Frequently Asked Questions

When should I begin contacting moving companies for quotes?

Give yourself as much time as possible.  Ideally begin the process at least 4-6 weeks prior to your desired moving date.  Get as much information as possible from movers and get all the quotes submitted to you in writing so that there are no unnecessary surprises.  When you decide which mover you are going to us, contact the mover and confirm your booking and moving date.  Once the move is booked a reputable mover should send you everything in writing to confirm everything you have discussed.

When is the best time to move?

May through September are typically the busiest time to move for movers. This is standard for all major carriers. If you can move outside of this time frame, you will likely save more on your move and dates are more flexible.

How do I choose a moving company?

Canadian Nation Van Lines moving co-ordinators will take the time to explain your quote. Any reputable moving company will provide a quote in writing and will take to walk you through every step. A reputable moving company will have a knowledgeable moving consultant who is not afraid to put promises in writing.

Quotes and any other costs

Usually all long distance moves are priced based on the weight of the shipment which is determined at the time of scaling the shipment. You will receive a general initial estimate and feel for the cost of your move, however these costs are not binding.
A non-binding estimate charges you according to the actual weight of your shipment and actual cost of the services that are performed. We will still walk you through the estimating process to determine what your shipment may cost.

How is the final cost of my move calculated?

For your long distance move, the final charges are determined once the goods are picked up and scaled. Once the goods are loaded the shipment is scaled using a government approved scale and the charges are calculated to reflect the actual weight of the shipment.
Factors such as packing, storage or any extra labour can be a factors that change your quote and your price. Make sure that you discuss your needs and situation with our moving co-ordinator who will help you stay on budget and offer ways to save.

Are there hidden charges or costs I may not be aware of?

At Canadian National Van Lines we pride ourselves for not having hidden charges.  At the time of booking your moving co-ordinator will walk you through any potential charges you may face and offer you a written confirmation confirming all possible fees associated with your move.

Payment Methods

Full payment for the move is due upon delivery at destination before the truck/van is offloaded to your residence or destination address. Canadian National Van Lines will send you a confirmation of our acceptable payment methods in writing at the time of booking.
We accept: Bank Draft, Certified Cheque, cash or major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard.

Can I pack myself?

Self-pack options are great and are most common. Visit our Packing Tips page to help you prepare for your move. This will also save you on packing costs. However, you must be aware that mover’s liability on self-packed boxes and items is very limited. All items packed by the owner become owners risk items. Feel free to discuss this with your moving co-ordinator.

Should I empty my dresser drawers?

To ensure safe transportation of your goods and bigger furniture items Canadian National Van Lines always recommends that you empty all of your drawers and pack them into boxes. This will ensure that the item travels safely and ensures that the moving crew is able to lift the items to be placed onto the moving vehicle.


We will perform basic disassembly for your furniture items. This is done to ensure that your items can easily fit through doorways and ensures their safe transportation. Please speak with your moving co-ordinator about any more complicated items that require disassembly. Assembly at delivery end can also be arranged and must be requested in advance.

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items include any flammable or liquid items. Some dangerous goods may be included in your shipment under controlled conditions. Dangerous goods in general cannot be part of your shipment and you should always disclose to the driver every item that can pose a potential hazard.

Bill of Lading or Moving Contract

Upon booking your move with Canadian National Van Lines, your moving co-ordinator will send you an official confirmation for your records. This serves as your moving contract until the moving day.
On the actual moving day, the driver will present you with an original paper copy of your moving contract or Bill of Lading which will confirm everything again, such as addresses, phone numbers and pricing along with any other agreed upon items.
The driver will provide you with a copy on pick up date and another copy at delivery date. Should you not be available on the pick up or delivery date, make sure that someone is there who is authorized to sign on your behalf and can review the paperwork with the driver. The person there will be provided with the original copy of the Moving Contract and a copy of the Inventory list.

Inventory List

The inventory list is a great way to track what is loaded and its current condition at pick up time. When the driver and the crew arrive to pick up the load, everything that get loaded also gets itemized on an inventory list.
Each and every item that gets loaded onto the truck gets tagged with a color coded tagging system that has a unique Lot number. The tags correspond to the inventory list being prepared by the crew on moving day. This helps us track your items and ensures that everything that was loaded at origin arrives in the same condition at destination.
Check your inventory carefully to ensure that everything is correct. At the completion of the pickup, you will need to sign the list to confirm agreement and you will receive a copy for your records.

In Transit Moving Coverage – Am I protected?

Basic Liability Protection – you will find that this coverage is common amongst all major carriers. This protection is free of charge and included with your moving price. However this protection is the bare minimum and only covers your goods at the rate of 60 cents per pound per article. This means that if a table that weighs 100 lbs gets damaged during transportation, this item will only be covered for up to $60.00 (100 lbs @ 60 cents/pound).

Can I purchase extra protection?

Upgraded Liability Protection – The cost of this protection is at the rate of $40.00 for every $1000 of declared value. This coverage does not offer replacement coverage during transportation but offers higher protection in transit

Third party coverage options

Canadian National Van Lines always recommends that you speak with your homeowners or rental insurance provider to ensure that your goods are properly protected during transportation. We strongly recommend that you discuss all your options with your moving co-ordinator who will be happy to confirm and offer you coverage options.

Wrapping and protection for your goods

All furniture and bigger items requiring wrapping will be protected using our clean, quilted moving blankets for extra protection during transportation. The moving blankets get placed on the furniture at origin at the time of the pickup and remain with the shipment until you accept delivery. The blankets stay on the shipment during any storage time as well to ensure safety of the goods.

Tracking your shipment

Canadian National Van Lines has a comprehensive system that allows us to track your shipment and its whereabouts. Please be certain to ask your moving co-ordinator for further details about our tacking systems.

Arrival of the crew on moving day

Dispatch will contact you the day before your scheduled moving day to confirm the final arrangements of your move, such as pick up time slot and any other last minute requirements that you may have. We always recommend to leave this day open and free from travel arrangements in case any delays occur.

Should I be present for the move?

Canadian National Van Lines always recommends that you are present for both portions of the move as you are the best person to make decisions. However, if you are away please ensure that someone is there who is able to direct the crew and is familiar with your goods in advance. The person present will also be responsible for signing the Bill of Lading and inventory list. A copy of both will be left with that person for your records.

How will I know when my shipment will be delivered?

Your moving co-ordinator will be always your point of contact to trace your shipment and provide an ETA for delivery. However, once the shipment does arrive and is ready for delivery you will get a phone call from dispatch confirming delivery date and times.
We always recommend having keeping in touch with your moving co-ordinator and updating any numbers on file to ensure that dispatch is able to reach you once your shipment arrives at destination.

Delivery, and what to expect

Once delivery is scheduled and the crew arrives to destination address, the driver will ask for the payment in full and proceed to offload the goods. The moving crew will provide you a receipt for your move and payment. The moving crew will perform the offloading labour and place the goods to your desired rooms.

What if I need to file a claim?

Although we do everything we can to ensure that no damages or loss occurs during transportation, it is inevitable at times and damages/loss does happen sometimes. If a claim arises we recommend that you contact your moving co-ordinator right away. Your moving co-ordinator will guide you through the claim process and help you understand what happens next.

Choose the Services You Need

  • Packing
  • Crating / specialty packaging
  • Loading / Offloading
  • Storage
  • Assembly/disassembly
  • Vehicle transportation
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Canadian National Van Lines

Trust the name you already know!

I received an overwhelming number of quotes and after a few days of emails I was finally booked with Canadian National Van Lines. The quick email responses and professionalism won me over. The moving experience was the same. I needed extended storage time and after 3 months I was met with the same pleasant service. When I finally got the delivery, it was no surprise that everything was just as I left it.

Nick B.Kanata, ON

I spent hours researching and reviewing many companies for my move. I have a large family and I wanted to make sure I made the best choice and guess what…I DID! These guys were clean, in great spirits and most of all NICE. I haven’t moved much but if I do have to move again I will be calling them again.

Henriette F.Weyburn, SK

Last August I moved from Montreal to Halifax for university, I had an extremely limited budget but wanted to make sure that I got my stuff in time for classes.  I didn’t want to go with one of those fly by night companies to save a few dollars, but couldn’t afford the thousands of dollars I was being quoted by the big van lines.  I called Canadian National Van Lines to get a quote, of course I called around to other companies, but CNVL was the quickest to respond and the easiest to communicate with.  Great service, right on time and it didn’t break the bank.

Gary S.Dartmouth, NS

Wow, I have never worked with such fun movers.  I was just making a move down the street in Toronto, I only had a studio and didn’t want to spend a fortune on movers, but couldn’t lift all my stuff so needed help.  Dave and Ali were great to work with, came in with smiling faces, introduced themselves and then got right to work.  They were in and out within a couple hours, joking and laughing with me the whole time.  They made me feel so comfortable and I didn’t have to touch anything.  Worth every penny!

Mary G.North York, ON

This was my first move. I didn’t know what to expect and what to do. I did some research and ended up reserving Canadian National Van Lines for my move. I have to say that the main reason was the service I got every time I called. They always had the information I needed and even though I was inexperienced with moving, they were able to guide me though the whole process. It was great to receive my items back in the same condition. Thanks again!

Taimur H.Calgary, AB

Thank you to the amazing staff at Canadian National Van Lines, I moved my elderly mother from Toronto to be closer to her family in Ottawa, our time restrictions made planning this move very difficult, but Canadian National worked it out for me.  I was so worried about stressing out my 93 mother, the crew was so patient with her and myself, I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.

Cindy K.Ottawa, ON

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