Industry Alert: Household Goods

Industry Alert: Household Goods

Responding to Household Goods High Volume, Labor Shortages and Delays

Published: Aug 24, 2021

NEI’s household goods service partners are reporting that the 2021 household goods move volume trend continues to be overwhelmingly high, well ahead of 2020 and even surpassing 2019.  The robust real estate market, labor shortages, and worldwide surges in the pandemic have created a perfect storm, boosting late delivery as the number one cause for employee dissatisfaction in 2021.

In an effort to minimize the impact of the disruptions resulting from the global transportation system, NEI’s partners have taken a variety of steps, including:

  • Purchasing and staging trailers in states where supplies are low.
  • Securing lift vans and packing material inventory.
  • Focusing on hiring and retaining professional van operators / drivers.
  • Adopting a hybrid work-space talent model, important to acquiring talent.
  • Building local crew strength, creating capacity, and developing solutions where equipment and material are often unavailable.
  • Drawing on relationships to meet obligations when and where possible.
  • Using technology and virtual tools, including surveys and pulse text feedback to maintain communication as needs and dates change.

How NEI is Helping

While providing as much lead time as possible for optimum scheduling, ongoing communication and supply chain collaboration have been taken to heightened levels, it is essential to be flexible and set realistic expectations with employees.

Part of our in-depth relocating employee and assignee policy counseling is clearly setting expectations, especially with employees that have moved before, and educating them on the impact of what they see in the news every single day on their personal household goods shipment.

What Your Organization Can Do

  • Be cognizant of the trending higher transportation costs and the potential delays that result in greater temporary living expenses and budget accordingly.
  • Proactively set expectations of extended delivery schedules during initial discussions with relocation candidates and their managers.
  • Encourage managers to be flexible with their relocating employees recognizing there will likely be last minute adjustments related to the household goods move benefit. 
  • Let NEI know of any moves involving the transportation of household goods, including last minute changes, as early as possible.

Please reach out to your NEI representative if you would like more details on the state of today’s household goods global transportation industry.