Skip to main content
Northwestern University

Helpful Hints and Reminders When Arranging Moving Services

August 21, 2017

Moving season is here! Below is some information to remember when arranging for household and laboratory moves. For questions, contact Procurement Administrator Sheila Watkins at 847.491.8125 or

< Back to 2017 News Archive

Moving Services Best Practices

Best Practices When Moving Household Goods

  • There are three Preferred Vendors for Moving Services. More details are available on the Preferred Vendor List.
  • The Northwestern Preferred Vendor for Moving Services is the company that will manage the entire move process and is considered the agent.
  • The person moving is known as the shipper or transferee.
  • The agent works for our Preferred Vendor for Moving Services.
  • The person who comes to your home to provide the quote or estimate is known as the surveyor.
  • The surveyor works for the agent. 
  • The estimate/quote provided will be based on the contract discount off the tariff bottom line transportation costs. Each Contractor is using a different tariff calculation formula and shipper should not just go by the Contractor that has the highest discount.
    The estimate/quote is considered a ‘not to exceed’ amount, meaning the final invoice will not exceed the estimate/quote provided and is the most the department/school will have to pay. The final invoice, however, will be based on the actual cost of the move. This means that if the final cost ends up being lower than the original estimate/quote, the department/school will be charged the lower amount.
    If the shipper/transferee (the person moving) unexpectedly changes the requirements associated with the move, there may be additional charges for the move making the total cost higher than the original estimate/quote, and the department/school will be expected to pay the higher amount. An example would be if the person moving indicated at the time the estimate/quote was being generated that they would be doing their own packing, but the day of the move the moving company ends up having to do the packing for them.
  • Never provide your approved budget amount or allowance to the moving company or surveyor at the time the estimate/quote is being generated.
  • You should unpack and check for missing or damaged items within three weeks.
  • If you have a problem with the surveyor or packing/unpacking, you should contact the University’s primary contact at the Preferred Vendor for Moving Services.
  • After the move is complete, you should follow up with your Administration Office.
Replacement Value Protection Terms:
  • Reebie/Allied Storage and Moving: Full Value Protection – liability for loss of or damages to interstate and international shipment while in it custody is $5 per pound times the actual weight of the shipment, up to a maximum of $100,000, at NO CHARGE. Coverage and protection in excess of $5 per pound of $100,000, the charge will be $.085 per $100 for the amount of declared valuation.
  • Stevens: Full Value Protection replace cost protection at a value of $6 per pound times the actual weight of the shipment or the shipment or the released or declared value, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of $100,000 per shipment, subject to proof of loss, at NO CHARGE. Coverage in excess of $100,000, which is either declared by the shipper or required based upon a minimum of $6.00 per pound, will be charged at a rate of $6.50 per $1,000 of excess valuation. Valuation over $140,000 will be quoted on a shipment-by-shipment basis. International shipments will be estimated with Full Replacement Value Protection coverage included.
  • Wheaton Van Lines: Full Value Protection coverage with no deductible shall be provided at no additional cost up to $100,000 per shipment. Unless otherwise declared by the transferee, interstate shipments will be released at a value of $6 per pounds times the weight of the shipment. Upon request of the transferee, valuation in excess of $100,000 or $6 per pound, shall be provided at an additional charge of $.040 per $100 of additional coverage. International shipments will be estimated with Full Replacement Value Protections coverage included.

Best Practices When Moving Laboratories

Laboratory Relocation Information:
  • All laboratory relocation requests must schedule a site survey.
    • Schedule date for site survey visit
    • Who will be the Northwestern Point of Contact?
    • Who will be the laboratory Point of Contact for the site survey visit?
    • Surveyor must take photos of all equipment.
  • Origin and Destination Information
    • Where are you relocating from?
      • Estimate date for pick up
    • Where are you relocating to?
      • Estimate date for delivery
    • What is the loading access availability at both origin and destination?
      • Will shuttle services be needed at either location?
      • Will parking permits be required at either location?
Pre-Survey Assessment Questions Before Site Survey:
  • Are you locating laboratories, offices, or both labs and offices?
  • Are you relocating laboratory equipment?
    • Shipper must provide a list of equipment
    • Shipper must provide cost replacement value of equipment (need for insurance coverage)
    • Will there be any specialty vendors involved with the unassembled and/or reassemble of equipment before we relocate equipment?
    • Are any equipment manufacturer’s items still under warranty or items under a maintenance service agreement?
  • Will you be relocating any -20 or -80 freezers?
    • Shipper should provide a list of freezers (brand name/size)
    • Shipper should provide cost replacement value of freezers (need for insurance coverage)
    • Are any freezers manufacturer’s items still under warranty or items under a maintenance services agreement?
  • Will you be relocating chemicals and/or non-hazardous materials?
    • Provide a list of chemicals/quantities and/or non-hazardous materials
    • Do you have the MSDS for the chemicals being relocated?
  • Will you be relocating any temperature-sensitive samples?
    • Will the samples need to be plugged in for continuous power?
    • Will temperature sensitive samples require climate/generator truck?
    • Will you need samples to be pack in dry-ice?
  • Are there any heavy metal samples such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic, chromium, thallium or lead?
  • Hazardous materials will be out sourced through a third party certificated company.
  • What is the total liability value of the laboratory and/or office relocation?
Packing and Unpacking:
  • Will shipper require full packing/unpacking services for laboratory and/or office?
  • Will shipper pack their own laboratory and/or office?
  • Will crating and uncrating services be needed?
Back to top