January 9, 2018
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a successful 2017, and can build on that for a great 2018. The president’s tax bill has been signed into law, bringing a huge drop in corporate tax rates that should continue to drive business growth. Some companies have taken steps to pass some of these benefits on to their employees through bonuses.
The bad news in the tax bill was the elimination of numerous deductions on the individual income tax, including the Moving Expense Deduction. This and other “loopholes” were removed to help pay for the lower tax rates in the bill. The good news is that the Corporate Moving Expense Deduction remains, so companies who pay to move their employees can continue to deduct the cost of that move as a business expense.
We also have big news on the military front, as the Department of Defense has awarded a new contract to a developer to create a prototype for a replacement for the DPS computer system, and we are hearing that they are moving quickly to testing. They also are trying to include industry’s No. 1 priority – a two-way interface to allow industry computer systems to interact directly with the DoD system. That would be a significant development if it comes to fruition.
The president’s infrastructure plan – one of his top priorities on Election Day – is supposed to be finally released later this month. I was at the White House last year for an earlier meeting on this plan, and we will be watching anxiously for significant investment in our nation’s roads and bridges.
Here’s to a great 2018!
President & CEO
Government & Military Relations Update
House Transportation Chair Shuster Not Running for Reelection
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), the powerful chair of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has announced that he will not seek reelection this year. The congressman, who has represented Pennsylvania’s 9th District for 17 years and has held his chairmanship for the past five years, did not give any reason why he won’t be running in 2018. In an official statement, Shuster said, “It is with a happy heart and a sense of accomplishment that I say this will be my final year in the U.S. Congress.” Read more.
Due to term limits, Rep. Shuster’s term as chair of the committee would come to an end anyway. Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) are considered front-runners to succeed Rep. Shuster as chair in 2019, assuming Republicans remain in the majority in the House. Graves and Denham spoke to AMSA members at Moving Day on Capitol Hill in September.
Pennsylvania Cracks Down on Unregistered Movers
A new law signed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in late December makes it illegal to offer moving services without registering with the Public Utility Commission (PUC). The new law, which takes effect in mid-February, calls for a fine of $5,000 for the first offense and $10,000 for each subsequent violation. Unregistered movers may also have their vehicles confiscated and their registration suspended. “I encourage everyone to be vigilant and report these illegal operators to the PUC enforcement group,” said Ricky Christ, president of Pennsylvania Moving & Storage Associates. “They take valuable business away from us and damage our industry reputation.” Read more.
AMSA’s Government Affairs Committee will soon begin establishing our advocacy priorities for 2018. Your input or suggestions on issues affecting your business will be particularly helpful in influencing the committee’s discussion. Please send any input or feedback you may have to AMSA’s Vice President of Government Relations Paul Milotte. The current list of legislative priorities can be found here.
Military Moving Update
USTRANSCOM Requests Your Input on a New DPS System
AMSA has learned that USTRANSCOM has awarded a separate development contract for the development of a new prototype to replace the current DPS computer system. The details on this development are scarce at the moment and we expect more information from USTRANSCOM on how this will be coordinated with the current DPS development process, but indications are that it would be based on the existing business rules, rather than a new program design. As a part of the new prototype development, Colonel Lounsbrough sent a Request for Information (RFI).
USTRANSCOM seeks information on the building of an open application programming interface (two-way interface), which is something that was identified early on in the development of DPS as a must-have for industry. While this RFI doesn’t mean a two-way interface solution is imminent, it shows that they are willing to take the industry’s input to determine a solution that will help those participating in the DP3 program. There are several questions in the RFI document that need to be answered with any submissions; please review the document thoroughly. This would represent a major step forward for industry use of the DPS.
AMSA has invited USTRANSCOM Director of Personal Property Colonel Lounsbrough to attend and speak at AMSA’s annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, April 8-10, where we hope to get more details on this new prototype development.
JPPSO-NE Carrier Agent Meeting
The Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO-NE) Detachment 2 will be hosting a Transportation Service Providers/Agents meeting on March 19. The meeting will be held at the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center in Southbridge, Mass. The full agenda and details can be found here.
Unified Carrier Registration Rules Set
The 2018 fee levels, which can be found on the UCR website, have now been determined. Generally, a 9 percent reduction in fees has been mandated. TSPs can and should now move forward with completing the 2018 UCR process. Remember, this is a requirement for maintaining a TSP’s approval to participate in government programs.
AMSA has brought this to the attention of USTRANSCOM and encouraged them to follow the 90-day enforcement recommendation as set forth in the memorandum. As of today, USTRANSCOM TC has not issued a PP-Advisory but has indicated that they will issue one soon.
AMSA Plans to Attend CMSA’s Regional Meetings
AMSA’s Director of Military Policy John Becker will speak this month at three regional California Moving & Storage Association (CMSA) meetings. They include:
- The Twin Counties Chapter of the CMSA’s Jan. 9 meeting; details and registration information can be found here
- The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the CMSA’s Jan. 10 meeting; details and registration information can be found here
- The Central Valley Chapter CMSA Chapter Meeting and Texas Hold‘em Poker Tournament Fundraiser Jan. 11; details and registration information can be found here
For more information about his presentation, contact John Becker.
If you handle military moves, then you need AMSA’s Military 400NG cloud, which gives you full online access from anywhere internet or WiFi accessible. Sign up now at the annual subscription rate of $129 per user. The new cloud version updates instantly whenever changes are made. AMSA’s 400NG lets you accurately calculate the total cost of individual shipments and associated services for all military domestic personal property moves (except Hawaii). Register now for your access to the 400NG cloud for the low price of $129 per user. Order now!
Home Prices Rise 6.2 Percent
U.S. home prices have climbed a strong 6.2 percent over a year ago, due to higher demand from would-be buyers and a decreasing supply of properties for sale. Standard & Poor’s said that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index stood in October a solid 6 percent above its previous 2006 peak. Prices are rising at more than double the rate of wage growth, which is creating some affordability pressures that have been offset by relatively low mortgage rates. Metro areas with booming job markets and the steepest home price gains could see more residents staying as renters. Read more.
Last Chance! Register Now for AMSA’s January Training Events
Now is the time to register for AMSA’s leading industry education and networking events – Claims 101 Training, CMC Boot Camp and AMSA’s Safety & Operations Conference – near Dallas, Texas, January 22-23. Send your sales, claims and safety and operations staff to one of the following:
- CMC Boot Camp – Get a brief history of the industry, ethical selling practices, how to estimate household goods for shipment, customer service, an introduction to claims, and a brief section on international shipments. The certification exam will be given on the second day following a review. The fee provides one copy of the CMC manual and, after passing the test, your certificate and credentials. Register Now!
- Claims 101 Training – Join Dave Hauenstein, AMSA’s former vice president for compliance and government affairs, for this valuable one-day course. Registration is just $199 for AMSA and Southwest Movers Association members. Don’t delay – Register Now!
- AMSA’s Safety & Operations Conference – Connect with a powerful list of speakers and topics essential to your business for safe operations in the new year, which will help you make the most of your initiatives in 2018. Register Now!
Limited sponsorship opportunities still available! Contact Racquel Codling at (703) 706-4965.
Alert: Unauthorized AMSA Conference Attendee List Solicitation
Some of you may have received an email encouraging you to purchase the AMSA conference attendee list from a representative (Lily Walters – Marketing Executive) affiliated with Global Digital Market. AMSA does not sell its membership and conference attendee lists, and we strongly recommend that you do not purchase their lists. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Racquel Codling, AMSA’s director of meetings and sales, at (703) 706-4965 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest information about the conference, go to ProMover.org/conference.
It’s Here! Your Copy of the AMSA Sourcebook
Download your copy of AMSA’s 2018 Membership Sourcebook now! This ultimate member resource contains approximately 3,500 AMSA members — with content provided by our members — and includes detailed contact information for all domestic and international movers, suppliers, and AMSA board and committee members. Listings designate ProMover and RIM certifications, AMSA Chairman’s Circle partners, Member Discount Program partners, and AMSA Industry Award winners. This valuable resource is also available as a printed directory for just $59. Order your printed 2018 Sourcebook now while supplies last, or download the free version.
Von Paris Moving & Storage of Savage, Md., donated at truck to carry contributions to the women and children victimized by domestic violence who sought shelter in the House of Ruth Maryland…
JK Moving Services of Sterling, Va., donated a storage container to the Tucker Road Parent Hockey Organization for the Ducks Hockey Team to store their equipment in Fort Washington, Maryland…
Arpin Van Lines drivers delivered more than 140,000 wreaths to veterans’ cemeteries nationwide as part of Wreaths Across America Day in December…
Michael Murphy has been promoted to vice president of the commercial division at Able Moving & Storage in Manassas, Virginia…
Mark Doyle has returned to National Van Lines as the new executive vice president…
Tina Borba has been promoted to vice president of international services for Crown Worldwide Moving & Storage in San Leandro, California…
Andrea Woolf Parker, executive vice president of Air Animal Inc., has been elected to the board of the Tennessee Relocation Council where she will oversee sponsorships…
The United Van Lines National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns in the past year, shows that Americans are moving westward to the Mountain and Pacific West, while the Northeast and Midwest continue to lose residents…
Tax Deductions and When to Move Most Popular on Social Media
The holidays didn’t stop our social media engagement, especially from members, and we thank you for that. Recent popular Facebook posts included one on deducting moving expenses from 2017 income taxes, and the pros and cons of moving during each season, courtesy of ProMover member, JK Moving Services.
Follow us on Twitter! A recent Moving Tip Monday from Angie’s List recommended that consumers label doors that correspond to the rooms listed on their moving boxes, so that movers can easily see where every box belongs.
AMSA uses LinkedIn to let you know about important industry and regulatory issues, ask questions and start discussions, and provide timely information about industry products, services and education to help you grow your business. Members are encouraged to post relevant industry content in these two groups as well. Recent posts let members know that the 2018 Sourcebook is available for download.
We’ve launched a brand-new LinkedIn group, AMSA Women in Moving, which is open to all female AMSA members, whether they are movers or affiliates. It will be a great way for women in the industry to communicate, share best practices, and ask for advice from their industry colleagues. Coming soon, we’ll be asking for members’ input on a women’s forum at the 2018 conference. AMSA also has upped our social media game, and we’re now on Instagram! Follow AMSA ProMover, and feel free to tag us in your posts using #AMSAProMover. We’re working on following you, too!
You also can follow AMSA President and CEO Scott Michael on Twitter at @AMSACEO, and AMSA’s Government Affairs feed @AMSAGovtAffairs, where we’re posting legislative and regulatory information impacting our industry. Make sure AMSA knows what you’re doing by adding Rachel Peretz to your email lists. Maybe we’ll feature you in our social media outreach!
The money you’ll save using AMSA’s Member Discount Program partners could cover your dues and more! Whether you operate one truck or one hundred, save thousands of dollars a year on products and services that you already use. From trucks, fuel and office supplies to uniforms and insurance, AMSA’s discount program partners have you covered. The only way to get AMSA’s preferred pricing is to mention that you’re an AMSA member when you call or email!
Customers are at the core of everything Dell does. Dell is focused on delivering affordable technology solutions that enable AMSA members make smarter business decisions that impact their bottom line. AMSA has partnered with Dell to bring members savings (up to 30 – 40 percent off the everyday price) on their systems and Dell branded electronics and accessories.
To shop, call (800) 757-8442 or visit Dell.com/AMSA. Please mention that you are an AMSA member and provide Member ID: 530002534087 to get exclusive savings.
Whether your own your fleet today, or are looking to replace/add vehicles, the Full-Service Leasing and Comprehensive Maintenance programs provide AMSA members with alternatives to operating private fleets and are designed to meet your specific long-term needs. Call (888) 234-4201 today and reference your AMSA membership.
A company spending $1,500 per month on truck rentals can save $6,000 annually – you can register under the national account number even if you already have a Penske account! Call 1-800-PENSKE1, tell them you’re an AMSA Member and you want to receive negotiated pricing under national account #2458, or complete this Member Sign Up form and send it in today to begin enjoying all the benefits of this exclusive partnership! For more information, contact Annika Metzger, National Rental Account Coordinator, at (610) 856-6637 or email@example.com.
Penske Used Trucks offers AMSA members the opportunity to easily and cost-effectively purchase used trucks though an exclusive national account program. For more information about Penske Used Trucks, contact Michael Kreider, Manager of Executive Accounts & Dealer Sales, at (888) 432-8501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget, to get AMSA’s preferred pricing, mention that you’re an AMSA member when you call or email! For more information on all of AMSA’s Member Discount Partners, visit Promover.org/discounts.
Member Discount Partners are carefully selected from AMSA’s vetted suppliers. If your company is interested in becoming an exclusive AMSA Member Discount Partner, please contact Rachel Peretz at (703) 706-4961. Partnerships are available to AMSA suppliers in good standing who have been members for 18 months or longer.
CarsArrive is also a member of AMSA’s Chairman’s Circle, which goes above and beyond in its support of the efforts of your national trade association through generous donations of their time, resources and creative input. We thank them for their continued support.