Forty-One Percent of Companies Saw Relocation Volumes Increase in 2013 According to Atlas Van Lines' Corporate Relocation Survey


April 28, 2014

Media Contacts:
Lauren Falls, Atlas Van Lines
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Michelle Bower, Dittoe PR for Atlas Van Lines
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (April 28, 2014) — According to one of the nation's leading movers, Atlas Van Lines, the past year was one of continued normalization for the industry, solidifying the recovery that began in 2012. In response to the 47th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey, 41 percent of firms saw relocation volumes increase in 2013 while 29 percent also benefited from budget increases. Mid-size and large firms experienced the greatest gains overall, with nearly half seeing more relocations and more than a third seeing budget increases in 2013. Additionally, 37 percent of firms saw international relocation volumes increase.

Expectations for 2014 remain positive with the majority of firms expecting volumes and budgets to stay at 2013 levels. Additionally, 25 percent or more presume further increases in relocation volumes both overall and internationally.

"The latest insights from our longest-running industry survey indicate continued recovery in economic and relocation trends," said Jack Griffin, president and COO of Atlas World Group. "It is promising to see a consistently improving relocation landscape and know corporate America and the overall economy are reaping the benefits. With 47 years of monitoring now behind us, we look forward to continuing our work in uncovering telling trends and predictions seen by relocation firms across the globe for years to come."

Basic 2014 Results:

  • On average, companies relocated 10-19 employees in 2013.
  • The greatest relocation volume growth occurred for national and international firms, with around half reporting increases in 2013; roughly a third of these firms saw increases in budgets as well.
  • Forty-six percent of companies state that the growth of the company had the most significant impact on the number of employee relocations in 2013. For the first time in seven years, it inches ahead of all other internal and external factors as the top reason for relocations last year.
  • The real estate market's impact on relocation is nearly equal to its lowest level since measurement began in 2007 (22 percent) at 23 percent.
  • Fifty-two percent of firms saw employees decline relocation.
  • For lump sums, compared to 2012 the biggest shift remains in that fewer firms offered them to cover an entire relocation cost (42 percent vs. 51 percent) or miscellaneous expenses (53 percent vs. 63 percent).

The Midwest (35 percent) remains the most popular destination within the U.S., but the South (30 percent) and Northeast (28 percent) are not far behind. Within a single country, U.S. ranks third (18 percent) behind Western Europe (22 percent) and Asia (27 percent) for the most relocations in 2013. Asia remains the most frequent relocation destination (32 percent) for transferees relocating from the U.S. to another country or region. Western Europe (24 percent) and United Kingdom (22 percent) complete the top three most popular destinations for transferees relocating internationally from the U.S.

Reasons for Denying Relocation Are Declining
Employee reluctance to relocate once again remains far below the peaks of 2008 and 2009 which were 28 percent and 29 percent, as compared to this year's 13 percent. For the first time in five years, housing/mortgage concerns expressed by employees declining relocation fell dramatically and are no longer the primary reasoning cited for relocation declinations. Family issues/ties reclaimed the number one reason for employee relocation reluctance among all firm sizes, with spouse and/or partner employment coming in second.

2014 Survey Fast Facts:

  • More than half of all relocations last year were new hires (57 percent).
  • Employees age 36-40 remain the most frequently relocated salaried employee (38 percent).
  • The top two items companies reimburse transferees and new hires for include packing all items (70 percent) and moving an automobile (64 percent).
  • Thirty-seven percent of firms indicate they use alternative assignments to ensure flexibility.
  • Forty-two percent of all firms offer employment assistance to the spouse or partner, similar to levels charted over the past decade.
  • For new hires, full reimbursement and lump sum payments are nearly tied in popularity for the second straight year (51 percent and 50 percent in 2014 vs. 53 percent and 51 percent in 2013).
  • The percentage of firms using partial reimbursement continues to decline from 2011 (34 percent vs. 51 percent) to the lowest level in more than a decade for new hires.
  • Eighty percent of companies pay transportation expenses directly for transferees and 73% do so for new hires.

More than 350 corporate relocation professionals completed the online survey between January 22 and March 8. 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. Nearly half of the companies have an international presence and relocate employees between countries. Respondents 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/corporate-relocation. To view the infographic, visit www.atlasvanlines.com/infographics/job-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 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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