Crater rebrands as Shyft to focus on helping global nomads move

After finally settling on a new apartment, packing your last box and rushing out to pick up your moving van for the measly three hours you could book it — have you ever taken a moment to think, “Wow, this is so easy?”

Nope, and neither has anybody else. But Shyft, a logistics platform company based in San Francisco, is hoping to change that.

Originally named Crater, the company announced today a re-brand of its name and mission to focus on helping improve the corporate relocation process for millions of movers per year. The company is bringing with it three years of experience developing software and technology to help moving companies provide better estimates and service to customers.

“We spend hours thinking about these global citizens who are moving everyday and literally shifting their lives,” Shyft CMO Rajiv Parikh told TechCrunch. “They’re moving to new communities, they’re finding new schools, they’re finding new opportunities. It’s a monumental and pivotal moment in someone’s life.”

The process works two-fold. First, Shyft is continuing its partnerships with moving companies and selling its software to them in order to help update their portals and make the process as seamless as possible for their existing customers. As part of these partnerships, Shyft is able to create a reliable network of moving companies and services that it can utilize in the second part of its service — connecting with corporate Fortune 500 companies to help their transferees easily and intuitively complete their moving process.

Through the platform, employees planning a move can fill out information like how many boxes they’re moving, what their housing needs will be and even what kind of food they like and dietary restrictions they have. With this data, Shyft will help direct them to the services they need and work to help them best integrate into their new communities.

Shyft works with corporate companies’ lump-sum funds to help employees find the best price possible for their move. And transferees can use the services for free (or be reimbursed the difference).

“A traditional moving company is focused on moving — dollars and cents — [and] they want the largest and the biggest moves out there,” Shyft CEO Alex Alpert told TechCrunch. “From our perspective, we’re agnostic to that. If it’s in someone’s best interest to sell their sofa and buy a new one, we want to help facilitate that.”

In a recent collaboration with eBay, the company says it has seen large increases in the number of employees using its portal instead of trying to figure out logistics on their own.

“We have monitored the use of Shyft in our lump sum program and have seen a marked increase in the willingness of employees to engage with Shyft to identify the best solution to their moving needs,” eBay Director of HR Global Mobility¬†Eric Halverson said in a statement. “Shyft is helping our employees optimize their lump sum allowance with a variety of moving solutions geared to their personal needs and circumstances.”

Alpert says that Shyft is now focusing on growing and refining its service, and this summer was accepted to join Moderne Venture’s summer Passport Program. The seven-month industry immersion program is designed to help companies refine their¬†go-to-market strategies and network with others working in the real estate, finance, insurance and home-services spaces.