Atlas Van Lines Announces 2012 Corporate Relocation Trends

45th annual survey reflects economic optimism in corporate America


April 30, 2012

Media Contacts:
Kerri Hart, Atlas Van Lines
800.638.9797, ext. 2951 or *Email Protected*

Greta Hass, Dittoe Public Relations
317.202.2280, ext. 18 or *Email Protected*


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (April 30, 2012) — According to one of the nation's leading moving companies, Atlas Van Lines, firms across the U.S. saw improvements in relocation volumes, budgets and overall performances last year, and expect much of the same for 2012. Responding to its 45th annual corporate relocation survey, 67 percent of the relocation managers polled say they believe their respective companies will fare better in 2012.

"For more than four decades, our relocation research has shed light on corporate America and the economy's effect on relocation," said Jack Griffin, president and COO of Atlas World Group. "The majority of companies answering the 2012 survey expect volumes and budgets to remain static, with most remaining respondents expecting increases. Results are encouraging for Atlas Van Lines and our agent moving companies throughout the nation."

Basic 2012 Results:

  • Forty-four percent of executives surveyed believe the U.S. economy will improve in 2012.
  • Twenty-six percent of companies plan to relocate more workers this year than last.
  • Eighty-six percent of companies will spend as much or more on relocation in 2012 than in 2011.
  • After progressively declining over the past two years, 65 percent of firms are offering relocated employees full reimbursement, far more often than lump sum or partial reimbursement.

The Northeast is now the top destination of transfers (42 percent) followed by 2011's top destination, the Midwest (37 percent) and the South (31 percent). The West remains fourth in relocation numbers (26 percent). More than one-fourth of firms responding expect international relocation volumes to increase this year and more than half (55 percent) expect levels to remain similar to 2011. Internationally, Asia ranks as the most frequent relocation destination (41 percent). Western Europe is not far behind with 35 percent of firms listing it as the international destination of choice.

Why Won't They Move?

The impact of economic and market pressures on relocations appear to be lessening further. In 2011, less than one-fifth of firms decreased relocations among entry level/new hires and middle management employees in response to these pressures, compared to roughly four out of 10 in 2008 and 2009. However, 57 percent of companies indicate that employees declined relocation in 2011. Firms citing increased employee reluctance to relocate remained at the lower levels reported for 2010 (18 percent), far below 2008 and 2009 (more than 28 percent), but markedly higher than earlier this decade (more than 7 percent).

The top three reasons employees or new hires were reluctant to relocate include:

  • Housing and mortgage concerns: 71 percent;
  • Family issues/ties: 64 percent, up nearly 10 percent from 2010; and
  • Personal reasons: 42 percent.

Twenty-four percent of companies surveyed say that declining a relocation request usually hinders an employee's career.

2012 Survey Fast Facts

  • Eighty-seven percent of firms have a formal relocation policy.
  • More than half of all relocations last year were new hires (52 percent).
  • Employees age 36-40 remained the most frequently relocated salaried employee in 2011 (36 percent). The majority of relocated salaried employees are male, with female employees only accounting for 20 percent of relocations on average.
  • Forty-six percent of relocations involved employees with children; 56 percent of those relocated were homeowners.
  • Seventy-two percent of responding firms give employees two weeks or less to accept an offer to relocate.
  • Eighty-two percent of companies pay to pack all items; 80 percent pay to move an automobile and 49 percent pay to unpack all items. Thirty-three percent of companies are willing to reimburse to have permanent or extended storage of some possessions.

More than 360 corporate relocation professionals completed the online survey between January 10 and March 2. The respondent demographic of the annual corporate relocation survey includes human resources personnel and relocation/mobility services departments for service, manufacturing, wholesale/retail, financial and government organizations. More than half of the companies have an international presence and relocate employees between countries. Respondents must have relocation responsibility and work for a company that has either relocated employees within the past two years or plans to relocate employees this year.

For complete survey results, visit www.atlasvanlines.com/relocation-surveys/. To view the infographic, visit www.atlasvanlines.com/infographics/economy-real-estate-relocation/.

About Atlas Van Lines
Atlas Van Lines, a national moving company, is the largest subsidiary of Atlas World Group, an Evansville, Ind.-based company. Atlas World Group companies employ nearly 700 people throughout North America. Nearly 500 Atlas interstate moving agents in the United States and Canada specialize in corporate relocation, household moving services and in the specialized transportation of high-value items such as electronics, fine art, store fixtures and furniture. For more information, visit www.atlasvanlines.com.

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