After weathering a major downturn in several key moving and storage markets, Bekins Van Lines now hopes to grow its business expanding into a realm dominated by package carriers FedEx and United parcel Service: the home delivery market.
“Our focus over the last two years has been twofold – normalize our operations and focus on driving business to our agents,” President & CEO Larry Marzullo explained in an interview with Fleet Owner. “Now we are looking forward over the next 10 years to see how we can bring more value to our agents through new opportunities. We see the home delivery market for large consumer durables as a key area of growth for us.”
Though Bekins core business is as a household goods carrier, working through 350 North American agents with hauling capacity provided by 150 independent owner operators and 1,450 company drivers, Marzullo said the key to future growth is taking network and using it to handle the increased demands of its Home Direct USA subsidiary.
The home delivery and set-up of large consumer goods such as home entertainment systems has boomed in recent years as retailers have tried to cut costs by selling directly to consumers via the Internet and catalogs. That’s created an opportunity for Bekins to use its existing ‘TimeLock’ logistics practices originally developed for the technology industry, said Marzullo.
“It’s a good market right now – we expect to provide 500,000 home deliveries this year,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to combine our logistics and household goods operations to drive more revenue to our agents. Right now, retailers use UPS and FedEx to ship smaller items, but there’s no comparable service for larger consumer durables. That’s where we come in. It’s a specialty market with a lot of promise.”