SIRVA

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SIRVA, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Technology & Business Process Outsourcing & Transportation
Founded 1998 (1998)
Headquarters Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Products Relocation and Moving Services
Website SIRVA.com

SIRVA, Inc. (formerly Allied Worldwide), based in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, is a privately owned moving industry holding company which resulted from the merger of Allied Van Lines with North American Van Lines. The corporate name was coined from the Latin word servire, "to serve." [1]

SIRVA is a worldwide provider of relocation and moving solutions, providing more than 230,000 relocations per year to corporations, government employees, and individual consumers through its companies. SIRVA companies include Allied, Allied International, Allied Pickfords, DJK Residential, Global, northAmerican, northAmerican International, SIRVA Mortgage, SIRVA Relocation, SIRVA Move Management, SIRVA Global Relocation and SIRVA Settlement. Company services include home purchase and home sale services, household goods moving, mortgage services and home closing and settlement services.[2]

The company was formed in 1999 when private equity company Clayton, Dubilier and Rice merged its Allied and North American businesses. In 2002, it traded on the New York Stock Exchange under its new SIRVA name with the ticker symbol of "SIR." Since 2008, the company has been privately held.

Business overview[edit]

SIRVA, Inc. is a global moving and relocation services (mobility) company. It operates under the North American Van Lines and Allied Van Lines brands in the U.S. and several other brands globally. SIRVA provides services in three distinct customer channels:[3]

  • Corporations that pay for the relocation of their employees
  • Governments that pay for the relocation of military and civilian personnel
  • Individual households that pay for their own relocation

Products & services[edit]

SIRVA provides relocation and household goods moving products and services through a global network of service providers and agent moving companies.[4]

Global Relocation Services[edit]

  • Home Sale. SIRVA manages the appraisal process on behalf of its customers and arranges for the sale of a transferring employee’s home. SIRVA provides these services under two different product offerings: a traditional model and a fixed-fee model. Under a traditional model, SIRVA provides all services on a cost plus basis, and any loss on the home sale and all holding costs incurred while the home is “in inventory” are borne by the customer. Under a fixed-fee model, SIRVA provides all of these services to its U.S. customers for a fixed-fee, set as a percentage of the price paid to the transferee to acquire his or her home. For both product offerings, SIRVA uses a network of independent real estate brokers to assist with the transferee home sale and, in the United States, receive a referral fee from the broker.
  • Home Purchase. SIRVA uses a network of independent real estate brokers to assist corporate transferees in locating a new home at the destination location.
  • Mortgage Origination. SIRVA provides mortgage services to its customers’ transferring employees, underwriting the mortgage for a transferee’s home purchase. Before a mortgage is underwritten, SIRVA obtains the agreement of one of various third-party financial institutions to purchase the mortgage.
  • Destination Services. SIRVA sells a range of services including city orientation, school selection, visa and immigration management, language and cultural training, and other services. SIRVA provides these services through a combination of third-party contractors and SIRVA employees. In cases where SIRVA uses a third party for these services, it typically receives a referral fee from the service provider.
  • Global Services. SIRVA has Global Service Centers in 13 countries, with a network of certified business suppliers in 149 countries.
  • Move Management. SIRVA provides move management services to transferring employees, coordinating the packing, storage and moving of a transferring employee’s household goods, as well as assistance with questions and claims. SIRVA provides these services through its own fulfillment network or, at a customer's direction, through a non-SIRVA moving company.

SIRVA provides all of these relocation services through operating centers located in and around major metropolitan areas throughout the world: the United States, Asia, continental Europe, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. SIRVA has a staff of relocation specialists that coordinates the extended network of service providers, including moving services companies, real estate brokers, appraisers and destination service providers. For individual transferring employees, SIRVA provides the full range of relocation services through a lead relocation counselor, who draws on other specialists as needed during the relocation process. SIRVA also offer consumers a range of relocation services through employee programs provided by customers and member programs provided by associations and member service organizations. These services include real estate broker referrals, mortgage financing and moving services.[4]

Moving Services North America[edit]

SIRVA provides interstate moving services, including household goods packing, storage and transportation services, throughout the United States and Canada. Key products and services include:

  • Household Goods Moving Services. In North America, SIRVA primarily provides its household goods moving services through a network of 600+ branded agents. Agents are independently-owned local moving companies that provide customers with the local packing, warehousing and the majority of the hauling required to support household moves. The SIRVA network of agents and their drivers own most of the equipment used in its moving operations. SIRVA acts as a network manager for its agents, providing, among other services, brand management, sales and marketing support, interstate dispatch and planning, billing, collection and claims handling. SIRVA also has a centralized consumer contact center in the United States. SIRVA holds U.S. transportation authority for all interstate moves and has entered into contracts with local agents with respect to interstate moves and recognize revenues accordingly.
  • Agent Network. SIRVA has developed long-term relationships with the branded agents in its network, and some of its agents have been affiliated with the company for several generations. The relationship with each agent is governed by an agency contract that defines the terms and conditions of the agent’s exclusive representation of SIRVA in all interstate household goods shipments, as well as the compensation structure for services provided.
  • Owner-Operators. Owner-operators are independent contractors who work with the agent network and SIRVA to provide household goods and specialty transportation fulfillment services. In most circumstances, they own their trucks and coordinate obtaining the labor needed to service customer moves.[4]

Moving Services Europe and Asia Pacific[edit]

Through its multiple brands in Europe and the Asia Pacific region, SIRVA provides international household goods packing, storage and moving services. In Europe and the Asia Pacific region, SIRVA primarily provides household goods moving services, as well as office and industrial moving services, through a combination of company-operated locations, a proprietary agent network, and a network of affiliated preferred providers. SIRVA operates a majority of the fulfillment assets in the United Kingdom and the Asia Pacific regions. During 2006 and the first quarter of 2007, SIRVA disposed of a number of European owned properties, thereby shifting towards a less capital-intensive business model.[4]

SIRVA History[edit]

In 1998, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice organized SIRVA to acquire North American Van Lines, Inc, one of the largest U.S. moving services companies by numbers of shipments, from Norfolk Southern Corporation. In 1999, SIRVA acquired the Allied and Pickfords businesses from NFC plc. Several other acquisitions followed in 2002 and 2003. SIRVA recognized a trend with corporate customers outsourcing all aspects of an employee relocation to relocation service providers, including household goods relocation. As a result, SIRVA acquired the relocation services businesses of Cooperative Resource Services (CRS) in May 2002. Another relocation services provider acquisition, Rowan Simmons in the UK, followed later that year. SIRVA opened an office in Hong Kong in 2003 and acquired another relocation services provider, PRS Europe of Belgium, in 2003. SIRVA is unique in the industry in that it contains both relocation companies and moving companies under its aegis; its main competitors are one or the other.[3]

On February 11, 2002 Allied Worldwide was renamed to SIRVA, Inc.[5] SIRVA, Inc. announced its initial public offering, and its common shares became listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "SIR".[5] During its first year as a public company in 2003, SIRVA reported operations in 40 countries with over 7,700 employees. Its network of service providers operated in 175 countries. It had revenue of $2.35 billion and assets of $1.55 billion. It provided services to 38% of the Fortune 500 companies, among 2,500 corporate clients world-wide. SIRVA had 760 moving agents; these agents had a fleet size of 7,800 vehicles.[3] During February 2008, the company entered bankruptcy and re-organized, emerging in May 2008 as a private company.[6]

SIRVA periodically acquires businesses to expand its service offering and global presence. During 2011, SIRVA acquired Peninsular Properties in Hong Kong, a real estate company providing a full range of destination services. During 2012, SIRVA acquired Concept Mobility Services, a São Paulo, Brazil-based relocation and move management company. During 2013, SIRVA announced it opened an office in Doha, Qatar under the SIRVA brand Allied Pickfords.[7]

History of SIRVA brands[edit]

Allied and North American Van Lines[edit]

SIRVA, Inc. is a combination of businesses with a long history. Allied Van Lines (AVL) was founded in 1928 and North American Van Lines (NAVL) was founded in 1933. Beginning in late 1964, NAVL created its High Value Products Division (HVPD), which later was bought out from SIRVA and taken private as an independent company named Specialized Transportation Inc. The original division began with 20 drivers from the NAVL Exhibit and Display Division, and moved high value electronics for defense installations, contracted by Control Data Corporation, IBM and the computer division of General Electric.[5] In 1979 NAVL moved to the top of the list among the six largest van lines.[5]

On May 3, 1984 NAVL was approved for sale by PepsiCo Inc. (NYSEPEP) to Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSENSC) for US$315 million.[8] At the same time PepsiCo was also negotiating sale of Lee Way Motor Freight, as a further move in its divestment of its transportation division.[9]

Over the subsequent two years NAVL was merged with the railroad in a deal that had been initially approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission, but then went through some rocky times in the ICC approval process after that.[5] [10] [11] In 1992 Norfolk Southern's trucking operations, including NAVL, recorded a loss of close to $40 million, and Norfolk Southern Corp. decided to sell off two of its trucking divisions in 1993, although it retained NAVL for another five years. In 1998 Norfolk Southern exited the trucking business entirely when it sold NAVL.[8]

On January 12, 1998, NAVL was bought out from Norfolk Southern Corp. by the private investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice for more than US$200 million.[5] On November 21, 1999, Clayton, Dubilier and Rice also completed their acquisition of Allied Van Lines and merged it with North American Van Lines to create Allied Worldwide, although each former company maintained its own profile names. Valued at approximately US$450 million in the merger, the Allied Worldwide combined entity became the world's largest relocation and van line logistics company.[5]

Other events[edit]

On October 11, 2004, a group of 43 North American Van Lines' agents, named the Specialized Transportation Agent Group Inc., purchased NAVL's High Value Products Division from SIRVA. The buyers renamed the new company Specialized Transportation Inc. (STI).[12] On August 1, 2005, SIRVA sold its warehouse operation business to Lake Capital, a banking company. The employees who transferred to the new company were allowed to dub it NAL Worldwide, which is a limited liability company. The NAL doesn't stand for anything in particular, but it does beckon to a familiar sound to previous customers and anyone else familiar with the old North American Logistics. NAL is chiefly involved in warehousing operations and logistics.

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