Industry Trends: Household Goods

Industry Trends: Household Goods

As we launch into 2023, it is important to review key relocation data from the prior year in order to make informed decisions. Earlier this month, we reviewed the top trends for housing, which had been largely affected by the economy. Now, let’s take a look at the top three trends in household goods, which appear to hold a better outlook for the new year:

  • Supply strains are improving. Throughout 2022, household goods were largely impacted by issues in global shipping. The greatest area of concern was container shipments, as they were noted to be shipping at 50% of their usual intervals. As the final quarter approached, shipments were beginning to normalize. It is expected that 2023 will see a significant decrease in shipping delays, due to an increase in the number of ships and a reduction in demand following COVID. Furthermore, some ocean freighters are launching airfreight deliveries, to aid in limiting these disruptions. Conversely, experts warn that people may become overly optimistic about the speed of recovery in the shipping industry and stress that we will continue to see disruptions in service until the market rebounds.
  • Stabilization of costs. Last year saw a rise in costs for nearly every industry sector, and cargo shipping was no exception, with a 100%+ increase. Industry leaders expect the cost of household goods to eventually stabilize in late 2023 or early 2024.  However, until that time, researchers anticipate continued high costs and fluctuations.
  • Increase in tech usage. With disruptions in the delivery of household goods, many Relocation Management Companies are identifying the importance of technology usage with their household goods vendors, such as online bidding and video surveys. In addition, movers have continued to improve real-time shipment tracking for transferees, through the use of text and digital notifications, which has been linked to a reduction in stress for relocating employees.

Advancing in 2023

As we progress in 2023, the economy will play a large role in service and cost fluctuations for a variety of industry sectors. According to Anna Wooldridge, Supply Chain Sr. Director at NuCompass, “There really is no return to normal for our supply chains. Both agility and resilience will continue to be major factors as we move forward in 2023.”

We expect to see a slow return to stable shipment schedules and a leveling-off in costs, reflective of the last quarter in 2022. However, the shipping industry is still not back to pre-2020 production and schedules, likely resulting in continued disruptions in household goods shipments.