2018 State of the Moving Industry

 
A-1 Freeman’s expansion into new markets last year opened many new opportunities for continued quality growth. The timing could not have been better as 2017 proved to be a great year as businesses regained confidence, began investing, and thus started hiring and moving key personnel. Although corporate relocation remained flat compared with 2016, A-1 Freeman grew its number of corporate relocations by 8.0% and associated revenue with a 10.0% increase! In order to properly support our corporate relocation growth, we were very fortunate to cultivate our management team by adding a marketing director, brand manager and a 40-year corporate relocation sales veteran.
 

This team has worked together to increase quality leads utilizing automation, software and processes to effectively develop “new” corporate relationships. The team has taken the time to understand individual client needs and provide quality information and education to help them maximize their return on each relocation while nurturing the employee. A-1 Freeman has focused on adding value beyond just high-quality service and is genuinely consulting clients to proactively create successful relocation programs. We are humbled by the opportunity to consult with our clients at a strategic level to drive long-term leading-edge solutions.

A-1 Freeman was founded on quality service as there aren’t many van line fleets that can compete with our van operators. Unfortunately, many van line drivers would now prefer local employment rather than comply with ever-increasing restrictions and regulations. Combining the new federal government requirements with existing driver shortages increases the demand for our services meaning increased pricing.

We saw 2017 and continue to see in 2018 consistent and positive pricing strides which translates into improved van operator revenue. In addition, many corporations are realizing that relocation has become the first step in its employee “onboarding process”. The van operator is an extension of the face of our corporate customer during a sensitive and difficult transition period.

Many of our competitors have implemented significant pricing increases. In contrast, we believe fair, consistent and, more importantly, consultative customer pricing discussions are more digestible and offer a collaborative approach. Conversely, an attempt by competitors to make up years of pricing disparities has been viewed as offensive and caught many corporations off-guard. The situation has been compounded by the federal government’s decision to rescind the “moving deduction” from its tax laws.

Shortsighted van line providers are looking to cash-in on the “promise” of a pricing increase windfall. At the same time, their customers are searching for replacement providers to guide them through an “extra-cost” landscape while additionally maintaining quality service. It will ultimately leave those van line providers making “empty promises” as their customers replace them with reasonable providers.

Extensive competitor pricing increases, the rescission of tax-protected moving expenses and tightening government transportation regulations have pushed corporations to look beyond their existing van line providers. They are searching for collaborative partners who offer “fair” pricing and quality relocation and moving services. We at A-1 Freeman are grateful to be perfectly positioned to fulfill those customer requirements and looking for a chance to review our services with interested customers.

Let’s make 2018 a great year! – Jerad Lovett