Atlas corporate relocation survey 2024

Atlas Van Lines in the USA has released its 57th annual Corporate Relocation Survey that looks at  corporate relocation policies, practices, and subsequent trends. 

The survey includes results collected from 575 companies across various industries. It captures the driving forces behind employees’ relocation decisions and workforce mobility, providing valuable insights for transportation leaders and stakeholders. The survey shows that 70% of all companies reported an increase in the overall number of employees relocated in 2023, a 2-point increase from 2022.

Key statistics for movers

  • 75% of corporations said that they would instruct (or create policy) their lump-sum assignees to use a sole HHG provider if they currently have a pricing agreement in place and this same agreement were extended to lump-sum customers.  
  • Offering HHG shipping as a relocation benefit was more common in 2023 compared with 2022. 48% of large companies reported offering the service as part of their fixed relocation benefits package.
  • 68% of companies pay directly for carrier transportation expenses and only 28% reimburse the employee.

Employee Needs and Preferences 

Overall, the volume of relocations did not change significantly in 2023 compared with 2022, suggesting that relocation trends have begun to stabilize from historic lows due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Relocations appear to be becoming more common, increasing overall from 2022-2023.

Safety and family drove declined relocations in 2023, with 35% of companies reporting employees declined relocation due to safety concerns, 34% due to family issues/ties, and 30% due to a lack of spousal/partner assistance. Companies relocating employees internationally were more likely to report that safety concerns resulted in declined relocations at 44%.

Domestically, family ties and the needs of the trailing spouse/partner reflect the financial pressures of US households due to the state of the economy and inflation—despite general improvement overall, Consumer Price Indexes and the cost of living reflect that employees have not yet felt the impact of decreasing inflation.

These needs set the stage for companies to consider nonstandard relocation assistance policies. Most companies (36%) offering nonstandard assistance incentives or benefits “almost always” encouraged relocation. The three most offered nonstandard benefits were relocation/sign-on bonuses, guaranteed employment contracts for a specified length of time, and cost of living adjustments.

Company, Economic, and Technology Growth

Company growth was the number one internal factor impacting relocation in 2023, a likely side effect of overall economic improvements during the year. One in three companies cited economic conditions as the leading external factor impacting relocation, spurred by a decrease in inflation and an increase in job creation in 2023.

The US labour force saw a significant increase in workers last year, with the number of men in the workplace normalizing to pre-pandemic levels and the number of women surging from lows in female workforce participation in 2020. At the same time, a need for more qualified people ranks as the second most impactful external factor on relocation for all companies (27%). Although the percentage of companies that reported difficulty finding qualified people is at its lowest since the 1990s, quit rates, skill shortages and job openings remained challenges for employers.

With the rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI) over the past year, Atlas added “emergence of artificial intelligence technology” as an option for internal factors impacting relocation for the 2023 survey. The survey found that 70% of respondents noted they are knowledgeable of AI applications within human resources and 65% already use AI in human resources processes. Most respondents (85%) agree that AI will have a major impact on the workforce over the next five years, though they are split when asked whether they worry AI could take their jobs over the same period.

For this year’s complete survey results, visit the Atlas Van Lines Corporate Relocation Survey results online.

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