THE END OF AN ERA; THE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD'S IMPENDING DECISION

The broad scale impact of the Surface Transportation Board's decision to eliminate collective ratemaking could ultimately affect 1.4 million households and 2,388 movers and motor carriers with a variety of origin and destination services per year. The primary market affected will be the COD audience. We have been advised that current corporate agreements between clients and HHG professional movers, and agreements negotiated in the future may still use industry-accepted terms and conditions (including versions of 400-N or the newly created 600) with this ruling. In fact, the opportunity to create/customize/simplify agreements between HHG movers and clients that are not the result of collective ratemaking already exists, but seldom used.

One of the largest challenges for all is that this decision could ultimately make obsolete all movers' pricing software currently integrated into movers' pricing/invoicing system with no current alternative developed. This also affects clients with auditing capabilities designed to appraise the accuracy of their providers.

Despite the mechanical, system integration, and communication challenges presented by this decision, Clark & Reid embraces the opportunity to migrate to a creative, mutually beneficial and fair pricing system that simplifies the process to Corporate Accounts, Relocation Management Company and, of course, transferees: We look forward to the innovation, creativity and simplicity afforded by this decision.

It is important to point out that the current Tariff format enables our clients to compare prices, rates and discount levels from a a uniform foundation. Clark & Reid has developed some conceptual pricing models consistent with today's current methodology, (yet simplified), which should allow clients to compare estimates.

We currently recommend averting any radical deviations from the present format, which still enables our corporate clients to effectively compare charges, but also provides their constituents with proven unit costing details for accountability and auditing purposes. As previously noted, individual agreements between clients and HHG professional movers can adapt collective ratemaking formulas (with customized components) without deviating from the STB decision. Concurrently, we applaud a collaborative effort of those affected in the Mobility Supply Chain to eliminate the current deficiencies and maximize the opportunity for a more simplified, fair and equitable format for all involved.

Without an industry-standard format, we project that some current and future clients will wish to adopt a streamlined client-specific pricing formula, challenging the service providers to accommodate multiple blueprints within their systems. You can expect Clark & Reid to be a proactive leader for simplification and clarity.