Date: July 5, 1999
From: "T.J. Carney" <>
Subject: Re: AMS-Forum APU's
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> writes:
> ....the COD agents do receive a substantial benefit because of the packing and O/A services they receive and the national account traffic they haul in the off season.

> wrote:
> We have not seen the reciprocity that the Van Lines and big bookers like to trumpet when this subject comes up.... All I get are calls from bookers asking if we can help them on a service failure.

There is no doubt in my mind that volume account business is the core of the van line industry, but maybe not the moving industry. However, I think that the big account bookers over-state their value to small agents. Some of the business practices by the big bookers that are finding common acceptance in my van line that are putting stress on smaller agents include:

  1. Not being appointed as Origin Agent, but still asked to provide support services to their van operator's including 3rd party referrals, packing materials, van-operator paid packing labor and loading labor. The cost of dispatch, cost of labor training and uniforms, cost
    of pre-paid packing materials are all assumed by the small agent for no revenue (except maybe a small mark-up on the packing material).
  2. Relying on their vans, pack crews and warehouses only during peak demand times where the small agent is basically forced into the position of being annual expansion capacity. During non-peak times the big bookers keep all services "in-house" including routing SIT consigned shipments through their own warehouses. Theoretically there should be more pack jobs on the schedule from the big bookers than there are debris pick-ups!
  3. Using them for the clean-up work on account moves gone bad. How many times do small agents hear that they should make room in their schedules to help with some "important account" fiasco? There isn't any confusion about whom the account is important to..
  4. No representation on van line boards to voice and maybe protect the interests of smaller booking agents, some of whom are the highest quality movers in the system.

T. Carney

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