VOL. 110 | NO. 140 | Monday, July 22, 1996
lj 10/5 cates
Moving mania, On the move
Memphis movers reporting record business for summer 1996
Collierville, Cordova are popular local destinations
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
From Memorial Day to Labor Day 1996, approximately 20 million Americans will move to new residences, according to U.S. Department of Commerce figures, and Memphis moving companies are enjoying their slice of the pie, reporting record business this year.
The combination of military and private industry personnel relocation and strong local migration into east Shelby County were most frequently cited by local movers as the reasons behind the surge.
"This is the busiest year for moving weve ever had," said Joyce Morgan, dispatcher for Morgan Moving and Storage of Memphis.
"Military personnel are flocking to Florida, and weve experienced a lot of local moving, as well."
"Weve experienced 20 percent increase in business each month in May and June, and July looks like its going to be the same," said Barry Perry, franchise owner of Two Men and a Truck, which opened in Memphis last year.
Summer is by far the most popular time of the year for moving, since the kids are out of school and the weather is warm. According to figures compiled by U-Haul International, nearly 45 percent of all moves occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Memphis movers reported that the most popular local moving destinations for 1996 have been Collierville, Bartlett and Cordova.
"Were seeing lot of people are moving out of Germantown and into Collierville and Cordova," said Brian Coleman, operations manager of Cooper Moving in Memphis.
In recent years, Collierville has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing areas of the United States, and Cordova has lead the county in new housing starts for the first two quarters of 1996.
Migration to and from the West Coast and Texas seems to be the national summer trend for Memphis, as well, said Vicki McNeal of Cordova, owner of Boxes and More and a dealer for Ryder Truck Rental.
Although gas prices are up, moving prices have not experienced much change, local movers said.
"Its an extremely competitive market, and that tends to keep businesses holding their prices in line," Perry said. "Theres not a whole lot of difference in most prices."
Coleman said prices at Cooper have risen slightly this year, but that is not unusual, because the companys prices generally experience a slight increase each year.
Consumers should not be swayed by moving companies offering rock-bottom prices, because, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
"Some mom-and-pop shops dont carry insurance, they cut corners, and pay workers less," Perry said. "Look for a company that is insured and bonded, one that properly trains its workers and pays them well."
Its also a good idea to check the company out with the Better Business Bureau, Coleman said.
People preparing to move can keep their costs down by getting organized before moving day.
"Sometimes when we go to a move, everything is ready to go. The movers can go in and load everything right on the truck," Perry said. "Other times, well go in and there are still dishes on the table, sheets on the bed and clothes scattered around the room. Those kind of things slow a move down and this ends up costing them more."
Most local movers charge by the hour, he said.
When asked what the most important thing someone preparing to move needs to do, the response by movers was unanimous:
Get on the books early.
"I think that that is the one thing we run into more than anything else," Coleman said. "People call us in a panic, saying they need to move in the next two or three days, they havent scheduled a mover, and now they cant find anybody."
"If youre going to move toward the end of the month, dont wait until the week before the end of the month. Get on at the first of the month," he said. "Plan ahead and get your move scheduled so that you know that its at least one thing in the move thats covered for you."