Moving Companies

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 7,900 moving companies in the US provide packing, transportation, and storage services for used household and office goods to individuals and businesses. Firms may also offer warehousing and storage, packing, and special handling services or sell boxes, paper, bubble wrap, tape, and other packaging supplies for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) movers. In the moving industry, the carrier or van line operates as the transporter of household goods. The moving agent operates under contract with the carrier to manage the move.

Seasonal Demand

The moving and relocation business is highly seasonal and peaks during the summer when families like to move to avoid disrupting the school year.

Mobility Falls

The number of Americans who move has been mostly flat or on the decline for the last five years, with advances in technology creating remote working opportunities that eliminate the need for relocation.

Industry size & Structure

The average moving company operates out of a single location, employs about 13 workers, and generates about $2.4 million annually.

    • The moving industry consists of about 7,900 companies that employ 105,400 workers and generate $19.3 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for over 40% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies, which include UniGroup (United Van Lines, Mayflower), SIRVA (Allied, North American Van Lines, Global), and Atlas, may have global operations.
    • Companies that provide long-distance move services account for 32% of firms and 64% of revenue. Companies that provide local move and storage services account for 69% of firms and 36% of revenue.
    • About 40% of firms generate less than $500,000 annually.
    • The industry includes van lines, van line agents, and independent movers.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Moving Companies Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Jan 19, 2024 - Wage Growth Outruns Pricing
                              • Moving companies may face higher operating costs as the industry’s pricing power weakens. In Q4, producer prices charged by used household goods and office goods moving firms declined slightly compared to the same period in 2022. Meanwhile, moving company wages increased significantly year-over-year. If moving company pricing fails to keep pace with rising labor costs, margins could suffer.
                              • Home builder confidence improved in December amid moderating mortgage rates that remained well below 7%, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Home builder sentiment, as measured by the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), rose seven points to 44 in December 2022, which marked the second consecutive month of strengthening confidence. Any HMI reading over 50 indicates that more builders see conditions as good than poor. The NAHB said that while lower interest rates have improved affordability and drawn more buyers back to the market, 2024 could bring supply-side headwinds, including shortages of workers, materials, and available lots. Home building activity is a demand indicator for moving services.
                              • A lack of affordability in the US housing market could put downward pressure on demand for moving services as more households decide to stay put. Just 15.5% of homes listed for sale in 2023 were affordable for the typical US household, according to Redfin. The overall number of listings in 2023 declined 21.2% compared to 2022, but the drop in affordable home selection was also due to high interest rates and elevated home prices. There are also fewer homes on the market as homeowners who locked in a mortgage when rates were cheap are reluctant to sell, and a shortage of available inventory has contributed to rising home prices. However, conditions are expected to improve in 2024. Redfin’s Senior Economist Elijah de Campa said, “Many of the factors that made 2023 the least affordable year for homebuying on record are easing. Mortgage rates are under 7% for the first time in months, home price growth is slowing as lower rates prompt more people to list their homes, and overall inflation continues to cool.”
                              • In 2023, the US added more than 487,500 new multifamily units, and many more are expected to come online in 2024, which is putting downward pressure on rent growth, according to Yardi. While occupancy held steady at a historically healthy 94.9% in October 2023, that is still down 1.3 percentage points from the peak in 2022. Yardi expects rent growth to slow to 1.5% in 2024 amid rising supplies. Rents will be further pressured as Yardi projects another 510,000 units to hit the market in 2024, the highest number in decades. Owners may have to make concessions to attract tenants in an increasingly competitive market. Industry insiders suggest that free rent concessions could prompt some renters to upgrade from class B properties to new class A ones. A significant migration from class B to class A could increase demand for moving services.
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