Originally featured on Updater on February 1, 2016
In the past few years, “uber-fication” has reshaped industries across the country, transforming them from paper-and-pencil operations to industries that are dominated by convenience technology and on-demand service delivery. “Uber-fication” first transformed the grocery delivery and home cleaning services industries, and the car service and taxi industries soon followed. Next on deck for 2016? The moving industry.
In 2015, we saw the growth of a new cohort of hyper-localized, next generation niche moving companies that connect consumers with moving services with the tap of a button. More than ever, we’ve seen how they now command a larger slice of the moving pie, facilitating anything from furniture delivery to storage logistics. For example, Bellhops, the company that partners with college students to provide on-demand moving services, now operates in over 80 cities across the country. Dolly, a moving app that facilitates micro-moves, has raised $8M in Series A funding this year. Shockingly, according to recent reports, it’s estimated that venture capitalists have funneled approximately $18M into these companies within the last two years alone.
As we’ve seen in 2015, these companies are transforming the way that consumers move. They’re segmenting the traditional, full-service move into several stages. Smaller companies now specialize in providing niche moving services, rather than offering an end-to-end moving experience like traditional movers. For example, truck-on-demand companies like Buddytruck target small-scale moves, connecting consumers with truck owners that apply to be movers. Another larger player, Simple Moving Labor, specializes in loading and unloading rental trucks or storage units, while King of Storage, SpareFoot, connects movers with self-storage units in their area.
As these companies gain more traction, they’re transforming the competitive landscape for traditional, full-service moving companies across the country. Moving companies fear that they won’t be able to keep pace with the technology and the demand for these services, particularly in urban markets. So, what can a moving company take away from these trends as we look ahead to 2016?
Agile companies will make it out alive
In 2016, agile companies that can adapt quickly to new industry trends will thrive. For many moving companies, this will mean extending their operations into new verticals and yes, partnering with the new players.
As the industry continues to innovate, we can only expect that there will be more opportunity to “partner up.” Whether we like it or not, our industry’s changing, and moving companies must continue to diversify their operations as much as possible. Don’t miss an incredible opportunity to work alongside the top innovators in the space!