Keeping Household Goods Moving During the Busy Season 06.1.2022 | Kyriako Bouris

TS Eliot famously referred to April as “the cruelest month.” But any corporate relocation manager who’s struggled to get mobile employees’ household goods shipped in the summer season will tell you that June, July and August are worse.

Yes, we’ve arrived at the moving industry’s busy season. But this summer, the typical onslaught of relocating families looking to get settled before the new school year starts won’t be the only formidable challenge; in fact, the issues arising from seasonal demand will be compounded by lingering supply chain slowdowns, the rising cost of fuel and much, much more.

In other words, expect the mean season to be even meaner for moving employees in 2022.

If you want to beat the heat (of disenchanted talent) and keep your mobile employees’ stuff moving this summer, we have a few suggestions:

 Early planning is more critical than ever!

Time has never been more of the essence than it will be this summer. As soon as humanly possible, you should be placing your initiations with your RMC and instructing your mobile employees to connect with their assigned RMC move coordinator to begin the process (scheduling surveys, assessing needs, scheduling dates, etc.). We recommend mid-month moves as opposed to the first or last weeks of a particular month, which tend to be busier.

Expect shipments to take longer to complete.

Look, it’s just a fact that despite the best intentions of your company, your RMC, your van line and your packing crew, household goods shipments are going to take longer. Driver shortages, container shortages, reduced capacity on freighters, and fewer air freight options are all contributing to expanded transit times. As your RMC partner, our goal will always be to review transit times with your mobile employees and set proper expectations.

Expect an increase in storage-related charges.

Between employees selling their homes but unable to locate new residences, and international assignees having to be out of their current homes but unable to secure a container or steamship to move their stuff, storage space will be at a premium this summer. Plan for the costs of HHG storage to be higher. You may want to consider extending temporary living allowances to account for longer transit times and an increase in storage requirements.

Regional challenges will continue.
  • The migration imbalance in North America (with increasing numbers of individuals moving from California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Washington in the US and Ontario and Alberta in Canada) will make it tougher to find drivers to service moves originating in these areas.
  • Internationally, we continue to feel the impact of APAC exports, COVID restrictions and the struggle for capacity onboard steamships.
  • Many ports continue to struggle with congestion and a backlog of steamships attempting to offload their cargo.
  • Limited sailings from South and Central America continue, creating a backlog of shipments.

As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding your summer moves, don’t hesitate to contact your Weichert account manager. And stay tuned for more insight to the latest household goods and shipping challenges.

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Written by Kyriako Bouris

Rocko Bouris

Kyriako “Rocko” Bouris, CMC, is Weichert’s Vice President, Global Transportation Solutions. He oversees every facet of our integrated move management solution, strategizing with our household goods specialists and network partners to ensure superior point-to-point communication, cost control and accountability throughout the entire household goods shipment process. He has over 20 years of relocation move management expertise and earned the Certified Moving Consultant (CMC) designation.

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