Local moving companies merge after acquisition
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013 at 5:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 28, 2013 at 5:04 p.m.
The competition between two young companies over Gainesville's student moving market has come to a close.
Smarter Moving Solutions announced this month the acquisition and merger of 2 College Brothers for an undisclosed amount. This will let Smarter Moving Solutions, previously just in Gainesville, expand markets by taking over 2 College Brothers' operations in Gainesville, Tallahassee and Orlando.
Smarter Moving Solutions CEO and founder Wade Swikle said both names will remain, but each will be branded for different segments: 2 College Brothers for college students and towns, and Smarter Moving Solutions for residential. Smarter Moving Solutions has always done business year-round, but 2 College Brothers was open only during the peak college moving season of May to the beginning of September. “We're going to be implementing a year-round policy for 2 College Brothers as well,” Swikle said, “so currently, we're in the hiring process.”
The combined workforce between the three cities is about 15, he said, with hiring to push that between 20 and 30. But during the peak season, about 60 to 80 people will be working for the merged companies.
“From May all the way to September, it's pretty steady,” Swikle said. “We have at least a job every day. Some days it's as crazy as nine jobs.”
Each company had one permanent truck, with both of them now in Gainesville. During peak season, rental trucks are used.
Swikle said he hopes to expand the Brothers brand to the college towns of Tuscaloosa and Auburn in Alabama and Athens, Ga., by next summer. The ultimate goal is to spread to universities across the country.
Swikle, 23, started Smarter Moving Solutions in June 2012 as an entrepreneurship master's student at the University of Florida, from which he graduated in May 2013. 2 College Brothers was already in the market, started by UF student Kevin Weschler and his brother, Bryan, in 2010.
Both companies solely used college students as movers.
“I can't really see myself going to work a standard 9-to-5 job,” Swikle said on starting a business at such a young age. “A lot of times, I'm in the office for 12 hours a day, but it doesn't feel like working because I have the freedom to take my own shots, and I don't have to answer to anybody but the customer.”