Careers at U-Haul
Amerco (which operates and is synonymous with the U-Haul business) aims to provide a range of services that enable consumers to store and transport their belongings as conveniently, efficiently, and reliably as possible.
Amerco was founded in Ridgefield, Washington 1945 by husband and wife Leonard and Anna Mary Shoen. It initially operated as a sole proprietorship under the name U-Haul Trailer Rental Company.
The couple had previously tried to rent a utility trailer to move their belongings from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon but were unable to find a provider.
They were consequently forced transport only what they could fit into their car. It was during their journey from California to Oregon that the couple formulated concept behind and outline for U-Haul.
The Shoens bought their first trailers from welding shops or second hand from private owners, and within two weeks having left Los Angeles, their first U-Haul trailer was available for rent.
By the end of 1945, the business had 30 open trailers available for rental from several service station lots in Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle.
By the end of 1949, it was possible to rent a trailer one way from city to city throughout most of the US, and by 1955 throughout most of Canada. By the end of the 1950s, the U-Haul Trailer fleet comprised around 42,600 trailers.
U-Haul has established itself as the leading provider of storage and do-it-yourself trailer services in North America.
The Shoen family continues to hold a major stake in the Company via its holding company Amerco.
U-Haul currently operates more than 21,000 locations across all 50 US states and 10 Canadian provinces, and controls a fleet of more than 161,000 trucks, 118,000 trailers and 42,000 towing devices.
The Company also U-Haul offers more than 632,000 rooms and more than 55.2 million square feet of storage space at owned and managed facilities throughout North America.
Business model of U-Haul
U-Haul provides services to a large customer base comprising members of the general consumer population.
The Company’s core customers comprise consumers who require additional storage or moving solutions, including:
- Students, comprising students and families who need to move belongings long distances as part of attendance at college or university;
- Holidaymakers, comprising individuals, groups, and families that require additional space to transport belongings for short or long-term domestic vacations;
- Sports Enthusiasts, comprising sports fans and fans of leisure activities that require additional space to transport specialist sporting equipment;
- Homeowners, comprising families and individuals who own or rent property that require extra space to store goods or capacity to move belongings between properties; and
- Home Improvement Enthusiasts, comprising individuals who enjoy taking on do-it-yourself home improvement project who require extra carrying capacity for materials and equipment.
U-Haul also provides services to commercial customers, typically small or medium-sized businesses that do not operate their own logistics fleets.
U-Haul has an extensive customer base across North America. It serves customers across all 50 US states, as well as in 10 Canadian provinces.
U-Haul provides value to its customers in the following ways:
- Brand Strength and Reputation – U-Haul has established itself as the most popular and best known provider of do-it-yourself storage and moving solutions in North America, with an recognisable brand name and a positive reputation that dates back to the 1940s;
- Convenience and Accessibility – U-Haul offers a range of services that can allow customers to store and transport items on a self-service basis, allowing the customers flexibility in the time and way that they achieve their own storage and transportation goals;
- Sales and Service Reach – U-Haul operates an extensive network of sales outlets and storage facilities, including more than 21,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces, as well as offering services through its online portal and mobile app, ensuring that customers can access its service with ease;
- Range of services – U-Haul offers customers a wide range of storage and moving services, as well as ancillary insurance services, and propane sales services, ensuring that it is able to serve the needs of a broad range of customers; and
- Affordability – U-Haul seeks to make its services affordable so that they can be accessed by customers across all income levels.
U-Haul primarily serves its customers directly via its network of storage and service centres.
The Company currently operates a network of more than 21,000 service locations across all 50 US states and 10 Canadian provinces, including more than 1,700 company operated retail moving stores and around 20,000 independent U-Haul dealers.
The Company also controls a fleet of more than 161,000, 118,000 trailers, and 42,000 towing devices.
U-Haul additionally offers more than 632,000 rooms and more than 55.2 million square feet of storage space across its network of owned and managed storage facilities.
Following the rental of products or services, customers are able to use the company’s vehicles and storage facilities on a self-service basis. U-Haul seeks to make its products and services more accessible to customers by allowing customers to make rentals via its website or mobile application.
U-Haul primarily serves its customers directly across its service centres ad storage facilities, with its sales personnel offering in-person guidance, handling complaints, and offering advice guidance.
Once a rental has been agreed, however, customers are able to use the Company’s equipment or facilities on a self-service basis.
U-Haul operates a website at www.uhaul.com, through which customers can browse products and services and make purchases on a self-service basis. The Company allows customers to access information regarding their accounts online.
U-Haul operates a dedicated customer support team, which operates out of the Company’s offices and provides personalised support to customers over the phone and online.
U-Haul is also able to communicate directly with customers through its various social media accounts, including with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
AMERCO, through its subsidiary U-Haul, is primarily an operator of a do-it-yourself moving and storage business.
The Company supplies products and services to help customers move and store their household and commercial goods, including U-Haul brand boxes, tape, and other moving and self-storage products and services to do-it-yourself moving and storage customers at its distribution outlets and through uhaul.com and eMove Websites.
The Company organises its operations into three segments: Moving and Storage, which comprises the operations of U-Haul, Amerco Real Estate Company, and their subsidiaries, including the operation of storage facilities and the rental of trailers and vehicles; Property and Casualty Insurance, which comprises the operations of Repwest Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, and ARCOA Risk Retention Group; and Life Insurance, which comprises the operations of Oxford Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries.
U-Haul works closely with a network of partner companies and organisations that support its core operations.
These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:
- Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of equipment and tools that support the Company’s core storage and vehicle rental services, as well as third party providers of services that support the Company’s corporate operations more broadly;
- Dealer and Sales Partners, comprising a network of independent dealers that provide services to customer son behalf of or in partnership with U-Haul, that assist the Company in extending its sales and service reach;
- Strategic Partners, comprising various commercial enterprises with which the Company collaborates on a range of strategic business development, branding, and marketing projects in the US and Canada;
- Sustainability Partners, comprising a range of non-profits and organisations with which the Company collaborates on projects designed to ensure that the Company operates in the most sustainable way possible; and
- Community Partners, comprising charitable organisations with which the Company works on social and community projects.
U-Haul has a number of partnerships in place. This includes sustainability partnerships with Arizona Forward, Tree Planting Partnerships, and National League of Cities, as well as charitable partnerships with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix, and Humble Design.
U-Haul’s business model depends on its ability to provide customers with reliable and accessible storage and moving services.
As such, the Company’s key resources are its brand name and intellectual properties, its fleet of vehicles, its network of storage facilities and service centres, its network of dealers, its supply chain and suppliers, its partnerships, and its personnel.
The company’s business model is dependent especially on its physical assets, including its fleet of more trucks, trailers, and towing devices, and a network of more than 21,000 service locations.
U-Haul incurs costs in relation to the operation of its fleet of vehicles and trailers – including fuel and maintenance costs, the operations of its network of storage facilities and service centres – including utility and occupancy costs, the payment of commission to third parties, the procurement of supplies and equipment, the acquisition and development of products for sale, the implementation of marketing campaigns, the management of its partnerships, and the payment of salaries and benefits to its personnel.
In 2018, Amerco, U-Haul’s operator, recorded total annual operating expenses in the amount of USD 1.81 billion, cost of sales in the amount of USD 160.49 million, commission expenses in the amount of USD 276.71 million, and benefits and losses in the amount of USD 185.31 million.
Amerco primarily generates revenue through the U-Haul business, which comprises the provision of a range of storage and moving services.
It primarily derives its revenue in the form of rental and sales fees collected directly from customers. Amerco also generates small portion of its revenue from the collection of insurance premiums and property management fees.
In 2018, Amerco recorded total annual revenue of USD 3.60 billion, up on the USD 3.42 billion recorded by the Company in 2017.
The U-Haul business accounted for the vast majority of these revenues, including self-moving equipment sales of USD 2.48 billion, self-storage revenue of USD 323.90 million, and self-moving and self-storage product sales of USD 261.56 million.
info: Edward J. Shoen (“Shoen”) is the son of U-Haul founder Leonard Shoen. He has been Chairman of U-Haul since and Chief Executive Officer at U-Haul since 1990, and serves as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he is responsible for leading the development and implementation of the Company’s overall business and growth strategies. He is also President and Chairman of Amerco. Shoe has spent the entirety of his career at U-Haul and Amerco. He first joined Amerco in 1971, and has held a number of senior leadership roles at the company and its subsidiaries, including U-Haul. This includes spells as Director of Amerco Real Estate Company, and Director of Repwest Insurance Company,
info: Jason A. Berg (“Berg”) has served as Chief Financial Officer at Amerco since June 2016, having previously served as the Company’s Chief Accounting Officer from June 2005. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all of Amerco’s financial management operations, including the various corporate finance functions of U-Haul. Berg is a long-serving employee of Amerco, having first joined the Company in 1996. He has since held a number of leadership positions at the Company, including spells as Treasurer, Secretary and Vice President, as well as spells as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at subsidiary company Oxford Life Insurance. Berg was previously employed by the Internal Revenue Service as part of the Revenue Agent Group.
info: John C. Taylor (“Taylor”) has served as President of U-Haul since 2006. In this capacity, he is responsible for coordinating the activities of the Company’s board of director and the activities of its executive management team with a view to furthering the Company’s overall strategies. Taylor is a long-serving employee of U-Haul, having first joined the Company in 1981. He has since held roles of increasing responsibility at the Company, notably having served as a director of U-Haul since 1990.
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