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May 1, 2018

President’s Message


As we kick off National Moving Month today, I hope everyone is ready to go for a successful peak season. If you still need to stock up, make sure that you are using vendors who support AMSA and the industry. You can find a list of all of the conference exhibitors here and conference sponsors here . Additionally, you can search all of our vendors on our ProMover Buyer’s Guide.

I spoke at the Atlas Forum for corporate shippers last month, talking about the challenges facing the industry, including rising costs and declining capacity. I brought a similar message to the GSA’s ERRC meeting of civilian federal agency customers, as both groups are looking to prepare for their peak moving seasons. I also was out in California, speaking at the CMSA’s 100th annual conference in Sacramento. The largest state moving association wanted to hear about industry trends and the advocacy AMSA is doing for all of our members here in Washington, D.C.

You can hear my message about professionalism from our recent 99 th conference (just one behind California!) here or come find me on the road later this month. I’ll be at the Montana Movers and then at ERC in Dallas. Have a great summer!

Scott Michael
President & CEO


Industry News


ELD Tech Issues Plague Small-Business Trucking Companies
Owners of small trucking companies say they’re frustrated with technology that’s plaguing electronic logging devices. The use of ELDs—which became mandatory April 1—has brought an array of discrepancies with mileage, speed and driving hours. “Some of the issues have to do with problems with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration systems, that the federal government says “it’s working on.” Meanwhile, enforcement of the new law is bringing steep penalties.
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Carriers Keep Rolling Out Driver Pay Raises
The ongoing driver shortage is prompting several carriers to offer sizable pay increases over previous years. According to a post on Transport Topics, wages for private fleet drivers and truckload drivers have jumped by some 15 percent over the past several years. Maverick Transportation and Intermodal Cartage are among the companies offering more money to entice drivers and keep existing ones.
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Feds to Replace TIGER Funding with New $1.5 B Grant Program
A new $1.5 billion discretionary grant funding program will replace the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. The U.S. Department of Transportation explains the new system—Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD—will allocate funds through September 30, 2020. This post has details on the criteria and a series of upcoming informational sessions for interested applicants.
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‘Operation Safe Driver Week’ Set for July
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s week-long initiative to promote safe driving will begin on July 15. According to a press release: “Traffic safety personnel will be on the lookout for unsafe driving behaviors by commercial motor vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers as we work toward zero deaths on our roadways.” Law enforcement will be looking for speeding, distracted drivers, texting, improper lane changes and other infractions.
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Economist Says Strong Freight Market Won’t Last
The freight market may be booming these days but how long will the trend continue? Noel Perry, an industry economist and founder of Transport Futures, a marketing and consulting firm, says next year could look very different than this year. Perry points to the 2008 recession, adding that “supply and demand for trucking services” will likely “return to normalcy” over the next few years.
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Professionalism Paves the Way at AMSA’s 2018 Conference & Expo
Sunny Fort Lauderdale, Fla. set the scene for a brilliant conference. More than 700 executives, drivers, suppliers and supporters of the moving and storage industry attended AMSA’s 2018 Education Conference & Expo on April 8-10. More than 80 exhibitors in the Expo hall were featured with more than a dozen companies at the truck and equipment exhibits.

Led by conference co-chairs Charles Ducas, chief sales and marketing officer for Kentucky Trailer, and Dan Lammers, senior vice president of operations for Ace Relocation Systems Inc., AMSA members and industry professionals profited from the chance to connect with friends and colleagues. In his keynote message, former professional football star Merril Hoge inspired everyone to “find a way” to attain their goals. His life story about achieving his dream of playing in the NFL, only to have his career end because of severe head trauma, and then later battling and beating cancer, had everyone abuzz and set the scene for a successful conference. AMSA also offered a number of great networking events, including an Everglades tour, deep sea fishing, a whiskey tasting, the 40Below Bike Build, and the Move For Hunger truck pull.

Alan Jobe of the CPPC served as guest auctioneer for the MSI Live Auction, helping to raise combined proceeds from the auctions and annual raffle to an exceptional $118,000. The new BidPal app helped boost Silent Auction bidding this year as well for the MSI. Thank you to everyone who joined us this year, and a special thank you goes to the sponsors and exhibitors that help make it all happen. We hope to see you next year for AMSA’s 100th annual conference, March 26–28, 2019, in Houston, Texas.

There were a number of committee meetings that took place during the conference that are also open to members to attend. Our committees are a great way for AMSA members to become involved in the association in an area of their expertise. AMSA committees help direct staff to ensure we are meeting your needs and providing value to the membership. The next formal meeting for most committees will take place in September in conjunction with Moving Day on Capitol Hill. See a summary of what each committee is working on here. Committee rosters and staff liaisons are listed here.

Download available session presentations

Check out conference photo highlights


AMPAC Makes a Big Impact at the AMSA 2018 Conference
The American Moving & Storage PAC (AMPAC) hosted two successful events at the conference to generate support for and raise awareness of federal issues affecting the moving and storage industry. First up, the 11th Annual AMPAC Pinewood Derby drew 24 contestants and a large crowd to see which company’s box truck would take home the trophy. Special thanks to Boy scout Troop 817, based in Plantation, Fla., who AMPAC partnered with to host the race and give back to the local community. Congratulations to this year’s champion, Mike Omann from ATS Moving. Other winners included:

2nd Place: Hector Buendia, CDS Moving Equipment
3rd Place: Bill Paxton, Paxton International
Most Patriotic: Art Groux, Hi-Line Moving Services
Judge’s Favorite: Charlie Cook, Victory Packaging
Fuel Efficient: Stefan Cordero, Stewart Moving & Storage

Later that evening, AMPAC hosted an exclusive reception for AMSA members and two influential members of Congress. For over an hour, movers and their families enjoyed vital one-on-one facetime with elected officials local to Fort Lauderdale area, but prominent in their roles as powerful transportation-focused federal legislators in Washington, D.C.

This year, AMPAC welcomed Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), chair of the powerful House Transportation Appropriations Committee, which is tasked with funding federal transportation agencies that regulate moving businesses, including the FMCSA. Chair Diaz-Balart is an eight-term moderate Republican and son to Cuban parents who escaped during the Castro regime’s takeover.

We also hosted Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL), member of the House Transportation Committee, the elected body charged with issuing legislation that ultimately dictates what regulations our companies operate under. Congressman Mast is a first-term Republican who lost both legs in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan as an IED-disposal specialist.

As the moving and storage industry’s only political action committee, AMPAC’s mission is to magnify our voice and access to federal legislators. With generous investments from AMSA companies of all sizes, we support federal political candidates who fight for our industry and want to enact hours-of-service reform, reduce regulatory burdens, crack down on scam movers, improve military base access, and much more.


AMSA-Backed Legislation Passes the House
On April 17, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4403, the Moving Americans’ Privacy Protection Act , which now awaits further action in the Senate. For more information and to see members of the House speak in support of our bill, click here . Currently, if a customer becomes the victim of identity theft during their international move, they erroneously blame their moving company. In reality, it is the federal government’s fault. U.S. Customs and Border Protection sells your customers’ personal data to third-party data brokers – who then release it online. Our bill would stop that from happening.

AMSA has worked closely with Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) to get this bill through the House and will continue collaborating with Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) to finish the job. AMSA continues to call on our membership to contact their senators to push this priority across the finish line. To help, AMSA has a pre-made letter you can send by simply clicking TAKE ACTION NOW . Customize if you’d like, then simply hit send.


FMCSA Allows Use of Electronic Records & Signatures for Movers
The FMCSA has issued a final rule, effective June 15, that will permit the use of electronic records and signatures for many documents movers are required to maintain or transmit to shippers. AMSA submitted comments, along with Atlas Van Lines, in support of this rule change when it was first proposed in 2014. Examples of documents now permitted to be electronically transmitted and/or maintained include bills of lading, the Ready to Move brochure, the Rights and Responsibilities booklet, and more. For more information, click here .


AMSA Backs Denham Amendment to Fix State Meal & Rest Breaks
This week, the U.S. House will consider the Denham Amendment (#140) to H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act. The amendment will clarify that state meal and rest break requirements are federally preempted under existing law. Thanks to confusing and competing state laws, our carriers lose valuable transport time complying with this patchwork system. California’s restrictive meal and rest break is one prime example. Denham’s amendment will solve that.

AMSA has worked with other transportation advocates, including the American Trucking Associations, to push this legislation through Congress. For a copy of the letter AMSA sent to Congress, click here . For a fact sheet, click here . AMSA has also called on interested members to call/write their member of Congress and ask for their support of this legislation. To find your elected officials’ contact info, simply log into amsaadvocacy.org and click on the “My Legislators” tab.


FMCSA Requests Comment on Vehicle Marking Regulations
The FMCSA is asking for public comment on how it requires our vehicles to be marked. These markings are designed to identify motor carriers and correctly assign responsibility for violations during inspections, investigations, etc. Additionally, they are used to give members of the public an easy method for identifying vehicles for the purposes of complaints, emergency notification and commerce.

AMSA encourages interested members to submit a public comment to the agency no later than June 25. Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the performance of FMCSA’s functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden on your business; (3) ways for FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize or include your comments in the request for Office of Management and Budget’s clearance of this information collection. Please also share your concerns on this topic with Paul Milotte.


AMSA in the Know: Order the 400NG Cloud Today
AMSA’s Military 400NG Cloud service is ready to go! Order now and get set for the rate changes that take effect on May 15. Accurately calculate the total cost of individual shipments and associated services for all military domestic personal property moves (except Hawaii) from any computer and at any time. All you need is internet access. This essential tool was designed for movers handling military DP3 shipments, and no longer requires downloads or yearly updates. To order this exclusive member’s only product and become a subscriber, log into our website and purchase it for the low price of $129 per user.


Fast Dispatches
Salvatore (Tori) Ferrante from Crown Worldwide Moving & Storage in California has been named president of OMNI…

Robert (Rob) Montgomery has joined Intercontinental Van Lines as director of Western Canada…

JK Moving Services near Washington, D.C., has opened the JK Community Farm, an agricultural endeavor designed to ease hunger by growing and harvesting crops and livestock, then donating them to local nonprofits…

AMSA’s 2016 Enterprise Award Winners, Steve and Emily Heintzman of Double Duty Movers & Portable Storage of Aberdeen, S.D., and their team went deep sea fishing in Fort Lauderdale as part of AMSA’s 2018 Education Conference & Expo and caught a 355-pound, 11-foot hammerhead shark, which they then released back into the ocean…


Military Update


US TRANSCOM Briefs Attendees at AMSA’s 2018 Conference
Lt. Col. Todd Jensen, chief of personal property operations at US TRANSCOM, presented a Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) Outlook for the 2018 Peak Season. The topics covered an annual snapshot, Demand vs. Quality, Customer Focus, Program Improvement efforts, and Peak Season reminders. The biggest topic related to their efforts was implementing a new computer system called MyMove, starting June 1. The full briefing can be found here.

The US TRANSCOM/Storage Management Office presented an overview of the DP3 NTS program highlighting a few areas; specifically, NTS/SIT Capacity, Current Projects, Conversion of SIT/NTS shipments and NTS/SIT Qualifications. One key change announced is that NTS rates will no longer be made public. The full briefing can be found here.


US TRANSCOM Posts Weekly Peak Season Slides
US TRANSCOM publishes slides each week during the Peak Season. These slides are not all-inclusive but provide a snapshot of the overall Department of Defense workload during the summer months. Each week AMSA participates in a teleconference with US TRANSCOM/Services where the slides and other operational topics related to the peak season are discussed. Then AMSA’s Director of Military Policy John Becker provides a synopsis of the meeting along with the slides. If you are not receiving these synopses and would like to be included, contact John to be included.

DP3 Peak Season Slides for Week 16
DP3 Peak Season Slides for Week 17


Air Force Outlines New Process for Abandoned Shipments
Based on AMSA’s continued discussions with each of the services concerning the conversion process of Non-Temporary Storage (NTS) and Storage-in-Transit (SIT) shipments, the Air Force HQ Personal Property Activity (AF PPA) has instituted a process that will allow storage contractors to submit requests to obtain Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) certificates that prove a servicemember’s active duty status at the time of conversion. The AF PPA office will issue certificates for all servicemembers (civilians not included) serviced by AF JPPSO offices. This process will be completed on a first come, first serve basis. The information must be submitted electronically in Excel; the template can be found here with complete guidelines here. All submissions should be sent to ppqhq.ppec.customerservice@us.af.mil.

The SCRA certificate can be used to determine the path forward for disposal of items converted to a member’s expense. The SCRA Act only covers servicemembers on active duty, and up to 90 days after release from active duty, the certificate will show the servicemembers release from active duty date. With this information, storage agents can then move to the next step and follow their state and local laws concerning disposal of property. It is recommended to engage with legal representation to ensure all state and local ordinances are met. If you have any questions concerning the conversion process, contact John Becker.


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