Relocation Insights


5 Tips to Help You Slay the Summer Rush Move Season

Let's explore some reasons why summer is peak moving season and how you can successfully navigate through it.

With summer just around the corner, the following few months are marked by a surge in relocation activities many in the mobility industry call the summer rush move season, or peak move season. Despite things heating up (literally and figuratively) during the summer, there is no reason to lose your cool as a global mobility manager. Together, we’ll explore some reasons why summer is peak moving season and how you can successfully navigate through it.

What is the Summer Rush Move Season?

The summer rush move season is characterized by a substantial increase in the number of relocation-related and personal household goods shipments (HHG) around the US and the world, typically occurring between May and September. This increase in activity can strain the global supply chain, resulting in longer lead times for household goods shipments. 

There are many different reasons for “peak summer” being a busy one for those of us in corporate relocation:
  1. Summer Break – Seen as the primary reason for the summer rush, employees and their families take advantage of school breaks to move to new locations. This makes for a cleaner transition for the family as they adjust to life at their new destination and settle in.  Local moves (non-relocation related) also tend to occur at this time.
  2. Military Personnel Relocations – The U.S. Armed Forces perform north of 420,000 Permanent Change of Station (PCS) relocations every year. About 40% of these relocations occur in the summer months, adding to the volume crunch.
  3. Better Weather – Mother Nature tends to lend a hand in the summer, providing optimal warm, dry and sunny weather, as opposed to snowy or wet conditions during the colder parts of the year.

Additional industry-related factors may influence move lead times throughout the summer including the ongoing driver shortages, equipment and packaging material shortages, international port delays, and constraints around available space for shipment storage.

Add these dynamics to a business environment that is rapidly recovering from the global pandemic and is resulting in increased demand for talent around the world. According to the 56th Annual Atlas Van Lines Corporate Relocation Survey nearly two-thirds of companies (60%) anticipate an increase in the number of employees relocated overall in 2023.

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The summer rush move season can be particularly challenging as companies strive to meet their relocating employees’ needs while ensuring critical talent is in place to meet organizational goals.

5 Ways to Slay During the Summer Rush Move Season

1: Understand Summer Rush Move Lead Times

Lead times during the summer can vary, depending on the amount of volume moving around the world and some of those complicating factors mentioned earlier. A safe bet is to plan for 6 to 8 weeks of lead time for any given shipment during the peak move season. 

Since lead times in the summer months can fluctuate, it’s always best to ask your relocation management company what the current times are. When you know, you can plan - and knowing is half the battle!

2: Plan for the Summer Rush

When it comes to navigating the summer rush move season, early preparation is crucial. With an understanding of peak move season lead times, you can begin to plan your relocations more effectively.

This information can help to develop a picture of what the summer may look like for your relocation program. For example, an employee that may need to be in place at their destination the first week of August will need to have their relocation authorized in early June to ensure their preferred move dates are secured.

The more lead time you allow, the greater the opportunity to align with the desired move dates, resulting in a smoother relocation for the employee and a more predictable transition plan. Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

3: Clear Communications During the Summer Rush

Communicate with your internal stakeholders and relocating employees early in the relocation process to develop a clear understanding of their relocation needs and timelines. Typically provided by your relocation management company, ensuring the employee has been provided with clear instructions, checklists, and resources early on will help employees plan and make informed decisions. By communicating with your relocating employee early into the process, both the company and the employee can avoid last-minute challenges and reduce stress levels.

4: Authorize Relocations as Soon as You Can to Slay the Summer Rush

The summer rush flies by in the blink of an eye, so it is important to ensure anything that can be done, is done, as soon as possible.

One of the biggest impacts you can make is to authorize your employee’s relocations benefits as early as you can. The sooner the relocation is officially triggered, the more proactive your relocation management company can be during peak moving season. Once the service is authorized, your relocation company will work with your employee to schedule a comprehensive shipment survey with a qualified HHG transportation provider. 

The shipment survey is used to gain an understanding of the employee’s specific shipment needs and is the basis for determining what equipment and resources are required and developing a quote for the anticipated cost. The employee’s shipment pack-and-load dates can then be scheduled with the van line. 

5: Be Realistic & Flexible During Peak Moving Season

Expectation management is key during the summer rush move season. When managing expectations during the summer rush move season, it's important to establish realistic timelines. By being realistic when planning during the summer rush we can prevent frustration later in the relocation process.

For example, it is unlikely that shipment benefits can be authorized on a Monday and the movers will be available that Friday during the peak moving season. By communicating this information and the current shipment lead times up front, we can establish a clear picture of reality and manage expectations.

Additionally, the increased demand for relocation services during the summer months and the finite availability of resources can potentially cause delays and changes to timelines. We encourage flexibility and adaptability during the summer.

Our Thoughts on the Summer Rush Move Season

The summer peak moving season may seem like a perfect storm specially developed to stress out your mobility team and your relocating employees, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Working with a well-regarded and experienced relocation management company, like Cornerstone, can go a long way toward a smooth summer relocation season for your organization.

At Cornerstone, we will help you navigate the summer rush move season by ensuring a clear understanding of current shipment lead times and how they will impact your program. 

Cornerstone Can Help You Beat the Summer Rush
The Cornerstone team has decades of experience in working with companies of all sizes and industries. We will listen to your needs and explore your priorities, processes, and goals. Our team will make recommendations and provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions. From policy recommendations to benchmarking data, we have the resources and talent to help you reach your mobility program goals and growth plans.

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Our teams of experienced Relocation Consultants will work directly with your relocating employees to keep them informed and guide them through the relocation process, coordinating all services on their behalf, including the shipment of their household goods. Cornerstone will provide you with guidance and resources on ways to optimize your program and processes to help you win during peak moving season.

We believe in providing compassionate, comprehensive support to every relocating employee and their family. Our team leverages a high-touch approach to relocation management, proactively touching base with your employee at key points throughout their relocation. This ensures we stay ahead of the game and deliver the right information and guidance at exactly the right time.

Navigating the summer rush move season can be a challenging period for companies and employees alike. But with communication, early preparation, and comprehensive support from your relocation management team, you can learn to stop worrying and love the summer rush.
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