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Looking Back On The Year 2019 And Preparing For An Amazing 2020! Friday Dec 06, 2019

Happy Holidays from everyone here at Advance Relocation Systems! It’s time for us to reflect on 2019 as it draws to a close, while at the same time sharing with you some of our amazing plans for the new year. 2019 was an especially memorable year for us, and at the outset we’d like to express our gratitude to our staff, drivers, referral partners, family, and friends… you’ve all helped to make this a successful year of accomplishments - thank you!

In 2019, Advance Relocation Systems celebrated 80 years in business!  This year is also our 50th anniversary as an Atlas Van Lines agent. In 1868, Frank Mann Storage & Van Lines, located in Baltimore, Maryland, was founded. In 1939, that same company was purchased by W. Leroy Conklin. With a vision of modernization, Leroy began the process of developing a small company into one of the largest moving firms in Maryland. Now located in Middle River, and renamed Advance Relocation Systems, our company is one of the most trusted names in home, corporate, local and long-distance moving in the state. As a smaller family business, 80 years is an unbelievable milestone to achieve. Our company is currently in the 3rd generation of ownership with the 4th generation of potential owners on deck, already working to help us accomplish its goals for about 8 years now. In today’s business environment, it’s no small feat to be in business for 80 years! We’ve been able to achieve this because of the continuity and quality of our service.

At Advance Relocation Systems, we believe small gestures can have a big impact, and we are very passionate about giving back to our community in whatever ways we can. As a matter of fact, we have worked with the Susan G. Komen Organization for the past 16 years, servicing 3 or 4 different projects for them every year. This partnership is very close to us because they are a great organization, their goals are wonderful and they help people in so many ways. Working with them has always been the largest single project we do each year but we also recently finished a major food drive, where we partnered with McCormick & Company. During that project, they filled 4 tractor-trailers with Thanksgiving meals and we provided the transportation from McCormick’s corporate headquarters in Hunt Valley to the Maryland Food Bank. Being able to make a tangible impact in our community has always been important to us. We plan to continue making meaningful contributions to our community as long as we’re here.

In 2019, we also received some national awards that we’re very proud of. In November, for instance, we attended the annual Atlas Van Lines Convention, where we were recognized for the following: 

  1. Milt Hill Quality Award
  2. 50th Anniversary as an Atlas Agent Award
  3. STG Quality Award
  4. Hauling Excellence Award
  5. 3rd Place Overall Logistics Provider
  6. 5th Place Volume Producer with a Single Location Award
  7. 6th Place Overall STG Producer
  8. 16th Place Overall Government Business Producer
  9. 21st Place Overall Volume Producer

This year marks our 15th consecutive year winning the Milt Hill Quality Award! And that’s a big deal to us. Why? The Milt Hill Award is the most prestigious award for Atlas agents, and it’s awarded to agents who earn an outstanding performance rating in customer satisfaction, estimating, claims, safety, and warehouse operations. This award is the ultimate mark of distinction for Atlas Agents, and those who earn it truly rank among "the best of the best."

We’ve experienced a lot of growth this year, both in terms of our output and our equipment. In 2018, we expanded our fleet with new pup trailers, and this year we added four-53ft climate-controlled trucks, 2 are very high cube (124 inches through rear door) and 2 regular cubes (120 inches through the rear door). By investing capital in these trucks and hiring more drivers, we became a larger player in the climate-controlled transportation business with larger chunk of the market share. This year, the majority of our growth has been in 2 areas: military household goods moves and fine art climate moving. The military is always looking for better quality partners, and our organization has always been quality driven, so by increasing our focus on the military we increased our military moves substantially this year, in excess of 20%. Each year, our company’s focus is on growth but we don’t really look for more than a 5 -6% increase. This year, however, we’ll probably end with 12-14% growth, which is attributable to the dedication of our entire ARS team to generating new business and getting better at what we do everyday for our clients.

Having accomplished so much this year, the question then becomes relevant, “What more could we have in store?” Even as an 80-year-old business, there’s still much for us to learn. We intend to continue focusing on the fine art climate-controlled business because that’s an area we’ve done extremely well in. We also plan to build our corporate relationships with our partners such as Johns Hopkins. In fact, we recently partnered with a large relocation management company and we’re expecting to substantially increase our corporate relocation household goods moves. In addition, 2020 is an election year and we have a contract with the state of Maryland to service all of the voting machines for Baltimore county and Baltimore city. That’s always a major project since we have both, the general elections and primary elections in 2020. We hope you’ll continue to support us and follow our journey in the coming year. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you and yours!