What is the Cheapest Way to Move Across Canada?

Post updated on May 9, 2024

Looking for the cheapest way to move across Canada? Wondering if it’s BigSteelBox?

While we’re not the cheapest option for every move, we can confirm that for single family homes with 2+ bedrooms within our service areas, BigSteelBox is typically 20%-40% less expensive than a traditional, full-service long distance moving company, and a lot less stressful than renting a moving truck!

Moving with BigSteelBox offers price certainty.

BigSteelBox moving container in driveway

One of the biggest reasons people feel better about moving with a BigSteelBox is the price certainly our service offers.

Some full-service moving companies quote and charge based on the weight of your contents, so there’s a possibility the final bill could be higher than your quote if your items end up weighing more than estimated.

At BigSteelBox, our pricing model is “all inclusive” and not based on weight. The price we quote you will not change unless you need more containers or the distance of your move changes. Learn more about how to estimate moving costs more accurately.

Compare options and costs before choosing a cross-country moving company:

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to move to a new city or province, here are the top three options to consider:

1) Use a Moving Container

Renting a moving container (like a BigSteelBox) is a cheaper alternative to hiring full service movers. BigSteelBox also offers three pricing levels (Economy, Standard and Expedited) which can help you save money on your move. It also allows you to take your time and gives you full control over the packing of your items. Plus, when you rent a portable storage container for your move, you leave the transport and driving to someone else. Learn more

2) Rent a Truck to Move Across Canada

If you have a 1-bedroom apartment or condo with minimal furniture, renting a moving truck will be the cheapest way for you to move. If you have 2 or more bedrooms to move, renting a BigSteelBox moving container is a very affordable option that is more flexible and less stressful. Learn more

3) Hire Full Service Cross Country Movers

This is the most expensive option for moving long distance of the three listed here, but it requires the least amount of effort on your part. The most important thing to be aware of with full service movers, is that most companies charge by weight, and their quotes can often be based on a lower weight than your actual load. This is why there is always a possibility that your final bill will be much higher than your original quote. Learn more

What is the cheapest way to move across Canada infographic


How much does it cost to move across Canada?

The cost to move across Canada varies depending on the service you choose to use, but it also varies based on the direction (east vs. west) that you’re moving.

For example, if you’re moving from Ontario to B.C., costs will start from about $4,900** if you use a moving truck, but you’ll also need to factor in the cost of travel along the way (i.e. hotels, meals, etc.).

If you choose to use a moving container company, the cost of the move is all included starting from about $5,970*, but you’ll also have to factor in the cost to get to your new city, whether it’s by plane or car. If you choose to use a full service moving company, the cost to move from Langley, BC, to Mississauga, ON, will start at about $11,735*, but again, you’ll have to factor in the costs to get yourself and your family to your new city.

However, if you’re moving from B.C. to Ontario, or any of the provinces in between, costs will be different from the example above, so it’s best to request quotes from different companies and ask questions to make sure you know what you’re getting from each of them.

Moving Costs and Services Comparison:
Cost to move from Ontario to B.C.

The chart below compares the costs and services of the three most popular long distance moving options for a move from Mississauga, ON, to Langley, BC.

This moving scenario is based on the rental of a 20′ moving truck, a 20′ BigSteelBox moving container, and a full-service mover that charges by weight. Each of these methods would accommodate the contents of a 2 to 3-bedroom single-family home.

Keep in mind that if you’re moving a vehicle with you, you’ll need to rent a truck that allows you to tow it, or in the case of a moving container or full service mover, you’ll need to budget for hotels, food, and fuel for the trip.

It’s also important to note for moving trucks and moving containers that the price of a certain route is not always the same in both directions. Pricing can be different depending on the amount of inventory (trucks or containers) on either side of a move. For example, below is the current cost of a move from Mississauga, ON, to Langley or Vancouver, BC (east to west), but if there is an excess of inventory of moving containers or U-Haul trucks in BC, the cost will be lower to move from west to east because the moving companies want to increase the number of containers or trucks in Ontario or other eastern cities.

bigsteelbox Created with Sketch. Rental Truck Full Service Mover
PRICE*: $7,149 $4,900** $11,735
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 10,000 lbs 5,600 lbs 7,500 lbs***
TIME TO PACK, LOAD & UNLOAD: 5-6 Weeks 4 Days 2 Days
TIME IN TRANSIT: 21 Days 4 Days 8-18 Days
bigsteelbox Created with Sketch. Rental Truck Full Service Mover
PRICE*: $7,149 $4,900** $11,735
WEIGHT CAPACITY: 10,000 lbs 5,600 lbs 7,500 lbs***
TIME TO PACK, LOAD & UNLOAD: 5-6 Weeks 4 Days 2 Days
TIME IN TRANSIT: 21 Days 4 Days 8-18 Days

*Prices as of April 4, 2024. Pricing is before taxes and subject to change without notice. BigSteelBox price includes local delivery, loaded pick-up, long haul freight, loaded delivery, empty pick-up and one month’s rent of a 20′ BigSteelBox. This price will vary based on the customer’s addresses.
**Includes a fuel budget of $1,707 (4,402km @ 23.5L/100km, fuel price $1.65/litre).
***This quote is based on 7,500lbs. Most full service movers can hold more, but because they charge by weight, the price would change if the actual weight is more or less than 7,500lbs.


BigSteelBox pricing and timeline options can help you save money as you move cross country in Canada

BigSteelBox has locations across Canada, so we’re able to offer three pricing options for most long distance moving routes: Economy, Standard and Expedited.

On average, you’ll save 5%-10% on the cost of your move with Economy as compared to Standard. Aside from cost, the only other difference between these pricing options is the time the moving container is in transport, which is usually 7 additional calendar days for Economy.

While the savings amount will vary by route, container size, and the number of moving containers you need, here are a couple examples to show you the cost difference:

Examples of BigSteelBox Long Distance Moving Prices & Timeline Options*:


Cost to move from Calgary to Kitchener - BigSteelBox

Cost to move from Edmonton to Kelowna - BigSteelBox

Cost to move from Langley to Ottawa - BigSteelBox
*Prices as of May 9, 2024. Pricing is before taxes and subject to change without notice. Pricing above reflects the cost to move one 20’ BigSteelBox and includes local delivery, loaded pick-up, long haul freight, loaded delivery, empty pick-up and one month’s rent. This price will vary based on the customer’s addresses. Days in transit are shown in calendar days. If more than one container is needed, a discount would be applied to the freight cost of the additional containers. 


Compare long distance moving service options:

There are many options to choose from when comparing long distance moving companies and trying to find the cheapest way to move across Canada. However, sometimes the cheapest way to move isn’t always the best or most convenient, and keep in mind that if a moving quote seems too good to be true, it usually is.

1) Moving Containers

When looking for the cheapest way to move across Canada, there are a few things to consider:

  • The amount of stuff you’re taking.
  • The distance you’re moving.
  • Whether or not you’ll need storage in between homes.

2+ Bedroom Homes
If your home has 2 or more bedrooms, a 20′ BigSteelBox is a very affordable option for moving to a new city or province. (The contents from most 2 to 4-bedroom homes will fit into one 20′ BigSteelBox. Larger homes may require an additional 10’ or 20’ Box)

A 20′ BigSteelBox provides you with 1,172 cu.ft. of interior space, which is more than you will get with a 20′ moving truck or a 16′ aluminum-panel moving container, like PODS®.

A BigSteelBox is also the most secure way to move your furniture across Canada. Our moving containers are weather and rodent-proof. They also come equipped with a Lock Box that protects your padlock. Once you place the padlock on your BigSteelBox you keep the key, so no one else will have access to your things.

Most importantly, when you move with a BigSteelBox moving container, the price we quote is the price you’ll pay. There are never any hidden or additional fees that will come up, unless you decide to rent your Box longer than you originally planned, or you need an additional Box. And you pay the same price for up to 10,000 lbs of contents!

2) Renting a Truck to Move Long Distance

In some cases, renting a moving truck is a cheaper way to move across Canada. This is often the case if you’re not taking several large items with you so you don’t need a large moving truck, and you don’t need storage in between homes.

1-Bedroom Apartments & Condos
If you have a 1-bedroom apartment or condo with minimal furniture, using a 20′ BigSteelBox wouldn’t be the cheapest way to move your furniture across the country.

While we also offer 10′ BigSteelBoxes, the rental and shipping costs don’t vary much compared to a 20′ Box. One way to make this more affordable is to load and unload at our storage facility, which saves you the local transportation costs (this option is available at most locations, please contact us for details). This option especially makes sense if you also need storage in between homes.

When renting a moving truck to move across Canada, here are a few things to remember:

  • As with hiring a full service moving company, when you rent a moving truck you are restricted to planning your packing and cross-country trip around the truck rental schedule. Your truck rental will need to be returned by a certain day and time or you will encounter additional charges.
  • Renting a moving truck may be cheaper than hiring a moving company or using a moving container, but you are then responsible for driving it to your new home, no matter how far. You are also trusting that the rental company’s trucks are safe and in proper condition to complete a long distance move.
  • If you’re moving long distance you will likely not be able to complete the move in one day.  As such, you’ll need to account for nights in hotel and meals along the way.
  • Factor in the cost of fuel. When you rent a moving truck, you’re just paying for the use of the truck. Fuel is an extra, out of pocket expense. Speak with the truck rental company to estimate what fuel will cost for your move.
  • Make sure to ask if there’s extra costs for insurance or additional mileage.

3) Hiring Full Service Movers vs. Renting a Portable Moving Container (like BigSteelBox)

Hiring a professional, full service cross-country moving company can be a convenient way to move across the country, but it’s also the most costly.

Here are a few things to consider when comparing a full service moving company to using a moving container company:

  • Based on an average load of 7,000 lbs, renting a 20’ BigSteelBox can be 20% – 40% less expensive than using the services of a more traditional moving company when moving a single family home (varies by route). The cost of moving using BigSteelBox is straightforward without the uncertainty that comes with charges based on weight.
  • The cost of moving your container rental from your old house to your new home is what you are charged, not whether your home has stairs or how much your load weighs.
  • When you use a full service moving company you have less flexibility with your moving day and delivery dates. As such, delays and last minute changes are not uncommon. With BigSteelBox it’s simple. Once your container is packed, give us a call and it will be picked up and delivered to your new city on the agreed upon schedule.
  • Movers are on their schedule, not yours. If you need to store your belongings before you get settled into your new home, or want to sightsee on your cross-country trip, that’s no problem when you’re moving with BigSteelBox. Your container can be stored at any of our storage facilities until you’re ready to start unpacking, without having to load and unload into a separate storage facility.
  • Hiring movers means putting your belongings in other people’s hands. Once your truck is packed, you have no control over who is handling your items until they are delivered back to you. With BigSteelBox, only YOU have the key to your padlock.
  • You’ll probably need more moving boxes than you think. Here are a few tips on where you can buy moving boxes and get them for free.

What’s the cheapest way to move furniture across Canada?

Family packing boxes for long distance move - BigSteelBoxThe cheapest way to move furniture across Canada can vary depending on several factors, including the distance you need to cover, the quantity and size of the furniture, and your personal preferences. Here are some cost-effective furniture-moving options to consider:

DIY Truck Rental
Renting a moving truck and driving it yourself is often the most budget-friendly way to move furniture long distance. Companies like U-Haul and Budget offer a range of truck sizes to accommodate your furniture, however, be prepared for fuel costs, potential tolls, and the physical effort required to load and unload your belongings.

Shipping and Freight Services
Some furniture pieces can be disassembled and shipped using freight services, ShipCanada or The UPS Store. This option might work well if you only have a few large or fragile items, but it can be time-consuming, and you’ll need to securely pack and prepare the furniture for transportation.

Moving Containers
Companies like BigSteelBox and PODS® offer portable storage containers that you can load at your own pace. They will deliver the container to your home so you can load it, and then transport it to your new location and either deliver it to your home or store it at their facility.

If you don’t have room for a container at your current home, most moving container companies will offer the option for you to bring your items to their location to load a container there, which will also save you money on delivery and pick-up fees. This is a convenient choice, especially for long-distance moves, and it is more cost-effective than traditional movers.

Shared Load Moving
If you’re flexible with your moving dates, you might find shared load moving options. These services consolidate shipments from multiple customers, which can reduce costs. However, you might have to wait for your furniture to arrive as it may take longer due to multiple stops.

Sell and Re-Buy in Your New City
Sometimes, selling your current furniture and buying it new in your new city is the most cost-effective option, especially if you have inexpensive or replaceable items. This approach eliminates transportation costs and the effort needed to pack, load, and unpack altogether.

When planning a budget-friendly move, be sure to compare prices, read reviews, and consider the time and effort involved in each option. Keep in mind that while saving money is essential, it’s also crucial to ensure the safety of your furniture during the move. Proper packaging and handling are essential to avoid damage.

Is moving with a BigSteelBox moving container less stressful?

Most of our customers would say ‘yes’ for a few reasons, but here are the top reasons our service is less stressful than other moving options are:

  1. The extra time a moving container provides: We’ll deliver a BigSteelBox right to your door well in advance of moving day so you can take your time packing. There’s no need to cram all the stress of moving into one day or drive a big moving truck long distance! With BigSteelBox you can take a few days or a few weeks to pack, then, WE do the driving.
  2. The unmatched security of a moving container: A BigSteelBox is a shipping container, so it’s made entirely of steel. They are weather and rodent-proof and come equipped with a steel lock box that protects your padlock from bolt cutters. Plus, after you load your moving container, you keep the key, so only you have access to your items.
  3. The flexibility of built-in storage that’s part of the service: When moving cross-country, it’s common that move-in and move-out dates don’t line up. One of the biggest benefits to moving with a BigSteelBox portable storage container is you always have the option of storage in between homes. We have locations across Canada, so your BigSteelBox can be stored off-site at one of our storage facilities until the day you’re ready to have it re-delivered to your new home to unpack it. If you move with a rental truck or full-service movers, and you end up needing storage in your new city, you will need to unload everything into a storage unit in your new city. Then, you’ll likely have to rent another truck to unload the storage unit and move your stuff to your new home. This is a lot of extra work, and will result in additional costs. With BigSteelBox, you only need to load and unload your things once.

We would love the chance to make your long distance move feel better! You can request a quote online or give us a call at 1-800-373-1187

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