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CAM News & Updates
Chair's Message

mikekol-camengchairupdated.pngThe Oxford dictionary defines a perfect storm as “a particularly bad or critical state of affairs, arising from a number of negative and unpredictable factors.” When COVID-19 hit, it took a bite out of all of us - physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It challenged us in ways we’d never imagined. The only real positive is that our industry is experiencing some of the highest demand for moving services that we have seen in over a decade. But as we’ve heard throughout our lives from those wiser than us … “be careful what you wish for!”

So, where’s the perfect storm?

Well, COVID is just one of many adverse events that the moving industry has been having to work its way through. We’re struggling under severe labour shortages, a lack of warehouse availability in the short term (and the rising cost of warehouse space), a 10% increase in the cost of packing material and the possibility of supply being limited when ordering, a very limited supply of short-term rental equipment (especially pack vans and highway tractors), and a three- to four-fold increase in the cost of lumber due to a severe shortage of inventory, along with the ongoing insurance issues. We are now at that critical state of affairs as we are all aware that our costs are rising well above what most movers can pass onto the customer.

Back in January, I wrote that the ongoing driver shortage was only a slice of our labour woes – finding good, qualified (ambitious, resourceful, balanced) packers and helpers is equally a challenge. That has not changed as 2021 has rolled along. A lack of fresh faces at any of our available positions will truly be an industry concern for years to come.

Despite reports that some movers have marginally increased labour pay rates to lure – or keep – employees, “exhaustive manual labour” in the job description seems to limit our potential talent pool. There is now a total shift by those looking for work that’s away from our industry.

We are in the middle of that perfect storm – and labour is at the centre of it. Right now, we are far more focused on retention to just carry us through the summer, and we’ll figure out the labour issue later once the storm passes.

Whether that perfect storm, a series of events all coming together at the same time to produce catastrophic results, has struck or is swirling around you, each one of us faces a real pressure cooker situation this moving season. Add in the hot summer, continued Covid protocols (mask-wearing) and inevitable service challenges, knowing the limits of what your company can handle will go a long way to coming out on the high side of these unprecedented crossroads.

President's Message
nancypresident-engjun.pngI’m a numbers girl. I have so many spreadsheets going, especially since the pandemic started, as five or six scenarios were often needed through this 15-month guessing game of budgets and prognosticating. One spreadsheet that really caught my eye last week was our data on our referrals, enquiries, complaints and web sessions for the month of May. Our stats go back years and provide very interesting historical information.

I judge a lot of CAM’s success from this spreadsheet. It’s been a few crazy years as CAM purposely focussed its activities and messaging to be more public-facing. At the end of 2017, we introduced specific messaging to consumers on four social media platforms. Several months later, we renewed a relationship with the Better Business Bureau and began the promotion of May is Moving Month. That program has improved and expanded over the past four campaigns with key messaging urging consumers to contact CAM and go to our website to find a trusted and reliable mover. Two years ago, we started from scratch and designed a new, interactive website, with huge sections to help consumers to plan their move, find out more about moving scams, and to do their own searches for mover members in their own time.

Two weeks ago, we finished off May Is Moving Month. It was by far the biggest May that we’ve had, with at least a dozen podcasts across the country and countless news articles and interviews warning consumers about the increase in moving scams (especially since the pandemic), as well as reminding the public about CAM and the BBB and the services we both provide.

The increased publicity that May brought has amplified our social media activity as well as trips to our website. Our numbers tell it all. With four months left to go in our fiscal reporting cycle:

  • Referrals from the CAM office and through social media are up 48% over last year;
  • Online referrals, where the consumer uses our website to contact members on their own, has almost doubled (up 90%) since last year;
  • Enquiries into the office are up 8%;
  • Complaints about CAM members are down 13%, while complaints about non-members are up a whopping 61% over last year;
  • Web sessions for the first 8 months are at 90,000, an increase (so far) of 27% over last year and 228% from two years ago.

There are also some exciting mini-marketing project collaborations coming soon – we’ll talk about them in future newsletters. For now, we know our message is working, so we will continue to stay the course on our consumer communications and continue to drive people to our website.

Keep following, keep liking and keep sharing. Our social links are at the bottom of this newsletter. And if you haven’t checked out your own listing on our website, go to Member Search and find your company. Make sure that your information is up to date. We’d hate for you to miss a lead.

PS – Can I just say how encouraging it is to have our COVID section moved down in our newsletter? The news continues to be positive with 2nd vaccines, loosening of restrictions, and reopening schedules being the main topics of conversation in most of the country. Such a difference from last year. Stay vigilant though. We aren’t out of this yet!


Please welcome this new member to CAM. Why not reach out to them and say hi?


Bob The Mover offers full moving services to the Niagara Region including Niagara Falls, St Catharines, Welland, Fort Erie and beyond. In 2018, after completing his university studies in Computer Science and working in the IT industry in Japan for a couple of years, owner Bob Hanna decided to open his own moving company. His goal was to provide a quality and professional moving service in the Niagara region that customers could trust. Besides his passion for moving, Bob is also passionate about the future of the planet. With every move, Bob donates to TreeCanada in support of his Plant A Tree Niagara Campaign.

Bob The Mover
Bob Hanna, Owner


CAM Golf Registration now open!

CAM Golf Day – September 13, 2021

Join us at the beautiful Carlisle Golf Club for our 25th annual golf day. At the moment, we are going with the same successful format as last year, which includes dedicated tee times between 11:00 am - 12:40 pm. Lunch and post-game meals are included with cart and prizes.

And this year, CAM supplier Advantage Box might pay for your round! One lucky name will be drawn from those registered mover members on August 15th.

Limited space available. Register here


And we can’t do this without support. A big thank you to our sponsors. Would you like to get in on the sponsoring and prizing fun? Contact


CAM Conference Planning is Underway!

CAM Conference – November 14 – 16, 2021

Is it professional to say “woo-hoo”? With Premier Kenney’s announcement two weeks ago that Alberta will be “business as usual” within two months, we decided to dust off our conference planning file so we aren’t caught flat-footed when the hotel calls us to say they are open and ready to host us later this year, from November 14-16th.

This is our first time in Edmonton and there is a buzz from our Western members who are so looking forward to being on ‘home turf’ for only the second time in the 25-year history of the conference. Their anticipation is building with last year’s cancellation.

We aren’t going to disappoint! We have an exciting lineup of speakers who are going to be engaging our attendees in extremely topical subjects as we reboot our industry for the future. Discussions around business issues that have arisen out of the pandemic, such as the economic outlook; insurance challenges; buying, selling and diversifying your business; and the super hot topic – finding labour – are going to be at the forefront.

Attendees will be updated by the BBB and Service Alberta’s consumer protection on work that needs to be done around complaints and improving the overall industry standards. And we are also going to have a visit from lawyer Rocco Scocco – and hear about his ground-breaking work successfully taking on the largest scam moving operation in Canada. He will also update us on his joint efforts with CAM and our partners to develop a road map for consideration for instituting moving licenses, an inspection plan, and regulations in Canada.

And all this will be happening in person, respecting health and safety protocols dictated by the province of Alberta and the Federal government. We’re excited to be able to see our friends and colleagues again. Are you? Registration will open in mid-August once a final decision is made with the hotel to safely host a large indoor meeting.

CAM as well as these wonderful supporters are looking forward to welcoming you in Edmonton this November.




InfoGlobal: Interview with Moving Associations

The Netherlands’ Triglobal conducted a series of interviews with leaders in four global industry associations on the effects of Covid-19 - a year after - and the actions taken by companies and those associations to adapt to the current situation.  Find out what CAM President Nancy Irvine had to tell them.  


Mover’s Edge available in English and French

Did you know that this newsletter is available in English and French?  Would you like to receive both in the future?  Let us know and we’ll set you up.



UK customs duty revenue threatened as backlog of declarations grows

June 7, 2021 – UK Customs is “looking down the barrel of a potential nightmare” as a delay on the requirement to submit declarations nears its end and the country still lacks sufficient resources to cover the backlog.  “We’re in a situation where we have maybe millions of declarations due and we have insufficient brokers to get us out of the backlog,” a customs expert told The Loadstar.


Where’s the ceiling for box shipping?

“There aren’t currently any barriers preventing rates from continuing their ascent,” said Simon Heaney, senior manager of container research at UK consultants Drewry. “Demand is still surging and port productivity and equipment availability is worsening. Unless those conditions change – we don’t think they will until 4Q21 at the earliest – then prices will go up and up.”

Here are a few articles to bring you up to speed on this worrying issue.

June 7, 2021 – Where’s the ceiling for box shipping?

June 4, 2021 – Yantian congestion pushes box spot rates to new highs, ceiling still not in sight

How the World Ran Out of Everything

Global shortages of many goods reflect the disruption of the pandemic combined with decades of companies limiting their inventories.  In a time of extraordinary upheaval in the global economy, Just In Time is running late.


IAM conference registration now open!

Registration has opened for the world’s first and largest industry conference since the pandemic started.

The 59th International Association of Movers conference will be held in Orlando, Florida from October 13-16th. To find out more about this conference, click here.

Legal marijuana can still cost truck drivers their job

CAM_EN_Marijuana.jpgWhile a substantial portion of the population was overjoyed when Canada legalized recreational cannabis in October 2018, it’s become a nightmare for truck fleets, drivers and law enforcement. Removing marijuana from the list of illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin and amphetamines — and putting it in the same category as beer, liquor and wine — created a moral dilemma as well as safety enforcement problem.

Since trucking is federally-regulated in the U.S., cannabis remains a prohibited substance under federal workplace drug testing programs. Canadian carriers operating in that country must comply with those rules, which include random, reasonable-cause, and post-incident testing.

For Canadian drivers operating in the U.S. DOT environment, consuming cannabis is ill-advised. While it’s not illegal under Canadian laws, failing to pass a random drug screen can be a career-limiting move.

Read more of the article here.



Four Ways to Get More Clients

The moving industry is no different than any other, in the sense that companies rely on finding new customers to keep their business running.  In today’s world, you often hear about online marketing and get advice on how to spend more of your budget on marketing campaigns. But we forget the basics and tend to always complicate things when looking for solutions.  Do you want to increase your chances of booking clients? Our friends at Triglobal list four of the most resource-efficient ways to do it.




Stay up to Date!

As the majority of the country is now working on 2nd vaccinations and reopening plans, government briefings are fewer.  We are still keeping an eye on any irregularities and will update this COVID section as required. We encourage you to go to CAM’s COVID website and look for:

We also have lots of good information for consumers on preparing for their move and things they should know.  That can be found at our Advice for Consumers page.

There are still some regulations in place for entry into certain provinces. It’s critical that you know what’s going on at your destination before you send your driver. If you are going to another province, you need to know what the conditions are before you (or your customer) get there, so you can figure out if you’re going to need quarantine, SIT, or alternative arrangements for delivery.

Communication is the key to success this summer. Be smart. Be vigilant. Be safe.

Product Spotlight



Snowbirds Auto Connection Ltd.

Snowbirds Auto Connection is a family-owned and operated vehicle transport company providing reliable, door-to-door, damage-free transportation across Canada and the U.S. SAC offers a variety of services including coast-to-coast transportation, cross-border relocation and vehicle storage.

Learn More


Your ad could be here! Click above for more information about this exciting opportunity.

Learn More



US Looks to Europe in Lift Van Shortage

FEDEMAC (Federation of European Movers Associations) says the increasing demand and short supply of treated wood has created a significant shortage of lift vans for moving companies in both North America and Europe with U.S. lumber importers looking to Europe to help solve the crisis.

The Los Angeles Times reports that forest-products imports from Europe, that hit new records in 2020, is continuing with massive demand for European treated lumber particularly for home building. The biggest jump from European countries in 2020 came from Sweden and overall wood imports from Europe were up 37% in the first three months of 2021.

The lack of timber supply and the one-to-two-month delay in receiving orders is creating problems in the moving industry in both Europe and the United States, and in particular the military and government moving segments that has a core requirement to use lift vans for shipping. This week, military move management company TMM advised their moving services vendors that “new lift vans will be very difficult to source for the foreseeable future” and requested their agents take steps to “maximize use of this limited resource.”

California – AB5 – ‘’the gig workers’ bill’’ update

AB5, a bill designed to protect independent contractors, took effect in California on January 1, 2020. AB5 is designed to protect employees from being misclassified as independent contractors by employers seeking to avoid paying for benefits. Planners as well as the service providers that they hire may be viewed as employees under the new law, even for work that involves just a few hours or days.

Things have not gone to plan. Read California Moving and Storage Association’s  president Steve Weitekamp’s update here.

To learn more about the origins of AB5 and similar legislation around the United States, what has happened recently regarding AB5, and how this impacts moving companies, drivers, and laborers, click here.

Texas – Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) Tax

Whether or not the Texas state fuel tax can continue to provide sufficient funding for transportation development and maintenance has recently become an issue of much concern. The tax, as it is currently levied, generates revenue in proportion to fuel consumption, not actual use of the system. As vehicle fuel efficiency and use of alternative-fuel vehicles increases, the fuel tax system will not be a reasonable proxy for road use. Texas is proposing a vehicle miles travelled (VMT) tax which would see a 25¢ per mile surcharge being added to road users. The Texas Trucking Association (which also manages the Southwest Movers Association) understandably is against this action. Read their press release here | | Media Kit
Canadian Association of Movers (CAM)

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