Monday, April 29, 2013

New kind of physical survey for moving estimates

CRS has always been a strong proponent of having a physical survey by van lines representatives for all moving estimates.  It is really the only way to receive a reliable estimate of costs.  Recent improvements in the techniques used with hand held computers some say have made the process more accurate and efficient. 

Sometimes the physical survey is difficult due to the location of the customer moving or just plain old timing.  One agent who met with us last week has a new way of taking care of this situation.  She Skyped with the customer in their home!  The process took about 30 minutes; about the same time a physical estimate might and she was able to thoroughly inventory the house and actually see everything that was being taken.  In the past a phone survey might have been the best solution.  However, in this situation, the Skyped appointment proved to be very accurate. 

As it turns our, two other companies were able to provide onsite surveys, and their weights came in at 8300 and 8500 lb.  The Skyped survey's results were right in the middle of those two at 8400 lb.  The survey enable the agent to see everything, and actually go back and take a second look if necessary, ask questions, and get a good feel for the shipment.

What a great use of technology in business!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Binding not to exceed moving estimates

If you are getting ready to move this season, you will most likely see different pricing estimates from movers.  One of the common pricing formats is a binding or binding not to exceed estimate.  If the representative from the moving company has confidence that they surveyed everything the customer is planning to move, they may "bind" their estimate with a "binding not to exceed" price. 

"Binding not to exceed" normally means that if the weight of the household goods is greater than the representative estimated, then the customer will only pay the price based on the estimated weight.  If the weight is less than estimated, the customer will pay the lesser amount based on the weight. 

If the customer adds items to their shipment that the representative did not see, then the "binding not to exceed" is null and void since the shipment has changed.  If at the time of loading, the driver feels that the shipment was added to, the driver can contest the weight; requiring the representative to come out to the loading and either agree or disagree with the driver.  The cube sheet (list of items to be shipped) prepared by the representative at the time of the estimate is usually the guide for the "not to exceed" estimate and pricing. 

Adding to the shipment can sometimes be subtle or very dramatic.  But none the less, adding to the shipment without first checking directly with the moving company and representative can automatically void the "not to exceed".

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Early Summer Moving Restrictions

Many of the van lines are thinking ahead  to what is normally the busiest and craziest time in the moving season; June 15 to July 15.  As a result minimum weights, discounts and transit times during this period may differ than before or after it. 

Many companies will enforce a 2000 to 3000 lb minimum weight.  This means that if you are moving one room that would normally weight 1,000 to 1,500 lb, you will be charged for the minimum weight.  We have seen some agents of van lines increase the minimum weight higher if they will be "self hauling" the shipment in June and July.

Discounts on interstate shipments may decrease during this time as well.  Since the demand is expected to spike, many van lines will price their shipments for the period with a lesser discount; therefore costing the customer a little more during the busiest times; much like any other industry,

Transit times may increase as well as van lines try to realistically set their delivery dates.

So, if you plan to move during the busiest of times this summer, then you need to expect some modifications to the logistics normally in place the rest of the year.  The best advise, is to always try to avoid the second half of June and the beginning of July for either loading or delivering your shipment.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Auto Shipping- quotes fluxuate like airfares

Consumers Relocation coordinates the shipments of hundreds of vehicles every year.  Sometimes the shipment is part of a move, but just as often the shipment is only the vehicle.  Shipping vehicles to kids going to college, new purchases, snow birds, or many other individual reasons may create the need to ship a vehicle. 

While there is usually some consistency in the range of cost, it can fluctuate up to a couple hundred dollars.  Its like airline fares.  Vehicle shipping companies adjust their rates to meet their business demand as well as to remain competitive.  Often times if you are shipping an auto in the future, you should check back with us to see if the rates have changed.  The terms of delivery times,  the amount of insurance/valuation offered and the terms of storage(if you can't take delivery right away) vary between the vehicle shipping companies we use. 

us and ask to speak with a Consultant the next time you ship a vehicle.  Ask what differences their may be between companies we use.