Moving companies are struggling to keep up, with 71% of firms reporting delays in 2021 due to what they say is high demand and a shortage of labor.
That’s according to a survey of 63 moving companies by moveBuddha, a resource on moving home.
The takeaway is that buyers who’re planning to move will need to plan ahead. Almost half of companies offering services in home removals reported being booked out at least three weeks further than in previous seasons, moveBuddha said. Another 16% of residential movers said they’re booked up more than six weeks out that in previous peak seasons.
Another telling stat is that customer complaints about cancellations jumped 250% in 2021 compared to 2019, before the pandemic.
“With so many Americans on the move, 2021 [saw] an unprecedented surge in the need for relocation services,” moveBuddha said. “Moving businesses across the country are reeling to meet demand in an economy plagued by worker shortages, rising fuel costs, and health concerns. And customers are hurting as well.”
The moving supply and demand issues are increasing costs for moves too, said Ben Heller, CEO of PricePoint, a moving price platform for movers.
Seventy-six percent of moving companies say they’re charging more than they used to.
“With so much demand, moving and freight companies are incentivized to take jobs that are more profitable now,” Heller told moveBuddha. “The result: There are more corporate moves with delays or no availability from partners, large delivery spreads, and more annoyed transferees.”
Around 70% of the moving firms said they’d experienced higher rates of delivery delays in 2021 compared to previous years. Delays are more prevalent for individuals moving as part of an employer-sponsored relocation contract, the survey found.
Moving companies said one of the reasons they’re failing to keep up is because of challenges such as driver shortages, delivery delays, labor shortages, increased damage claims, and rising fuel costs. If you want to step up and start a moving company, you may need to invest in a fleet of trucks with vehicle decals showing your company logo, secure permits and hire drivers.
The states reporting some of the biggest issues in servicing customers are in California, Illinois, and Washington, according to the survey.