This Peak Moving Season! The most difficult on record?

All Points has written about Peak Moving Season in the past, but this notice is a warning that we may be at “all-time-worst” Peak Moving Season. This is important for anyone managing corporate relocation.

What is Peak Moving Season?

Peak moving season occurs in the summer, with 80% of all moves in Canada and the United States occurring between May and September. Why is summer the busiest time of year to move? While there are several reasons, the main factor is that kids are off from school.

Okay, So When is the Best Time to Move?

Certainly not the summer. If you absolutely have to move during the peak moving season then the best time to hire movers is going to be at the very beginning or very end of moving season. Scheduling your movers for mid-April or in September after Labor Day is a great way to accomplish this.

Why is this Peak Moving Season worse than others?

There are a few reasons:

  • The private retail market is busier than ever. We have all heard about how hot real estate markets are in Canada and the United States, right? Well that means each of those transactions has to move its goods. Yes, corporate relocation is competing far more than before with the C.O.D. market.
  • Labour shortages: summer staffing is at low levels: with government assistance programs at all time highs, summer staff has not been lured back in the numbers required by the moving industry. Fewer summer staff mean fewer total jobs can be taken because teams are smaller.
  • Accelerated attrition of drivers. COVID very often accelerated trends already underway, and the moving industry has seen a slow and steady attrition of its drivers for years now. Why? It is hard work.  With those skills, it might be more attractive to work for local moving needs  – delivering goods to the back of a Walmart warehouse is more attractive than helping the team lift a piano up a flight of stairs at the age of 50.  Well, this attrition continued and was accelerated by COVID. Fewer drivers means fewer trucks on the road.

What are the practical repercussions of a bad Peak Season?

  • You must give as much advance notice as possible in order to get the dates you want. Preferably 6 weeks.
  • Delivery spread dates tend to increase.  This means that a mover who used to be able to advise you that your goods will arrive within a 3-day window, may now extend that window to 7 days.
  • Days will be longer. Why? Teams tend to be smaller due to the summer worker shortage, and smaller teams mean longer days. Small teams even often make families empathetic to their plights, and they start to pitch in, which later turns into resentment.
  • Damage. Why? Teams are inferior. Stories are legendary of movers hiring sub-par workers to fulfill summer needs. This isn’t all movers, but you don’t know what team you will get this summer.  And with smaller teams, corners are cut.  We expect a significant wave of insurance claims this summer across Canada and the United States.

It will be worse in the United States

Peak season is always worse in the United States than in Canada, but a recent article showed that movers weren’t even showing up for booked jobs.

Tips for Moving in Peak Season

The best approach when moving during the summer is to book your moving help as far in advance as possible, preferably 6 weeks in advance. It’s important to be aware that all dates, even most weekdays, will be in high demand during this time. You’ll find yourself at an advantage if you schedule your movers for the days that are slightly less in demand.

Here are our best tips for moving during peak season to help make your summer move as successful as possible:

A quick note to HR’s:  Get the word out.  Plan your move with as much advance notice as possible.

  • Set expectations. Send alerts.  Most people are understanding when Peak Season is explained to them (it may, on the other hand, make them more anxious), that sufficient notice is required, and delivery spread dates will extend to longer periods.
  • Ask employees to create flexible closing dates.  We are even encouraging employees to call their relocation management company when they are planning real estate closings, to ensure that a mover is available.
  • June, July, and August are the busiest months
  •  The beginning and end of each month has the greatest demand – try to book in the middle of the month
  • Morning time slots are the most desired and first to get booked up. However, if you have a large move, your mover will want the morning time slot.
  • Schedule at least six weeks in advance this year
  • Put your move off until just shortly after Labor Day. It will make a huge difference. The kids may miss a couple of days of school, but your move will be of better quality.

All Points works proactively and early to discuss all move conditions to allow employees to make the best decision for themselves. *Talk to your mover or All Points Relocation Service about this year’s Peak Moving Season.

A final note on Peak Moving Season

Movers can get a pretty rough ride from critics about work quality, timeliness, etc. They do hard work and it is incredible to think that you can load goods in Vancouver one day and a few days later with just a few days window (the cable guy can’t even get to your house from down the road without a 4 hour window) and all/most of your goods are in perfect order.  So, All Points asks that when it is socially acceptable to do so, hug a mover.  They provide an invaluable service.

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