History of Coastal
A Little About The Owner and History of Coastal Van Lines Moving & Storage
For Larry Parks, president of Coastal Van Lines Moving & Storage, the moving business is more than a profession; it's a legacy. "My grandfather went into the business back in 1917, buying himself a truck with money he had saved from delivering ice," he smiles.
However, it was not his grandfather's company that drew Larry into the moving business. He grew up in Boca Raton and eventually became a finishing carpenter in the San Francisco Bay area when, in 1980 he returned to Florida where his parents lived. "My father was diagnosed with cancer and I wanted to be close by," he says.
Carpentry in Florida did not pay the kind of money that Parks earned out west, though, and he struggled. Then one day his Dad gave him some fatherly advice. "Buy yourself a truck and go into the moving business like your grandfather,' he told me."
Following that advice, Larry bought a 1964 step van, put a one-dollar ad in the newspaper and opened for business. "Since I was already familiar with the construction business, I started by moving kitchen cabinets to job sites," he recalls.
He didn't just deliver those cabinets; he unboxed and put them in place. "I enjoyed it because I missed doing carpentry work. My business grew rapidly after that from word-of-mouth alone,'' he remembers.
Larry Parks had learned the most important ingredient for success in the moving business - personalized service. "It's all about knowing what business you're in,' he says. "I soon learned that I wasn't in the moving business - I was in the business of transporting "peoples'most valued possessions."
In the early days, Larry operated from home, did all his pick-ups and deliveries during the day and his marketing and sales at night. "I decided I needed someone to handle sales during normal business hours. He then decided to enlarge the company by hiring a salesman.
The business quickly expanded to include an Office Manager, Dispatcher and Warehouseman. Since then Coastal Van Lines, Inc. has never looked back.
The next major step for Larry and his company came in 1987 when he became the local agent for Atlas Van Lines. Today, Coastal Van Lines is still an agent for Atlas Van Lines and handles local, national and international business. The Parks family owns two warehouses and six trucks, including two tractor-trailer rigs.
While the business has grown considerably from those days with the step-van, Coastal Van Lines has never outgrown the unique brand of personalized attention that's responsible for Larry's success. "That's the key to our quality service," he says. "Not too long ago I used to drive many of our exclusive over-the-road clients myself. We recently moved a corporate executive from Florida to California with $2 million worth of furniture that included works of art and antiques. It took three vans, 16 people and 15 days to complete the job," he grins.
In 1995 Coastal Van Lines was awarded the Department Of Defense Contract for moving and storage of military personnel. The contract is still held today with the stringent requirements by the U.S, Government. The family continues to work with clients Larry first moved back in the 1980s. "People know when you love your work," he says, "especially when your work involves their possessions. Personalized service is not just a slogan for us; it's the only way we know how to do business."
While many people perceive Coastal Van Lines as a large, national firm, the company's core business is still local moving and storage. "We handle moves as small as a favorite chair up to a house full of antiques. We move both residential and commercial clients,'' he says. "With two storage warehouses, Coastal Van Lines can store a customer's household goods and fully protect them in our air conditioned and climate controlled facilities for any length of time."
Larry encourages people to come visit his company's headquarters. "If you see our facilities and meet our staff, you'll understand why we are successful," he says.
The moving business is personal to Larry Parks. Getting into it was the best advice his late father gave him. He proudly displays a photo of his grandfather's truck from 1917 in the offices.
The family tradition continues with Larry's son Jake Parks who joined in 2014 and is now the Vice President and his daughter Jenna Parks who joined in 2019 working in the Marketing Department.
Over the last 100+ years we have built our business on our reputation. And today, over 80% of our business comes from customer referrals. We would like to add you to our long list of satisfied customers.