After a slump caused by the Great Recession, the moving services industry is back on a growth trajectory. Entrepreneurs looking to buy into proven opportunities have a surprisingly diverse range of business models and concepts to choose from among the 10 best moving/junk removal franchises of 2018.
The continued recovery of the housing market combined with rising disposable incomes and better oil prices all point to growth in the industry, with the still young portable storage concepts possibly representing one of the stronger growth opportunities available – a market expected to reach annual revenues of $9.3 billion by 2020. The overall moving services industry market is valued at $18 billion, with household moves accounting for around 60% of that figure, commercial moves at 25%, and storage services at 10%. Junk removal companies tend to get classified into the waste collection industry.
Some of the companies on this list are focused on junk removal and hauling, others are focused on moving services ranging from local to long-distance to international, and some do it all. One of the newer unique concepts is a company focused on providing combined dumpster-and-portable-restroom units to construction and renovation job sites.
Here are our picks for the top 10 moving/junk removal franchises of 2018:
1. Two Men and a Truck
Two Men and a Truck offers both local and long-distance moving services, as well as storage solutions, to homes and businesses. The company motto, “Movers Who Care,” was adopted to show their commitment to excellence in customer service. For long-distance moves, customers with flexibility on when items arrive at the new location can get a reduced rate through the Value Flex service – the extra time allows the company to plan its logistics for maximum efficiency. Founded in 1985 and franchising since 1989, the number of locations has grown steadily over the past 10 years from 170 in 2007 to the current total of 302, of which two are company-owned and 29 of which are located outside the U.S.
2. Go Mini’s Portable Storage and Moving
Go Mini’s Portable Storage and Moving offers portable storage units designed to help people and businesses address their moving, storage, and renovation needs. A portable container is dropped off at the requested location and the customer then packs items into it. The container can then be kept on-site, moved to a new location, or stored in a company facility. It distinguishes itself from the competition with multiple container sizes (12-foot, 16-foot, and 20-foot models), larger container capacity, smoother delivery with the container’s padded wheels, eight inches of ground clearance, and container ventilation. Founded in 2002, the company didn’t start franchising its concept until 2012, but the number of locations has grown rapidly in the five years since then and now stands at 207, one of which is located outside the U.S.
1-800-Got-Junk? offers junk removal and dumpster rental services for homes and businesses with a focus on diverting as much as 63.5% of what it collects away from landfills by aggressive recycling and donating of materials to community groups and charitable organizations. The company conducts bi-annual audits of its environmental practices and provides franchisees with reports that track their landfill diversion efforts. Up-front pricing is determined by an in-person quote based on volume. Founded in Canada in 1989 and franchising since 1997, the number of locations has declined in recent years from a high of 312 in 2008 to the current total of 156, of which 25 are located outside the U.S.
4. Bin There Dump That
Bin There Dump That offers roll-off dumpster services for residential cleanups, move outs, remodeling, or disaster restoration projects. It offers a wide range of dumpster sizes, including 4-yard, 6-yard, 10-yard, 15-yard, and 20-yard models. It calls the containers “bins” to get away from the unsightly, dirty, rusty containers that come to mind with the word “dumpster.” By contrast, the company’s bins are “residential-friendly,” meaning they are clean and appropriately-sized for the job. The bins are delivered in a way that avoids causing damage to driveways or property. The number of locations has expanded rapidly in recent years from 16 in 2008 to the current total of 121, of which 38 are located outside the U.S.
5. College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving
College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving uses HUNKS as an acronym that stands for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable, Service. It offers local and long-distance moving assistance, storage, and junk removal for both residential and business customers. Its junk hauling service includes removing all non-hazardous items from anywhere on a customer’s property, which it then disposes of responsibly by recycling and donating as much as possible. Customers call in for an appointment and when the company arrives, a firm estimate is given before work starts. Regarding its moving services, the company says it has the lowest damage claim rate in the industry.
Founded in 2003 and franchising since 2007, the number of locations has grown steadily over the past 10 years from just five in 2007 to the current total of 85, of which three are company-owned and three are located outside the U.S.
6. Zippy Shell
Zippy Shell is a unique Australian concept to address storage and moving needs. Its portable units can be dropped off into any space large enough to hold a parked car. Customers fill the storage unit with their items and then call Zippy Shell to have the unit picked up and dropped off to its end location, which could be a new residence or a climate-controlled storage facility. If it’s in storage and the customer needs something out of it, a simple phone call is made to bring the unit back for access. Founded in Australia in 2007, the U.S. operation got started with franchising in 2010 and there are now 42 locations, six of which are company-owned.
7. You Move Me
You Move Me was started by the same people who launched 1-800-Got-Junk? It’s a full-service local moving company. The basic moving service is for customers who want to pack their own boxes. The “Full Pack” service means the company will pack everything for the customer, and then unpack it as well in the new location. Its most requested service is the “Kitchen Pack” to handle everything in the kitchen, much of which is breakable. The “Single Item Pack” service is for customers who just need help with individual hard-to-move items. Free wardrobe service with any move means customers can leave all hanging items in their closets, which the company will quickly pack into its special wardrobe boxes. Its up-front pricing rates are firm. Since its launch in 2013, the number of locations has grown to 40, of which 12 are located outside the U.S. (in Canada).
8. Metropolitan Movers
Metropolitan Movers is a Canadian company offering a full range of local, interstate, long-distance, and international moving, packing, and storage services to both residential and commercial customers. It can also move a wide range of specialty items such as automobiles, pianos, art, medical equipment, and more. It claims to have one of the highest referral rates in the industry, which it attributes to fast, courteous service at a competitive price point and a 93% client satisfaction rate. It does not appear to have any stated environmental commitment, opting instead to focus on its customer satisfaction achievements. The number of locations has expanded over the past 4 years to a total of 20, all of which are located outside the U.S. (in Canada).
redbox+ is a unique concept for construction sites consisting of a patented roll-off dumpster with attached portable restrooms. Taking care of two separate services with just one call is appealing to a wide array of general contractors, roofers, home builders, and others. Its “Big Boy” model comes in 20-yard and 30-yard sizes, while the “Burbs” model is a more compact 20-yard design for residential areas. The company’s delivery trucks are equipped with a pump system to quickly service the two portable restrooms attached to each dumpster. Set-up and pick-up takes only minutes. Founded in 2006 and franchising since 2014, the number of locations stands at five, all of which are franchised in the U.S.
10. NorthStar Moving Company
NorthStar Moving Company is a full-service moving and storage company that offers local, long-distance, and international moving services as well as storage solutions for both residential and commercial customers. The company has a strong environmental commitment, indicated by its use of trucks that run on bio-diesel, boxes made of 100% recyclable materials, biodegradable bubble wrap, recycled wooden storage vaults, and warehousing that saves electricity by using more windows and skylights. The company has built a solid reputation for handling the moving needs of affluent and celebrity customers. Founded in 1994, there are now 3 locations, two of which are company-owned. The company opened its first franchised location in 2016.