February 6, 2018
With a new year comes new opportunities to shape how AMSA advocates for issues affecting our industry. The AMSA Government Affairs Committee will soon meet to discuss and formulate our legislative and regulatory priorities for 2018. To facilitate that discussion, we’d love to hear from you! A list of our 2017 priorities can be found here, but we expect to have new concerns this year. Send me or Paul Milotte your thoughts on what issues we need to emphasize.
We recently held a couple of congressional site visits, bringing Members of Congress to visit local moving companies in their home districts. This is a great way to help educate these congressmen about our industry and show them businesses who are hiring workers and helping grow the economy in their states. We were able to start building a relationship with the chair of the powerful Rules Committee, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), and also a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.).
Speaking of advocacy issues, there is a lot of news in this issue, so be sure to click through and read all of the articles! And if you haven’t taken it already, please complete our 2018 Membership Survey. We want to hear from you!
President & CEO
Just 1 Day Left to Take the 2018 AMSA Member Survey
Take five minutes and complete the AMSA 2018 Membership Survey — you may win a $50 Amazon gift card! We want to make sure we’re providing the advocacy, training and certification, benefits and events you need to succeed in your business. Your input in this short survey will help AMSA make strategic decisions in the year ahead. All respondents will be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 Amazon gift cards that will be drawn after the survey ends tomorrow, February 7. We appreciate your membership in AMSA and want to ensure we are constantly striving to exceed your expectations. Take the survey now!
Trump Urges Congress to Move on Infrastructure
In his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump called on the Republican-led Congress to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that would rely on private sector investments for funding. The president said the legislation should reduce the permitting process for certain infrastructure projects from 10 years to two years. Trump did little to specify how to fund the bill’s $1.5 trillion topline, though earlier reports indicated the plan would rely on $200 billion from direct federal funds that could produce the $1.5 trillion mark over 10 years through private partnerships. Previous reports also said the plan would provide $25 billion for rural projects. Read more.
Calls to increase the fuel tax remain on Capitol Hill. It is unclear whether the appetite for this, or other user fees, have changed substantially, though there is growing sentiment that “everything” is on the table as a revenue raiser. AMSA continues its opposition to tolling, but strongly supports another type of user fee as a means to achieve long-term sustainability for the Highway Trust Fund. Read more.
AMSA Builds Momentum Behind Legislative Effort to Protect Consumers Data
AMSA has worked with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress to protect individuals’ personal information when moving their property overseas. Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) introduced S. 998, the Moving Americans Privacy Protection Act, which would require the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to scrub consumers’ personal information before releasing it to third-party data brokers. Congressmen Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) have introduced a companion bill in the House.
We have successfully added five lawmakers in the House as cosponsors to H.R. 4403. As AMSA continues to lobby Congress for support, we need your help! Simply click here to send a pre-populated letter to your appropriate lawmaker.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has invited all motor carriers whose PeopleNet electronic logging devices require software updates to comply with the ELD rule to apply for a one-year exemption. The agency’s announcement was compelled by a request from Old Dominion Freight Line to be granted a one-year exemption to allow its PeopleNet automatic on-board recording device software to integrate ELD data with the company’s fleet management and safety systems to fully meet the mandate. The FMCSA decided to then extend that option to all carriers. We have not heard of any such issues with ELDs from other manufacturers, so at this time the one-year exemption is limited to that device, and requires a special application. Read more.
FMCSA Seeks Comments on National Consumer Complaint Database
The FMCSA is seeking public comment on how the agency can improve its online National Consumer Complaint Database, which allows the public and drivers to file complaints against unsafe and unscrupulous motor carriers and their employees. The complaint database, originally established nearly a decade ago to primarily target dishonest moving companies, also allows complaints to be filed against shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries. Complaints can cover a wide range of issues, including safety, driver harassment, coercion, movement of household goods, financial responsibility instruments for brokers and freight forwarders and Americans with Disabilities Act complaints. Since this is the primary database for consumer complaints against movers, we are seeking your input on how to respond. Please send your comments and suggestions for how to improve the complaint database to Paul Milotte. Read more.
Congressmen Express Support for OOIDA’s Request for 5-Year ELD Exemption
Two dozen Congressman have written a letter to the FMCSA encouraging the agency to grant the Owner–Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA’s) pending request for a five-year exemption from the ELD mandate for small trucking businesses with proven safety histories holding no at-fault crashes. AMSA acknowledges certain challenges implementing ELD protocols as it relates to device compatibility and functionality, though we support maintaining the ELD rule as the best method toward improving safety and providing hard data to help in our advocacy to improve hours-of-service regulations that are tracked by the device. Given the full slate of legislation before Congress and general support of the trucking industry behind the mandate, it is highly unlikely the five-year exemption will be granted. Read more.
Military Moving Update
US TRANSCOM Moves Forward with Prototype System
Last month, AMSA met with US TRANSCOM (USTC) leadership to receive an update on the new prototype computer system that is being developed to manage shipments this summer. The goal is to develop a minimally viable product to handle between 2,000 and 8,000 shipments end-to-end through a cloud-based product instead of DPS. The initial goal of starting to move shipments is June 1, with these first shipments being accumulated through August. The locations identified for the test are KKFA, HAFC, LKNQ and BGNC. Only shipments with origin/destination within the same area of responsibility and that are either Air Force or Navy personnel will be moved in this initial test.
Colonel Lounsbrough referenced the fact that this is not business as usual and that it will be fast moving with this new development team, which is being led by the Defense Digital Services (DDS), that was originally brought on board to analyze the stability of the Defense Personal Property System (DPS). Additionally, a contract was awarded to Truss Works, Inc. to assist in the building of the prototype. They will be using an agile development methodology that will allow for small increments to be developed quickly and for corrections to the system be completed quickly as well.
It was emphasized that the current business rules will be followed when shipments are moved through the prototype. There are many questions that remain, which AMSA has been working with US TRANSCOM to get resolved and to ensure that industry’s voice is heard through this transition to a new system. AMSA is concerned about the changes being announced after the rate filing deadline, and about their plans for implementing a new system, even on a limited basis, during peak season. On the positive side, the prototype would replace the DPS computer system that has issues, and it supposedly will include a two-way data interchange with our industry, which has been our top priority.
Additionally, AMSA has learned that the current DPS system has been put into a sustainment mode where only security and stability issues are addressed moving forward. At this point there are no plans to continue development of any new functionality in the DPS. This would further delay changes to the NTS and DPM programs that still are not in DPS. AMSA will provide updates as information becomes available concerning the prototype development.
AMSA has invited US TRANSCOM Director of Personal Property Colonel Lounsbrough to attend and speak at AMSA’s conference in Fort Lauderdale where we hope to get more details on this new prototype development.
US TRANSCOM Announces Spring Personal Property Forum
US TRANSCOM has announced that they will be holding a Spring PPF on March 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Scott AFB, Ill., area. The venue for the PPF hasn’t been finalized, but should be soon. Once announced, AMSA will setup a pre-meeting at the same location on March 12 if possible.
Topics of discussion are intended to prepare all participants for the upcoming Peak season. The PPF will consist of short introductory government/services/industry-led presentations followed by most of the day focused on group breakout sessions. These group sessions will be rotational in nature, giving attendees an opportunity to interact with a variety of stakeholders in approximately 30-minute blocks throughout the day. Each breakout will allow a free-flow Q&A between the facilitator and the group of participants.
Navy Household Goods Industry Days Update
The Navy has published their planned March dates for the Navy Household Goods Industry Days in the Cloud. There will be seven separate teleconferences that will be based on the individual host’s time zone. Changes have been made to the schedule due to conflicts with US TRANSCOM’s Spring Personal Property Forum. Send specific topics/issues/concerns no later than March 1 to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. The complete schedule and directions on how to log into the events can be found here.
Today the average undergraduate’s college loan debt is more than $30,000. Help minimize college costs by applying for a Moving & Storage Institute (MSI) scholarship by Friday, April 20. Awards range from $1,000 – $5,000. The MSI offers scholarships to help those pursuing a career in or related to the household goods moving and storage industry. Scholarships are available to benefit the children, families and employees of AMSA members throughout the U.S. who are pursuing a two- or four-year degree from a domestic accredited college, university, vocational or technical school.
All applications must be sponsored by a moving and storage company, van line, van line agent or supplier to the industry. The sponsoring company must be a member in good standing with AMSA. Learn more and apply now! Questions? Contact Mary Scott Tuck at (703) 706-4985.
Check Out What’s New & Different at #AMSA99
Expect the unexpected at this year’s AMSA’s 2018 Education Conference & Expo! From the Breakfast Roundtables, to the Women’s Leadership Forum, Sharing Your Moving Memories, and the Indy and Small Movers Forum, there’s a lot that’s new and different this year.
- Breakfast Roundtable Discussions – Led by subject-matter experts, these sessions will be a great way to learn more about subjects that matter to you most – you won’t want to skip breakfast!
- Women’s Leadership Forum – Our panel of powerful women will share their experiences, and provide meaningful guidance for managing challenges and rising to opportunities in business.
- Indy & Small Movers Forum – These roundtable discussions will focus on what matters most to independent and smaller operators, from identifying alternative revenue streams, strengthening your company, marketing and defining success.
- Share Your Moving Memories – In preparation for AMSA’s 100th anniversary, we invite you to contribute to our video scrapbook, sharing your favorite industry and AMSA anecdotes from your time in the industry.
Register today to take advantage of unparalleled networking opportunities, high-quality educational sessions, a dynamic keynote speaker, a first-rate Expo, and our ever-popular outdoor truck exhibits, which are moving indoors this year, along with the AMPAC Pinewood Derby and Move For Hunger Truck Pull! Registration is only $875 for members and $1,750 for non-members until March 18.
Sign Up for the Exciting 40Below Bike Build
AMSA’s 40Below Committee will be front and center during AMSA’s 2018 conference. Check out these events they’ll be hosting this year.
- Community Service Project Bike Build – Conference attendees will work in teams to build and customize bicycles that will be donated to local children. Volunteers will be grouped in teams of three and compete to build a bicycle. The first team to cross the finish line will receive a prize (and ultimate bragging rights). All bicycles will be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County. Sign up here.
- Mix & Mingle – This reception is for all 40Below members and conference attendees. Join the rising stars of the moving and storage industry for cocktails and networking.
- Committee Meeting – Get updates on 40Below’s latest activities within membership, webinars, mentoring, and more. Learn how to get involved – all ages welcome to attend.
- Corporate Mobility Client Forum – What if you knew exactly what your clients were thinking? 40Below is bringing you some of the brightest minds in the relocation industry, who have a combined 50 years of experience and over 10,000 relocations under their oversight. This panel of relocation and corporate experts will enhance your knowledge about what clients are looking for in prospective and current partners, what they think of the industry, and how your company can better prepare for the challenging road ahead.
Whether you’re over or under 40, take some time and get to know the next generation of industry leaders by participating in one (or all) of their events!
ATRI Releases List of Top 100 Truck Bottlenecks
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released its annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America. The 2018 Top Truck Bottleneck List assesses the level of truck-oriented congestion at 300 locations on the national highway system. The analysis, based on truck GPS data from more than 800,000 heavy duty trucks, uses several customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location. ATRI’s truck GPS data is used to support the FHWA-sponsored Freight Performance Measures initiative. The locations detailed in this latest ATRI list represent the top 100 congested locations. Read more.
Promote Your Company’s ProMover Certification
Words like ethics and professionalism aren’t just buzzwords – they mean something to consumers and corporate clients alike. Demonstrate your commitment to a higher standard by marketing yourself as a ProMover!
AMSA makes it easy with our ProMover Toolkit and our ongoing media coverage in national publications, like Reader’s Digest and Consumer Affairs. As an AMSA ProMover, when you access the ProMover Toolkit, you’ll find everything you need to market yourself as a ProMover, including downloadable logos for your website, information about ordering truck decals, media relations tools, access to the ProMover seal, and so much more.
Arpin Group has promoted Renee Abrantes to director of human resources…
Arpin International Group has hired Michael Hughes as assistant general manager…
Hilldrup of Stafford, Va., has placed an order for two Tesla Class 8 electric trucks, the Tesla Semi, to join the company’s fleet by late 2019…
Atlas Van Lines has released the results of their annual Migration Patterns Survey in which they tracked their customer’s movement from state-to-state in 2017…
C. Fair Brooks III, president of Brooks Transfer & Storage in Richmond, Va., has passed away. His company joined with 16 other independents to form United Van Lines in 1947, and Brooks also served as president and director of the Virginia Movers and Warehousemen’s Association
Packing Tips & Green Moving Tops on Social Media
Recent popular Facebook posts included a video from ProMover Johnson United on proper packing techniques for glasses, dishes and stemware, and one from Redfin on why consumers should use green moving companies. Follow us on Twitter! A recent Moving Tip Monday from Wheaton recommended packing DVDs and Blu-Rays spine-up to reduce damage and ease sorting when unpacking.
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. A recent post shared insights from Wheaton | Bekins on planned personalization in their consumer marketing. We’ve also launched a 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!
It Pays to be an AMSA Member!
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!
Champion Risk & Insurance Services manages the insurance and risk management needs of the moving and storage industry as a full-service commercial insurance brokerage. Ranked as one of the top insurance brokerages committed to this industry nationwide, Champion Risk provides a range of valuable products and services including property and casualty, workers’ compensation, employee benefits and much more. To learn more about the complete line of products and services available to AMSA members, call (800) 829-0807 or visit Championrisk.net.
Taylor Communications delivers AMSA members ProMover and branded merchandise at reduced prices! Taylor Communications is one of the largest promotional merchandise companies in the U.S. with award winning ideation to drive your message home every time. We have deep relationships with over 300 preferred partners to offer unlimited promotional product selections including name brand options as well as entry level products to stay within your budget.
Start shopping today by accessing thousands of items at a storefront specifically for AMSA members at http://shopamsapromo.espwebsite.com/, or by contacting one of your Taylor Communications account team members: Rick Bueltmann (636) 496-7415 or email@example.com; or Lisa Schneider (636) 496-7401 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.
Kentucky Trailer 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.