Monday, September 24, 2012

Charging Moving Customers by Cubic Feet: Trick or Treat?

I recall a few years ago, Box Brothers had a few competitors who used to sell shipping and moving
services by charging customers by cubic foot rates, only.  

At first, it seemed on first glance, that these firms, seemed to offer the public lower shipping quotes
based on charging purely on the total cubic feet, that their shipment or goods, amounted to.   Sounds
fair, right?  Pay only for what you have and are shipping?...Right, by the way, what is a cube?  How
is a cube measured and charged for, anyway?   Are their cubic yardsticks or cubic measuring tapes, or
how amount a scale that measure cubic feet?

It was a blatant and rude trick to screw the customer, plain and simple, as when people speak about
cubic feet, it is not, however, an irrelevant measurement in terms of how your move or shipment is costed or charged for, by"professional movers" and that is the key.

The truth is that professional movers use per set cubic foot designations to estimate moves all the time, but the difference is that once the total cubic feet of a particular shipment or move is tabulated, it is then converted into pounds at standard conversion rates.   Today that conversion is like this: total cubic feet
times (x) 7 lbs per cubic foot.   The movers use a standard cube sheet that most movers use; they should not
differ from mover to mover, and as noted earlier, if you have greater density in your shipment (e.g. an all box shipment, no furniture or bulky articles), you can adjust to a higher factor (using a higher conversion rate.
Allow me to explain.

If you had 20 medium or 3.0 cartons, or 60 cubic feet, plus 50 book boxes (50 x 1.5 cubic feet per book box), you would have another 75 cubic feet.   If you had 20 more 4.5 or large boxes, you would have another 90 cubic feet.  Together we have, in this example, we have 225 cubic feet.   If you multiplied the cubic feet time the conversion rate, 7 lbs per cubic foot, on average, you would get 1575 pounds, but if you
used the lower dim rate factor, due to the higher density of your shipment, you would do this as follows:
225 cubic feet x 6 lbs per cubic foot, that you would have 1350 lbs.

Here is the rub; movers pack their trucks from floor to ceiling, using all available space they can, as they get
paid on the total weight they haul and handle.  The better that they use their space (their trailer), the more income they can make doing the same runs.

In the case of movers who only charge by cube, they often do not pack up to the ceiling and when you calculate total cubic feet used, they could all space whether you use it or not.   It is just a trick to get you
to think their price is less, but if this were true, why would they not just offer you the lower of the two calculated costs: weight or cube, whichever is lower--but they don't, as their intent is to take advantage
of what the customer does not know.   To say this is wrong, is being nice, as these carriers intent is clear,
and it is not to give the customer the benefit of any lower price, but to increase the cost to the customer
based on a phony ploy.

I wanted to bring this subject up, as we are starting to see this means of cheating the customer coming back
to the market again.   I have no idea why, except that all the leaders of the moving industry would rather
just talk about rogue movers than do anything about them, as they are all operating in the open, with no fear
of repercussions.   To me, this purely and clearly suggests that whoever's job it is to regulate this industry, they are not doing it.

My suggestion is to find out the facts when you move; do your homework, your due diligence and make
sure you have an understanding of the costs and terms involved, as a little bit of knowledge goes a long way
in making sure you choose the right vendor and not the best price (initially) for your relocation.


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