The moving industry involves companies that provide moving and relocation services to persons and businesses. The distance traveled by these companies can be local, long-distance, and international. They carry used household, institutional, and commercial equipment. Moving companies also provide incidental packing and storage services to their clients.
How Big Is the Moving Industry?
In the United States alone, about 31 million people move each year. This figure gave the moving industry 86 billion in revenue. Making it an industry that is larger than it seems. The figures indicate both residential and commercial moving industry players. The industry is also responsible for the employment of 122,600 people in the U.S., according to the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). AMSA represents all members of the moving industry including:
- Independent carries
- International movies
- Van lines
Data from AMSA provides that 7,000 moving companies operate at 13,900 locations providing moving and storage services for home and office equipment. The moving industry is a big part of household and office relocation. These transactions involve interacting with the client. How did stay-at-home and social distancing mandates affect how the industry operates?
Changes in the Way the Industry Operates
Businesses involved in moving had to adapt to safety measures against the coronavirus pandemic. These businesses did so through financial aid and putting additional safety measures in place—all without sacrificing the quality of the services they provide.
1. Social Distancing
Health authorities recommend a minimum of six feet worth of distance between individuals to minimize the risk of catching and subsequently spreading the virus. For moving companies, they request clients not to participate in the moving process. Instead of the usual client supervision before the pandemic, companies will require clients to isolate themselves from the areas used for the move, or better yet, leave the area. This will provide movers more space to work with without having to worry about violating social distancing rules.
Companies in the moving industry also highly encourage clients to pack the things that will be moved. This does not have to remove the essence of hiring a moving company but should be done to prevent everyone involved in the move from getting sick. Back when the moving industry operated normally, movers use the same vehicles and work together in the same spaces. Post-safety measures, they use the method of coordinating their entry and exit to follow social distancing rules.
2. Digital Quotations and Paperwork
The normal routine for moving companies is to visit the client’s place that requires their assistance to assess how much work will be needed and to provide the client with an estimate of how the service will cost them.
These days, moving companies make use of digital ways to determine quotes. They communicate with clients through video conferencing, ask the client to give them a tour of the place, and use that information to come up with quotations. Paperwork can also be sent, reviewed, and signed manually by both the client and the movers.
In the era of the coronavirus pandemic, proper and frequent sanitation of work environments, including that of movers, became the norm. This reduces the risk of infection and provides clients with comfort knowing their chosen moving company operates under vigilance.
Movers also follow mandatory mask-wearing guidelines to keep themselves and their clients safe. They also sanitize their trucks before loading and after unloading items. This adds to moving companies’ financial burden because they have to provide protective items for their employees.
How did these affect the industry?
The services that moving companies provide are essential to the millions of Americans moving annually. However, due to the ongoing health crisis, jobs were lost and businesses closed. This prompted a decrease in both personal and commercial moving activities.
The anxiousness instilled by the virus in both clients and movers resulted in canceled and rescheduled moving transactions, causing financial damages to moving companies across the U.S. These factors forced some companies to take advantage of business loans to keep themselves operating. Moving companies also take longer to finish transactions due to the stringent safety measures they need to follow. They work in smaller groups to follow social distancing mandates. This prompts for more resources than usual allocated to a single move.
Will the moving industry recover?
The moving industry is highly dependent on the overall economy. High unemployment rates and businesses closing down will not push for a demand that will help the industry. An overall economic recovery will aid in the plight of the industry.