Moving target

Budd Van Lines saves customers time and money with its Load It Once system

Somerset-based Budd Van Lines is lowering the cost of moving through its so-called Load It Once system, the brainchild of Owner and Chief Executive Officer David W. Budd Sr.

Under the system, company employees load a customer’s belongings into a modular storage container that fits on the back of a truck and then the Budd employees drive it to the destination. This process of loading the contents takes 17 minutes whereas the old method of manually loading trailers takes six and a half days, said Gary Grund, the company’s senior vice president.

Gary Grund, senior vice president, Budd Van Lines. – AARON HOUSTON

The company specializes in corporate moves and services Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. Budd said it is saving clients about $3,000 per move.

Grund explained the containers are sealed in front of a customer, delivered to a warehouse and removed from the frame and trailer in their entirety with the load still inside the unit and stored in the warehouse. The containers are designed to be stacked, which allows goods within to be off-loaded and loaded without any manual labor or re-handling of goods, Grund said.

The sealed containers are placed on the truck and trailer when it is time to deliver to its final destination. The trailer section of the Load it Once System is easily separated from the front section of the truck.

The savings come from the lack of multiple sets of handling and storage, said Greg Sobiesiek, director of facilities at Budd.

“The old system is archaic if you think about all the extra handling we have to do,” Grund said. “Furniture is not meant to be moved. When you move it six times, for all the years that moving has been around, it really made no sense. David had the concept of having it be modular years ago.”

This method results in improved control of hours of service, improved customer satisfaction, increased security of the products being transported, decreased storage damage and claims; improved fuel efficiency and reduced carbon impact, Sobiesiek and Grund said.

The old system is archaic if you think about all the extra handling we have to do.

Budd is using the Load It Once technology for about 35 percent of its customers who are moving from New Jersey. Moving companies are hit with damage claims on about 20 percent of moves, Grund said. Moves involving Load It Once result in claims about 2 percent of the time, he added.

The customer witnesses Budd Van Lines employees seal their belongings in a modular container and the container is then loaded onto the truck. The container remains closed until Budd Van Lines reaches its destination, which gives customers peace of mind.

Driver safety is also improved, Grund said. Laws stipulate a driver is permitted to work no more than 14 hours within one day and then must take a break of at least 10 hours. Moving employees are allowed to drive no more than 11 hours consecutively, he added.

“The biggest thing with driver safety is hours of service so that when they are on the road, they are safe and they are not putting anyone in jeopardy,” Grund said. “Because of Load It Once, a driver can take more time off, they are gaining 15 hours per week to do more work.”

A forklift is used to move trailor-sized containers at Budd Van Lines. – AARON HOUSTON

Using the manual method of handling materials, drivers were constantly facing constraints imposed by the law regarding the number of hours they were permitted to work within one period of 24 hours.

“We had drivers stop two miles from their hotel and have to take an Uber back to their hotel,” Grund said. “They ran out of hours of service. We cannot afford to break the law.”

Sobiesiek said current laws also prevent drivers from working more than 70 hours in one week.

“A typical shipment takes a team of three men eight hours to unload, a warehouse crew consisting of three men eight hours to put those goods away,” Sobiesiek said. “With the Load It Once, that transaction takes about half an hour.”

Budd Van Lines purchased Wisconsin-based Merchants Moving & Storage on Feb. 22, marking the merger of two corporate relocation companies. Budd Van Lines predicts this partnership will increase the combined companies’ efficiencies through a larger national footprint of service centers, surveyors, move counselors, and drivers.

As a result of the merger, Budd Van Lines and Merchants have a combined 140 years’ experience as movers.

“The transition process is underway and we are very much committed to making it as smooth as possible for the Merchants team,” Budd said in a written statement. “We embrace Merchants’ 100-year tradition of excellence and we’re dedicated to creating new professional opportunities for everyone who worked for Merchants. Jennifer Eastman, president of Merchants, will remain a key member of the team to assist with the successful integration of employees and management of clients. Our first priority will be to maintain the strong client-service reputation that has differentiated Budd and Merchants.”

David Hutter
David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at: dhutter@njbiz.com.

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