By Tim Helenthal
Chairman & CEO
Cooperation is key. Commitment is crucial. Communication is vital.
Many talk a good game about the power of teamwork. At National Van Lines, we live it every day by counting on those three Cs. We’re particularly proud of the long-lasting relationships we’ve built with our nationwide network of agents during the previous 90+ years.
In the world of long-distance relocation, an agent books or hauls (or both) a customer’s move. Should that customer want to relocate from one state to another, a van line such as National Van Lines (which is legally authorized to oversee interstate transportation) coordinates that move in cooperation with a local agent. You can see how significant our relationship is with our coast-to-coast roster of agents (and vice-versa).
When our moving agents achieve great things, word gets around. Other companies often court these agents to join their circles. But, of course, there’s this thing called “loyalty.” True loyalty is a two-way street. We invest in our agents; they invest in us. That’s why we call it the “National Van Lines family.”
Doubling your investment
Take the recent example of one of National Van Lines’ top-achieving agents, who signed on to remain with us for another decade: Romulus, MI-based All Around Moving & Storage.
“With the help of National Van Lines, our business has more than doubled since 2009,” AAMS owner and founder Jim Simpson told us in June. “Our interstate hauling has increased over 400% since we signed and partnered with National Van Lines.”
In turn, during AAMS’ first decade with National Van Lines (the company joined us May 2009), Jim Simpson and his team have diligently worked to make his company a top 10 booker and top 10 hauler—and we couldn’t be more appreciative.
“We worked within a larger corporation before signing originally with National Van Lines,” Jim said, explaining his reasons for signing another 10-year contract with us. “We have always felt like family and did not want to return to that environment. Being with a smaller carrier, you don’t feel like you’re just a number.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. In a time where we all seem to be increasingly identified as numerals, National Van Lines hasn’t caved into that pressure. Sure, we use the latest and greatest software, technology and SEO know-how to “move” forward in serving our customers and agents. But that doesn’t mean we’ll allow ourselves to lose sight of the sense of family—and cooperation—that’s been a core value for 90+ years.
In the words of our former CEO & Chairman Maureen Beal: “National Van Lines should never be so large as to lose sight of the personal connection we have with our family of agents, drivers and customers.”
That sentiment of cooperation is echoed by another National Van Lines longtime top-performing agent: Fredericksburg, VA-based J. Barber Moving & Storage.
“The advantage of being a National Van Lines agent is that the organization is an employee-owned company and not controlled by a board of the largest agents in the network,” owner Jeff Barber said when he extended his current contract in late 2018 for 10 years. “Decision-making is an email or phone call away. The flexibility of the van-line ownership allows for timely decisions to be made when negotiating relocation agreements with potential clients.”
As a boutique mover, National Van Lines nimbly maneuvers where others might crawl. We pride ourselves on no red tape. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not even a hint of crimson. For our agents and drivers, it’s a direct line to the C-suite. Sweet!
“Potential for continued growth in the government-employee relocation market compelled us to renew our contract,” Jeff Barber said last year. “Our current customer satisfaction index is 109.3—one of the country’s highest.”
Becoming a National Van Lines agent has enabled J. Barber Moving & Storage to diversify its efforts to include the General Services Administration and national account marketplaces, moving from zero GSA-relocation involvement to handling more than 5% of all GSA relocations annually. The company now is positioning itself to triple that figure.
Plus, Jeff realizes he not only can count on the leaders and employees within the National Van Lines HQ, but also the coast-to-coast camaraderie of National Van Lines’s agent network: “During the next five years, it is my goal to manage 15% of all GSA relocations with the assistance of National Van Lines and our trusted agents nationwide.”
The continuing commitment and cooperation of All Around Moving & Storage and J. Barber Moving & Storage represent just two examples of the bonds National Van Lines has built with our agents during the decades. Last November, National Van Lines and Houston-based Johnnie T. Melia Moving & Storage signed a seven-year contract that builds on a productive and profitable decade-long interstate-moving alliance.
Plus, in recent months, many movers from around the United States have decided they’d like to call National Van Lines “home” for the first time, including:
- McCarthy Transfer & Storage (California)
- Professional Moving & Storage (Kansas)
- Mid-West Moving & Storage (Illinois)
- Yarnall Moving & Storage Solutions (Florida)
- A2B Moving & Storage, LLC (Washington state)
- Andersen Van & Storage, Inc. (California)
- Newtown Moving & Storage (New York)
Combining small-company values with big-company resources, National Van Lines is a different kind of interstate moving company…and it’s good being different.
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