Uber-style moving service arrives in DC

WASHINGTON — A moving service modeled after ride-hailing services like Uber has rolled into Washington.

Bellhops uses an app to match customers with its movers and drivers from weeks to hours in advance.

The company hires current and former college students, called Bellhops, to handle the labor portion of the moving, and professional drivers to transport the customers’ belongings.

Bellhops is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has outlets in 20 other cities. It’s now hiring for its newly launched Washington service. The service will open with 100 movers and 20 drivers and plans to expand soon as warmer weather normally increases demand for moving services

The bellhops make between $15 and $17 an hour. Add in tips, and they can average $24 an hour.

“By pairing our fun, friendly workforce with our logistical technology, we have designed a platform that makes moving less stressful, more transparent and more on-demand than ever before,” said CEO Luke Marklin.

The downside is customers have to do the packing themselves and be ready when the truck arrives. The upside is it’s fast. Bellhops says it can make a two-bedroom, cross town move in three hours.

The company started on Auburn University’s campus in 2011 as an alternative for students moving into dorms each semester, and is now in Austin, Atlanta, Denver and Nashville. Within two years, the majority of its customers were non-students.

Bellhops has moved more than 100,000 customers so far, and investors like their progress: the company has raised more than $25 million.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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