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July 2018 President’s Column

President's Comments
By: Steve Weitekamp

 


June included the 50th anniversary of the National Council of Moving Associations (NCMA) with our annual meeting this year in San Antonio, Texas.  CMSA joined numerous state associations, AMSA, IAM and the Canadian Association of Movers to review industry issues and topics for the betterment of our Associations, movers, and the moving public. One of the valuable agenda items of our meeting is the annual meeting (this year via conference call), with the National Conference of State Transportation Specialists (NCSTS) (think state regulator), which meets at the same time as NCMA.

In our recent yearly meetings, NCMA members have emphasized the critical issue of non-licensed operators (not movers!) and the need consumers have for those who have the authority to license and enforce mover laws to take action. It is vital that they be aware that it is something that they need to address. It was reviewed that illegal operators low-ball their bids to get a move, then extort a price far greater than legal and ethical movers before, if ever, delivering. We are pleased that at least some NCSTS member states have begun targeting these problems. Recognizing the impact of unlicensed operators as a part of the underground economy negatively impacting consumers, the regulated industry, and the state taxpayers.

As we deal with all the complexities of the industry change in regulatory agencies, CPUC to DCA–BEARHFTI, and a supreme court decision related to independent contractors, it is important to remember the core elements of our industry, particularly during the challenging peak season. None is more rudimentary than the safe transport and delivery of our customers’ belongings.

In a marketplace driven by the Amazon bus, consumers fill their homes over an extended period of time, with items that regularly require time consuming and frustrating assembly. But come time to move, the mover is expected to transfer, usually in a day, a home that was assembled over a period of years, disassembling, and reassembling all necessary items. We are frequently asked to make things right that weren’t right when we started the job. As a friend in the association business likes to say about claims, “We pick it up used and deliver it new.”

The skills involved in moving and customer relations while maintaining attention to the safety of crew, shipper and public at large are impressive. While many, unfortunately, take this for granted, it is no simple task and one to be celebrated. Congratulations to those who daily put out their best effort no matter the challenge.

 

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