DALLAS — A growing economy and stiffer competition may account for an anticipated increase in 2005 relocation volume, according to the results of a new survey released today by Atlas Van Lines.
Continuing a trend begun in 2004, 33 percent of survey respondents said their total 2005 relocation volume would increase; 32 percent said their budgets would follow suit. Nearly 50 percent of large companies responding said they're expecting an increase in both volume and budget.
Atlas released the results of its 38th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey this morning at its annual Forum on Moving in the Dallas area, where more than 500 relocation professionals — top managers in corporate relocation, transportation and logistics — are meeting to discuss new research and current trends in the industry.
"The 2005 Atlas survey shows positive financial trends that began in our industry two years ago," said Greg Hoover, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Atlas World Group. "As those upward trends continue, technology — like the use of the Internet for finding and booking relocation services — razor-sharp customer focus and the search for qualified employees will be deciding factors in a customer's relocation decisions as well as the decision to use one relocation company versus another."
A hunger for capable employees had a direct effect on 2004 relocation volume as companies tried to bring a more qualified workforce closer to home. Up from 37 percent in 2003, nearly 50 percent of companies responding to the survey told Atlas a lack of qualified people was a driving force in their decision to move employees.
More than 300 corporate relocation professionals completed this year's survey online between Jan. 26 and March 7. Most respondents work in human resources or personnel departments for service, manufacturing, financial and government organizations. Nearly half of the respondents work for international companies.
- External factors were cited by nearly 80 percent of respondents as affecting their number of relocations in 2004, including competition and a lack of qualified employees. More than 35 percent of respondents from large companies said the growth of competition, domestically or internationally, had a significant impact on their relocation volume. The top factor in 2003, economic conditions, mentioned by 40 percent of respondents, ranked second in 2004.
- More than half of respondents said the growth of their company was the top internal factor affecting 2004 relocations. Promotions, resignations and corporate reorganization were the second most prevalent factors. International expansion was cited by 25 percent of large companies responding to the 2004 survey, a significant jump from 8 percent in 2003.
- Customer focus is still the most important attribute cited by corporate decision-makers when evaluating or selecting a carrier for corporate relocations — nearly 90 percent of respondents rated service as critically important. For large firms, claims processing service was more important than price.
- Nearly 70 percent of large firms reported using their relocation company's Web site for a variety of services including tracking and reporting in 2004. Almost 70 percent of large firms reported using the Internet to research relocation compared to 46 percent of mid-sized firms and only 35 percent of small firms. A total of 71 percent of all respondents said they used e-mail to communicate with the employees during the relocation process.
For complete survey results, go to www.atlasworldgroup.com/survey.
Atlas Van Lines is the largest subsidiary of Atlas World Group, an Evansville, Ind. based company that posted record revenues of $860 million in 2004. Atlas World Group companies employ more than 700 people throughout North America. More than 600 Atlas agents in the United States and Canada specialize in corporate employee relocation and in the transportation of high-value items such as electronics, fine art and new fixtures and furniture. Visit www.atlasworldgroup.com for more information on the company and Atlas agents.