Philly to SF - lots of questions

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SF Bound

Philly to SF - lots of questions

Postby SF Bound » Mon Dec 22, 2003 3:27 pm

I am going to be moving from Philly to SF in mid Feb of 2004 and am researching moving companies. I have learned a lot from this website, but have many questions.

Q1) In a cross-country move that includes storage, are there more advantages to using a mover in the destination or the origination city?

In the Philly area, I have found four in the yellow pages that are affiliated with the national chains that I am investigating, but need help with a few things. Here we go:

- Shelly Moving & Storage, Inc., agent for Allied Van Lines. On the website only provides the USDOT and MC #s for the mother company, in this case Allied Van Lines in Ft. Wayne, ID (076235 and MC15735). Q2) These are not the ones I care about, correct?
I was, however, able to find a USDOT for Shelly Moving & Storage, 296607, but found some odd info. Safersys says they are currently applying for authorization for hire. Q3) Isn't this odd for a group with 35 units and 46 drivers? 5 inspections in last 24 months. OOS of vehicles is 0% and OOS of drivers is 20%. Q4) Neither DOT# or name of company can be located in FMCSA L&I dbase - I wonder why not?

- Next candidate, Hughes Relocation Services, agent for United Van Lines - appears to have change name (merger/acq) in 2000 from Fisher-Hughes Transport. Also, it looks like American Way Moving Systems, agent for Mayflower Transit is part of this group now, as they share their address. USDOT # 784159 / no MC # - this is for American Way Moving, DBA Hughes Relocaton, KoP,) – applying for authorization as of 9/2003, so does not have authority to carry goods of others. 11 power units and 5 drivers, zero inspections in last 24m. Q5) is it a red flag that they have had zero inspections? For Hughes, Doylestown, the USDOT is #110502 and MC 035750 – Authorized, 3 inspections in last 24m, with 2 of the 3 resulting in vehicle OSS and 1 of 3 resulting in driver OSS. Few inspections for 15 power units and 11 drivers. Insurance is on file for BIPD (since 1989) and Cargo (since 1997). Q6) What info is the right one to use? This seems like some odd results for a group that seems to have been around for a long time. In the BBB, they are there are a couple of related companies, Fisher Hughes Transportation in King of Prussia and then one in Allentown and one in Doylestone. The ones at KofP and Doylestown have had some complaints, but all have been resolved.

- And lastly there is Wayne Moving and Storage Company (aka Wayne Storage Co), agent for North American Van Lines. This is the one that UPenn uses, however, the only UD DOT and MC numbers I can find relate to Wayne Moving and Storage Co of NJ, which looks like a commercial shipper. US DOT 716948 and MC 330142: Authorized for hire, interstate, general freight (not household goods). Insurance check says no ins on file for Cargo, but $1m of ins for BIPD ($5m required). In the L&I system reports, I was able to find Wayne Storage Company. MC247982:
No authority for common, contract or broker. No insurance on file. Says authority was dismissed 10/05/96. No BBB complaints.

Can anyone provide some insight on all of this? Any help or thoughts are appreciated.

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Philly to SF - lots of questions

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Dec 22, 2003 4:19 pm

Seems like you are doing your homework....

An agent that is affiliated with a Van Line is operating under the Van Line authority on Interstate Moves.

Perhaps Josh or Michael can give their insight, since both are closer and would probably have more direct dealings...

Unfortunately, my time is rather limited today, trying to meet end of the period closings, and monitoring a 6.5 earthquake a couple hundred miles away.....

http://www.safersys.org

That site will give you insight on the insurance coverage.

Having 0 inspections might not be cause for concern, since fleets might be scheduled for inspections all at the same time, and it could be that they are not due for a year or so. What would concern me would be failures of inspections. termination of insurance coverage.

The fact that two agents merged is not uncommon; I went through it myself a year ago... What happens is they might have applied for additional permits, licenses, and authorities under the dba company also.

But once again, an agent is only operating on their own authority when they perform local and intrastate moves. So when you get your estimates, ask up front if the mover is going to move you as an agent of a van line, or on their own authority. If they say on their own authority, send up the caution flag, and make sure all t's are crossed, and all i's are dotted... And if they ask for a deposit, change movers.

Lee

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Philly to SF - lots of questions

Postby Michael » Mon Dec 22, 2003 4:58 pm

SF Bound,

In a cross-country move that includes storage, are there more advantages to using a mover in the destination or the origination city?


Generally it is cheaper for you to store with the ORIGIN agent then it is to have it stored at destination. Reason being is that the origin agent is more willing to discount your storage with a higher discount then the destination agent receiving your goods. For example, I have a shipper moving from Raleigh, NC to Los Angeles, CA. Although we have an agent in LA, I can give that customer a (fictious number) 60% discount off of Storage (SIT-Storage in Transit) where as the LA agent may limit its discount to 45%.

So go to the facility, check it out. Is it clean, are your goods vaulted? Does it have a roof sprinkler system?

The negatives to storing at origin, your goods are handled one more time, then if you went to destination and had your goods stored there.

As far as all the Safersys not agents for a Major specialize in HHG. And not all agents that represent majors are large. Some may have the capability of self-hauling your move while others may relie more on their "Mother" company to haul your shipment. I will say if they have the drivers in their fllet to haul you, a continental fleet driver, then they will obviously try to handle your move from beginning to end first. If not it reverts back into the system and a driver is assigned.

Go to each web site, unitedvanlines.com, mayflower.com, northamerican.com and alliedvanlines.com to confirm they are an agent. I am sure of Hughes. Hughes could also be applying to be a cross rep with Mayflower and thus the paper work you have seen. Many United Agents are now starting to cross rep, or open a Mayflower office also.

But I think your headed in the right direction thus far.

Once you get your quotes feel free to come back and post what you find. Look at weight, discount, services (packing etc.), valuation, in that order. That way you can see apple to apple what everyone is estimating.

Good luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

SF Bound

Re: Philly to SF - lots of questions

Postby SF Bound » Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:13 pm

Thank you for your comments. One question, when you say, "The negatives to storing at origin, your goods are handled one more time, then if you went to destination and had your goods stored there.", I am a little confused. Aren't they handled the same number of times if they are stored at origin or stored at destination?

When goods are stored using vaults, will this be the process: Goods are loaded into vaults at origination, vaults are transported to storage, vaults are transported to destination and unpacked? Are there ever any intermediate steps?

re:Vaults - is the use of vaults consistent across the large moving companies - i.e., I saw one North American Van Lines agent who used vaults for storage, so would they all do this for storage? Does anyone know if United and Mayflower use vaults for storage? How about Allied?

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: Philly to SF - lots of questions

Postby BigLeeCalif » Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:30 pm

I work for United, so I know we have vaulted storage.

All vaults for storaging household goods are standardized for the most part.

And you are correct. The shipment going into destination at origin and destination are handled an equal amount of times...

The advantage for origin storage is that when the truck is loaded for your destination, it will be going direct, rather than into a warehouse.

All agents have containerized storage for shipments that come into storage-in-transit, or permanent storage.

As someone mentioned, if you go with an agent that has a continental hauling fleet, the additional control from door to door makes for a smoother, more timely move.

No matter which van line you use, find out exactly what their storage capabilities are, and how much lead time you need to have your goods shipped once you find an address..

Lee

Guest

Re: Philly to SF - lots of questions

Postby Guest » Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:07 pm

One more point to consider when it comes to storage:

If you do store it at origin, the sales rep might be able to bring your shipment into storage as a local move. Then when you are ready to move out west, convert it to an interstate move.

Perm storage rates are a lot cheaper than the tariff rates for storage. If you have to pay SIT rates, you will be paying a lot of money.

What your sales rep will have to do is:
1. Quote you hourly (normally) for the pick up.
2. Charge you a per 100 weight for warehouse handling, normally around $4-5 per 100#. This is a one time charge.
3. Then charge you monthly storage, usually between $3-4 per 100# per month.
4. Then you will have the moving cost for the move to CA.

Make sure you plan for enough time for your shipment to arrive in CA, so give your coordinator at least 3 weeks notice to register your shipment when you are ready to move into your new house.

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Philly to SF - lots of questions

Postby Michael » Tue Dec 23, 2003 7:51 am

SF Bound,

No your good are not handled the same amount of times. Lets look at the case. Pick up (handled) brought into storage and unload into vaults (handled), unload from vaults into truck (handled) and then unload from truck to new home (handled). That makes 4 handles at origin. Now if you can get the origin agent to come out with the vaults thats great, but they can only estimate how many vaults it will take, and could turn into a two day load job.

Destination: Load into truck (handled) deliver to destination storage and placed in vaults (handled) deliver from warehouse with trucks loaded with vaults and unloaded (handled). That makes 3 times handled.

The vaults are not loaded onto a truck from Origin to Destination especially in your case of distance traveled. One, the vaults belong to the agent supplying the storage, and are not sold to the destination agent. And then if they did send them out to destination, how do they get them back? The driver doesnt want to dead head vaults back.

So yes, your goods are handled one less time if stored at destination. And the only other advantage to your goods being stored at destination is you will probably be able to better pinpoint a specific delivery date, as oppose to coming out of origin where you will have a delivery spread.

The advantage to origin, its cheaper, you have seen the facility and you have seen the crews at origin. And if possible, depending on where you are, you could even meet the driver who loads your goods to take you out to destination upon delivery out (very unlikely though considering your probably in SF already).

Second, and I learned this this year from my ex boss who is on the Board of Directors for United Van lines. But if you bring your goods into perm storage for a move that is not in storage for more then 6 months (which would be consider perm storage) when your driver picks up your goods, your boxes can and will be marked as PBO's. Thus all liability is yours for the packing. Because in essence you had two different moves, on two different order forms, on two different bill of landings.

If you were going to go into storage for 6 months or more then yes, I would suggest perm storage first. Because under the 400 N tariff, storage is good for 180 days, then converts to perm.

And guest point of perm being cheaper, I guess it depends on your perm rates. But that is why I said Origin can give you a higher discount. The higher discount is competitve with what the perm rates would be.

Hope that helps,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget


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