What are best practices for movers during COVID-19?
Movers have been deemed an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak, at least in my general area.
I reached out to movers I know in the moving industry. My question was simple -what are you doing to keep your crews and customers safe?
All the movers have stopped doing on-site moving surveys and have switched to phone calls, Facetime or Facebook Messenger to create an inventory of the items being moved. Some have bought or created specialized moving survey software. Others are hiring an outside firm to do virtual surveys for them so they have a photo/video record of the survey.
First on the mark was Lou DeCibus , owner of Princeton Van Service in Windsor NJ, when COVID-19 was first announced. Lou was the first mover I know of to supply face masks and sanitizer to his employees. He had actually stocked up on them in 2019.
All the movers I spoke with are using face masks and hand sanitizers for their employees and insisting on frequent hand washing and everyone wearing clean uniforms each day. They are screening their crews for any symptoms to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Some are taking the temperature of employees before they leave the yard. The usual hand shake greeting at the homeowners house is strongly discouraged. .
Joe Russo and Rick DeMarco , partners in The Moving Guys in Marlboro NJ , told me they are staggering the starting times for the crews to avoid unnecessary contact between crew members (clever!) , they are allowing crew members to drive their own cars to the job site and they are sanitizing the trucks.
Cindy Myer, owner of Ridgewood Moving Services in Mahwah NJ, told me they are sanitizing the trucks as well, disinfecting the blankets and having frequent meetings with her crews and customers. Cindy stressed communication was key right now. She sends a 2 part questionnaire to her clients (others do a similar thing). If they answer yes to any part of it, she asks that they reschedule their move.
- Have you 1) been diagnosed, 2) been in contact with someone who has
been diagnosed, or 3) been in contact with someone who may have been
exposed with COVID-19 within 14 days of your move?
- Have you experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms (including fever,
cough, sore throat, respiratory illness, difficulty breathing) within 14 days
of your move?
Ray Gunst, is the general manager at Ace World Wide Elite in East Brunswick NJ. He confirmed they are also issuing masks and gloves. “Most of our people are owner-ops so there are taking extra steps with their crews as well” .
Another best practice I heard of was stopping the practice of loaning or giving used moved cartons to homeowners. The virus can live on cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours, so most movers are not reusing wardrobes or packing boxes.
Many movers have raised the hourly pay for employees during the emergency.
Do you have an best / new practice? Will movers continue these practices when things start to normalize? Please email me or include them in the comments. I’ll update the article with unique solutions.