The Uber or Lyft of the Moving Industry?
With the busy season comes one of the most basic challenges facing our customer base: nailing down the mover they want on the day they need – and at a price they can afford.
We are all tuned in to the fact that people are looking for more options. Better options. Cheaper options. The market, spurred on by the ingenuity that’s out there, is constantly spawning new ideas, new products to satisfy that hungry customer base.
NextMover is a small operation on the move, so to speak. They’re attempting to do for the moving industry what Uber did for the taxi cab/driver industry and what AirBnB did for the hotel industry. That is, turn ordinary people with a truck into movers, just like Uber turned ordinary people with a car into cab drivers, and AirBnB turned ordinary people with a home into hoteliers. Like both of these players in their industries, NextMover will have an extremely hard up-hill battle against the traditional establishment and its regulations—that is, the FMCSA and AMSA. But also like Uber and AirBnB, traditional moving professionals could one day find themselves in a robust NextMover marketplace filled with average Joes as well as the pros.
The concept is simple (and not exactly new): provide a service for people looking for someone with a truck to help them move. The original idea was just to get a group of guys (or girls, let’s be fair) with pickup trucks who could help people move that big table or dresser or entertainment unit that Joe Customer couldn’t get into his trunk.
But NextMover co-founder Alexander Kehaya says that “not everybody needs just a pickup. There are some people that would like it if you had a trailer. They would pay more money for that because they’ve got more stuff to move. Sometimes they want two people to come and help them, not just one guy and a truck.”
Kehaya goes on to say that there are limitations to moving with NextMover. It only works for local moves, and is less ideal for people with large houses who truly need full-size moving trucks and comprehensive service. “And we can’t move pianos,” says Kehaya. “You’re better off with somebody who has all the straps and equipment for that.” Let us finish his thought by saying that we are that somebody.
As new as NextMover is (they’ve only been operating since January, and only in Santa Barbara, CA) we can’t say with any certainty how their game plan will play out. They do have expansion plans in the works, however, in Austin, Texas among other cities. So should we keep an eye on this? Of course we should. Because we are willing to bet that at least some of those truck owners provide the truck but not the labor. You guys in the Santa Barbara area might want to get to know these newbies. The rest of us would do well to keep our eyes open for whatever new kids show up on our own block.