The Most Important Part of US Cargo Control Isn’t a Product

How trade show season helps us help you better

How trade show season helps us help you better

Although the weather in many places doesn’t tell us so, trade show season is upon us. If you haven’t already, many of you will soon find yourself at an industry trade show, safety meeting, or annual meeting in the coming months. And because USCC serves the trucking & transportation, rigging & lifting, and moving industries, many members of our team have been on the road, in booths, and at industry events across the country.

Professional truck drivers enjoy the Iowa 80 Jamboree at The World’s Largest Truck Stop.

No matter what industry you’re a part of, trade shows are a way to discover businesses and resources in your industry and learn about the products or services they offer. It’s a chance to compare similar resources apples-to-apples and decide which provides the best value for your individual needs. And while part of this is likely product selection, price, freight time, and other logistical calculations don’t make the mistake of overlooking the most important and valuable aspect of trade shows and of good business—the people.

It’s About the People

In an age where just about every business has a website address, list of social media accounts, and handful of other digital tools to communicate and serve their customers with, it’s easy to get sucked into the screen and miss the big picture.

Don’t get me wrong, websites that make online ordering easy are a great thing. In general, technology gives us all a way to get information quickly, weight our options, and get jobs done more efficiently. Just don’t allow it to make you lose sight of the reason for the work that you do.

Volunteers use wire rope clips from USCC to construct a 100+ foot suspended footbridge over the Hockanum River in Vernon, Connecticut.

At the end of the day, the most important part of our business, and your business, is people. It’s about making people’s lives safer, easier, and more productive. We give people the tools to start their own business, continually grow one that’s been around for decades, or simply get a job done right.

Whether it’s hauling the White House Christmas tree across the country so thousands can enjoy its beauty or delivering fuel to a gas pump so people can drive to work. Constructing a high-rise apartment building so hundreds of people have a home, or building a suspended footbridge so a few people can escape to nature. Moving a family of six across the country for new opportunity, or moving your neighbor’s couch down some stairs to enjoy just for the big game. Your job, no matter what it entails on the surface, is about helping people.

Our job is about making it safe and easy for you to help. Because, when we do that, everyone benefits.

What’s important to you?

Trade shows allow us to catch up face-to-face with the people we regularly talk to over the phone or through email. They allow us to meet customers old and new, shake their hand, look them in their eyes, and listen to their individual wants and needs. Some have questions on shipping rates, some love our custom products, and others want us to explain differences between similar products. No computer could understand those individual needs as clearly as a human conversation can.

White Glove Movers rolling a heavy tool chest into their moving truck.

It’s easy to overlook real human connection in this digital age, but its importance will never change no matter what industry you’re in.

It’s why our founder, Tim, started and sticks by his promise of getting you “What you want, when you need it.” We understand the importance of building relationships with the people who keep these important industries moving forward. Every business and every person is unique. Without taking the time to truly understand your unique situation, we would be selling ourselves short.

It’s more than just doing business, it’s helping people be more and achieve more. It’s working with you individually to ensure your needs are met and your business can be successful. If we do that, you’re able to pass the same level of dedication on to your customers and the people you help every day by doing your job well.

USCC made in america
Production Manager, Jamie Farmer, gives direction to fellow USCC employees.

Tradeshows in March

Throughout March, our USCC team will be busy meeting people like you to better understand what they want and when they need it. We hope to see you and learn from you at one of these upcoming events.

Machinery Haulers Association Annual Meeting
March 8th – 9th | Las Vegas, NV

Minnesota Trucking Association Safety Meeting
March 19 | St. Paul, MN

American Moving & Storage Association Conference
March 24th – 26th | Houston, TX

Unpacking Moving Industry Trends: Why, When, and Where Americans are Moving

According to U.S. Census data, 11.2 percent of Americans move each year on average. That’s over 35 million Americans who will make the big decision to pack up and move on this year. 

The big questions are: what makes Americans want to move, when are they doing it, and where are they going? Continue reading to understand moving industry trends that will better prepare you to make tough moving decisions. 

Why Americans Move 

According to U.S. Census data, most Americans move specifically to change their current housing situation. This includes a desire for new or better housing, housing that is their own, or cheaper housing.  

Meanwhile, other Americans are moving due to a new job or for personal family reasons.  

Other less common reasons include a change in marital status, leaving for college, seeking a neighborhood with less crime, retirement, or just wanting a change of climate. 

top reasons Americans move
According to 2016 U.S. Census Data

When Americans Move 

Among those using a professional moving service or renting a moving truck (those that are trackable), Fridays are the most popular day to move. According to My Moving Reviews Annual Data Report, 20 percent of moves in 2017 were done on a Friday.  Moving on this day allows more time to unpack and be ready for work on Monday. 

The least popular days to move? Sundays and Tuesdays. If you can move on either these days, you will most likely get better prices on moving services. 

most popular moving days
Friday is the most popular day of the week for moves

The summer is by far the busiest time of year for moving. The overall busiest moving month? June, with about 13 percent of total moves. Interestingly, the overall busiest moving day of 2017 was June 30. The second? Just one day later on July 1.  

most popular months to move
June is the most popular month for moves

Where Americans Move 

So, which states are Americans heading to, and which ones are they leaving?

Top inbound states for 2017:

  1. Vermont 
  2. Oregon 
  3. Idaho 
  4. Nevada 
  5. South Dakota 
  6. Washington 
  7. South Carolina 
  8. North Carolina 
  9. Colorado 
  10. Alabama

Top outbound states for 2017:

  1. Illinois 
  2. New Jersey 
  3. New York 
  4. Connecticut 
  5. Kansas 
  6. Massachusetts 
  7. Ohio 
  8. Kentucky 
  9. Utah 
  10. Wisconsin

 

Green = top 10 inbound states for 2017. Orange = top 10 outbound states for 2017

Moving Advice 

If you’re thinking about moving, whether it’s across town or across the country, make sure you have plenty of moving supplies and set time aside to plan and prepare. Start by getting tips on how to remove the stress of moving.

Moving Checklist: Remove the Stress of Moving in 15 Steps

stress free moving

Moving tends to be a combination of excitement and mind-rattling nerves. It’s a new adventure and a turn of the page. But, it’s also often a startling plunge into new and unfamiliar territory.  Above all else, it’s a lot of work. 

Believe it or not, the stress of moving is right up there with divorce, job loss, and death of a loved one.  

But, fear no more. Whether it’s your first move ever, or your fifth move this year, use this checklist to remove the guesswork and stress of moving.

Months Before Moving: No Need to Sound the Alarm 

  • Decide whether you’re going to hire a moving company, rent a moving van, or move yourself using your own equipment. Moving companies and moving vans can be booked solid for several months, especially during the moving season (May through August). The earlier you book, the better rates you’ll get. Just make sure the moving company is licensed with the FMCSA.
     
  • Submit a change of address form at usps.com. Also, don’t forget to notify banks, credit cards, insurers, and healthcare providers. Otherwise, the next person to move into your home could be getting your sensitive information.
     
  • Make any necessary repairs and touchups to your old home or apartment.
     
  • Start purging items that aren’t worth moving. Whether you sell them or toss them, some items just aren’t worth the cost or work of moving.
     
  • Make sure you have plenty of moving supplies. Using specialized supplies will increase efficiency and help prevent damage when moving.
     
  • Begin packing as early as possible, starting with your least-used items. Label boxes by room and contents. Then, for quick reference, create a comprehensive inventory of which items went in what boxes. Use colored stickers for added organization and less writing.
     
  • Give yourself some breathing room by scheduling time off work.
     
  • If you’re moving without assistance from professionals, enlist the help of family and friends. Don’t put all the work on yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weeks Before Moving: Don’t Resist, Keep Pushing 

  • Schedule your current utilities to be shut-off or transferred to your new address.
     
  • Continue packing as much as possible.
     
  • If you have access to your new space, make sure it’s clean. There will never be an easier time to clean or paint a wall than when the space is empty.
     
  • Remind your enlisted moving helpers of the day and time you need them. If you’re renting a truck or hiring workers, call the company to confirm dates and times.

The Day Before Moving Day: Fight the Fatigue 

  • Pack your essentials, like bedding, toilet paper, snacks, soap, plates, cups, utensils, and cleaning supplies in one box. Then, set it aside to be loaded last so that it will be the first box brought into your new home.
     
  • Finish packing all other belongings so you can start moving bright and early the next day.
     
  • Get plenty of sleep.

Moving Day: Embrace the Change

Once everything is packed and organized, it’s just a matter of moving it. If you’re doing it yourself, look at it as a chance to exercise. Stay positive. To pass the time, think of all the new people and places you will soon get to experience.  

Do you have any tips that help alleviate the stress of moving? Share your experiences in the comments below! 

Don’t Get Duped: How to Avoid Moving Scams

shutterstock_109668389Moving can be a very exciting time, but it is also stressful.  Even the normal stresses can add up from buying the right moving supplies, getting delicate or breakable things packed up, planning every detail from one place to another, and coordinating all the timing so it happens on top moving from point A to point B.

One of the last things you want to think about during such a busy and stressful time is worrying about moving scams.  It’s a story we’re hearing more and more: the moving “company” you hire loads up all of your personal belongings, and then essentially holds it all hostage until you pay more money to get everything back.

The good news is there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself.

1. Don’t just pick a random moving company. Ideally you will know people who have hired a moving company personally and can attest to some good ones, and steer you away from ones that were disasters.  Asking your Realtor for advice is generally a great starting point in your research.

2. Research, research, research. Thanks to the internet, this should be relatively easy. Sites like MovingScam.com features a “Super List” which has listings of reputable movers by state, as well as a list of endorsed movers who they’ve vetted and know to be good, reliable movers.

3. Shop around. Get at least three estimates. This should show similarities in prices and one that seems like a low-ball could be a red flag. Even reputable movers may require a small deposit upfront to reserve the time frame, but never pay the full amount up front before the move.

4. Request a visit. Make sure the moving company representative comes to your home to do a quick inventory before creating an estimate.

5. Demand the estimate in writing. Legitimate movers will do this without asking. Be wary of the companies that balk on this suggestion. Remember that in many states verbal contracts are not legally binding, and even where they are it’s hard to enforce since any disagreement becomes a case of “he said, she said.”

6. Be prepared. Be sure that written contract outlines any supplies you may be responsible for, or may be required to pack yourself. Some companies may offer different packages based on how much you want to do yourself, such as packing. Obviously it’s best to clarify this as far in advance as possible so you can purchase any moving supplies such as moving boxes, piano moving equipment, moving blankets, etc. up front. Some companies may also require you pack and move flammable, hazardous, explosive, or corrosive items yourself, so knowing this up front can you plan ahead.

7.  Check estimates. Be sure to check the estimates to ensure you are charged by cubic footage instead of weight.  First of all – this is even illegal as of 2005, so all quotes should be in weight.  Second, anyone quoting cubic footage will almost certainly try to jack up the price ever.

8. Ask about damage claims processes. It’s nearly inevitable that something may be dinged, scratched, or broken during the moving process. However, a legitimate company will have a plan in place- and in writing- outlining the proper channels that will protect you.

 

 

20 Tips for Stress-Free Moving

Thanks to Claire at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for today’s guest post!

ClaireSNEWMoving is a very stressful time for everyone… your once organized home quickly becomes a disaster zone. In order to make your move and life easier, I’ve included a schedule containing tips many of us have learned over the years at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Follow these tips so you won’t forget something important or have to scramble to get everything done at the last second.

 

 

Two months before

  • Photos. Before you do anything, take pictures of your home. My husband and I do this every time we move and I am so grateful. I know some day when we have kids, I will enjoy showing them pictures of where we lived.
  • Go through your belongings. Go through every room of your house and decide what you want to keep and what needs to go. Don’t forget the basement, attic and garage. This may seem like a lot of work but trust me, come moving day, you’ll be glad you did.
  • Take inventory. Take inventory of every valuable item you plan to move.  Include photos along with written descriptions.
  • Organize records. If you have kids, make arrangements with their current schools to have their records transferred. Make sure you have copies of everyone’s medical records as well as recommendations of doctors in your new community.
  • Talk to your kids. Moving is a very scary time for kids, especially if they are leaving the only home they know. Early on, begin including your kids in moving discussions and give them an idea of what will happen on moving day. Make sure they know they can talk to you about any fears they have about the move.

Five to six weeks before

  • Research. Now is the time to decide if you are going to try moving on your own or if you are going to hire a moving company. You don’t need to book anything yet, but it’s good to plan accordingly. When interviewing moving companies, make sure to ask if they are insured and bonded, if they hire full and part-time movers rather than temp movers, and how they charge.
  • Finalize real estate or rental needs.  If you are renting, make sure to communicate with your landlord about the upcoming move. See if they have any guidelines or polices you need to follow while moving out.
  • Order supplies. Order boxes and other packing supplies. Don’t forget plenty of bubble wrap and tape! Look into wardrobe and other specialty boxes as they make packing much easier. Whatever you do, don’t use food or supermarket boxes!  You never know what little critter is hiding in them or if the box will be strong enough to support your possessions.

One month before

  • Begin packing. Start packing up items you don’t frequently use. Make sure to clearly label each box with the name of which room it is for.
  • Choose a moving company. Now that you’ve done your research and thought it over, decide how you want to move. If you decide to use a moving company, make your reservations plenty of time in advance to ensure you get your ideal day and time.
  • Notify utility companies. No one wants to pay for utilities they’re not using. Make sure each company knows what day you are moving and arrange for your new accounts to be started when you get to your new house.
  • Change your address. To change your address, you can either go to your local post office or visit usps.com to fill out a change of address form.
  • Notify important parties. Contact your bank, insurance provider employer, and magazines or newspapers you subscribe to.  You can also announce your move in a fun way by creating moving announcements that will be sent out to all of your friends and family with your new address.

One week before

  • Finish packing. Remember to pack important and sentimental items separately so they are easily accessible. Plan on keeping this box with you personally when you move.
  • Confirm move. Confirm the time the movers will arrive as well as other specifics and make sure you have prepared exact, written directions to your new home for the movers. Also include contact information, such as your cell phone number.
  • Clean. The last thing you want to do before you move is clean everything in your house. In order to save you time, begin cleaning rooms you don’t use as often. It’s also a good idea to make a “survival closet” containing things for the last cleanup before you move out. For example a broom, dust cloth, dust pan, mop, etc.

Day of the move

  • Pack your suitcase. I highly recommend packing a suitcase for everyone in the family containing essential items and clothes for the day/night. You will be exhausted after the move and when it’s time to get ready for bed, you don’t want to have to dig through multiple boxes.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. It’s going to be a long day so make sure you eat a nice, healthy breakfast to help you get energized in the morning.
  • Initial walk-through. Take some time and do an initial walk-through with the movers. Make sure they do a thorough inventory of your items and know what is going to be moved.
  • Lock up. Walk through the entire house and make sure everything is out. Also check to make sure the windows are locked, the lights are off and the doors are closed and locked.

About the author: Claire Schneider is the social media specialist at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/INTERNATIONAL, Inc. the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States.