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March/April 2018 Chairman’s Column

Chairman's Corner
By: John Lance


It seemed like just yesterday I was writing my February column. February was a busy month. This time of year, I am usually gearing up for our peak season that’s right around the corner − making sure our equipment is all maintained, checking all our dollies and repairing or replacing them as needed. With containerization being a big part of household goods transportation these days, we spend a lot of time preparing lift vans and having them ready to load. Last year, I went into peak season with roughly 70 to 80 lift vans repaired and ready to load. We blew through those right away. I would like to have twice that amount ready by the middle of May this year. We know in our industry that professional van operators are becoming fewer and fewer. I believe our van lines have done a good job gearing up for this the last several years with alternative transportation. However, this continues to get worse every year. Just in the last week, we picked up seven shipments from 4,000 lbs to 9,000 lbs and no drivers were available. This is a no-win situation for the agent or the driver who eventually comes to pick the shipment up. Usually we have this problem in June or July, but we’re already seeing it in February.

I attended my last chapter meeting this month at the Greater Los Angeles Chapter. Our day started with a tour of New Haven Moving Equipment facility in San Fernando. Larry Levine, Rob Longo and operations manager, Carlos Velasco, opened up their doors to me and CMSA President Steve Weitekamp. It was amazing to me to see the magnitude of this entire operation. The amount of product they manufacture themselves is nothing I had expected to see. Larry and his team take great pride in their operation and it shows. Thank you all for your hospitality and a wonderful tour. Our next stop was Andy’s Transfer & Storage in Glendale, Calif. Joe Kroening, the company’s president, and Patrick Longo, the company’s General Manager and former CMSA Chairman, welcomed us and gave a tour of their facility. What a great operation they have. There is a ton of history in their organization. Joe is a true gentleman and another one of the old school guys that has been in the moving industry for many years. It was a real pleasure to sit and talk with him about the changes our industry has seen in the last 50 to 60 years. Next stop was dinner at the Taix French restaurant in Los Angeles. Chapter President Mike Sarro hosted a great meeting. Once again, I met some new people and visited with some friends and colleagues from the past. Thank you all for your hospitality, and I look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming 100th year convention!
Spring is fundraiser season for many chapters. A lot of time and effort goes into planning for these events in support of our Scholarship fund and Special Olympics. Our hard work is all showcased at the awards luncheon every year at our annual convention. Try and participate in as many of these events as you can. If you can’t participate, donations and sponsorships are available at all the events.

While I won’t be traveling around the state with Steve any more, I want to thank him for his hospitality. Steve is a great host, chauffeur and friend. I always felt comfortable traveling with Steve, and he did all the driving. I am not use to that as I have always been the driver in my world, but I could get use to that! Steve and his team, Renee, Gale and Debbie at CMSA headquarters, do an outstanding job keeping us all up to date on industry issues that are constantly changing. Thank all of you for your hard work on behalf of our entire association.

If you haven’t registered for our 100th year convention coming up in April, there is still time. Register today and I will see you there!


Now go take on the day and I will see you next month!



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