Peak Moving Season: Reminder and Tips

This Peak Moving Season may be harder than last year. We have tips.

All Points has written about Peak Moving Season in the past, but this notice is a warning that we may be just as bad, and in the United States, possibly worse than last 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.

Ok, 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.

What is different about this Peak Moving Season than last year’s?

  • The private retail market has cooled a little with the rise in key interest lending rates, so we are hopeful that some of the retail moving market may die down. Yes, the corporate relocation market competes with the retail COD market.
  • Labour shortages: this is the one that is the X-factor.  We knew about summer labour shortages last year, because government assistance due to the pandemic was still flowing and not everyone wanted to work. However, now after the great resignation and the current difficulty in hiring, the moving industry finds itself in a challenging place when it comes to hiring labour.  In fact, the moving industry has a very tough time hiring labour into a business that is very hard work and does not pay much more (if at all) compared to other physical labour. Who is going to take those positions? Fewer summer staff mean fewer total jobs can be taken because teams are smaller. Fewer drivers mean fewer trucks on the road.
  • In addition, at the end of last summer, moving companies saw drivers leave the industry.  Why? It is hard work and last summer was punishing.  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 last summer’s challenges. Fewer drivers means fewer trucks on the road, which means reduced capacity.

What are the practical repercussions of a challenging 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. 

The United States will be more challenging

There are some unique factors that make the situation in Canada possibly a little better than in the United States, but for sure the United States is facing severe shortages compared to the demand. We are already hearing of blackout periods in the United States, where movers simply will not take any more work.

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 that 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.
  • 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 is statistically more likely to 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.

Relocation expert

Picture of Michael Deane

Michael Deane

Helping companies relocate employees & recruits seamlessly, whether it is domestically, cross-border or globally.

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