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Can TROSA Moving Compete?

November 2, 2011

In an earlier post, my partner, Mike, raised the question about whether or not TROSA is able to compete in its businesses’ markets. The true answer is that it isn’t a yes-or-no question. It’s a yes-and-no question.

It all depends on how you look at it. The businesses themselves are profitable—after all, that’s how TROSA gets most of its funds. But that doesn’t mean that TROSA itself is profitable. The businesses make a lot of money, but TROSA has to rely on close to $1 million in donations in order to stay afloat. Based on these figures, it would cost more than $10.6 million per year to house, feed, provide services to, and educate TROSA’s 400 residents.

Whether or not TROSA’s businesses can charge more for their services is also a factor to consider. Our preliminary research indicates that the rate for an intracity TROSA move in Durham, with the minimum of two men and a truck, is $100 per hour. However, for a move of more than 35 miles outside Durham, the rate is “based on the maximum rate tariff supplied by the NC Utilities Commission,” which is determined by the weight of the goods moved and the distance traveled. The exact figures can be determined from pages 47-48 of this document–though they stress that the mover and customer can negotiate a lower price. This means that, at least for their moving business, the price can’t increase by much more.

As to the other businesses? Well, there’s a reason TROSA needs $1 million a year in donations. Consider this an issue to be continued.

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