800 – $3,800$4,100 – $5,100

Get a free quote with U-Pack here.

If you’re in the market for a container move, our U-Pack review can provide you with more information.


North American Van Lines: Best Pricing Options

Best Pricing Options
North American Van Lines
  • GPS tracking
  • Dedicated move coordinator provided relocations
  • “Not to exceed” pricing option

Why We Recommend NAVL

North American Van Lines (NAVL) is one of the most widely available and trusted movers in the United States. Its availability is nearly unmatched, with 500 local agents spread across 50 states. Whether you’re planning to move from Oahu to the Big Island or relocate to or from the East Coast, NAVL’s customer service and experienced crews will be of quality assistance.

North American Van Lines provides its clients with flexible pricing options. With “bottom line” and “not to exceed” options, you’ll be able to take some of the guesswork out of setting your budget. Many poor moving experiences begin and end with pricing discrepancies, which NAVL is able to eliminate.

Pros and Cons of North American Van Lines

Pros

  • GPS tracking available for all moves and shipments
  • Dedicated customer service via a personal move coordinator for all relocations
  • Variable pricing structure helps clients stay on budget

Cons

  • Many reviews report complicated claims processes for damage
  • Specialty services can be based on local agent ability

Services Offered

North American offers clients packing and unpacking (full-service or partial), furniture assembly and disassembly, debris removal, 24/7 shipment tracking, appliance installation, and storage options. NAVL does local, long-distance, and international relocations.

NAVL Cost

North American’s costs can run a little high. However, the pricing options mentioned above help ensure some degree of transparency. Here are some sample rates from recent NAVL moves:

<250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$1,800 – $4,500$2,400 – $5,400$2,700 – $5,700$4,400 – $7,400
4 BR$3,300 – $6,000$5,700 – $8,700$7,500 – $10,500$10,900 – $13,900

Get a quote from NAVL here.

Read our North Americal Van Lines review for more information about moving with NAVL.


PODS: Most Container Sizing Options

Why We Recommend PODS

PODS may well be one of the most recognized names in the moving industry. It was the original provider of moving containers for DIY relocations. Since its inception 20 years ago, PODS has become synonymous with containers from all companies, regardless of branding. This provider offers three sizes best for small and medium-sized moves. Honolulu’s location is ideally situated to handle inter-island, local, and long-distance moving needs.

PODS sizing options make it more versatile than many of its competitors. While some providers may only offer a single container option, PODS provides a bit more versatility and helps move clients to ensure they won’t be paying for space they won’t need.

Pros and Cons of Working with PODS

Pros

  • Flexible drop-off and pick-up make for easy loading and unloading
  • The pricing listed on PODS’ website is fairly accurate
  • A month of free storage included with each move

Cons

  • Not cost effective for large moves
  • Location can affect costs

Services Offered

PODS does local, long-distance, and interstate moves. Customers can choose from 7-foot, 12-foot, or 16-foot containers and utilize short and long-term storage options. Additionally, PODS offers third-party car shipping and loading assistance.

PODS Cost

As a container service, PODS’ costs are extremely low. Here, you’ll find a full breakdown of average pricing from this mover.

<250 mi500 mi1,000 mi2,000 mi
2 BR$700 – $1,700$1,300 – $2,300$1,700 – $2,700$2,200 – $3,200
4 BR$900 – $1,900$1,900 – $2,900$2,900 – $3,900$4,200 – $5,200

Get a quote from PODS here.

PODS is one of the most recognized names in moving. Read our PODS review to learn more.


How to Choose a Moving Company

Due to the relatively lower cost, many on the islands opt for container moves.

Given the numerous horror stories you’ve likely heard about moves gone awry, you may be wary about the vetting process. We’ve broken down some key criteria for you to remember when getting quotes from any mover. Remember, you’re well within your rights to request proof of any registrations and insurance policies before booking. It’s important to remember that all free quotes you receive are just that — free. You should never be asked to pay a fee or deposit without signing a moving contract.

State Registration

If your mover of choice is primarily based in Hawaii or focuses mainly on local moves within the state, they must be registered with the state Public Utilities Commission. This body regulates tariffs, safety, and insurance for all island movers.

FMCSA Registration

If you’re planning an inter-island move or working with an interstate moving company, your movers must be registered with the FMCSA. In addition to this, they’ll also have to carry active USDOT and MC numbers, which can be used to research complaint history and registration status through this link.

Proper Insurance

All movers must carry adequate insurance to operate legally. This includes cargo and vehicle policies and the following:

  • Workers’ compensation: This policy protects your interests in the rare event of a work-related injury during your move. Without such coverage, you or your mover could be held liable for damages incurred.
  • Released liability: At a rate of $0.60 per pound per item, this policy provides reimbursement in case of loss or damage to your goods during a move. This is accompanied by optional valuation coverage from most movers.
Solid Reviews

Moving companies rely on customer reviews and feedback to market themselves effectively. Reviewing reviews from multiple sources can give you far more accurate insight into a mover’s exact practices and customer treatment. This includes reviews from Google, Yelp, social media, and BBB.

Full-Service Moving

A full-service move will always be the most expensive option for relocations of any size. Under this service model, your movers will take full responsibility for protecting and moving your goods and any additional services you could need. If you’re planning a move to or from the mainland, this is likely your best option. Such moves include professional furniture wrapping, which is ideal for longer shipments.

Self-Service Moves

A self-service move involves renting a moving truck or container and providing for all associated labor on your own. Such rentals allow you to hire local movers to help as needed, which means that self-service or semi-self-service moves are viable for nearly all home sizes.


Moving To Hawaii

The state of Hawaii is famous worldwide for its beautiful scenery and ideal weather. Island life — and island time — are incredibly easy for most to settle into. Locals know this to be true; the longer you’ve been on the islands, the more likely you will stay. If you’re looking to make your new home in Hawaii, we’ve outlined all relevant information here. Read on to learn more about moving costs, cost of living, and how to plan your move.

Hawaii Moving Costs

We’ve outlined the relative costs of moving within, to, or from Hawaii. Moves within the same island will be considered local, while inter-island or mainland moves will be long-distance. Reviewing these figures should give you a basic idea of what you should set your move budget ahead of your move.

1 BR2 BR3 BR4 BR
Local$1,200$1,500$2,000$2,750
250 mi$2,750$3,800$5,100$6,000
500 mi$3,100$4,100$6,000$6,700
1000 mi$3,500$4,500$6,400$8,400
2000 mi$4,300$4,900$6,800$9,000
2500 mi$4,800$5,100$7,100$10,000
3000 mi$5,100$6,000$8,750$11,250

Once again, your primary focus will be on the local and 250-mile costs and the costs for 2,000-mile moves and beyond. The distance between Los Angeles and Hawaii is 2,500 miles, making even the shortest of mainland moves a costly endeavor. Be sure to get multiple quotes and plan your move well in advance to pay the lowest possible price and have the most hassle-free experience.

Best Cities in Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations for tourists worldwide, and for a good reason. The following cities offer prospective residents some of the best aspects of island life.

  • Maunawili: Located on Oahu, this Honolulu suburb is home to just 2,000 residents, many of whom are retirees (with a median age over 50). This community offers a more spread-out, rural atmosphere within close proximity to urban amenities. Schools in the area are considered above average, with a favorable student-to-teacher ratio of 15.9. More than 90% of residents currently own their homes, although median costs run upwards of $1.2 million.
  • Mililani Mauka: Mililani Mauka is another larger suburb of Honolulu that currently houses 20,000. With easy access to the capital city via the nearby highway and close proximity to Oahu Forest National Wildlife Preserve, this town balances urban access and open spaces well. Median home prices are $615,000, making it relatively affordable compared to the rest of the island.
  • Waikele: Waikele is another Oahu town that routinely rates among the best places to live on the islands. This suburb of a little over 7,500 enjoys easy urban access, plenty of green spaces, close proximity to public parks and golf courses, and above-average schools. Most residents elect to buy rather than rent, and median home values are $558,000.

Living in Hawaii

Housing in Hawaii’s cities is densely packed and expensive. If you’re moving to Hawaii, you’ll want to be sure that your housing and employment situations are secure first.
Alamy/ Stock Image
  • Cost of living: Across the board, general living costs are 70% higher in Hawaii than in the rest of the United States as a whole. This is spurred mainly by elevated grocery costs (51% higher), utility costs (85% higher), and housing costs (169% higher).
  • Cost of housing: As mentioned, housing is the main source of elevated general costs in Hawaii. Median home costs now sit at $909,743, according to Zillow. A two-bedroom home will cost you around $2,042 monthly to rent, although this figure rises to more than $2,500 on Oahu.
  • Employment: You’ll generally want to line up employment before arriving here. Jobs exist and are plentiful in certain fields, but the market is highly competitive. Given the aging population on the islands, healthcare professions in all sectors are plentiful. Hospitality and tourism took a slight hit during the height of the pandemic but are back to their previous heights now. The unemployment rate sits at 4.1%, which appears to be the leveling-off point post-pandemic. This is only slightly above the national average of 3.5%.
  • Weather: The weather on the islands is as close to most people’s definition of “perfect” as possible. July highs sit around 86 degrees Fahrenheit, while January highs are about 79 degrees. You’ll be treated to ideal conditions no matter the time of year.

Final Thoughts

A key component of any stress-free moving experience is advance planning and booking. The more time you give yourself to plan your move, the better things will go for you. This should begin around two months ahead of your relocation. At this juncture, conduct a full survey of your home and inventory all household goods you need to be moved, along with the add-on services you think you’ll need.

Evaluate companies in your area and schedule moving quotes with all who you think would be a good fit for your move. Our experts recommend getting at least three quotes from the best moving companies in Hawaii, such as Internation Van Lines, American Van Lines, and Safeway Moving Services. After evaluating your options, you should aim to book your move at least a month in advance. Get copies of your move contract and estimate, and keep them on file until your move is complete.


Moving Companies in Hawaii FAQs

Are inter-island moves considered long distance?

Typically, your Hawaii movers will consider such relocations to be long distance. They’ll bill these moves based on shipping weight or volume, and total distance traveled rather than using an hourly rate.

How much do movers cost per hour in Hawaii?

Hourly moving labor in Hawaii costs between $200 and $220 for two movers at a two-hour minimum. This labor comes without the benefit of a moving truck, which will cost extra. The national average for moving labor is $25 to $50 per hour, per mover, which is slightly below the $50 to $55 per hour per mover reflected by the price above.

How do I check if a moving company is licensed in Hawaii?

The state Public Utilities Commission regulates moving companies within Hawaii. This associated link offers a list of all licensed motor carriers within Hawaii, regardless of trade or industry.

How do I file a complaint against a Hawaii mover?

You can report a motor carrier violation, submit a formal complaint, or file a declaration of witness for illegal motor carrier action by following this link. Most moving company complaints stem from billing disputes. In this complaint category, you should know that movers cannot charge you more than 110% of the originally quoted figure (on a written and binding estimate) unless your inventory or service needs change.

How long will my goods take to go from the mainland to the islands, or vice versa?

You’ll have to discuss this with your movers, as individual shippers’ practices and shipping times vary. However, a minimum of a week to 10 days is expected for any shipments between California and Hawaii. Once your goods reach the mainland, you can expect the fastest shippers to cover 400 miles per day with your goods.

House Method’s Rating Methodology

At House Method, our primary goals are to be a reliable source of information and to be totally transparent to our readers. With that in mind, we’ve developed the following formula to render objective ratings – on a scale of 10 points – for the moving companies we review.

  • Transparency (3.0): Communication and being fully straightforward regarding company policies and licensing are incredibly important. A given mover’s willingness to display these, to supply quick quotes, and to provide clearly-worded moving contracts all factor into the three points within this single rating criteria.
  • Cost (2.5): A mover’s cost relative to industry averages, as well as accessibility to cost data play a role in the customer experience as much as anything else. We know that being sure of what you’re paying – and being confident that you’re not overpaying – will ultimately make for a positive move. We’ve weighted cost factors accordingly in our ratings.
  • Customer Service (2.0): Establishing an easy line of contact with your movers during the booking process or during the move itself is a huge asset for any moving client. The stress of moving, in general, can be greatly eased by knowing you can talk to a licensed professional whenever you need to, which is why we’ve listed this as a key rating category. This is where customer reviews come into play; since the majority of complaints stem from poor customer service, feedback from BBB, Yelp, Google, and other review platforms factor into this criteria.
  • Services Offered (1.5): This rates lower on our priority list than many would think, simply due to the fact that many movers provide a similar line of services. However, breadth of service offerings does still vary to a degree.
  • Customization Options (1.0): Having the autonomy to fully customize your move should rate highly on any moving checklist. Here, we’ve taken moving package customization ability, as well as pricing for more involved add-ons. Steep pricing for such services can provide something of a soft barrier for clients looking to add to their move, and we’ve taken this into consideration.

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