Moving Tips for Peak Season: Ways to Avoid Identity Theft & Moving Scams

As the peak moving season begins, millions of Americans are preparing to make a residential move. During this busy moving time, identity thieves and unscrupulous movers are ready to take advantage of unsuspecting households. If you are one of the many planning to relocate this summer, the following moving tips on ways to avoid identity theft and moving scams will help protect you from becoming a victim.

Identity Thefts & Moving Scams Can Make Moving a Nightmare

Moving your household is stressful enough without worrying about the threat of identity theft or becoming the victim of a moving scam. But both occur often enough to warrant taking precautions.

Identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint for the last 15 years, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Someone becomes a victim of identity fraud every two seconds.

Most moving companies are legitimate, reputable businesses, so moving scams do not occur nearly as often as identity theft. But every year a small percentage of movers make moving day a disaster for many by robbing or taking advantage of their customers.

6 Ways to Avoid Identity Theft during a Move

Moving puts you at a higher risk for identity theft. Mail and other documents with sensitive information can easily become accessible to thieves as you are packing and moving between residences. The following tips offer ways to help avoid identity theft during your peak season move:

  1. Hire a reputable mover.  During the peak moving season, the cost for professional moving services increase. Good movers are busy, so scheduling a move on your preferred pickup and delivery dates can be difficult. Avoid the temptation of hiring the first mover you find online offering a low estimate for a move on your selected dates. Research the company first. Hiring a reputable, licensed mover helps increase your protection against identity theft as well as moving scams.  (Scroll down to read more about moving scams.)
  2. Submit a Change of Address to the US Postal Service 10 days before your move. You don’t want anyone else receiving your mail.
  3. If you are selling your home, make sure mail and any documents with personal data are inaccessible during an open house.
  4. Moving is an ideal time to clean out old files and get rid of what is no longer needed, but do not throw any papers with sensitive data in the trash without first shredding. If you don’t already own one, you can buy a cross-cut shredder for under $30. It is money well spent.
  5. If possible, take your sensitive documents with you when moving rather than sending them on the moving truck. If you are unable to do so, make sure the documents are securely stored in a locked cabinet or container.
  6. After your move, closely monitor your credit card and bank statements for the next three months for any fraudulent charges. Consider enrolling in an identity theft and credit monitoring service. Request a free credit report a few months after your move and carefully review it for any new accounts opened in your name.

Take Precautions to Avoid Becoming the Victim of a Moving Scam

As the peak moving season begins each year, we see consumer warnings and moving tips about how to avoid becoming the victim of a scam. The work of government officials and industry organizations put a stop to many of those moving scams. But news reports such as this one about the recent arrest of movers authorities say robbed customers’ by picking up their possessions and never returning them prove you must still take precautions. (See the latest news about moving scams.)

These moving tips and red flag warnings provided remain as relevant today as they were in 2013.  Read the tips and research movers before you hire one.

Protect yourself and your property. Taking a few extra precautions can make the difference between a successful, stress-free move and a nightmare that continues for months to come.

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The Best Time to Move before the End of Summer is Quickly Passing

If you plan to move sometime in the next few months and haven’t set an exact date yet, make plans quickly. The best time to move before the end of summer is now, or within the next month or so. The peak moving season will be here soon.

Peak Moving Season not the Best Time to Move

The busiest moving times generally run from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Many people want to move during summer so demand is high, especially June through August. According to a  United Van Lines study, about 40 percent of all domestic household goods moves take place between May 1 and August 31.

Because demand is so high, many movers increase costs during those busy times, so you could pay more. Plus, scheduling your chosen pickup and delivery dates can be difficult during the peak moving months. Although the best movers will be able to accommodate your schedule, additional charges may apply.

You can find better deals and more flexibility when moving during the off-peak season, which is September through April. That off-peak time is quickly running out, though. If you are ready to schedule your move,  contact your mover now to see if your preferred dates are available and how much, if any, you could save by scheduling different dates.

Moving During the Summer

If you do plan to move during the peak season, try to schedule the move for mid-month during the middle of the week, when demand is not quite as high. More people want to move on a weekend at the end of the month, so movers are busier.

What is the Best Day for Moving?

Because the weekends are busiest for movers, avoid moving on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Schedule your move on a Tuesday or Wednesday, if possible. It could save you a few dollars. Call your movers and ask.

Get Help with Your Move

Any move, even ones planned several months in advanced, can be hectic. Moving in less than six weeks may seem nearly impossible, but it is actually quite common. In fact, many people move with only two weeks or less notice.

However, a move without months of planning does require more focus, organization and flexibility. Use  moving tips and a checklist. They can save time and your sanity. And hire full service movers, if your budget allows.

full service moving company can provide complete door-to-door relocation. That includes planning the move as well as packing and unpacking services. It will cost a little more, but enables you to focus on the many other details you must take care of while the professionals handle your move.

If you’re unable to pay the additional costs, enlist the help of family and friends. You will need it.

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7 Moving Tips and Tricks You Don’t Want to Miss

Chipman Relocation & Logistics provides a variety of helpful moving tips and tricks to make your move easier and more stress free.  At you’ll find a comprehensive  list of moving and packing tipstips for moving with children, and a  printable moving checklist to work with. You can get tips on  moving state to state with pets and plants and learn  how to keep your cat happy when moving. If you are  moving an office or business, you’ll find  commercial relocation tips here as well.

What have we missed?

Here are 7 moving tips and tricks not included in those lists that others found helpful for DIY packing… and you may, too.

1. Photograph electronics before disconnecting & moving

Imagine you disconnect all of your electronics and pack the cables from each together in a box. By the time you unpack, you’ve forgotten which cables go with the various devices and how they should connect.

Packing Electronics

Before disconnecting and moving electronics, take photos of how they are connected. Wrap and label each cable. (Labeling cables before taking photos works best.) This simple process will make reconnecting much easier.

See more  tips for moving electronics here.

2. Keep packing supplies handy

We know packing to move can bring disarray to a home or office. Keeping up with small packing supplies while you work can be difficult; they could easily become covered by boxes and other items in the room after you set them down.

The solution? If you have an apron or tool bag, load it with your tape, markers, labels and other small items you will need while packing. It keeps them handy and eliminates the lost time you could spend repeatedly searching for them.

3. Don’t use trash bags for packing

You may have heard that trash bags work well for packing items such as linen, throws, pillows and clothing. However, if you use the same type of trash bags for packing as you use for actual trash, on a hectic moving day someone could mistakenly throw one of the bags away. Trash bags can easy tear open, so many professional movers will not move items packed in trash bags. Stick to boxes and other proper packing materials.

4. Use plates to pack plates

Tip for packing plates
Some people use Styrofoam plates to pack their glass plates.

Simply place a Styrofoam plate between each of your wrapped glass plates for added protection. It helps prevent them from clanging together.

5. Pack heavy items in small boxes

This tip may seem obvious to some, but many people will fill a large box with books and other heavy items when packing. That makes the boxes much more difficult to lift and carry. Pack heavy items in small, sturdy boxes and leave the large boxes for clothing, linen and other items that do not weight as much. Pack according to weight, with heavier items at the bottom of a box.

6. Pack sheets, pajamas in dresser drawers

After a day of moving, you will be ready for a good night’s sleep in your new home. Exhausted, you do not want to spend hours searching through boxes for sheets and sleepwear. If you pack a set of sheets and pajamas in each bedroom’s dresser drawers, you can easily find them and get the rest you need.

7. Don’t let the stress get to you

Moving can be very stressful. In fact, a move is one of the most stressful life events a family will experience. Everyone feels tired. Routines are disrupted. Things go wrong. It is easy to snap at a loved one without thinking.

Decide before you first start packing that you will keep your sense of humor during the move, and you will help others keep theirs. Laughter is the best medicine to help you manage the stress of moving. If you can’t think of anything to laugh about,  check out these photos.

One final tip:

Save yourself the stress of packing and moving.

Stress-free moving with Chipman UnitedHire one of the leading  full service moving companies such as Chipman United for door to door relocation – complete with professional packing and unpacking. Then you can relax and focus on the joys of moving instead of the work.

Make your move happy and stress-free!

Contact Chipman Relocation & Logistics, a top United Van Lines agent.

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Moving a Medical Practice – Tips for Your Checklist

Moving a medical practice requires special considerations in addition to the many tasks involved with any office move. If you are planning to move your medical clinic, create a checklist specific to your practice now and begin marking off each task as it is completed. Even if you do not plan to move for another year or so, creating a checklist should be the first thing you do once you decide to relocate.

You can find a general practice move checklist  online. Use it as a starting point for creating your own. The following tips will help.

Find the Right Medical Office Space

First on your list will be finding the new office space. Do you plan to lease or own? After deciding that, contact a commercial real estate agent/broker who specializes in medical office space. You want someone who understands the unique requirements of a medical practice for meeting patient safety and regulatory compliance. That can range from design improvements for safe operation of radiation-producing medical equipment to ADA compliance to limited landlord access (for leased office space) and more.

Once you’ve selected your office space and date for moving, you are ready to begin the process.

Partner with Professionals Experienced in Moving a Medical Practice

Next on your list will be finding the right professional movers. Moving a medical practice requires specialized expertise and equipment. The movers you hire should know and be able to meet state and federal guidelines for moving a medical facility and transporting medical equipment. They should have technicians with expertise in disassembling sensitive equipment as needed, packing it and safely moving without damage. After the move, the technicians should be able to test and re-commission equipment, making it ready for use in the new location.

In addition to expertise in relocating medical and lab equipment, your movers should be experts at moving exam tables, office furniture, filing systems, workstations, and IT equipment. The movers should also understand your need to minimize downtime to avoid loss of billable patient hours and be willing to work with you in completing the project on schedule.

Prepare Your Orders for Printable Materials

Make a list of printable materials such as appointment cards, prescription pads and letterheads you need to order with your new address. Add to the list any signage needs, including for the front office door and exam rooms. Place the orders at least two-three months in advance, if possible.

Prepare Notifications of Relocation

You will need to make numerous notifications about your change of address. Make a list of all payers (Medicare, Medicaid, In Network Providers, etc.) and notify each well in advance to prevent any loss of timely payments.

Add to your notification list providers of services such as your answering service, payroll service, billing service, medical waste disposal, and maintenance. Every physician will need a change of address submitted to licensing authorities; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency requires written notification before the move. Hospitals, laboratories and professional organizations will also need notification as well as vendors providing office and medical equipment and supplies, your attorney, banking, insurance rep, periodicals and the post office.

Use Multiple Methods for Patient Notification

You must properly notify patients and former patients about the move, and it is best to do so using multiple methods. Place a sign on your door and in the office announcing the move at least 30 days in advance. Add a notice to your phone greeting. Publish a notice about the move in local newspapers once a week for four consecutive weeks with the date of move and new address. Notify patients by email or mail, and tell each patient about the move as they check in/out. Notify each patient scheduled for a visit after the move by phone. Announce the move on your website and any social media accounts. You can also print and distribute flyers with a map to the new location.

Additional Resources for Moving a Medical Practice

The following resources may also help with planning your move:

20 Tips for Smoother Office Moves
Tips for Moving Office Furniture
Business Relocation Letters: How to Effectively Plan, Write, and Deliver Them
Moving an Office – Disposing of Old Office Furniture and Computers, Part 1: Furniture
Moving an Office – Disposing of Old Office Furniture and Computers, Part 2: Computers

Thorough, advanced planning makes moving your medical practice much easier and helps ensure the move is a success.

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Moving to Oregon – Tips for Relocating to the Country’s Top Moving Destination

Moving to Oregon







If you are moving to Oregon, you are not alone. According to the recently released United Van Lines’ 38th Annual National Movers Study, Oregon remains the country’s Top Moving Destination.

Findings of the study showed that 66 percent of the state-to-state moves to or from Oregon in 2014 were inbound. That percentage increased about 5 percent from the previous year, when Oregon replaced the District of Columbia as the top state-to-state moving destination.

Why are so many people moving to Oregon?

Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles believes many people move to Oregon for the state’s outdoor recreational opportunities, arts and entertainment, and protected green spaces.

It could be the state’s diversity. Oregon offers the ideal place for virtually anyone: from coastal to forest, flat desert to mountains, remote to metropolitan areas, farming to high tech.

It could be the state’s natural beauty, or job opportunities. The state’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest in years. And, there is no denying the natural beauty of Oregon. Check out this photo tour.

Moving to Oregon Tips: What You Should Know

For reasons likely as diverse as the state, many people are moving to Oregon. If you are among them, the following tips will help you become more familiar with this Pacific Northwest state:

Don’t Delay Changing Your License & Registration

There are strict laws regarding when you need to change your driver’s license and vehicle license and registration after moving to Oregon. You only have 30 days. Get information here.

No Handheld Devices when Driving

Texting and using handheld mobile devices is illegal in Oregon. You could be fined up to $500 if you are caught violating the law.

No Sales Tax in Oregon

Oregon is one of only a handful of states with no sales tax. The price you see is the price you pay. The state relies mainly on personal income tax for revenue, with local government and schools primarily funded by property taxes.

Self-Service Gas Ban

Oregon is also one of only two states in the country with a ban on self-service gas. You can pump fuel for a diesel engine or gasoline for a motorcycle, but not gasoline for vehicles with more than two wheels.

Oregon is Bike Friendly

A state that loves bicyclists, Oregon was the first state to create a Scenic Bikeways program and a Bike Friendly Business program. The state’s two most populated cities, Portland and Eugene, are two of the country’s most bike-friendly cities. Both cities have for years participated in the annual World Naked Bike Ride, so don’t be surprised if you see a line of naked people riding through the streets on a June day in Portland or Eugene.

Open Beaches

There are no private beaches in Oregon. By law, all are free access, open to everyone.

Leave Your Fast-Paced Life Behind

Oregon is more of a slow-paced lifestyle, especially outside the major cities. Slow down, relax and enjoy your new life. Take time to meet people and form friendships.

Where’s the Sun?

You probably heard the weather in Oregon can be gloomy, but experiencing it is quite different. If you move from a more sunny state, you could easily become depressed. Consider buying a light therapy lamp and using it. It helps.

Should You Carry an Umbrella?

You may also have heard that real Oregonians don’t use umbrellas, and if you use one you will look like a tourist. Some say it is because Ducks like the rain (in reference to the Oregon Ducks, the University of Oregon’s sports teams). Many people pull a hoody or cap over their head, and consider those who use umbrellas as outsiders. Most of the time it won’t rain enough to need an umbrella, but if you happen to be in a downpour, don’t be afraid to use one.

Know Your State

Read the FAQ about moving to Oregon to find out when you become an Oregon resident and what taxes and fees you will pay. Read the online version of the Oregon Blue Book  for additional information.

Through the forums at  you can read comments, view photos of and join in discussions about Oregon and its diverse areas. Learn from long-time residents and make a few new friends before arriving.

Minimum Wage Increase

As of January 1, 2015 the minimum wage in Oregon is $9.25 an hour. By law, it increased 15 cents.

Find Your Perfect Place in Oregon

Unless you know what area you plan to move to in Oregon, do some research to select the region best suited to you and your lifestyle. If you prefer urban living surrounded by young professionals and the arts, consider moving to Portland, one of the country’s most popular cities.  Estimates put the number of people living in Portland at over 600,000, with more than 2.3 million in the metropolitan area.  The second most populated city is Eugene with about 157,000, followed closely by Salem.

Those who prefer to live in a more small-town atmosphere and commute into a city may prefer to find a new home in nearby smaller cities or rural towns. With a population of less than 52,000 Corvallis, home to Oregon State University, is one of the country’s best college towns. It is also well-suited to the older generations. The AARP named it one of the best places to live and retire.

Help with Moving to Oregon

When moving to Oregon from another state, your list of things to do will seem overwhelming. With a full service mover such as Chipman Relocation & Logistics, that list becomes more manageable.

Moving families like yours since 1939, Chipman knows how to take the stress out of a state to state move. We can provide complete door to door relocation, including professional packing and unpacking, or customize your move to meet your specific needs.

Read about our state to state movers and contact Chipman for a free, no obligation quote. We can help make moving to Oregon a breeze!

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Bay Area Hotel Renovations & Super Bowl 50 – Is Your Hotel Ready?

Although a year away, Super Bowl 50 is coming quickly. Are your Bay Area hotel renovations complete? What would the reviews of your hotel say if posted today?

Hotel renovations needed?

Is your hotel ready for Super Bowl 50? If not, you still have time to prepare.

Many Bay Area Hotels Renovated, But Not All

Numerous Bay Area hotels underwent renovations in recent years to meet the needs of increased business travelers in the high-tech market, and even more hotel renovations began with the announcement that the San Francisco 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara would host the historical Super Bowl event in 2016.

But some Bay Area hotels still need work to prepare for the flood of people expected that first week in February. Only about a month ago, a traveler posted a review at with the headline “Typical, Outdated Bay Area Hotel in Need of Renovation.”  The reviewer pointed out that “the furniture has seen better days (with some of the chairs and tables having nicks and scratches in them) …” The hotel’s general manager politely explained the hotel is currently renovating, and renovations include the addition of new furniture. That hotel will likely be refreshed and ready in time, but what about others?

Several Bay Area hotels also received poor reviews recently that included comments such as the “room had old and very little furniture,” “the door had a huge gap that let in all of the noise,” and “bed bugs, mice, Oh my!”

While you can find thousands of Bay Area hotel rooms worthy of 5-star reviews, these comments show several area hotels still need renovation work. Considering the room squeeze the expected 1 million people attending Super Bowl 50 events will place on the Bay Area, every hotel should and could be ready.

If your hotel recently received a review like this one: “This hotel needs a lot of love and it could be something special – but it is clearly not special now,” and you are not in the process of renovating, get busy!  There is still time to bring in new furniture, fixtures and equipment and give your hotel the love it needs before Super Bowl 50 arrives. Your guests will appreciate it, reviews will reflect that, and your business will benefit.

Need Hotel Logistics for Your Renovation Project?

Whether planning a complete renovation or simply replacing worn furniture in guest rooms, the right hotel logistics can help you complete your project on schedule. In the Bay Area, Chipman Relocation & Logistics is the company to call.

From transportation, warehouse storage and delivery to FF&E installations, the quality services provided by Chipman can help make your hotel renovation project a success. Call now to discuss your needs for Bay Area hotel logistics services and receive a free quote from Chipman Relocation & Logistics.

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Trusted 3PL Provider Becomes an Extension of Your Business

When outsourcing logistics, from freight transportation and warehousing to inventory management and final mile delivery, a company can streamline its supply chain and focus on growing the business. If you find the right logistics service provider, your trusted 3PL company becomes an extension of your business, managing your supply chain as if it were their own. Imagine what that could do for your business!

What to Look for in a 3PL Provider

In searching for a good 3PL provider, you want to find a single source for your supply chain management and operations, one that will improve your supply chain visibility with quality integrated logistics solutions.

Supply chain visibility is basically the ability to know where your products are at any given moment. You can track products in transit from the manufacturer all the way through final delivery.  It enables you to make quick decisions and changes when necessary, giving you better control over your supply chain. Many of the leading logistics service providers today use the latest in technology to effectively track shipments in real time and manage inventory and the ordering process.

A 3PL provider offering integrated logistics solutions will typically be in a position to provide improved supply chain visibility. The single 3PL company is responsible for getting your product from the manufacturer to the warehouse, inventorying and storing it until delivery to the end user. Some 3PL providers also offer white glove delivery and installation services.

No business is the same, so your 3PL provider should offer logistics solutions customized for your specific business requirements.

If your logistics needs include delivery to your customers, you want a 3PL provider who understands the importance of customer service and will think of your customers as their own.  Your brand reputation is in the 3PL provider’s hands. They need to put your interests first and be willing and able to go the extra mile to deliver the top-quality services expected.

The 3PL provider should also have the specialized equipment and resources to cost-effectively move products from manufacturer to customer with low risk of damage. Reducing the risk of damage helps lower costs and increase efficiency. It also improves the customer’s experience.

Where to Find a Trusted 3PL Provider

That’s easy! Contact Chipman Relocation & Logistics.

Chipman provides integrated logistics services customized to customer needs. Among those services are:

  •  Warehousing & Distribution
  • LTL Transportation Services
  • FF&E Logistics
  • White Glove Final Mile Delivery
  • Installations
  • Pick & Pack
  • Shipping Collectibles

Trusted by major corporations to deliver quality services, Chipman is a leader in the transportation and warehousing industry. In business for 75 years, we know the importance of taking care of our customers’ needs as if they were our own – and we do. Your success is our success.

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San Francisco Relocation Services Help Businesses Make the Move

If you are planning to open, close or relocate a business in San Francisco, you are not alone. According to a report recently prepared by the city’s Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office for the Board of Supervisors, the rate of citywide business closures and relocations increased tremendously over two decades. Analysts expect the trend to continue growing.

As many of those local businesses prepare to close or change locations, they turn to Chipman for help. A trusted provider of quality San Francisco relocation services, as well as warehousing and storage, Chipman helps take the stress out of moving a business.

Report Shows 883.6% Increase in San Francisco Relocation & Closure of Businesses

According to the city’s report, the number of businesses closing or relocating in San Francisco jumped from 1,298 in 1992 to 12,767 in 2011, the most recent year complete data was available. That is quite a large jump, and analysts expect the trend to continue beyond 2014.

The report states that some businesses in San Francisco relocate due to business expansion, while others move because they are scaling back on business. Unsustainable rent increases, among other reasons, also causes many business to relocate or close. Some closures, the report states, are due to the owners retiring or being bought out. The reasons vary.

Business closures and location changes are occurring for all types of businesses, and many are businesses that were established in the same location for at least five years.  Based on available data, forecasters expect 4,378 established SF businesses to have closed or relocated in 2014, with the number increasing to 5,910 by 2019.

Report Also Shows Many New Businesses Opening in SF

Although those numbers seem bleak, the report also showed that during the same 20 year period between 1992 and 2011, the number of business openings in San Francisco increased 348.8%, based on Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office records. About 17,754 businesses opened in 2011, compared to 3,956 in 1992. So, while many businesses in San Francisco are relocating or closing, a high number of new businesses are moving in.

For San Francisco Business Relocation Services, Contact Chipman

If you are among those planning to open, close or relocate a business in San Francisco, relocation services provided by Chipman can help make your move much easier. Chipman provides a wide range of residential and commercial moving services in San Francisco, in addition to cost-effective commercial storage at multiple warehouse storage facilities. Contact Chipman now to schedule your free, no obligation quote.

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United Movers Data Shows Most Residential Relocations Job Related

With the busiest residential moving season of 2014 behind us, relocation companies, including United movers such as Chipman, are taking a look at where people moved to, where they moved from, and why. According to a recent  United Van Lines study, most residential moves this summer were job related.

Every year United analyzes data from residential moves during the peak moving season, May 1 through August 31, and reports on domestic moving patterns in America. About 40 percent of all residential moves take place during this peak moving season.

In the most recent Summer Long-Distance Moving Trends Study, United Van Lines found that 71.6 percent of customers moving to top destination cities relocated for a new job or moved due to a corporate transfer. About 13 percent of the customers moved for retirement, according to the findings. Only about 10 percent moved for personal reasons.

Among top destinations for the job related moves were Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Atlanta. According to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dallas ranks second in the nation in both job growth and the number of jobs added in the last year, so it is not surprising that many people are relocating to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The  LA Times reported that California employers added 44,200 jobs in August, and  Atlanta’s high-tech industry is experiencing strong job growth.

United Movers Study U.S. Domestic Relocations

As the country’s largest household goods mover, United Van Lines is in a unique position to study residential moves in America. United movers collect data, including customer surveys, from every move made. Considering that Chipman, a United mover, relocates about 25,000 families each year, you can imagine the amount of data United is able to collect annually overall.

Although the recent study showed Dallas-Fort Worth as one of the top destinations for people relocating for a job, Dallas was also among one of the cities with a moving deficit. Houston and West Coast cities San Jose, Portland and Seattle were also among the top cities with more people moving out of the state than in. Chicago topped the list of cities with the highest number of people moving in during the 2014 peak moving season, according to early findings of data collected by United movers.

United plans to release findings of its annual domestic migration study with data for the entire year in Jan. 2015.

Planning to Relocate?

If you are planning an upcoming residential or commercial move,  contact Chipman. As movers in business since 1939 and the largest United Van Lines agent on the West Coast, Chipman has the experience and resources to make any size move a success.

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Selecting LTL Freight Carriers: What You Should Know

Many companies today turn to LTL freight carriers to help streamline operations and reduce shipping costs. But unless you go through a freight broker, how do you know how to select the best LTL carrier for your shipping needs?

Virtually anyone with a truck and trailer can transport freight, but choosing a cheap, unauthorized carrier without proper insurance could result in costly expenses including damaged or lost/stolen shipments, late or non-delivery, and/or overcharges. Therefore, you need to do a little research. The time you spend checking out carriers will be minimal, and afterward you can feel confident the one you select is more likely to provide the cost-effective, professional shipping services you need when you need them.

What You Want From an LTL Carrier

When selecting an LTL freight carrier, you want a company you can rely on to pick up and delivery your shipments on time, in full, with no shortages or damages. You want professional customer service and competitive pricing. When selecting the right carrier, you can expect it.

Below are a few things to consider that will help you select the right freight carrier for your shipping needs.

Verify LTL Freight Carriers are FMCSA Compliant

The first thing you will want to do before contracting with an LTL freight carrier is verify legal compliance. Authorization by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) is required before freight carriers can transport goods for hire. The USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ensures carriers meet regulatory standards and carry the minimum amount of insurance required.  The carrier should have a USDOT and an MC number (operating authority).

You can verify a freight carrier’s compliance through the FMCSA’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) System online. Simply enter the carrier’s USDOT, MC/MX number or company name in the box provided and click ‘Search.” If a record is available, it should show the company is authorized for hire, the type of cargo the carrier can transport, whether transportation is permitted interstate or intrastate, plus inspection and crash data. If your shipment includes hazardous materials (HM), verify the carrier is authorized to transport it.  After reviewing the data, click at the top right under “Other Information for this Carrier” to see licensing and insurance information.

A licensed and insured LTL carrier in compliance with FMCSA regulations indicates the carrier is professional and reliable. If the carrier is not, look for a different one.

Rely on Companies with Industry Experience

Companies in business for a long period of time have learned through the years how to transport shipments safely and efficiently. They consistently meet deadlines and are experts at cost-effective transportation. They know how to train their staff, and have the equipment and resources to do a job right as quickly as possible. They provide quality services with professional customer service. Otherwise, they would not last in the business.

When choosing an LTL freight carrier, consider the company’s history as well as their other clients. You can also ask for references.

Can You Track Your Shipments?

The LTL freight carrier you select should be able to keep you informed on where your freight is at all times. Ask about shipping status updates and online tracking.

Do You Need Warehousing & other Logistics Services?

Your company may need an LTL freight carrier to pick up shipments, a warehouse to store goods and merchandise after pickup, a crew to pick and pack, and then a carrier to provide final delivery services as scheduled. Some LTL freight carriers such as Chipman Relocations can provide all of these logistics services and manage them efficiently.

Whether you ship regionally or across the country, Chipman can provide the quality logistics services your company needs at a competitive price. Contact us today to learn more.

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