Why does is take 3 days to drive across the U.S., but a household goods shipment takes 10 days?

Why does it take 3 days to drive across the U.S., but a household goods shipment takes 10 days?

Have you ever wondered why you can cross the United States faster than your household goods? Plus’s Supplier Relations Manager Tracy Schwichtenberg gives you the lowdown on why this is.


Complete transcript: “Hi, I’m Tracy Schwichtenberg supplier relations manager for Plus Relocation.  My question today is, ‘Why does it take three days to drive across the country but a household goods shipment takes 10 days?’

There are two main reasons for this.  This first reason is due to the restrictions placed on drivers to both work and drive in a day, commonly called hours of service.  It’s a little confusing so we’re going to break this down for you.  Within eight hours of drive time the driver is required to take a 30-minute mandatory break.  They are also limited to a total of 11 hours driving in a day.  And there is a max of 14 hours in a day for both working and driving.  This includes picking up the materials they need at the warehouse, loading and packing the shipment at your house and then getting on the road and driving a max of 14 hours.  And then after they meet that 14 hours they are required a 10-hour rest period off duty.

The second reason it takes that long is the average tractor trailer can hold up to 30,000 pounds of household goods.  According to the American Moving and Storage Association last year, the average size shipment was 7,500 pounds.  So as you can see,  we need to allow the driver to pick up other shipments along the route in order to fill up the truck and allow for the best possible pricing.

So those are the two reasons why it takes so long for a shipment to get across the country: the hours of service and the size of the truck and the shipments.  Thank you.”

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