Will relos rebound in 2004? "It's likely," says Atlas Van Lines survey

April 22, 2004

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Corporate relocations may resume to levels not seen in several years, thanks in part to a rebounding economy, according to results of a new survey released today by Atlas Van Lines.

Nearly one third of the companies responding to the 37th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey told Atlas that they expect to relocate more employees and spend more money doing it this year than last. In 2003, only 13 percent of responding companies said they expected relocation increases, while 15 percent expected relocation budget increases.

Atlas released the results of the survey this morning at its 37th Annual Forum on Moving in downtown Chicago, where more than 700 relocation professionals — top managers in corporate relocation, transportation and logistics — are meeting to discuss new research and current trends in the industry.

"Historically, the Atlas survey results have been a highly accurate barometer for our industry overall," said Greg Hoover, Atlas' senior vice president of sales development. "The rebounding economy is already boosting relocation volumes this year, and we expect that upward trend to continue."

More than 300 corporate relocation professionals completed this year's survey online between Jan. 30 and Feb. 29. Most respondents work in human resources or personnel departments for service, manufacturing, financial and government organizations. More than half of the respondents work for international companies.

Interesting facts garnered from survey results:

  • Economic conditions were cited by 51 percent of respondents as the biggest external factor affecting corporate relocation volumes in 2003. Another 37 percent said a lack of qualified local people had the biggest impact on their relocation volumes.
  • The top internal issues affecting relocations in 2003 were growth of the company (46 percent), corporate reorganization (34 percent) and promotions/resignations (34 percent.)
  • When it comes to outsourcing, 66 percent of respondents said they contracted with outside resources; responses indicate this is done most often for real estate sales/purchases, moving household goods, arranging transportation and accommodations for moving families and counseling about the planning and details of a move.
  • Service is the most important criteria when choosing a carrier to move employees domestically or internationally, followed closely by reputation and price.

Detailed results from the 37th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey are available online at www.atlasworldgroup.com.

Atlas is a $550 million company with more than 450 employees at its Evansville, Ind., headquarters. More than 600 Atlas agents in the United States and Canada specialize in corporate employee relocation and in the carrier transport of high-value items such as electronics, fine art and new fixtures and furniture. Visit atlasworldgroup.com for more information on the company and its agents.

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