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2024 State of the Moving Industry Report

SmartMoving, Michigan Moving Association, New Jersey Warehouse & Movers Association, Massachusetts Moving Association, Arizona Moving Association, and Remedy Payment Solutions surveyed more than 400 moving company owners nationwide to gather insights on business performance in 2023 and expectations for 2024 and beyond.

While 2023 was challenging for moving companies, with less than half meeting their revenue goals, the majority of moving companies are optimistic about the year ahead. To increase profitability, moving companies plan to increase prices, improve marketing, and diversify their business.

2023 Snapshot: A Challenging Year

2023 was a tough year for moving companies, with less than half (40%) meeting their revenue goals. Rising interest rates had a negative impact on 76% of moving companies. In addition, 33% of moving businesses had to take a business line of credit or a cash advance loan.

2024 Snapshot: Optimistic About 2024

Despite the challenges of 2023, the majority of moving companies (79%) are optimistic about the year ahead. To increase profitability, 56% plan to increase prices, 40% plan to improve marketing, and 24% plan to diversify their business.

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State of the Market

State-Industry-Image-2In 2023, less than half of moving companies achieved their revenue goals, and many grappled with issues like hiring, operations, and marketing. The impact of rising interest rates cast a shadow over most businesses, leading to stagnant or even declining revenue. To conquer these challenges head-on, some companies had to take out a loan of some type.

Nevertheless, the majority of moving companies are looking ahead with optimism. They are determined to find effective strategies that will boost their profitability in 2024. These strategies include pricing adjustments, enhanced marketing efforts, and expansion of their service offerings.

Key Findings

Our study illustrates business performance for moving companies in 2023 and industry trends for 2024, as indicated by the following results:

  • 2023 was a challenging year for moving companies with less than half (40%) meeting their revenue goals.
  • Most moving companies (76%) agree that the impact of rising interest rates had a negative or somewhat negative impact on their business.
  • 32% of moving businesses had minimal change (-10% to 10%) in their revenue trend over the last 12 months. While 24% saw a decrease by 10 to 20%.
  • In addition, 33% of moving businesses had to take a business line of credit or a cash advance loan in 2023.
  • Despite the challenges of 2023, the majority of moving companies (79%) are either generally or very optimistic about the year ahead.
  • As moving companies look for ways to increase profitability, 56% plan to increase prices, 40% plan to improve marketing, and 24% plan to expand service offerings.
  • While software usage is already prevalent among the majority of moving companies, 18% plan to invest in additional software this year as a tool to achieve their goals.

Emerging Trends & Strategies for Success

Last year posed several challenges for moving companies. Rising interest rates resulted in fewer moves, while staffing, operational, and marketing issues presented their own challenges.

However, in 2024, moving companies are adapting with new strategies to overcome these challenges and drive profitability. This section highlights the top trends and actionable strategies that will help moving company owners thrive in the changing landscape of the industry.

Top Challenges Faced in 2023

In 2023, moving companies encountered several hurdles that impacted their business. Rising interest rates led to a decrease in residential and commercial moves, limiting revenue opportunities for companies. Other challenges included:

  • Staffing Difficulties: Finding skilled staff was a major pain point, with 66% of moving companies reporting challenges in recruitment and turnover.
  • Operational Inefficiencies: 60% of moving companies faced inefficiencies in their day-to-day operations, hindering productivity and profitability.
  • Limited Marketing: 56% of companies struggled with executing and optimizing ongoing marketing programs, impacting their ability to attract new customers.


Business Strategies for 2024

Moving companies have a unique opportunity to thrive in 2024 by being proactive and opportunistic. It's no secret that challenging economic times naturally filter out poorly run businesses. Movers can capitalize on discounted equipment from companies going out of business, allowing them to upgrade their resources at a fraction of the normal cost. And these companies often have skilled workers who are now available for recruitment.

Other key strategies include:

  • Screenshot 2024-03-12 at 5.05.28 PMPrice Adjustments: In response to the challenges of the previous year, 56% of moving companies plan to increase their prices. This strategic move aims to maintain profitability while balancing customer value.
  • Enhancing Marketing Efforts: Recognizing the importance of marketing, 40% of companies are focusing on improving or expanding their marketing initiatives. Top areas include search engine optimization (SEO), adding or expanding paid advertising, and increasing word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Diversifying Services: To broaden their revenue streams, 24% of moving companies are diversifying their services, expanding beyond traditional moves to offer specialized services like military and international moves. They’re also looking to offer profitable ancillary services like packing and storage.

Top 5 Emerging Trends

1 | Boost revenue with thoughtful price adjustments

In the competitive landscape of the moving industry, pricing strategies play a key role in maximizing profitability while maintaining value for customers. With more than half of moving companies planning to raise prices by around 5% this year, evaluating pricing strategies is important.

Looking at aggregate data from SmartMoving software users, move prices remained steady in 2023 for the majority of moving companies. This is a good sign for increasing prices in 2024. By finding the right balance between reasonable price adjustments and value delivered, moving companies can increase revenue and lay the foundation for long-term sustainable growth.

Best-in-Class Comparison

We also looked at the pricing strategies of top-performing moving companies and found that they charge higher prices for all their services. These industry leaders also plan to increase their prices by 5% this year. By carefully evaluating their pricing structure and making thoughtful adjustments, these companies are setting themselves up for continued success and profitability.

2 | Invest in Marketing to Fuel Growth

For moving companies seeking to maximize growth and brand awareness, it's crucial to allocate an adequate budget for marketing efforts. Surprisingly, many companies currently spend only a small percentage of their revenue on marketing, with over a quarter allocating just 5% or less. However, industry experts recommend investing 10-12% of revenue into marketing for growth and brand awareness.

It's encouraging to note that 42% of moving companies have recognized the significance of marketing and are planning to boost their marketing budget this year. Top areas of focus
include search engine optimization (SEO), adding or expanding paid ads, increasing word-of-mouth marketing, improving their online presence, and optimizing current marketing programs.

While many companies are knowledgeable about their lead to booked job conversion rate, a key business metric, it's worth mentioning that 39% of moving companies have yet to leverage the benefits of email marketing software for automating and executing consistent marketing programs.

Best-in-Class Comparison

We found that top performers prioritize their marketing investment, allocating more budget to enhance their success. It's worth noting that a higher percentage of these leading companies are also planning to increase their marketing budget this year. This demonstrates their commitment to growth and the recognition of the critical role marketing plays in achieving their goals.

3 | Expand Services to Increase Sales

While many moving companies excel in residential, commercial, intrastate, and interstate moves, there's an opportunity to tap into specialized markets such as military and international moves. By diversifying your services, you position your company as a trusted and comprehensive solution for customers with unique relocation needs.

It's equally important to consider offering profitable ancillary services. Surprisingly, a substantial percentage of companies have yet to offer cleaning services (89%), junk removal (49%), valuation or insurance (26%), storage (14%), and packing (4%). Notably, packing and storage are ranked as the top revenue generating ancillary services.

By introducing these value-added services, you not only enhance your revenue potential but also establish your company as a go-to destination for all aspects of the moving process.

Best-in-Class Comparison

Our research shows that best-in-class moving companies already offer a broader range of moving and ancillary services. These top performers recognize the importance of meeting diverse customer needs and have expanded their offerings accordingly.

In fact, they are more likely to offer all move types and provide essential services like packing, storage, valuation, and insurance. Even with this, a larger proportion of best-in-class companies have strategic plans to further diversify and expand their services this year.

It’s surprising to note that 76% of general moving companies do not intend to explore diversification or expansion, even though they expect the economy to remain stagnant or potentially decline this year. By seizing the opportunity to cater to a wider array of customer needs, you can unlock fresh revenue streams and establish yourself as a well-rounded provider of comprehensive moving solutions.

4 | Focus on Efficiency to Drive Profitability

software-usageIn the pursuit of profitability, efficiency is just as crucial as driving growth. Moving companies understand the importance of optimizing costs, controlling spend, improving processes, and automating repetitive tasks to enhance overall efficiencies. 

While many companies have already embraced software solutions to streamline their operations, there is still an opportunity for improvement. Surprisingly, some companies have yet to tap into the power of software to automate sales, marketing, and customer relationship management.

In this era of rapid digital transformation, it's essential for moving companies to embrace software as a catalyst for growth, efficiency, and ultimately, peak profitability.

Best-in-Class Comparison

We found that a higher percentage of top performers (23%) are planning to purchase additional software this year to further improve efficiencies. This proactive approach to embracing technology highlights their dedication to staying ahead of the curve and continuously evolving to maximize productivity and profitability.

5 | Offer Digital Payment Options to Enhance Your Customer Experience

In the world of payment options, credit cards and cash are the common choices for most moving companies. Surprisingly, less than half of moving companies currently accept ACH payments. However, digital payments, especially ACH, can significantly benefit your moving business by simplifying transactions, making them faster, safer, and more convenient for your customers. Our findings also show that SmartMoving customers who enable payment options experience significantly higher conversion rates for leads to booked jobs.

Best-in-Class Comparison

We found that a higher percentage of top performers (53%) accept ACH payments.

Industry Benchmarks

Benchmarks offer moving companies’ insights into their business performance compared to their peers. Understanding where you stand relative to your competitors can inform your decision-making process and help you achieve your business goals.

Download the full report to see industry benchmarks. Download now and come back to it whenever you need it!

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