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Movers begin issuing blackout notices

By • Apr 25th, 2011 • Category: *RELOCATION NEWS UPDATES*

Reduced capacity results in early booking restriction; pricing adjustments

domino effect in moving industryThe 2011 peak moving season is rapidly approaching. As expected, this week several of the largest interstate van lines started implementing booking restrictions by announcing registration cut-offs and/or pricing increases. The earliest begins in mid-May. 

Historically responsible managers within the full-service moving industry announce these self-imposed tonnage embargoes to their agency networks, sales associates, and loyal repeat customers when they begin to notice a rapid build-up of new business in certain geographic areas within their own local or long distance moving company, national van line system, or affiliated independent moving and storage network.

These types of 'new business' restrictions are normal within intra- and interstate transportation environments which typically rely on a limited amount of qualified professional van operators and licensed household goods trucks and equipment during the moving industry's peak volume period. Most families try to schedule their relocation plans for the period between May and August when kids are out of school.

This year, relocation experts expect a dramatic reduction in normal moving industry capacity due to the effects that attrition has taken on independent owner-operators and smaller motor carriers during the four year-old financial recession and real estate meltdown.

With fewer professional drivers and qualified over-the-road trucks available to handle what is expected to be a double-digit increase in individual, government, and corporate demand, the booking restrictions and pricing adjustments being announced this week are the first of many that will likely extend throughout the summer.

We all know what happens once the first domino falls

discount pricing Unfortunately, if appears the ones who will be most affected by these types of early booking cut-offs are the thousands of inexperienced but extremely loyal service members, civilian government employees, and their respective families who must plan their domestic and international permanent-change-of station (PCS) transfers themselves after receiving their new personal Department of Defense (DOD) or base closure orders from their respective military command.

Although the DOD is the moving industry's largest customer, the automated, internet based self-counseling household goods procurement process introduced by the military's Surface Deployment Distribution Command (SDDC) last summer has experienced a number of internal and external problems among both PCSing military transferees and the transportation service providers (TSP) who are supposed to move them. It appears that SDDC's new low rate Defense Personal Property Program, DP3, is going to be baptized in fire this summer.

Even as DOD's personal property administrators scramble to secretively tweak the unpopular 'best value' Defense Personal Property System to try to 'improve' TSP capacity at the last minute, the largest players in the industry began shutting off the military's booking opportunities this week in what appears to be will be an extremely busy peak moving season for everyone planning a relocation in 2011.


Related Articles and Industry Resouces:

I’m so confused! How do I find a mover NOW? – RELO Roundtable

Movers now closing off bookings for June – RELO Roundtable

Don’t forget! May is ‘National Moving Month’ - RELO Roundtable

CRISES in the moving industry? – RELO Roundtable

Moving industry challenges in 2011: DOT vs. DOD – RELO Rouindtable

Moving into the future – By Eric Reed, CRP, GMS

Industry Trends – American Moving and Storage Association

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