Suddath currently has 19 branches nationwide, seven of which are in Florida, as follows:
• two are in South Florida - Miami and Ft. Lauderdale (actually in Deerfield Beach);
• three are in Central Florida - St. Petersburg (actually Clearwater) in the Tampa area, Orlando, and Melbourne (actually Palm Bay); and
• one, the headquarters, is in Northeast Florida, in Jacksonville.
• The Villages, is in central Florida
The 12 other Suddath branches are located in the following places:
• San Jose, CA and Los Angeles, CA (actually La Mirada)
• Dallas, TX (actually Grand Prairie) and Houston, TX
• Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (actually Eden Prairie)
• Atlanta, GA (actually Duluth)
• Charlotte, NC
• Odenton, MD (in the DC area)
• New York metro area (actually Wayne, NJ)
• Milwaukee, WI (actually Waukesha)
• Chicago, IL(actually Waukegan)
• Seattle, WA
Each location is listed separately on the Superlist under the appropriate state and area with its own reviews and comments attached. This is a general post designed to give consumers overall information about the company as a whole, current as of September, 2012. It also includes specific material on the Suddath Florida branches (see below).
Suddath is a very large company with many different divisions. It was founded by Carl Suddath in Jacksonville in 1919 and became a United Van Lines agent in 1981. A descendant of the founder, Steve Suddath, currently serves as Chairman of the Board. It handles more household goods shipments than any other United agent – an average of 50,000 such shipments annually. It has more than 1,700 employees nationwide, owns more than 1,300 trucks and tractors, and generates more than $380 million in annual revenues. Its international division serving residential customers, Sentry International, is one of the top five international forwarders in the world.
Because MovingScam places great emphasis on quality, and not just size, it is important to note that a company representative told MovingScam that the claims ratio for Suddath as of May 2011 is only about 15%, improved from 19% in May 2010. That would mean that of the total shipments booked by Suddath, claims were submitted for only 15% of them. If the Suddath claims ratio is this low (admittedly this is unverified), it would probably be mainly due to the fact that the company has so many trucks that it is able to self-haul most of its household goods shipments using its own trucks and drivers. In that way it is able to maintain control of most shipments from start to finish (the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) estimated that the average claims ratio in the industry was 25%).
A company representative told MovingScam that the Suddath drivers are all rated 1 or 2 in the United-Mayflower system, with 1 being the highest rating, and any driver who drop to a rating of 3 are placed on probation for 90 days and dropped if they don’t improve. All of its Florida locations have “A+” BBB ratings and very few BBB complaints considering the number of moves they do each year. While any company of this size will have complaints posted on the Internet, MovingScam has examined those complaints and believes that they reflect isolated incidents that should not deter customers from booking moves with Suddath.
All of the Suddath branches benefit from having a high-quality network for support. For example, its long-haul drivers, who are probably the single most important element in the success of most interstate moves, serve all locations and are top-rated in the United-Mayflower system as noted above. (Some shipments booked by Suddath may be delivered by Mayflower trucks and drivers; this is normal and not a cause for alarm.)
It should be noted that Suddath does a large number of so-called “account” or “corporate” moves where a corporate employer pays for its employees to be relocated, as opposed to so-called “COD” moves where an individual customer pays – the type of move done by most people coming to MovingScam.com for advice. Companies that do many account moves prioritize those moves because they are a steady source of revenue. COD moves often get less attention. However, like the best such companies, Suddath does not accept COD moves when it has insufficient capacity to service them well and to their extremely high standards. As an example, for periods of highest traffic during Summer months, Suddath may decline a COD move due to capacity issues.
One final note regarding quality – of the 19 Suddath branches,13 of these branches are currently DOD (military) approved, including Atlanta (Duluth), Dallas (Grand Prairie), Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, Odenton MD, Seattle (Kent) and all of the branches in Florida (minus The Villages terminal). Having military approval in itself involves a rigorous, ongoing certification process and is an indication that the quality of those 12 branches is especially high.
These are the Superlist entries for Suddath’s Florida offices as of October 2010.
Suddath in South Florida – Ft. Lauderdale (Deerfield Beach) and Miami
Suddath in Central Florida – St. Petersburg (Clearwater), Orlando, and Melbourne (Palm Bay)--Suddath (United) in Ft. Lauderdale (actually Deerfield Beach) and Miami.
A VERY GOOD PERFORMER with at least 5 good reviews and no significant bad reviews as an origin agent on this website. (These two offices are located so close to each other that they are being considered as a unit for MovingScam's rating purposes.)
As of 10/10 the Deerfield Beach location had an "A+" BBB rating with 4 complaints over the past 36 months (all resolved or administratively closed). Its General Manager is Julie Cobb and its phone number is 954-596-4000 or 800-999-5466. Also as of 10/10 the Miami location had an “A+” BBB rating with 2 complaints (either resolved or administratively closed) in the past 36 months. Its General Manager is John Trevathan and its phone number is 305-885-8161 or 800-327-9351.
"Rick" (industry expert) posted in 2005 that "management holds positions on both the United Van Lines and AMSA Board of Directors. The general manager of the Deerfield Beach office has held the office for more than 15 years. They are a good company." - viewtopic.php?p=42146#42146 He added later that Suddath-Miami purchased Withers Van Lines back in 1984.
MovingScam has many good reviews of interstate moves booked by these two branches.
viewtopic.php?t=4875 (interstate - there were a few glitches but Suddath paid on his claims within days)
viewtopic.php?t=7029 (interstate to Atlanta - a rave review by "IsaacMar")
viewtopic.php?t=8187 (interstate - an excellent report by "gobrons" praising Vicky in the office, the driver, good communication, and a fast 7-day delivery to San Diego)
"natinstl" gave Suddath a very good review for a move to Seattle, praising Vicki in the office and the Mayflower driver from Ohio, Art Brown:
There is a vague complaint by "KGUMM" about a move to CO, but without more information it's hard to say what really happened and this complaint should probably be disregarded, especially since it's not certain that he is talking about this branch of Suddath (he posted from Arizona):
Someone posted an excellent review of a move to CA in 12/06 praising especially the sales rep Tony de la Torre and the punctuality and efficiency of the Miami packing crew--Raul, Jose, and Jimmy:
"gatorinmn" posted a rave review of the Ft. Lauderdale office of Suddath for a move to MN that took place in 9/06--there was a tiny amount of damage which the company took care of right away. The customer adds, "I work for the federal courts, and I was pleased to learn that the Fort Lauderdale federal courthouse uses Suddath when items need to get moved from chambers to chambers within the building (or when judges move from the courthouse in WPB to the one in FTL or MIA, or vice versa). I figured they've gotta be good if the court uses them.":
"cancan42" (real name Carol) reported in 11/07 that a United Van Lines driver (Tom N.) apparently screwed up the weight tickets on her move to TN. A Suddath-Ft. Lauderdale employee initially declined to intervene but when its General Manager Julie Cobb heard about the situation, she made everything right and the customer ended up satisfied:
Suddath in Northeast Florida – Jacksonville (HQ)--Suddath (United) in St. Petersburg (Clearwater) in the Tampa area, Orlando, and Melbourne (Palm Bay).
For MovingScam's rating purposes, these three offices are being considered together since they are fairly close geographically. As of 10/10, the St. Petersburg office had an "A+" BBB rating with 1 complaint (resolved) in the past 36 months. Its General Manager is Ed Fitzgerald and its phone number is 727-573-0000 or 800-288-2808. As of 10/10 the Orlando office had an "A+" BBB rating with 3 complaints (all resolved or administratively closed) in the past 36 months. Its General Manager is Donna Caldwell and its phone number is 407-843-6683 or 800-327-6030. And as of 10/10 the Melbourne office had an "A+" BBB rating with 3 complaints (all resolved or administratively closed) over the past 36 months. Its General Manager is also Donna Caldwell and its phone numbers are 407-843-6683 or 800-876-7554.
In 6/07, "PMueller" (working for another United agent in FL at the time) praised Bill Cook, a sales rep in the St. Petersburg office:
"paulj" posted a very good review in 8/08 of the crew in Orlando that packed his international shipment destined for Australia. He said that the actual forwarding was handled by Sentry International (Suddath) in Jacksonville, which also did an excellent job:
viewtopic.php?p=115823#115823 (booking and origin agent for international shipment)
--Suddath (United) in Jacksonville.
Industry people have made excellent comments about Suddath as a whole, and Jacksonville is the company HQ. The phone number of this office is 904-256-5540 or 800-333-8100. As of 10/10 it had an "A+" BBB rating with 5 complaints in the past 36 months (0 in the past 12 months), all resolved. The General Manager at this location is listed as Mark Chesser.
"ArchieWhite" (owns a Mayflower/United agency in Atlanta) posted in 5/07, "I've known the President of Suddath for a few years, and the President before him for about 20, they will do you a fine, professional job, you can't do any better." - viewtopic.php?p=88752#88752
In 10/08, he and another industry person spoke very highly of the recently retired president of Suddath (United), Quinn Bell: viewtopic.php?p=116143#116143
"lisainflorida" moving to CO posted in 6/07 that she was poised to go with Suddath even though its quote was Nonbinding (because she had a storage unit) and a little higher than the one from Reads because the estimator (Frank) was very thorough and inspired confidence:
"paulj" posted an excellent review of Suddath's international division (Sentry International, located in Jacksonville) in 8/08 for handling his shipment to Australia--"I have the highest praise for this company . . . They are always contactable, friendly and helpful and also provided the most comprehensive written quote out of the 4 or 5 companies that I contacted at the start.":
viewtopic.php?p=115823#115823 (forwarder for international shipment; Suddath Orlando was the booking and origin agent)