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The moving industry is ripe for change

Posted on January 21st, 2014 by

The Moving & Storage world is a $16.5 billion annual industry consisting of 8,100 companies operating at 17,000 locations primarily providing moving and storage services for household and office goods. This Includes van lines, van line agents, independent full-service movers, international movers, forwarders, and auto transporters. Average cost of an interstate household move: About $4,200, based on an average weight of 7,400 pounds and average distance of 1,225 miles (2007) and including packing and other services.

Moves without claim, percentage: More than 80% of all moves have no claim filed (consistent for more than a decade – has been as high as 82%), and almost all (99.99%) claims are resolved before arbitration. Filed claims can include customer-packed shipments which may have contributed to damages.

The numbers

Percentage of household moves by market type (2005):

  • The Moving & Storage industry employs 122,600 people with an annual payroll of $3.6 billion
  • The Moving & Storage industry is composed of mostly small businesses: 47.8% of industry companies employ fewer than 5 people.
  • Only 8.5% of industry companies employ 100 or more people.
  • Americans who move, annual number: 38.7 million, or 16.5 million households @ 2.34 persons per household (2006 Census estimate)
  • Americans who move, annual percentage: 13%
  • 65% moved within the same county (23 million)
  • 19% moved to a different county within the same state (7.4 million)
  • 84% moved within the same state (32.6 million)
  • 12.6% moved to a different state (4.9 million)
  • 3% moved to the US from another country (1.2 million

Percentage of household moves by market type (2005):

  • Individuals: 48.9%
  • Corporate: 33.4%
  • Military: 16.2%
  • Other govmt: 1.5%

Interstate household goods moves, annual number (2006): 2.42 million (Census estimate)

by professional movers: 800,000
* by consumer with rented truck: one million (AMSA estimates)
* by consumer unassisted: 1.2 million