Direction November/December 2017 - 8

FROM THE

President

Strengthening the Relocation Process,
Strengthening Our Industry

NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2017

C

Direction

8

orporate accounts that pay for
their employees' relocations
are an important segment of
our industry's customer base.
Worldwide ERC® is the association that
brings together these corporate shippers
and the various vendors that provide
services to them.
AMSA has a long history of
partnering with Worldwide ERC® on
issues affecting our members, with the
moving expense deduction being one
of the most long-standing. When I
joined AMSA in 1993, we were working closely with Worldwide ERC® to
save the moving expense deduction.
The tax law passed that year made
some changes to it, but the ability of
individuals and companies to deduct
direct moving expenses was retained.
Now, 24 years later, this important
deduction is again under attack,
and AMSA is working closely with
Worldwide ERC® to defend it. Our
Moving and Storage Institute (MSI)
partnered with Worldwide ERC®
to fund an economic study of the
effects of the deduction, proving
that it helps with the mobility of the
American workforce.
Businesses are better able to hire the
workers they need if they can relocate
at a reduced cost. There are many
people who would be perfect for a
given job opening, yet they may not
be living within 50 miles of the job
site. This deduction allows them to
relocate for the job using a tax benefit.
Similarly, if managers need to be
transferred from location to location
in order to advance their careers, this
helps them do so.
One thing that has changed during
the past 24 years is that more of these
businesses now use relocation companies to manage their household goods

moves. By gaining significant market
share, these relocation companies are
using that clout to negotiate pricing
terms with movers that leave less
revenue for the service providers on
the ground.
At this year's Worldwide ERC®
Global Workforce Symposium, I was on
a panel discussion about how companies
can strengthen their relocation processes. One of the ideas we mentioned
was looking into different models for
using relocation companies, including
companies that direct their relocation
company to use a particular moving
company, or even negotiating directly
with the mover and relying on the
relocation company for fewer services.
I was pleased that some of the
corporate shippers recognized the
need to ensure their moving partners
were adequately compensated, and
they were making the connection
between drivers who wanted to be
assigned their shipments and those who
saw deeply discounted moves as less
desirable. Squeezing more money out
of the service providers can lead to a
loss of quality, and it will result in the
best owner-operators deciding not to
accept the jobs that are too cheap.
My presentation stepped through a
picture of the industry, showing how
reduced numbers of shipments, smaller
shipments and less revenue are hurting
the industry. Low unemployment is
making it harder to find workers willing to do the manual labor involved
with moving, even as wages rise for
transportation workers. We have seen
companies such as Graebel Van Lines
and A. Arnold go out of business
this year, and others will continue
to struggle, unless they are able to
convince customers to pay enough for
their services.

Businesses are better able
to hire the workers they
need if they can relocate
at a reduced cost.

In a separate presentation to
Worldwide ERC®'s Americas Strategic
Council, I shared how technology is
changing the industry, from electronic
logging devices (ELDs) to virtual surveys. I have served on this council for
several years now, and it is an excellent
way to help educate Worldwide ERC®
and its corporate shippers and relocation companies about the moving and
storage industry and the challenges
we face in serving that segment of the
customer base.
In this issue, we have an article
from Worldwide ERC® to help
educate us about their issues. I hope
you find it helpful in understanding
these customers.

Scott Michael
President and CEO



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Direction November/December 2017

FROM THE PRESIDENT
INDUSTRY NEWS
WHAT’S NEW AT AMSA
AMSA PARTNER PROFILES
Piloting Profits
Challenged by Change? We’ve Got This!
WASHINGTON WATCH
ADVERTISERS’ INDEX
FAST FACTS
Direction November/December 2017 - Cover1
Direction November/December 2017 - Cover2
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Direction November/December 2017 - 7
Direction November/December 2017 - FROM THE PRESIDENT
Direction November/December 2017 - 9
Direction November/December 2017 - INDUSTRY NEWS
Direction November/December 2017 - 11
Direction November/December 2017 - 12
Direction November/December 2017 - 13
Direction November/December 2017 - AMSA PARTNER PROFILES
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Direction November/December 2017 - Piloting Profits
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Direction November/December 2017 - Challenged by Change? We’ve Got This!
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Direction November/December 2017 - 39
Direction November/December 2017 - WASHINGTON WATCH
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Direction November/December 2017 - ADVERTISERS’ INDEX
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Direction November/December 2017 - FAST FACTS
Direction November/December 2017 - Cover3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AMMOV/AMMOV_IT_2013_V2
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/AMMOV/g38015_ammov_direction_novdec2013
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