I do love seeing a database where the creators have gone above and beyond and organizing the information. I love it even more when the database is a services directory, and not something academic or institutional. I’m talking about Movers Reviewed at http://www.moversreviewed.com/, a database of 7,500 active, licensed moving companies in the US and Canada. (It says “Reviewed,” but I didn’t see a lot of “reviewed” — mostly I saw “listed.” But that’s okay as there is plenty of information to gather from a search here, as you will see.) It’s in beta.
From the front page you can specify where you’re moving from (by state/province or zip code.) You can also search by mover name or for a particular moving specialty or feature (like piano movers, auto movers, commercial movers, employee relocators, etc.) I looked for all mover types, moving from Maryland.
I got 130 results. Listings included standard stuff like contact information, but also information on any associations to which a company belongs, the number of registered vehicles, and links to safety information from the DOT. (Well, sort of. Each company has registration numbers listed and a link to the US DOT site but you have to run the search yourself.) If 130 results are too many for you, you can use the nav on the right to narrow down your results by a variety of factors including just companies with Web sites, association memberships, or types of specialty movers.
There didn’t seem to be a lot of extra information on the Maryland movers page, but that wasn’t always the case. The list of movers in Florida had all kinds of extra information for some listings, including pictures, amount of warehouse space, brief description of the company, and some descriptions of the different types of moving they do. There were also checkboxes for some listings by which you could get a quote for moving jobs.
In addition to the lists of movers, the site also has a page of tips and information, including what to know about hiring a mover, “red flags,” how insurance works, how to spot a company that brokers moves, but doesn’t actually perform them, most common consumer complaints for movers, etc.
Somebody put a lot of work into this and it shows. I love the way you can slice-and-dice the lists of movers. The only bump is looking at safety information via the US Department of Transportation’s Web site, and that’s more due to the way IT’S organized than anything else. A good reference site.