Labor shortages are felt across all sectors of the US economy right now and the moving industry is no exception, compounding an already well-known driver shortage. U.S. job openings hit a record high of 8 million in March according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, and many companies are having a tough time finding employees to fill those roles.
The transportation and logistics industry is faced with record demand coming off the pandemic lows of a year ago, but it is struggling to find enough drivers and warehouse workers to meet surging consumer demand. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary jobs data for April showed that transportation and warehousing employment declined by 74,000 jobs during the month.
While the reason for the current labor shortages is complex, many believe companies are having a hard time finding workers for a variety of reasons, including the federal government’s expanded unemployment insurance benefits, lingering fears of contracting Covid-19, and the need for some workers to care for children who are still in remote schooling.
The labor shortage has been a major challenge to the transportation and logistics industry this peak-season, affecting agent’s capacity to pack and load shipments, assemble liftvans, deliver shipments out of storage and find drivers to haul shipments. Below are a few tips to help your PCS move run as smooth as possible:
Start Early to Schedule your PCS Move:
As soon as you received orders, schedule your move in DPS and obtain counseling from your local personal property office. This will ensure you secure a more desirable pack and load date and will give you time to become aware of any COVID-related protocols and new rule changes.
Be flexible with your pack and load dates:
If possible, try to schedule your move mid-month. If you find yourself moving in the middle of peak season (June and July), it can be difficult to get the pack and pickup dates you need. Historically, the last week of any month, holidays, and the first week of July are typically times you want to avoid due to capacity constraints. If you can move mid-month, you may increase your chances of getting a date that works with your timelines and a crew that can provide quality service.
Be open to Virtual Pre-Move Surveys:
Since the pandemic, more agents than ever are offering virtual surveys as a way to accommodate your schedule, as well as alleviate staffing constraints. A virtual survey is simply a pre-move survey of your home that is conducted virtually. Using an application on a mobile device or tablet, the estimator is able to video chat and “walk through” your residence to determine the weight estimation and if any special services are needed before your move.
Be Prepared for Delivery Out of Storage Wait Times:
Be prepared for storage in the event you are not able to accept delivery once your household goods arrive to your destination. During peak season, which runs from May 15 thru the end of August, it can take 2 – 4 weeks, sometimes longer in heavily-saturated markets, for your local destination agent to have availability and labor to deliver your shipment to your residence. Once your shipment arrives to the destination agent, schedule delivery as soon as possible, by using the delivery out of storage form found here. If possible, pack essential items with you such as blowup mattresses, pots and pans, medications, and uniforms.
We hope that providing you this information will assist you in planning for your move and avoid any possible inconveniences during the move process. If you have any questions, our Customer Support Center is available to answer your questions Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST. thru live chat or phone.