Moving Industry Trends 2021 – Portland, OR

Are you preparing for or researching a Portland move? Well, you may have noticed that it is incredibly difficult to find a moving company that has the availability to accommodate you. Right now, a lot of movers have limited open times.

The truth is, this isn’t just a trend in Portland. There are moving companies across the entire United States that are struggling to keep up with their demand due to a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include:

  • Busy peak season in the summer months of June, July, and August.
  • Damaged supply chains create logistical troubles. One great example is the chip shortage that halts the normal supply of new moving trucks. This is an even bigger issue due to laws regarding the age of diesel trucks.
  • Labor shortages that are hurting small businesses across almost all industries are putting a limit on what moving companies can handle.

Right now, you have to take a different, more patient and planned approach to moving. To help you understand what’s going on in the moving industry in 2021, we put together this ultimate guide that details the challenges that moving companies are currently facing and how these affect you.

The “Peak Season” of the Moving Industry

The summer is far and away the busiest time for the moving industry. There is a big increase in the number of people who are looking to move with the help of a professional moving company. This often results in a dramatic difference between how busy a moving company is in the Peak Season from June through August and how busy that same moving company is in the Off-Season of the winter.

There are a few reasons why this could be the case. Some point to the nice weather, others point to families being more available with their kids out of school, and others point to the lack of having to work around the busy winter holiday season. These may all play at least somewhat of a factor, but whatever the reason behind the Peak Season; the truth remains that the summer months get booked in advance for many moving companies.

Moving and storage professionals from across the United States recommend, if possible, scheduling your move in the Off-Season.

By avoiding Peak Season and moving in or around the winter, you will:

  • Have a much more stress-free moving process, as it will be easier to find the perfect moving company and you will be more likely to get your first choice movers.
  • Save up to 20-30% of your moving costs as moving companies tend to charge less due to lesser demand.
  • Flexibility in your move with more moving date options available.

Currently, the moving industry is in a unique state. Due to issues relating to COVID, people’s moving plans have and are being delayed. That, in addition to incredibly unique trends in the real estate market, has created a currently red hot moving industry. With so many people seeking professional moving help, the typical perks of moving in the Off-Season aren’t guaranteed.

Of course, moving is never fully in your control. You might end up in a position where you have no choice but to move during peak season. That’s okay, as long as you know how to properly vet a moving company as you research your next mover. Since you may not be able to get your first choice movers due to limited availability, you may be looking further on Google for moving companies that you’re less familiar with. When looking into these types of moving companies, be sure to:

  • Check for online reviews from places like Google and Yelp.
  • Have all of your moving questions answered by one of the moving company’s customer service representatives.
  • Make certain that they take a comprehensive inventory of your items before giving out your moving quote.

It’s important to be safe when moving. Due to the unique conditions surrounding the moving industry, there have been more than double the amount of mover-related complaints between March and December of 2020. according to a report from the the Department of Consumer Affairs

These complaints include:

  • Moving companies that take your money and then don’t complete the move
  • Moving companies that hold your stuff hostage until you pay an exorbitant fee for unfinished services
  • Moving companies give you a super-low estimate to get your business, then overcharge you upon delivery.

It is key to remember that quotes and estimates are different. Quotes are a binding price. Estimates are exactly what they sound like; they are the best estimate that they could give you. It is not binding. Make sure you clarify where you stand.

Damaged Supply Chain

A good moving fleet is vital to a good moving company. An issue with the moving fleet is an issue with the moving company. The problem is that moving companies across the entire United States are struggling to get their moving fleets in line.

New trucks are being made, but they’re not being completed. There’s a chip shortage and the result is that new trucks end up sitting in a lot, not ready to hit the road without their computer chip. That makes it incredibly difficult for moving companies to get new trucks when they need them.

The caveat to this is that in Portland, Oregon, moving companies have to upgrade their fleet. There are regulations in place that call for all diesel trucks in the Portland area to have a 2010 model engine or better by 2025.

That means moving companies are trying to upgrade their fleets but, due to the chip shortage, are struggling to make it work.

Effects of the Labor-Shortage

People simply are not looking for jobs. Non-managerial positions have seen increased wages by 14% nationally in 2021, according to research from the Washington Post. Even with that, there has been a decline in the available workforce.

With moving companies having a depleted staff, people trying to move are being affected. There’s a story from down in California, reported by the Wall Street Journal, of two California natives, Debora and Brian Roland, who were promised by their moving company that they would be fully moved in 6-12 days, but 4 weeks later they are still waiting.

Movers are overbooked and undermanned. For many, it has been a struggle to keep up. This is something to keep in mind as you plan for your move.

What This Means for You

Between a red-hot peak season volume, dealing with a damaged supply chain, and being understaffed, many movers are experiencing similar issues.

Take this into account when planning your move.

Moving can be unpredictable, but do what you can to get your move scheduled as far in advance as possible. Don’t sacrifice your security with poor research, but try to get your quotes sooner rather than later. This will put you in a better position to get a good moving date.