Dollars & Sense: Moving Companies Struggle to Keep Up with the Exodus of People to Other States

Paseo Financial Group

Almost 75% of moving companies reported delays in 2021, blaming high demand and a labor shortage, according to a new survey of the top 60+ moving firms in the United States on their ability to supply the demands of the max exodus of people from several states. With so many Americans on the move, 2021 saw an unprecedented surge in the need for relocation services. Moving businesses across the country are reeling to meet demand in an economy plagued by worker shortages, rising fuel costs, and health concerns. And there is no end in sight, being that this migration of people from states such as California, Oregon, Washington, and Illinois is going to exponentially increase, according to experts in this field.

Buyers planning a move will want to plan far ahead. Over 50% of moving companies are booked out several months in advance and getting top dollar for their rental fleets. Many cannot even guarantee some of the larger trucks, e.g., 15 feet or longer. Because of this, customer complaints about cancellations jumped 250% in 2021 compared to the prepandemic period in 2019. All the moving companies say their biggest challenges are driver shortages, delivery delays, labor shortages, increased damage claims, and rising fuel costs.

The states reporting some of the biggest issues in servicing customers are California, Illinois, and Washington, according to the survey.

One of my sons is moving from California to Florida at the end of January. He was quoted $10,000 for a 12-foot rental truck, and over $15,000 for a slightly larger truck. He and his fiancé decided to sell all their furniture and a car in Los Angeles and pack all their personal belongings in a Penske rental van to drive across the states. He purchased a new car in Tampa at below MSRP—something that would not happen in most states now. The same is happening here in SaddleBrooke Ranch in that several of our clients are getting outlandish quotes for moving their furniture and appliances and are therefore selling most of their furniture and conveying the appliances through the sale—thus reducing their moving costs dramatically.

According to a year-end survey, we here at SaddleBrooke Ranch are getting a great deal from this exodus in that the states where we are getting the most new residents are: No. 1—California; No. 2—Oregon, which replaced Washington this past year; No. 2—Washington, which fell one spot; and a distant No. 4 is Colorado.

Douglas Sedam is the owner/broker of and The Home Loan Pros and can be reached at 520-829-5219, #1, should you be thinking about selling your home.