Many professions have a trade association set up to look after their interests and the moving industry in the USA is no different. The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) has been carrying out this job for many years now and the history of this organization dates back almost 100 years.
In the Beginning:
The roots of the AMSA can be traced back to a number of organizations that were formed in the early part of the 20th century. These included the oldest known trade association for movers, The National Furniture Warehousemen’s Association (NFWA). This was founded during 1920 on Mackinac Island in Michigan although later moved its headquarters to Chicago, Illinois. The Household Goods Movers’ Group was established in 1935 with the aim of enhancing the business conditions for its original 150 members, while the The Household Goods Carriers’ Bureau was founded in 1936 primarily to help movers understand and comply with regulations covering the new interstates being built.
Each of these three organizations evolved separately during the middle part of the 20th century and went through a number of changes. The Household Goods Movers’ Group used a few different names before finally settling on the American Movers Conference (AMC) in 1962. It grew to become the lead trade association for moving companies, with its aim being to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the industry. It was 1982 when The National Furniture Warehousemen’s Association changed its name and became the National Moving & Storage Association (NMSA) and by this time it took on responsibility for sponsoring education, instigating training and certification for moving workers, and providing assistance to smaller moving companies in the industry. The Household Goods Carriers’ Bureau stuck with its original name although its remit changed over the years and this led to it becoming the moving industries leading organization for setting work rates, publishing tariffs, and collecting data.
The three organizations continued to work independently of each other until the early 1990s, when a series of consolidations took place that led to a single trade association being formed to represent the moving industry. This started in 1991, when the AMC and The Household Goods Carriers’ Bureau Conference agreed to work together as a way of better utilizing office space, reducing running costs, and becoming more efficient. This was a success and led to an official merger between the two in 1994. They moved forward with the American Movers Conference name and combined the work of the two organizations for the benefits of its members. Further consolidation took place in 1998 when the AMC merged with the NMSA and it was at this point that The American Moving & Storage Association came into being.
Today the AMSA acts as the sole trade association representing the workers in the moving industry. It has a membership of more than 4,000 companies and this encompasses all sizes of businesses, from the smallest local movers to the largest countrywide moving corporations. It also represents international movers working in America, supply companies servicing the moving industry, and state moving organizations. Through its work it aims to be the leading certifier of workers in the industry, inform the public of the benefits of using professional moving companies, and effectively lobby the government when it comes to legislation and policies that could affect the industry.
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