Industry Trends: Five Things Every International Corporate Mobility Manager Wants to Know Right Now

In today’s dynamic and ever-evolving business landscape, corporate mobility managers face a multitude of challenges when it comes to managing employee relocations. From changing market conditions to shifting employee expectations, staying ahead requires not only expertise but also access to up-to-date industry trends. This is where a knowledgeable corporate household goods moving company plays a pivotal role, acting as a strategic partner to help companies navigate the complexities of moving the modern workforce.

If you’re wondering what the new normal for employee relocations looks like, you’re not alone. The past few years have caused a lot of uncertainty and left many with unanswered questions. So, the moving experts at Suddath compiled a list of the most frequently received questions from corporate mobility managers and assignees this year.

With freight costs down, will the costs to move employees return to 2019, or pre pandemic, levels?

Although shipping freight rates have stabilized, the residual effects of inflation continue to affect labor, shipping materials as well as transportation costs to and from the ports. While costs are much closer to 2019 than in the past three years, inflation will continue to impact freight costs.

How long does it take to secure a 20-ft or 40-ft container once you’ve booked a move?

It normally takes a week to two weeks to secure, but one should still book early to get a pack date and allow the household goods provider the best opportunity to procure the steamship container.

Can a corporate mover live load the containers at the assignee’s residence now?

A live load is where household goods are packed, wrapped and inventoried at a residence and loaded directly into a 20-ft or 40-ft steamship container. The truck then picks them up and takes them to the port of departure. Unfortunately, live loads at the employee’s residence are still rare occurrences due to a number of factors.

During the pandemic, it grew increasingly difficult to get equipment for live loads, leading to additional charges for the equipment and for storage in transit. In the current climate, drivers are very hesitant to do these types of loads at residences because time is money, and they don’t want to wait at an assignee’s home for the container to be loaded.

Additionally, drivers don’t want the liability of having to drive a large container through a residential area and risk hitting parked vehicles. In recent times, more live loads occur at the warehouse where the driver can back up to the dock, the shipment can be loaded more quickly and efficiently, and the driver turnaround is quicker.

Have door-to-door transit times improved?

Shipments from the transferee’s home to their new home (door to door) are faster than at the height of the supply chain crisis. While the corporate housing budget should see some relief due to these improved transit times, things are not quite back to normal.

According to Worldwide ERC, the bottlenecks in the shipping industry seem to be gradually opening up with a decrease in consumer demand. The decline in ocean freight shipments will ease stress on the supply chain, freeing up resources for moving household goods internationally.

A recent report from Sea-Intelligence, a supply chain research and analysis firm, asserts approximately half of the congestion that has scourged the shipping industry in the past few years is now resolved—and the pace of recovery is moving in the right direction.

Expecting things to return to pre-pandemic conditions probably isn’t realistic, but the resolutions in container ship congestion means household goods can be shipped at a lower cost with fewer delays.

Have truck driver shortages and elevated trucking rates normalized?

Driver shortages are an ongoing problem both in the U.S. and internationally. Pandemic impacts and economic fluctuations affecting shipping demand coupled with dissatisfaction with working conditions and the impacts of being away from home for extended periods continue to cause high turnover rates within the trucking industry, resulting in a constant need for new drivers. Additionally, higher fuel costs and driver pay continue to be issues.

Key recommendations

In times of uncertainty, having a proactive mindset, clear communication and a willingness to adapt are crucial for effectively managing the challenges in the global supply chain. Timelines for the shipment and delivery of household goods may need to be adjusted, so advanced planning and flexibility is vital.

In summary, the international moving landscape is absolutely on the mend but not quite there yet. There are some areas of the U.S. and other countries that are slower to return to normal because of very localized issues. But overall, the industry is taking very positive steps in the right direction. And as activity levels continue to build, reduced pricing and transit times are welcomed by corporate mobility, employees and the international moving industry.

Stay current with industry guidance

For organizations with a global workforce, keeping track of international trends is essential. A proactive international moving company offers insights into cultural nuances, market dynamics and compliance issues, enabling HR and mobility managers to navigate the changing landscape of global relocations with confidence.

Experienced consultants and account managers at a well-established household goods provider can offer:

  1. Expertise in a rapidly changing landscape: The world of employee relocation is not static; it’s influenced by economic factors, regulatory changes, and emerging technologies. A farsighted corporate mover has a deep understanding of these trends, enabling them to provide mobility managers with valuable insights and strategies to adapt effectively.
  2. Insights into market conditions: As markets shift, so do housing costs, cost-of-living indexes, and local economic dynamics. An astute moving consultant is equipped with real-time data on these factors, allowing managers to make informed decisions regarding employee relocation packages and benefits.
  3. Customized solutions: Every organization’s talent mobility needs are unique. A well-established household goods provider can tailor relocation solutions based on industry trends, company goals, and employee preferences. This customization ensures that organizations provide the most relevant and effective relocation support to maximize employee satisfaction.
  4. Compliance and regulatory knowledge: Regulations surrounding immigration, taxes, and legal requirements can significantly impact global relocations. An international relocation company that stays current with these regulations can guide HR and corporate mobility managers through potential pitfalls and ensure seamless compliance.
  5. Technology integration: Innovation is reshaping the way we manage corporate moving. A relocation partner who is well-versed in the latest relocation technology and tools can enhance the employee experience through shipment tracking, streamline processes and provide valuable data for decision-making.
  6. Strategic planning: Having access to a supply chain expert empowers leaders to think strategically about their relocation programs. They can proactively adjust policies and practices to align with current industry trends, fostering greater organizational agility.
  7. Predictive analysis: Anticipating future trends is a competitive advantage. A consultant armed with predictive analysis can help forecast potential challenges and opportunities, allowing for proactive measures that mitigate risks and maximize benefits.
  8. Global perspective: For organizations with a global workforce, keeping track of international trends is essential. A relocation expert offers insights into cultural nuances, market dynamics, and compliance issues, enabling talent mobility managers to navigate global relocations with confidence.
  9. Continuous improvement: Industry trends evolve, and staying relevant requires a commitment to continuous improvement and using data to recalibrate.

The constant changes in corporate moving impact the organization and the employees. A consultative relocation partner understands how current trends may affect employee expectations and preferences, helping corporate mobility managers design relocation experiences that boost satisfaction and retention rates.

Need a consultative expert to help you stay up to date on industry trends? Speak with a specialist at Suddath today.