Trippel Survey & Research, LLC conducted this survey to (1) obtain evaluations from corporate relocation managers regarding their level of satisfaction with the household goods carriers utilized in transferee relocation and (2) gather other information on issues pertinent and relevant to managing relocation household goods shipments.
This is the eighth annual Relocation Managers’ Survey© on the HHG industry. Relocation managers received one email message with a reminder notice a week after the survey’s launch. Each recipient was encouraged, but not required, to provide the company name; there is no way to identify anonymous responses.
The survey was launched in early-January and closed January 24, 2010. Of the 787 initial invitations sent via email 31 were undeliverable. From the 756 delivered survey invitations 255 survey responses were received, a 33.7% response rate. This is an increase of 3.7% from the prior survey in January 2009.
Survey responses are presented in this report as reported by Zoomerang, the websurvey service firm used in this endeavor. When appropriate, comments are made throughout the report regarding survey responses and industry trending.
Trippel Survey & Research, LLC maintains strict confidentiality of the corporations who participated.
Budd Van Lines purchased the marketing license permitting external, as well as internal, marketing of the report, findings and data. This report is copyrighted © by Trippel Survey & Research, LLC. The purchase of the marketing license permits any part of this work to be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without distorting or altering data by Budd Van Lines.
KEY INSIGHTS FROM SURVEY
1. Nearly 60% of corporate clients realized lower transfer volume in 2009 versus 2008.
Further, total volume reported by survey respondents is approximately 12% lower this year compared to the prior year – the consecutive second year of decline. The recession is taking its toll on the HHG industry.
2. Although most corporate clients fully outsource to a relocation company, two-thirds maintain contract ownership with the HHG suppliers. Also, very few corporations are considering adapting an alternative approach to HHG shipment, such as a PODS-type program.
3. Although HHG carriers and van lines use different business models to conduct their business very few relocation managers evaluate various business models or use the information to select a carrier.
4. The two primary areas for HHG firms to improve corporate client satisfaction are (1) pricing the service, and (b) third-party pricing & quality.
5. The three biggest corporate relocation managers’ needs are (1) quality of service, (2) meeting the customers moving schedule, and (3) problem resolution.
6. Over 50% of corporate managers are either not sure of value or see little value in move management services typically provided by relocation management companies.
7. Approximately 64% of corporations still maintain the rate structures found in the “old” tariff 400N; this usage rate is slightly lower than last year. Also, most corporate managers have not realized any cost reduction since tariffs were rescinded. On pricing, a large majority of relocation managers would consider a “single rate factor” pricing model.
8. A large majority of corporate relocation managers do not see an inverse relationship between high discount rates and low quality of service.
9. Roughly 23% of corporations made a change in HHG suppliers this past year; while overall size of the “approved HHG list” decreased from a year ago, to 2.39 carriers per approved corporate list. The clear trend continues: corporate managers are shrinking the number of HHG carriers used.
10. United and United agents remain the largest player in the relocation of household goods. The three largest firms – United, Allied or Atlas agents – dominate the market. There is a 60% likelihood 1 of the 3 firms are used by every corporate client.
11. Corporate client satisfaction measured an average of 8.46 on a 10-point scale with net satisfaction at 49%. This is the second consecutive year industry competitors improved corporate clients satisfaction and the highest level achieved since 2003.
12. Although there is a common belief small carriers or independents generate higher corporate client satisfaction scores in surveys of this type, the results this year disprove this belief. The three largest carriers (United, Atlas and Allied) were among the five best performers of all firms with large sample sizes, and United and Atlas were well above the industry average score and industry net satisfaction.