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CPPC 2014 Convention Summation Pg

CPPC 2014 Convention Session Summaries

We realize it is not possible for everyone to attend our events.  In hope to give insight on the sessions that were presented, we have supplied summations of the sessions.   The presentations that included any visuals presentations or handouts, that have been authorized to be shared, will be available on the CPPC website as soon as available.

�–�Industry Highlight and future predictions:

            Guest speakers:  Scott Michael – Acting President and CEO of AMSA

                                        Terry Head – President of IAM

Scott being Acting President and CEO of the American Moving & Storage Association started out the presentation by advising there are 4,000 members in AMSA which includes 2,400 local agents – focusing on advocacy and education – largest customer is the military.

He continued to mention that we have been in a 3 year partnership with CPPC – focusing on the Safety and Ops Conference linked with our fall meetings as well as partnering at the same hotel for events to benefit both organizations.

The latest challenges of the moving industry are:

  • Economy drop from 5 - 6 years ago
  • Last 3 – 4 years have been flat in volume
  • The first 8 months of this year 2.4% down in moving industry with corporate business flat -private customers down 2.3% and military down 8.6% - however the GSA was up 12 ½%  with an overall percentage of 2.4% down this year so far. 

Capacity - # drivers/crew declined as falling with capacity levels – lack of service, failures & crews not trained properly.  20% of drivers lost during recession – drivers could not finance the equipment.  A goal set is to attract drivers to our business again.

Scott provided this website on industry:  movingdrivers.org 

The challenge of the moving industry is claims prevention – educate workers to prevent damage – create advanced technology to assist.   As an industry, what can be done to prevent damage?  Focus on generating more revenue to train better people on the job! 

Discussed the CARB (California Air Resources Band) in California where the engine age on driver’s equipment impacts air pollution. The decision is to either update their equipment or not take any shipments in/out of California if their engine does not comply with regulations by this state.

Terry being the President of the International Association of Moversthen spoke advising that in 1997 there were 900 members of the IAM and currently they have 2,500 members with 3/4 of membership outside the US.

They have shared membership with AMSA and keep the line of communication open between the two organizations.  For this peak season, the Global/International front is doing good.  China is a “big” customer as well as Portugal, Spain & Africa.

The culture of wanting more for lesser price is the current business and we have to be acceptable that the culture of claims is changing

Big impact to industry is the alternative transportation– portable mobile storage containers with multiple handlers involved. 

Mold & Mildew continues to be a huge discussion on claim panels especially in the International world with inside containers.

This session with Scott & Terry ran about an hour with a question/answer at the end of their presentation.

By: Linda Hamiltion – SIRVA 

�–�Military—What is happening now?

             Panel:  Steve Kelley - Army;

                         Virginia Eilmus – Navy

The meeting started by discussing the new hot topic- Mold Business Rules that went into effect this summer

Steve Kelly stated that there are 4 major roles in this: the member/owner, TSP-carrier, PPSO and MCO

When mold is discovered the TSP in possession of the goods is responsible for mitigating the loss and initiating remediation immediately.  Contact the MCO to notify of the damage and to initiate a record of the incident. It would also be wise to notify the carrier at fault if the last handler is not the responsible party.  Put the responsible party on notice.  If it is going to be more costly to remediate than to cash out that must be considered in the process as well.  The new rules are available on the SDDC website

Chuck White asked about a hypothetical situation in which there might be 2 crates on the shipment and only one is involved with mold is it still OK to deliver the other crate to the customer and remediate the contaminated crate.  The answer Steve Kelly provided was that it would be OK but there must be an inspector to confirm and verify that there is no mold present on the crate being delivered.

More customers are aware of mold and it is not being labeled as the new asbestos!!  Per Virginia Eilmus, there are 2 court cases out there currently being tried regarding mold and mildew issues

There was extensive discussion about where, who and how to report these situations and if the TSP will be compensated by the government for the remediation in excess of the TSP liability

Property damage was discussed.  This is currently the sole responsibility of the TSP to handle.  Per Steve Kelly this is not covered by the government YET in any rules.  As is stands now the customer must notify the TSP about any damage to the residence.  The TSP is responsible to address this directly with the customer.  Discussion ensued regarding the proper method of documenting any property damage and the reporting process.  Property damage claims will be addressed in the future so that MCO can step in if the customer is not being treated fairly by the TSP. The military will work with the industry to write the rules for this process.

The self-counseling of the service member was discussed.  Steve Kelly advised that he thought the first and last move was not self-counseling it was face to face. 

It was discussed that the TSP should not mail the check to the customer prior to the customer’s acceptance in DPS.  If the customer has received payment from the TSP then transfers the claim to the MCO the TSP is responsible for sending all documents and to inform the MCO that the customer has been issued a check.

The salvage process was also discussed at length since the rule is unclear as to the deadline to exercise the TSP’s right to salvage.  Virginia Eilmus indicated that her office tries to encourage the customer to settle with the TSP directly and her office might step in and negotiate to get a resolution of the claim.

As always when we have these meetings with the military services the time is always too short to discuss all the topics that need to be addressed.  It was a great session and we appreciate the services willingness to attend our meetings.By: Kathy Kendall – Wheaton World Wide Moving – Bekins Van Lines 

�–�Town Hall Meeting

1)         A big round of applause to Alan for arranging the tour.  It was a great way to spend the evening.

2)         By-law Review – the board appointed a committee to review the by-laws – chair is Brenda McCandless;             committee       members are:  Dan Manning, Bill See, Kathy Kendall and Linda Hamilton - any suggestions or         comments that the       membership wants to the committee and/or board to considered should be e-mailed to             them as soon as possible.  Any           recommended charges will be announced to the general membership at             least 30 days in advance of the spring            workshop.

3)         The spring workshop will be in Indianapolis at The Alexander which is near Conseco Field house. Ensure you             get your reservations in early.  CPPC should be the only group in the hotel.  The meeting is two weeks earlier             next spring (April 10 & 11).  Nice restaurant and bar area.

4)         Fall 2015 is back in New Orleans.  Last time we were there was 2007.   Hotel  Monteleone – Sept 14th &             15th (early).  They still have the Carousel bar. 

5)         Spring 2016 will be back in St Louis and fall will be in Las Vegas.

6)         2017 – CPPC’s 50th Anniversary – spring will be in Chicago (where it all started) and we will celebrate with a          gala.   Fall will be somewhere on the east coast but a destination has not been determined.

7)         Everyone will receive a questionnaire in the near future and we hope that you will share any suggestions you             have for programming for these events. 

8)         Growth in the organization and event attendance plays a major role in negotiations for room rates, food and             meeting space.  90% of the registration fee goes toward food & beverage.  Since the travel industry is             rebounding it is more difficult to negotiate good room rates as demand outweighs supply.

9)         We are trying to limit board participation in the breakouts and open sessions to allow others the opportunity to         step forward as presenters.  Please consider volunteering to chair a panel or break out session.

10)       Website advertising is ready for your use.  We have some great packages and pricing options.  Latest addition           is membership page advertising.  Everyone’s profile will have a second page and you will be able to put a    photo on it.  Our goal is to have the member page ready by December.

11)       The 2nd page of the member page will be free flow or checklist of things where you can share more info about   services your provide or specialty items.

12)       AMSA partnership will continue.  We are still working on the Pro-Mover. We will also be partnering with the             on education.

13)       Committee update presented.  Committees are: 

            Membership – Dave Kummerow;

             Mentoring program is being developed  - Laura Pung/Wheaton & Tom Kuhns/West Interior will be  working on this project.  They intend to structure this so that new members have someone to guide them through the processes as they join the organization.

            Insurance – in order to get this off the ground there is a need for more participation from the vendors.  Request  was made for vendors to bring their insurance declaration page to the spring work shop so that the  committee can research viable insurance options for them and make a proposal.  Mitch Treider was the     first customer and has realized a substantial savings by buying into this program that is being offered.

            Input – what brings you to the workshop? Convention?  Location? Content? What holds your interest?

            Education – Debbie Morales

            At the summer board meeting a decision was made to increase the education opportunities for the    membership.  Our goal is to have certification courses available for new people to the industry,                intermediate courses and advanced courses – these will allow everyone to continue to grow in their claims knowledge and claims settlement skills.  Once certification has been achieved it is our intent to list this on your profile on the membership page on the CPPC website.  Harnessing the strength of  AMSA along with our efforts will give this program more strength.

            Social – Brandi Johnston

                        Spring workshop theme – Mardi Gras – promoting the fall convention

                        Fall convention theme – masquerade ball

                        Suggestions on networking options for the reception are welcomed.

14)       Open Floor Discussion: profiles need to be updated on a regular basis so we ask that everyone check their’s   and notify the office if changes needed;  Tom K. commented that finding a repair firm by mileage does not always get you the best service for the job and he asks that everyone do something in their systems that   indicated preferred vendors;  Alan advised that you needa separate ID and password for each listing in the  profile:  Message to vendors –please return calls; Vendors – also update where you service.

15)       Advertisers – thank you – we apologize for any errors in your ads.

16)       Board seats – 3 year term seats opening in the spring which are currently held by:  Kimmie             Loeffler/Armstrong Relocation;  Kathy Kendall/Whetaon World Wide Moving/Bekins Van Lines; and Bill             See/See Restorations Unltd, Inc.

By: Brenda McCandless – Atlas World Group, Inc.

�–�Transportation Law                  Guest Speaker - Marian Weilert Sauvey - Atlas World Group, Inc.                   "Carmack Amendment"  has it changed over the years?  What do you need to know? 

 At this fall's CPPC Convention, Marian Weiler Sauvey, an attorney with Atlas Van Lines, presented a clear and concise overview of the Carmack Amendment. A summary of the discussion points follows..

Firstly, everyone should be aware that the Carmack Amendment is amending the Interstate Commerce Act.  It is officially known as title 49 United States Code (U.S.C) subject 14706.  The Carmack was originally adopted for railroads in 1906 but was applied to interstate motor carriers in 1935.  The wording and language has stayed virtually unchanged since 1906, except for household goods liability limits. However, there are numerous court cases each year which argue the interpretation of the Carmack Amendment and how it applies on a case-by-case basis.

The Carmack Amendment sets forth that an interstate carrier shall issue a receipt or a bill of lading for property it receives and that the carrier is liable to the person entailed to recover under that bill of lading.  The liability imposed is for the actual loss or injury to the property caused by any carrier involved in the transportation.  Translated: a carrier is liable as a virtual insurer for goods tendered to it for transportation.  The issue is not whether any of the carriers were negligent, but that it is not incumbent on the shipper to prove either negligence or to determine which carrier caused the damage.   While individual case law is critical, the Carmack makes no reference to exceptions, delay claims, or state law provisions.  . 

Secondly, there are some important points to understand about the Carmack Amendment.  The Carmack Amendment preempts all state law cases involving interstate transportation and claims handling issues.  Disclosed agents of carriers are also protected by the Carmack; i.e., they have no liability.  For example, if a repair firm gets cited in a suit against a carrier, there is POTENTIAL protection for the repair firm under the Carmack. It should be noted that the Carmack Amendment does NOT apply to INTRA-state claims.

Shipper and carrier are both charged with responsibility from start to finish. In the event that the goods are damaged on arrival, a shipper MUST prove that the shipment was turned over in good condition. The shipper must also prove the amount of the damages.  Conversely, the carrier must prove that the shipper did not provide the goods in good condition when tendered or that the shipper has NOT proven that the goods were in damaged condition when delivered, and that an exception applies which would free the carrier from any form of negligence. 

There are exceptions to the Carmack liability regarding the carrier if they are able to prove that the loss, damage or delay was caused by an act of the shipper, an act of God, and act of public authority, and act of war, or that the inherent nature or vice of the goods being shipped has a propensity for damage.  Additionally, other exceptions to Carmack liability include damage due to atmospheric changes (temperature and/or humidity), radioactive or atomic weapons, illegal contraband, acts of terrorism, or delays due to labor disputes or civil commotion.

There are also specifics regarding any item which was packed by the owner (PBO). The shipper must prove that the items were in good condition prior to their being sealed, which the carrier cannot inspect. If there was faulty packing by the shipper and the carrier was not negligent, the act of shipper defense may apply. 

Based on the above, there are some critical questions which claims personnel and repair firms must ask when dealing with loss/damage or delay.  Was this damage transit related?  Was the item in good condition when it was tendered to the carrier?  Was the item damaged when it was delivered?  Is this inherent vice?  Is this damage due to the act of the shipper?  The most important take-away for everyone involved is to document EVERYTHING!

Regarding the damages, there are further responsibilities for shipper and carrier. The shipper must prove the amount of the damages (amounts claimed, proof of value etc.).  The Carmack states that damages are "…actual loss or injury to the property."  In other words, a depreciated value.  In 2005, for household goods, the Carmack damages are the, "replacement value of the goods" which is subject to declared value, Surface Transportation Board (STB) rules, and applicable tariffs.  The STB places the minimum replacement value at $6 per pound.

There are, however, limitations of liability.  A carrier may limit its liability to less than that provided in the Carmack by maintaining a tariff (applicable to household goods only), offering the shipper a choice of rates of valuation (not insurance) in exchange for different liability limits, obtaining the written agreement of the shipper to that liability limit, and issuing a bill of lading reflecting the option of valuation selected. For non-contract household good shipments, the STB has approved $.60 per pound per article as released value.  Estimates must include not only a warning notice, but the shipper must also specifically waive the default full value protection (FVP) in writing. Otherwise, FV applies.

Obviously, no carrier, van line, or agent intends to damage a shipper's household goods, but what happens when items are damaged?  Under most tariff provisions the carrier has the option to repair or replace an item.  For pairs and sets, it is dependent on the item. An example might be a lost glove, where you can't buy just one glove, or a sofa and love seat set, where a tear in one, doesn't necessarily mean you have to replace them both.  While the carrier may also be liable for loss of value of a damaged item, this loss of value must be proven. And the carrier is NOT liable for emotional loss or sentimental value. 

According to part 370 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) number 49, or 49 CFR part 370, a claim is a written or electronic communication filed within applicable time limits.  The claim must identify the shipment, assert liability for loss, damage, or delay and be a specified or determinable amount of money.  Any statute that provides a minimum time period for filing a claim is not a statute of limitations, but a contractual limitation period. The standard answer is nine months, but a carrier must have a contract/bill of lading or tariff provision which establishes the actual time period.  Another questionable situation exists regarding the timeliness of the shipper's claim submission if the damages cannot be determined in a timely manner.  There is existing case law regarding the issue of timely claims.   However, the statute provides that the period for bringing suit cannot be less than two years.  The clock starts ticking for filing suit after there has been a disallowance of a claim, and this disallowance must be clear, final, and unequivocal.

Beware that the shipper is not required by the courts to use a carrier claim form.  Therefore, a fax or email from the shipper could legally be considered a claim, even if the shipper submits a claim letter with an estimated dollar value which may seem exorbitant.  Depending on where the shipper resides, an estimate of their damages may or may not meet the requirements for declaring the value of their goods.   

In conclusion, when dealing with damages and claims, everything you say or do can be used against you.  Anybody can sue at any time for anything, even if you were perfect from soup to nuts!  Every decision is a business decision which can and will affect the bottom line.  And if there is any doubt, there is NO doubt.  Talk to your lawyer before you make any rash decisions.  Also, keep in mind that this is a presentation regarding strict interpretation of the law .  There are many ways that both shipper and carrier could argue their respective sides when it comes to liability, valuation, damage, and claims.  At the end of the day, take a few pearls of wisdom from Marian Sauvey, and execute accordingly.

By: Chris Armes – Weathersby Guild - Savannah

�–�International - Mold Business Rules Germany & Italy                    Moderator - Tyler Smith - Government Logistics N V

The moderator for this session was Tyler Smith from Government Logistics N V.  The presentation contained information regarding the formation of the SDDC subcommittee in 2012.  The committee outlined how mold should be handled by the TSP.    The TSP should contact the PBSO by phone or email and the responsible PBSO will make arrangements for a QC.    If mold is discovered, the TSP will contact the customer and the PPSO will notify the MCO which will then determine if circumstances warrant remediation or disposal.

There are several problems with the MCO making determinations for how the situation should be handled.  The first concern is that the MCO does not know the value of any items involved and taking the claims adjudication away from the TSP. The second concern would be the delays in the MCO to provide information in a timely manner.  Finally the last concern discussed was there is no specific contact.

The session also discussed the specifics regarding the responsibilities of the TSP.  The TSP is not responsible if there are no signs of water penetration into the container, code J/T shipments and acts of God.  The TSP is still responsibility for mitigation.  The TSP can be reimbursed for SIT, prep of the new inventory, repacking, new container, mold remediation and estimate fees if the TSP is not liable.  Finally, the TSP is liable if they load the shipment while it is raining.

Mr. Smith ended the presentation with some fun facts regarding Germany’s culture.

By: Chuck Russell – UniGroup, Inc. 

�–�What is involved in clearing access to a military base for an assignment?                    Speaker - Michael Reed - A CIV CNIC HQ, N3AT

Mr. Reed gave us an overview of the problems facing the Navy in securing their installations and recent happenings that caused the Navy to clamp down on access. He also discussed the recent failures of the TWIC card program. Industry members discussed the problems of local moving companies as well as their repair venders are having accessing military installations.    AMSA and IAM pointed out that the trouble seems to stem from the fact that our industry’s installation access is not tied to a specific contract but rather tender generated.   Mr. Reid agreed to approach TRANSCOM and the SDDC in an effort to facilitate the dialogue between the various security divisions and the industry’s access needs.  Contact information was exchanged and promises to keep the dialogue ongoing were made.  Both IAM and AMSA have a very keen interest in this topic and are making arrangement to incorporate this issue into future agendas.

By: Dori Bledsoe – Eagle Claim Service – Coleman World Group  

�–�Today’s Professional Mover—Our Customer

                  Moderator: Rick Nixon – Nixon Claims                   Panel:        Ron Rogers - Southwest Resources                                     Pam Johnson - National Claims Services, Inc.

Moving is stressful-reasons people might not be happy they are moving which could cause problems on the move:

•           Move for work

•           Military or employer wants you to move

•           Loved the city where you lived, leaving friends and family

•           Military customer about to be deployed leaving loved ones to deal with the move

            How can we help them through the transition to their new city:

•           Answer their questions, give them the phone #s they need to get assistance.

•           Take lots of photos

•           Repair firm state the facts in their reports

            Van lines need to make sure the repair firms have the inventories and that they can read them

            Military claimants are filing faster than they did before DPS, often the adjuster receives the at delivery form but no after delivery form the customer has just simply filed their claim instead.

            When the van line or agent assign a claim for repairs they expect:

•           Receive the report in a timely manner, include photos, brand and model #s

•           provide what the cost to repair would be even if the recommendation is to deny just in case the van line or agent wishes to make an offer to the customer

•           any documents that the customer has provided you at the time of inspection

•           no derogatory comments about the custom  Repair reports are provided to the MCO when the claim is transferred so keep them clean.  The customer often    receives a copy of that report as well.

It was brought up that it would be helpful if there was a way to obtain origin photos of the furniture items. It was mentioned that there are inventories out there that are electronic where the driver or agent can include a photo of the item being moved.

A question was raised about what happens when a customer wraps the entire shipment with paper before a driver loads the shipment what do they do to protect themselves?

When this happens it is up to the individual van lines or agents how that is handled.   Some treat those items as a PBO or packed by owner carton since the van line did not have the opportunity to inspect and make notations at origin.  If it is a military shipment the items but be inspected and notations made to the damage, if the items need to be wrapped again the driver will need to get approval from the military to bill for additional labor or the customer must wrap the items again.

By: Kathy Kendall – Wheaton World Wide Moving – Bekins Van Lines 

�–�Social Hour with Julie D’Arca

            Insurance Claims and all you wanted to know

                   Moderator: Julie D'Arca - UNIRISC, Inc.

                   Panel:       Brenda Murray – At Your Service Appraisals

                                    Debbie Morales – Metro Claims and Relocation

                                    Kathy Kendall – Wheaton World Wide Moving / Bekins Van Lines

The dynamic panel was led by the illustrious, Julie D’ Arca.  Her co-harts in crime were Kathy Kendall from Wheaton-Bekins. Debbie Morales from Metro Claims Services and Brenda Murray, ISA from At Your Service Appraisals. 

Julie began her panel by passing out glasses of champagne and $1,000 candy bars.  If you missed this session I am sure you are VERY SORRY!!

Brenda Murray was asked to explain what was needed in order to do appraisals for insurance companies and van line adjusters.  I explained that I needed good photos of the entire piece, the technician’s report, the claim form and inventory sheets.   All of these items together allow me to get the “whole story” and determine a more accurate Appraisal Replacement Cost/Value.  We discussed how important measurements, types of wood, original hardware and other pertinent information is to the process.  Sometimes these make a really huge difference in value.  We discussed pre-existing issues from the inventory sheets.   Prior damage is key to the appraised replacement value as well as determining Loss of Value for items.

Debbie Morales, as a repair technician said that there are differences between insurance and van line claims.  She explained that the insurance companies usually have guidelines explaining the different types of coverage they carry.  She discussed underwriting for insurance claims as well as national account contracts for moving companies.   She discussed detail reports with proper information.  

Kathy Kendall said it is very important for repair technicians to state whether each item is transit related for subrogation back to the driver/contractor.  As an adjuster Kathy stressed accurate report writing with many details.  If she receives quality reports she will not have to call for further information and the process runs smoothly and quickly.  However, if there are issues that should not be stated for legal purposes she appreciates a phone call to discuss this.  We were asked to remember that anything that is put in writing can be used in court.

By: Brenda Murray – At Your Service Appraisals

�–�Agents—Local/Interstate and Property Damages

                   M oderator: Shari Luksch - Alexander's Mobility Services

                    Panel:      Pam Fischer – Buehler’s Companies

                                    Elizabeth Fix – Planes Moving & Storage, Inc.

Panel started talking about Property Damage, ways to avoid, waivers that can be signed.  Discussion about if waivers really do hold up should the matter go to court. 

The panel discussed ways to prevent property damage by driver and crews and how more and more repair firms are refusing to do the repairs on pre-manufactured floors.  It is being seen, that most times they cannot satisfy the customers and 9 times out of 10 the floor needs replaced.  Discussion was had about ongoing training with crews and drivers on how to avoid damages.  The panel also discussed other topics that the members would like to see going forward from agents and/or agent adjusters, as it seems that discussions tend to cover the same subjects all the time.  Those attending were asked to think about items they as agents, repair firms and adjusters would like to see covered in future breakout sessions. 

�–�Repair Assignments and expected communications                         Moderator: Steve Bentz - Bentz & Weathersby                    Panel:       Jason Miglore - Weathersby Guild-Richmond                                     Laura Pung - Wheaton World Wide Moving / Bekins Van Lines 
                        Do you know what is expected or how to find that out?                                                               Are you making the grade?

                                                       -  vs  -

                                We Can Repair—Can You?

                         What language are you speaking?

                         How do I get a piece of that pie?

Opening was a skit of a claim being opened on the phone.  They showed the different nuances involved with communicating between the repair firm, the shipper and the adjuster or customer service representative.

Laura spoke about the van line expectations; early contact, keeping reports confidential, concise reports, and the importance of phoning the adjuster with any questions pertaining to the claim.

Jason spoke about legible claim forms and emails.  He stated that sometimes it is a problem for the repair firm when they receive information that is not legible. The audience replied it was important to reiterate info on the claim form (address, phone number, date / time of appt.).

It was touched on about the difficulty of getting releases signed when dealing with both husband and wife.  Sometimes while dealing with the wife the husband will come in at the tail end and he is not on the same page as the wife.  It is best to have the person you have been dealing with to sign the release.

Steve spoke about alternate ways for vendors to make money (water & fire claims).

Information was received from the audience about ways to become involved with commercial work.

By: Dan Manning – Manning Claim Services