For employees moving as part of a relocation package, one of the main costs and areas for concern is the shipment of their household goods. Employees want their goods moved timely and with the utmost of care.
Employers also want a timely move and to, more importantly, keep costs down. Statistics show that 69% of those moving as part of a relocation are current company employees. Subsequently, current domestic, home-owning employees allot for the highest relocation costs incurred by employers at $91,528.
According to the latest US Transfer Volume and Cost Survey, a majority of relocating employees are offered the benefit of shipping their goods to their new location by their employer and 94% of these employees are also allowed a storage period of which their employer will cover. Since this is a service provided to many relocating employees, the challenges associated with coordinating and performing the household goods benefit as well as the growing cost to provide this service, are being felt by employers and relocation companies alike.
|Current employee homeowner
|New hire homeowner
|Current employee renter
|New hire renter
|Average household goods shipping cost
One of the main challenges to the household goods shipping industry noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics include a driver shortage, due to the aging of the industry’s manpower and lack of shipping capacity. Additional barriers to providing quality service and de-escalating costs include increased regulations (such as emissions testing and more stringent daily driving limitations) and industry expenses (container costs and interstate charges).
Aside from costs, another trend where the household goods industry is changing revolves around the varying landscape of international moves in the last 20 years. Here’s a look at the then and the now:
|Candidates moved to further career options
|Upper management and family scenarios
|Very few limits on household goods shipments
|Most moves went from the U.S. to Europe
|Assignment duration: 2-5 years
|Minimal inspection of household goods containers
|Social security number – identification of choice
|Candidates selected to complete a specific task
|Millennials – in the relocation mindset
|Limits on container size and quantity
|38% of moves don’t include the U.S.
|More variety: short-term, business travel, etc.
|All containers X-rayed/60% inspected
|Employer ID Number (EIN) assigned to all moves
|Many more women taking relocations
Employees, especially younger, single ones, are embracing the international relocation mind-set. The top five cities that young expats favor include:
Amsterdam Desired for its livability, affordability, and high salaries
Singapore A truly international city known for its easy commuting and high quality childcare
Munich Alps beauty with a small-town feel, great public transport
New York Easy assimilation and best life experience
London Multicultural city, easy commuting, free museums
Cities that pose challenges, not only for the employee, but, employers as well include:
China Changes to customs process without notice
India Climate changes/port challenges
Brazil Laborious customs process
Argentina Difficulty in getting funds into and out of the country
Russia Imposed duty and tax fees which are the responsibility of the employee to pay
Additionally, many emerging countries are difficult from a relocation standpoint due to a lack of infrastructure, making the process an untraveled territory.