customer-service-billboard

This is Moving – Terminology

The moving world has its own lingo and when preparing for a move it is important to understand the terminology.  Below are common words that you may come across in the moving process:

Accessorial (additional) services – Services, such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking or stair carries, that you request to be performed (or are necessary because of landlord requirements or other special circumstances). Charges for these services are in addition to the transportation charges. Learn more about Bekins Additional Service.

Advanced charges – Charges for services performed by someone other than the movers. A professional, craftsman or other third party may perform these services at your request. The mover pays for these services and adds the charges to your Bill of Lading charges.

Agent – A local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a national van line. The agent may handle the booking, origin, hauling and/or destination services. Find your Local Agent

Agreed delivery date – The agreed delivery date can range from one day to several depending on the weight of your shipment. Your salesperson will discuss the transit times with you prior to registering your shipment with Bekins Traffic Department.

Agreed pick-up date – The agreed pick-up date can range from one day to several depending on the weight of your shipment. Your salesperson will discuss the transit times with you prior to registering your shipment with Bekins Traffic Department.

American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) – The trade organization for the moving industry.amsa-logo

Appliance Service by Third Party – The preparation of major electrical appliances to make them safe for shipment. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges.

Auto inventory – A form used when relocating an automobile, motorcycle or boat that lists the vehicle’s miles and condition at both origin and destination. Can also be referred to as motor vehicle inventory.

Auxiliary service or Shuttle Service – Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service when the residence is not accessible to the mover’s normal equipment. Shuttle service involves offloading the goods from the original equipment and reloading to a smaller vehicle. Depending on the weight of the shipment, this could involve several trips with the smaller vehicle. The shuttle charge is based on a rate-per-hundred weight.

DSCF0237Bill of Lading – The receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. It is your responsibility to understand the Bill of Lading before you sign it. If you do not agree with something on the Bill of Lading, do not sign it until you are satisfied that it is correct. The Bill of Lading is an important document. Don’t lose or misplace your copy.
Bingo sheet – A form that allows a van operator or customer to easily check off items as they are delivered. Also called a check-off sheet.

Booking agent – The agent who prepares the estimate of cost from the information obtained during a visual survey. The booking agent does not necessarily have to be located at or near the origin. When the booking agent is located at the origin, they will also be the origin agent and perform the visual survey.

Bulky article – To ensure safe transportation, some articles included in a shipment (e.g. big screen television, motorcycles, hot tubs, etc.) require extra handling and/or blocking. There is an extra charge for such items.

Carrier – The moving company holding the operating authority required to transport household goods.

Cash on Delivery (COD) – Transportation for an individual shipper for which payment is required at the time of delivery at the destination residence (or warehouse).

Certified scale – Any scale designed for weighing motor vehicles, including trailers or semitrailers not attached to a tractor, and certified by an authorized scale inspector and licensing authority. A certified scale may also be a platform or warehouse type scale that is properly inspected and certified.

Commercial shipper – Any person who is named as the consignor or consignee in a Bill of Lading contract who is not the owner of the goods being transported but who assumes the responsibility for payment of the transportation and other tariff charges for the account of the beneficial owner of the goods. The beneficial owner of the goods is normally an employee of the consignor and/or consignee.

Consignor – The person at origin who arranges for the transportation of the shipment.

Crating – Refers to the process of building a custom wood crate for the purpose of protecting certain items during transport.

Cube – A measurement of the capacity or cubic space of a truck or container. The industry average of is seven pounds per cubic foot.

Cube sheet – A document used to determine the cubic feet that furniture, appliances, cartons and miscellaneous articles occupy in the van. By converting the cubic feet into pounds, an estimated weight is acquired that is used in calculating the estimated cost for a move. Also referred to as a Table of Measurements.Bekins Table of Measurements (Cube Sheet)

 

CWT – An abbreviation for “per 100 pounds of specified weight.” Per-hundred weight.

Department of Transportation (DOT) – The federal agency which governs the interstate transportation industry, including movers of household goods.

Destination agent – Affiliated agent in the city to which the customer is moving. They are required to furnish storage at destination, unpacking and arranges for appliance service, if requested.

Disassembled by owner (DBO) – Items are disassembled by owner rather than by the moving company. Bekins is not responsible for the reassembly of these items.

Dispatcher – Assumes the task of communicating the route of a shipment to van operators and agents, making sure that instructions are carried out accordingly.

Estimate: Binding – This is a written agreement made in advance with the moving company. It guarantees the total cost of the move based upon the quantities and services shown on the estimate. Learn more about estimates.

Estimate: Non-Binding – This is an approximation of the cost by the moving company, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the mover. The final charges will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided and the tariff provisions in effect. Learn more about estimates.

Estimated Weight – An approximate weight of a shipment determined by multiplying the estimated cubes by seven pounds.

Expedited Service – An agreement with the mover to perform transportation by a set date in exchange for charges based on a higher minimum weight.

Extra delivery – A portion of a shipment unloaded at a location other than the destination address indicated on the Bill of Lading. Also referred to as an extra stop.

Extra pick up – A portion of a shipment loaded at a location other than the origin address indicated on the Bill of Lading. Also referred to as an extra stop.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – Established within the Department of Transportation to regulate the safe operation requirements for commercial vehicle drivers, carriers, vehicles and vehicle equipment.

Flight charge – An extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

Fuel surcharge – The moving company’s tariff provides for a percentage adjustment to the transportation charge (and SIT Pickup and Delivery) to aid in recovery of the increased cost of fuel. The surcharge, which can change twice monthly, is based upon the national average cost of diesel, as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Gross weight – The weight of the truck after a shipment has been loaded. Also referred to as the heavy weight.

Hauling agent – The agent who owns the van assigned by the van line to transport your household goods from origin to destination.

Helper – A peDSCF3289rson hired by the van operator or agent to assist in the loading and unloading of goods. Bekins requires all helper labor be certified.

High value article – Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed with the mover to ensure they are protected accordingly. Also referred to as items of extraordinary value.

Household goods (HHG) – Personal goods or property used in a home.

Household goods descriptive inventory – The detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item. Also referred to as an inventory.

Individual shipper – The individual requesting movement of a shipment and paying the transportation charges.

Interstate move – The relocation of goods in the United States from a place in one state to a place in a different state.

Intrastate move – The relocation of goods within one state that never crosses state lines or includes a segment outside of that same state. Intrastate moves are NOT regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Inventory – The detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the number and condition of each item. Also referred to as a household goods descriptive inventory.

Items of extraordinary value – Items included in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound. These items should be disclosed with the mover to ensure they are protected accordingly. Also referred to as high value article. Learn more about replacement value protection.

Leave over – When articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. An additional van(s) is then utilized for transportation and delivery. Also referred to as an overflow.

Light weight – The weight of a truck before a shipment is loaded, including all essential loading equipment and packing materials. Also referred to as the tare weight.

Line haul – The charges for the vehicle transportation portion of your relocation. These charges apply in addition to the accessorial service charges.

Load spread – Agreed pick-up dates.

Local move – A move within a particular geographical area like a town or district instead of a state or country. Learn more about local moves.

Long carry – An added charge for carrying articles excessive distances between the mover’s vehicle and the residence. Charges for these services may be in addition to the line-haul charges.

Motor vehicle inventory – A form used when transporting an automobile, motorcycle or boat that lists the vehicle’s miles and condition at both origin and destination. Also referred to as auto inventory.

Net weight – The actual weight of a shipment obtained by subtracting the tare weight from the gross weight.

Operating authority – The government permit that defines the scope of a carrier’s operation by area and commodity.

Order for Service – The document authorizing the mover to transport your household goods.

Order (Bill of Lading) number – The number used to identify and track your shipment. The number appears on all documentation and correspondence. Also referred to as the Registration Number.

Origin agent – The agent responsible for performing packing and preparing necessary documentation for the move. Click here to find your local agent.

Overflow – When articles to be shipped are left behind due to insufficient space on the primary van. An additional van(s) is then utilized for transportation and delivery. Also referred to as a leave over.

Packed by owner (PBO) – Used on the inventory to identify cartons that have been packed by the customer. Learn more about packing.

Packing date – A date set aside for packing. It is usually one day prior to loading of the goods.
Permanent storage – The warehousing of a shipment for an unspecified duration.

Pickup and delivery charges – Separate transportation charges applicable for transporting your shipment between the storage-in-transit warehouse and your residence.

Planner – Assumes the task of assigning a hauling agent to load, transport, and unload shipments as they are registered in Bekins Traffic Department.

promover_colorProMover Program – A certification program created by the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). The program gives consumers an easy way to separate reputable, professional movers from rogue movers. ProMovers must meet stringent requirements and agree to comply with the regulations set forth by AMSA as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Surface Transportation Board (STB). Bekins and all its agents are certified ProMovers.

Purchase order – A written authorization for billing a relocation to a company. It is sometimes used in place of the Order for Service.

Reweigh – When there is doubt about the origin weight of a shipment, a reweigh may be requested by the customer at destination. There is no charge for the reweigh; however, charges are calculated on the new weight.

Scale ticket – A voucher providing the weigh scale reading for tare weight and/or gross weight of a van.

Shuttle service – Use of a smaller vehicle to provide service when the residence is not accessible to the mover’s normal equipment. Shuttle service involves offloading the goods from the original equipment and reloading to a smaller vehicle. Depending on the weight of the shipment, this could involve several trips with the smaller vehicle. The shuttle charge is based on a rate-per-hundred weight. Also referred to as auxiliary service.

Spread dates – The combined dates for the agreed pick up and the agreed delivery.

Storage-in-transit (SIT) – Temporary warehouse storage of your shipment pending further transportation. For example, if your new home isn’t quite ready to occupy. You must specifically request SIT service, which may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, and you will be responsible for the added charges for SIT service as well as the warehouse handling and final delivery charges.

Stretch wrap – The material and process used to protect overstuffed furniture (except leather and suede) from damage. Also referred to as shrink wrap.

Surface Transportation Board (STB) – The agency within the Department of Transportation responsible for the regulation and monitoring of railroads and rates for the household goods industry.

Table of Measurements – A document used to determine the cubic feet that furniture, appliances, cartons and miscellaneous articles occupy in the van. By converting the cubic feet into pounds, an estimated weight is acquired that is used in calculating the estimated cost for a move. Also referred to as a Cube Sheet.

Tare weight – The weight of a truck before a shipment is loaded, including all essential loading equipment and packing materials. Also referred to as the light weight.

Tariff – The mover’s required, published price, list of rules, regulations, rates and charges for the performance of interstate moving services.

Transit time – The time from when your belongings are picked up to when they are delivered to the designated destination.

Transportation charge – The cost of a single loading, transporting and unloading of goods comprise the charge.

Uncrating – Refers to the process of removing the wooden crating material from items that had been crated.

Unpacking – Services required to remove or undo packing of goods at the end of a shipment’s transportation. Learn more about Bekins unpacking services.

Valuation – The degree of “worth” of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates the mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than that provided for in the base transportation charges. Learn about Bekins valuation options.

Van line – A motor carrier with local agents that coordinates the movement of household goods and special products.

Van operator – The individual who oversees the loading, hauling and unloading of your household goods.

Visual survey – A visual survey is performed by the origin agent to determine which items are to be moved. The amount of packing required and any special services necessary to properly service your shipment are determined during the survey. A cube sheet is prepared and used to determine the weight. The weight is the basis for the moving cost. All elements of the survey come together to determine an estimated cost for moving your goods.

Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move – A government-required publication given to all COD customers. Learn more about Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.

Lola 4

Moving Lola

Today is National Dog Day – my favorite day! I wanted to share my experience about moving with my dog, Lola, and how to prepare for moving pets on interstate moves.

When my fiancée Pat was offered a relocation from Charlotte, N.C. to Indianapolis, Ind., the first thing we thought about was how our dog Lola would deal with the move?

Around three and a half years ago Lola was found as a stray and we decided to give her a home. She suffers from separation anxiety and we knew a move like this would be difficult for her.

Lola 3

Lola, Pat and I after a hike in Charlotte, N.C.

Before our relocation, I made an appointment with Lola’s veterinarian. I spoke with her about the challenges that we may face when we moved. She suggested she may act out and although it could be frustrating we shouldn’t punish her because she is just confused. She recommended that we keep a close eye on her during the moving process and in our new home so she wouldn’t run away. We made sure all of Lola’s vaccinations were up-to-date and acquired a current veterinarian record to give to our new vet in Indianapolis as well as any boarding/grooming places that require vet records.

I also checked the US State and Territory Animal Import Regulations Web site to verify what to do when moving across state lines. I notified Charlotte Animal Care and Control that we were moving and gave them our new address. I updated the address for Lola’s microchip and identification tags, as well, in the event she does run away.

When we were packing all of our stuff, Lola noticed things were changing and this caused her to act increasingly anxious, which we were prepared for. We tried to do our best to make her feel comfortable and increased her daily exercise. This helped tire her out and not act out as much.

When we were loading our household goods onto the moving truck, we arranged for Lola to go to our neighbor’s house during this time so she would not be in the way. This is recommended for any household that has pet during a move.

For the ride to IndianLola 1apolis, it was a challenge to figure out what was needed for me and Pat, but also for Lola. We brought her bed, a few toys, bags, a water dish, water and food. With every stop, we made sure she was properly hydrated and well-fed. She slept most of the 10-hour drive. We stayed in a hotel on the way and used Pet’s Welcome Web site to determine which places permitted pets.

After 10 hours and a hotel stop we finally made it to our new home in Indianapolis. We allowed Lola to sniff around the house and acclimate herself to the new surroundings. Although we have a fenced-in yard, I still kept a close eye on her to make sure she wouldn’t escape. Lola is a notorious escape artist and fences don’t always do the trick.  When the movers came with our stuff, I kept Lola out of the way by keeping her on a leash outside.

Lola getting comfortable in our new home in Indianapolis

Lola getting comfortable in our new home in Indianapolis

It took a few weeks of adjustment. She went through a bit of a mourning period (she missed outrneighbor and her dog) and didn’t eat. I was worried and consulted with my vet. She explained that this is normal for dogs that experience a drastic change and she would eventually eat when she got hungry, which she did. I made sure that Lola had plenty of exercise by walking her frequently on the Monon Trail, a 13-mile trail in Indianapolis.

We also met our neighbors and let her play with their dog. By talking to our neighbors, we learned about the best places to take Lola, including parks, vets and boarding. We also used Angie’s List and Yelp to help find the best pet places around town.

We are all settled in Indianapolis now. Hopefully Lola’s moving experience can help you prepare for moving with your pet!

Tell us your story about moving with your pet!

For more about moving with pets, please visit http://www.bekins.com/planning-guides/moving-with-children-and-pets/

 

IMG_8188

The Importance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Bekins Van Lines corporate office accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday, Aug. 20 to raise awareness for ALS as well as donate to ALS Association.

Bekins challenged all of its agents to do the same. Before dumping ice water on yourself, here are some things you should know about ALS from alsa.org.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
  • ALS is not contagious.
  • It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more.  More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
  • ALS can strike anyone.
  • The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
  • There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health care giving later in the disease.  It is important to be knowledgeable about your health plan coverage and other programs for which your may be eligible, including SSA, Medicare, Medical and Veteran Affairs benefits.
  • ALS Association has raised 41.8 million from the Ice Bucket Challenge Donations. Donations can be made here.

Below are the videos and photos from yesterday’s challenge!

Watch the video here on our new YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

Keatons Korral_4

World Humanitarian Day and Bekins

Today is World Humanitarian Day, which is a dedicated day to raise public awareness of the work undertaken by humanitarian organizations. We not only specialize in moving your household goods, but giving back is embedded in our corporate culture at Bekins Van Lines. For today’s blog, we are shining the spotlight on the organizations with which we work that are dedicated to making the world a better place.

Give Kids The World Village

gktwcastlelogo
Bekins is a major sponsor of Give Kids The World Village near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., as well as the main sponsor for Keaton’s Korral located in the village. Give Kids The World Village is an organization that provides memorable, magical, cost-free experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The village is a 70-acre resort that has welcomed more than 130,000 families from all 50 states and more than 75 countries.

A wall of letters from children that have experienced Give Kids The World Village found in the Bekins corporate office.

A wall of letters at the Bekins corporate office from children that have experienced Give Kids The World Village.

Keaton’s Korral
At Keaton’s Korral, more than 7,300 families each year have been able to experience the fun of horse and pony rides, while wearing cowboy hats and living out their cowboy dreams. Keaton’s Korral was named for Keaton White, an alumni wish child who spoke at the 2003 Wheaton | Bekins conference shortly before he lost his battle with cancer. His story touched so many of the agents and employees, as he told of his dream to ensure every child got to experience the joy he felt during his time at the Village.

Bekins Chairman, Stephen Burns with Keaton White, who inspired Keaton's Korral at Give Kids The World Village

Bekins Chairman, Stephen Burns with Keaton White, who inspired Keaton’s Korral at Give Kids The World Village

“Give Kids The World was one of the happiest times of my life,” White said. “I just want to be sure that someday another little boy or girl and their family are loved just as much as me and my family were loved.”

The 60th Annual Wheaton|Bekins Conference from November 5-8 in Scottsdale, Ariz., will be hosting a silent auction to raise money for Keaton’s Korral. You can also click here to donate to Keaton’s Korral and Give Kids The World Village.

Move for Hunger:

Move For HungerMove for Hunger is a nonprofit organization that works with relocation companies to collect unwanted food from people who are relocating and deliver it to food banks all across North America.

Bekins Van Lines currently has 34 agents participating and has collected 55,812 lbs., of food all-time and 29,138 lbs., of food in 2014 alone. It’s a win-win for all parties – food banks get a much needed boost all year long, customers feel good about the donation (and may even offset some of the cost of their move by reducing the weight of heavier canned goods), and Bekins participates in a nationwide initiative to combat hunger.

To learn more about Move For Hunger and how you can help, visit MoveForHunger.org.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center – The Tissue Bank collects blood and tissue samples from donors and makes the samples available to Susan G Koman Tissue Bankresearchers across the globe who are seeking to find a cure for breast cancer. Since 2008, Bekins has transported equipment for the Tissue Bank to collection events across the country. Visit KomenTissueBank.IU.edu to learn more about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Bekins logo

The ULTIMATE Check List For Changing Your Address

Between hiring a moving company, packing up your household goods, and preparing for a new home, it is hard to find the time to change your address through various organizations. To better organize your move, Bekins Van Lines has created a list of everywhere you might need to change your address before and after moving.

Utilities:
America Move Assist can help finding new utility companies in your area

o    Electric *
o    Gas *
o    Water *
o    Garbage/Recycling *
o    Telephone/Mobile *
o    Cable *
o    Internet *
o    Fuel *
o    Water/Sewage *
o    Lawn/Garden Services/Pool Services
o    Housecleaning Services
o    Internet sites – iTunes, amazon, Netflix, etc.

Finance

o    Banks  – Make sure your current bank has branches in the area, if not, you may want to switching banks
o    Major Credit Cards
o    Department Store Credit Cards
o    Loan Institutions
o    Insurance Agencies * – Check to see if your coverage will need to change when moving to a different state or area.
o    Pension Plans
o    Air Rewards Programs
o    Accountant/Tax Consultant
o    Professional Memberships/Licensing Boards

Government Public Offices

o    DMV – Most states make you change this within 90 days of moving. Some states require a written test before obtaining a license
o    Vehicle Registration
o    Social Security *
o    Post Office *
o    Veteran Affairs *
o    Income Tax/IRS *
o    Pension Benefits *
o    Unemployment Insurance *

Personal
o    Register children for school * – Free school reports
o    Find new physicians and dentist
o    Find a new place to a new place of worship

* Changing your address is recommended before you move

dorm 2

Successfully Move into a College Dorm

Freshman year of college is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. For most first-year students, the first step of college is moving into a dorm room. This can be a challenging process due to the limited space and the distance from home. Here are some tips to help streamline the moving process and start your college career on the right foot.

  • Talk to the resident halls and contact your roommate: Find out what is provided in the dorm room as well as the dimensions. You will need to figure out how your things must fit without overcrowding. Usually, the housing department will provide your future roommate’s name. It is a good idea to contact them to ask what they will be bringing and avoid having duplicate items in the room.
  • Take Inventory: Before you begin shopping and packing, go through your closet. Donate items that are no longer needed. Depending on the climate, pack clothes for the approaching seasons. It is best to be prepared until winter break.
  • Pack only the essentials: Space is very limited, especially when living with a roommate. It is important to only pack items that are absolutely necessary. If you have more than a car load, you’re probably taking too much.
  • Use Storage Bins: Packing clothing and supplies in plastic storage bins will ease packing the car and hauling them up the stairs. With the help of bed risers, storage bins can be kept under the bed with out-of-season clothing and supplies that are not needed on a daily basis. Tips for arranging your room

dorm

  • Develop a Plan: Before moving in, plan out the move. When packing the car, pack the items that are necessary for the move so they are easily accessible. Strategize how to arrange the furniture in your room and show your parents where you would like things to go.
  • Get there early: The earlier the better when moving to avoid the crowd. An impromptu shopping trip will most likely be needed for items that were left at home. If you live far away, consider driving the night before and staying in a hotel.
  • Decorate last: After packing away your clothes and everyday supplies, spend some time making your space your own.

Good luck with your first year of school! It goes by fast, so enjoy it!

Bekins storage in Hollywood

Throwback Thursday: Bekins in Southern California

Since 1891, Bekins Van Lines has been a leader of innovation in the household-goods moving industry. Throughout Bekins rich history, the specialization in storage became a primary service, especially in Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. For a special throwback Thursday, here is an article from the LA Times in 1989. Looking back how Bekins changed the storage business as well as the South California landscape.

Bekins: A Storehouse of History
LA Times
March 01, 1989
Leon Whiteson

They rise like medieval castle keeps above busy Southern California intersections. Their steep blank sides, relieved by rows of small windows, give no clue to the activities behind their fortress-like walls. Only the skyline signs reading Bekins Storage reveal the mundane purpose of these muscular architectural landmarks.

The era of the grand Bekins castles is past, along with the grandeur of the service that moved America when the entire country seemed to be shifting West. But as the company’s late president intended, Bekins’ powerful buildings stand as permanent landmarks on our changing urban landscape.

According to contemporaries, Milo Bekins believed that “moving is the American way.” He also believed that customers entrusting their personal possessions to Bekins needed the sense of reassurance offered by solidly built warehouses located on prominent sites. In a young and rapidly expanding city such as Los Angeles, where so many buildings seemed flimsy and transitory, he decided that his structures for temporary storage would appear unshakably permanent.

Bekins built its first reinforced concrete warehouses in the 1920s and ’30s. A prime example of its architectural style is the 55-year-old building at 929 S. Brand Blvd. in Glendale, a solid oblong box that towers seven stories high.

Bekins Santa MonicaAt street level, the arches of a recessed arcade mark a regular rhythm between the slender vertical columns that rise to the roof and end in finials resembling little dunce caps. Between the main columns are small pilasters that form frilly edges to the concrete cliff at top and bottom. Tiny windows make the building appear even bulkier, increasing its presence on the street.

Yet another landmark warehouse, an eight-story castle built in 1929, is located at the corner of Pico and Crenshaw boulevards. A ground-floor arcade houses a row of shops, including Bekins’ furniture sales division, and arches are two stories high, allowing light to filter into second-floor offices.

In its heyday the Bekins Co. owned more than 100 storage buildings in 14 states. In an attempt to streamline its operations in the face of stiff competition, Bekins began selling off its real estate in the early 1980s. By 1983, when purchased by Minstar Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., Bekins’ stock of warehouses had been reduced to 55.

Founded in 1891

Bekins Van Lines was founded in 1891 in Sioux City, Iowa, by two young Dutch immigrant brothers, Martin and John Bekins. Martin moved west four years later, first to Omaha, Neb., and then Los Angeles. In 1895 the brothers organized the first transcontinental move from Sioux City to Los Angeles, and opened an office here in an old van at the corner of 2nd and Main streets.

bekins-storageOne year later, Martin Bekins owned six horse-drawn vans and a one-story brick storage building at 360 S. Alameda St. A five-story reinforced concrete building was later built on the site and still stands alongside the original warehouse.

The Bekinses were innovators in the moving and storage business. The first company in the West to specialize in household goods, Bekins later pioneered the concept of containerized storage. In 1903, Martin Bekins introduced the “side-winder” gasoline-powered moving truck to Los Angeles.

Martin’s son, Milo, took over as Bekins chairman in 1927, and built the company into the largest operation of its kind in the world. In the 1950s, 1,000 Bekins vans rolled across the country, serving a restless post-World War II population moving from the cities to the suburbs, and from one suburb to another.

A Simple Formula

The pre-World War II Bekins buildings were designed by structural engineers rather than architects. The vaguely Italianate style of decoration, featuring mini-pilasters and curly roof lines, was culled from the contemporary architectural pattern books popular among designers at the time. An example of the style can be seen at the 511 S. Fair Oaks Ave. warehouse in Pasadena.

Bekins buildings had a simple structural and design formula. Columns were spaced in 26-foot bays under 12-foot ceilings. At the rear were one or two high doors for loading and unloading goods. Ground floor frontages were glassed-in for small shops or offices. Big metal signs displaying the company name dominated the skyline.

LABekinsSMBThe warehouses have stored an extraordinary range of personal items over the decades, from cases of monocles to the Pentagon Papers. The latter, a top-secret study of U.S. military involvement in Indochina, was stored in the Bekins Beverly Hills warehouse at 215 S. Canon Drive, in “several metal handcases, a footlocker, 18 book volumes, a large cardboard carton and a large carton file,” according to an affidavit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In the 1940s and ’50s, the style of the Bekins buildings changed. In keeping with the undecorated modernist fashion then coming into vogue, the warehouses became plainer and squatter.

Typically Featureless

The 1943 four-story concrete warehouse at 35 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia, a similar design at 2101 E. Carson Street in Long Beach, and the 1953 five-story building at 1425 Holt Blvd. in Pomona are examples of the slab-sided, featureless and almost windowless blocks typical of this period.

The company also bought warehouses built by other storage companies. The 11-story Hollywood Storage Co. building at 1025 N. Highland Ave. was the tallest structure in Hollywood when erected in 1925. It was purchased by Bekins in 1939. And in 1943, a nine-story structure at 3625 S. Grand Ave., built in 1924 by the Birch-Smith Storage Co., was added to Bekins real estate inventory.

The original article can be found here: http://articles.latimes.com/1989-03-01/news/vw-725_1_bekins-vans

Inside of a classroom with back to school on the chalkboard

Save on Back to School Shopping

With another busy moving season wrapping up, it is about time to get your kids ready for school and with that comes back to school shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, the average family is expected to spend $606 per child for back to school shopping. If you have more than one child, the dollars add up fast. Here are a few ways to save this year:

Take inventory – Take inventory of what your child already has for clothes and shoes in order to avoid burning money on items that are already in the closet. Take the opportunity to teach your child a lesson in charity and donate any outgrown clothes or shoes. Articles of clothing that are beyond repair can be torn up and used as rags for cleaning.

Also, take inventory of office supplies sitting around the house. You may find some notebooks, folders, pens and pencils that can be of used for the upcoming school year.

Create a shopping list with your child and stick with it – After taking inventory you will have a pretty good idea about what items are needed for the year ahead. If you have just moved, be sure to consider what might be needed with the weather at your new home. Sit down with your child and discuss what supplies they think they will need. Stick to the list and avoid falling for the deals that aren’t needed.  Just because an item is “on sale” doesn’t mean you’re saving money by buying it. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

Take advantage of sales tax holidays – This is a great way to save if your state offers it. There are different requirements for each state, so do your research and double check what is being offered.

Plan lunch – If your child does not eat school lunch, you will most likely be the one to prepare it. The best way to do this is plan lunches for a week out by making a grocery list and sticking with it. Check for weekly deals on meat products and other items used for lunch. Consider going to big box stores to stock up on items that are non-perishable.

Get next year’s supplies this fall – The best and cheapest time to get school supplies is after school has already started. Stock up on supplies for the following school year or for next semester.

Back-to school swap – Coordinate with mothers of children the same gender as yours but different ages to host an annual clothes swap.  This is a great way to meet families in the area after moving, while saving money, too!

Track the sales and shop online – The easiest and most time-effective way to compare sales is online. It’s also easier to find coupons online and use them on the spot when purchasing items. By shopping online, you are also saving on gas and lunch that usually goes into a day of shopping.

Use apps to get some couponsShop Kick, Retail Me Not and Target’s Cartwheel offer coupons based on your location. With Target’s app, you can scan items and it will bring up their available coupons.

Happy shopping!

 

truck

What’s Inside Bekins’ Trailers?

Bekins’ trucks and trailers travel all across America packed to the max with household goods. Here is what an empty, brand-new trailer looks like before it is it put to work!

Bekins Truck 1

Semi-trailers at Bekins are 53 feet long and have side doors on them. Some have one side door, but this new one has two.

Inside the trailer 3

Trailers can pack 25,000 – 28,000 lbs. of household goods with the maximum weight capacity of 80,000 lbs. for your standard 18 wheel semi truck and trailer.

Inside Bekins Truck

Bekins’ trailers hold more than just your household items. Our semi-trailers come equipped with 200-250 furniture pads to keep your furniture beautiful and comfortable. For the more cumbersome household items each Bekins trailer has a detachable walk board (incline ramp) and other equipment to help with the move.

Roof of Bekins Truck

The numbers on the roof are cubic foot measurements to help the movers gauge how much space is available inside the trailer.

Outside of closed door Bekins Truck

If you are concerned about your odd-shaped items each trailer can accommodate with the belly box underneath each trailer.

We want to see what you see! Post to our Facebook and Twitter pages when you see a Bekins truck on the road!

RichmondVA_Skyline

Happiness is in Richmond, Virginia

Want to move to the happiest place in the country? Looks like you are headed to Richmond, Virginia!

According to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, Richmond, Va. was ranked as the “most contented area in the country” and contented equals happiness. What makes Richmond the most contented place in the country?

Fellow Richmonder, Teresa Bonifas, explained why she thought they were ranked as the most contented place in the country. “The best thing about Richmond is there is always something to do at any given time. The southern charm and history of Richmond along with the many festivals, restaurants, outdoor activities and central location will make anyone fall in love with this city.” Bonifas continued, “Richmond is a place where people say please and thank you and give an appreciative wave when driving while also coming together to support the city’s many programs.”

Here are some other facts from visitrichmondva.com:

  • Richmond has hot summers and generally mild winters.
  • In September 2007, Richmond was ranked the third-best city for business by MarketWatch.
  • The Richmond Region has more than 18,000 hotel rooms and 900 restaurants with prices to fit every budget. They also have a growing food truck and craft brewery scene.
  • Richmond is located along the James River, which offers bike trails, hiking and nature trails, various water sports and scenic overlooks.
  • Several colleges and universities call Richmond home, including Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and University of Richmond.
  • Richmond has a long, rich history, including being the capital of the confederacy in the Civil War. Richmond offers several Civil War attractions throughout the area.
  • There are six Fortune 500 companies that are headquartered in the Richmond Region, which is among the top 15 cities in the nation with the most Fortune 500 company headquarters.
  • The Region hosts a variety of sporting events throughout the year, including two NASCAR races and Dominion Riverrock, and is home to minor league sports teams Richmond Flying Squirrels (baseball) and Richmond Kickers (soccer).
  • There are more than 80 attractions in the Richmond Region. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Henricus Historical Park, the James River, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Kings Dominion and numerous Civil War sites are just a small sampling of all the Region has to offer.
  • Parenting.com named Richmond as “America’s healthiest city and one of the best cities for families” in 2010.
  • Trail Runner ranked Richmond as one of the nation’s “Top Seven Cities for Trail Runners” in 2009.
  • MovieMaker named Richmond one of the nation’s “Top 10 Cities for Filmmakers” in 2011.
  • Forbes.com ranked Richmond as one of the nation’s “100 Best Bang-For-The-Buck Cities” in 2009.

Richomonders have a lot to be proud of and have no problem showing it. “Richmonders love showing their pride whether it is displaying a RVA sticker on their car, flying a U of R flag on their house, or walking down the street in VCU apparel,” Bonifas said.

Below is the top ten list of the “Most Contented Area in the Country. ”For more about the Happiest and Unhappiest places in the country,visit http://www.cbsnews.com/news/passage-the-happiest-and-unhappiest-cities/
1.    Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
2.    Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, Va.
3.    Washington, D.C.
4.    Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
5.    Atlanta, Ga.
6.    Houston, Texas
7.    Jacksonville, Fla.
8.    Nashville, Tenn.
9.    West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla.
10.    Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, N.J.

References:

http://www.visitrichmondva.com/media/media-kit/fastfacts/

http://www.richmond.com/city-life/article_eb55921e-1270-11e4-aa55-0017a43b2370.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/passage-the-happiest-and-unhappiest-cities/