The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive effect on billions of people around the world. Not only that, but it has changed entire industries and political landscapes forever. The moving industry has not been spared from changes. Service providers, the public, and regulators have had to make changes to reflect the current situation and to prepare for what the world is going to look like going forward. Here’s how Covid-19 has changed the moving industry and how some of those changes are probably going to be long-lasting.
The moving industry makes up more than just moving companies that transport property from one location to the other. There are several products and service providers that are just as important to the moving process, and have needed to make changes as well. For example, the packaging and packing industry is very involved in moving. They provide boxes and equipment that people need to move their life from one home to another. However, many of the packing equipment providers have manufacturing plants in places, such as China, that have been affected by the pandemic. Plants have had to suspend operations around the world to protect workers, and production has been delayed by sick workers as well. Not only that, but the pandemic hit a crescendo not long after Chinese New Year, which usually depletes packing products due to the high volume of gift giving. This means that manufacturers were already behind and have gotten further behind as a result of the pandemic.
The moving industry relies on sectors like packaging, and delays and problems can be catastrophic. Moves get delayed, deadlines aren’t met, and there could be additional costs to the homeowners and movers, depending on the situation. Not only that, but if the right equipment isn’t available, then there may be safety issues as well.
Issues With Movement
Another issue that is affecting the industry, especially when it comes to long distance movers, is the difference in regulations and recommendations between jurisdictions. Social distancing, closed businesses, and other safety measures can be drastically different depending on what state you are in. This means that a service that might be available where the movers pick up is not available at the destination. Or, the homeowner might have an issue with following through on their scheduled move because of regulations in either location. On top of that, if the homeowner or family gets sick with Covid-19, then they will most likely have to cancel or delay their move for some time. The moving industry needs to be able to deal with these eventualities, since they could be more common as time goes on. If service providers in the industry operate as if it were normal times, and don’t offer appropriate cancellation or delay policies, then they will lose business when things start to get back to normal if they are seen as exploitative.
In the past, movers probably used gloves and work boots for protection, and that was pretty much it for a normal move. Now, though, there is so much more to consider when it comes to safety. Not only must we protect our workers and clients from injury, but we must do what we can to protect from illness as well. Movers are handling and breathing on almost all of a client’s property, and it can become contaminated with the dangerous Covid-19 virus. This means doing the extra work of sanitizing surfaces, wearing masks, and avoiding personal contact through handshakes and other means. Moving workers are also working with each other in close contact, especially when taking vehicles together, so PPE and sanitation supplies must be readily available for everyone to keep safe. After the threat of Covid-19 has calmed down, there will still be fears in the public, so the moving industry must continue to provide an image of health and safety with everything we do.
Staffing and Revenue
With so many people either working from home, losing their jobs, or in uncertain situations, the moving industry has taken financial losses, just like any other industry. We must be prepared going forward that things will not necessarily go back to how they were, at least not for several years. Difficult choices will need to be made regarding staffing and budget.
Covid-19 has been a world-changing event that touches every aspect of our society. The moving industry must be prepared to make changes both temporarily and permanently to function properly in the new reality