Guest Contributor
February 9, 2023
Article type:
Understanding Bailey's Moving
Applies to:
All Moving

Top 5 Predictions For 2023 From The Perspective of a Moving Company in The Rockies

In 2022, the US saw a 20% moving decrease caused by inflation, housing costs, interest rates, and falling wages. So, as 2023 settles in, many wonder what the new year holds. With locations in Utah and Colorado, our teammates at Bailey’s Moving & Storage have seen a lot of traffic over the 70 years we’ve been in business. So, we asked some of our coworkers for their 2023 predictions. We were able to gather five key predictions for the new year.  

1. 2023 Could be Less Hectic, but Equally Expensive

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, a mild but short recession is likely to happen in 2023 caused by consumer and business spending falling due to rising interest rates. However, this could be an opportunity for all industries to catch up from years prior.

• “There are some indicators that say it’s just going to be another year where things are expensive again. At the same time, we’re not likely to see as much fluctuation as we did in 2022, as prices are not going up as fast. This is probably more of a year of stabilization than it is of massive change, but who knows?”
- Jake (Chief Marketing Officer in Denver, CO)

• “I think we’re going to see a retraction in economic activity in 2023 because of inflation and fewer people taking the risk to move. I think that will happen because the two years before this were crazy busy with economic activity and transportation. I’ve been working in the moving industry 27 years, and it was the busiest two years I’ve ever seen.”
- Phillip (Relocation Specialist in Denver, CO)

• “I think Americans will be cautious about their spending in 2023 due to interest rates and a slowdown in housing. I think globally there’s a fair amount of unrest, and when there’s unrest, consumers are cautious.”
- Mark (Branch Manager in Colorado Springs, CO)

2. More Moving Scams Ahead

Romance scams, moving scams, puppy purchase scams; the list goes on. As long as there’s something to be exploited, fraudsters will find a way. For example, a recent report from US News identified that the US government likely awarded about $5.4 billion in COVID-19 aid to questionable social security numbers. With so many different ways to customize your digital workspace, it’s likely these trends will continue and worsen.

• “Speaking from an Information Technology (IT) perspective, I think we’re going to start seeing more cases of high infiltration fraud. The tools are becoming easier to access for bad actors to perform fraud setups. Americans will need to pay more attention to what they’re posting on social media, what they’re doing on their phones, and what they’re doing on their computers. IT is so woven into the everyday fabric of everything, so as a society we will need to pay attention to what we’re doing online.”
- Kenneth (Director of IT in Salt Lake City, UT)

3. Fewer Supply Chain Issues with a Silver Lining

Compared to recent years, the global supply chain has experienced a significant improvement in the number of disruptions from reduced economic activity. This is a direct result of less consumer spending as inflation peaks in the US and other parts of the world.

• “For the last couple of years, the supply chain disruptions have affected the moving industry not only with costs but the ability to obtain the supplies needed. Over the past few months, from my experience, this has gotten better, and I don’t believe it will have a big impact in 2023.”
- Christie (Branch Manager in Salt Lake City, UT)

• “The supply disruption during the pandemic primarily impacted supplies used by the moving and storage industry. For example, paper, tape, furniture pads, cartons, those kinds of things. I think that in large part suppliers have learned to navigate with consistency effectively. So, I don’t see that it’s going to cause significant disruption.”
- Mark (Branch Manager in Colorado Springs, CO)

• “I think the slowdown in our economy will give us time to catch up from recent years, so I think the supply chain and transportation side of the business will get better in terms of being able to handle the capacity of moving volumes since it will be lower than recent years. It will also give us time to hire and train new truck drivers.”
- Phillip (Relocation Specialist in Denver, CO)

4. Expect a Higher Demand for Blue-Collar Work

The truck driver shortage has been an ongoing issue well before the pandemic. But, amidst the COVID-19 lockdowns and high demands for consumer goods, the American Trucking Association estimated their shortage of 80,000 employees in 2021 to increase to 160,000 by 2030. This is just one of many blue-collar industries struggling to find talent, causing an increase in wages for manual labor jobs. Additionally, the desire to quit a corporate 9-to-5 job and work as a social media influencer has grown increasingly popular among Gen Z.

• “Labor has been an ongoing struggle for the last few years in the moving industry, and it continues to be hard to hire good help. The work in this industry is hard physically, and a large part of the younger generation is not wanting to do this type of work. CDL drivers are also hard to find as most would prefer to bump docks rather than have the responsibility of loading their own trucks.”
- Christie (Branch Manager in Salt Lake City, UT)

• “The work that our guys do is not easy. It involves heavy lifting, and there are high expectations for quality service, so I think that’s going to continue to cause difficulty in hiring loading crews. I think we could use twice the amount of movers we have now. For some reason, it’s been hard finding people to do the heavy lifting in Denver. It’s amazing how much work we get done with the lack of labor.” - Phillip (Relocation Specialist in Denver, CO)

5. The Future of Moving Rates Could Go Either Way

There are two theories why moving rates could increase or decrease, and they are both dependent on the economy:

  1. Inflation will increase expenses like gasoline and truck maintenance, causing upward pressure on moving rates.
  2. Inflation will deter people from moving in mass migrations, causing downward pressure on moving rates.

• “I think that moving rates will be affected by inflation. As our costs for goods and services continue to rise, those costs have to be passed on to the consumer.” - Christie (Branch Manager in Salt Lake City, UT)

• “I think the demand for moving will be down compared to 2022 and 2021, so lower demand puts downward pressure on prices. Also, we’re not seeing mass migrations anymore. The biggest problem for us in 2022 and 2021 was an eastern migration from Arizona, Texas, to Florida, which made it very difficult for our trucks to return to the west because, as an Agent of Allied Van Lines, we count on people moving in both directions to sustain the business. I don’t think that issue will be nearly as bad in 2023, which will also put downward pressure on moving rates." - Jake (Chief Marketing Officer in Denver, CO)

• "One of the factors in considering rates is the cost of labor as well as supporting office staff. There are a number of other reasons too, such as fuel costs, the increased cost of getting trucks on the road, equipment shortages, and the increasing cost of repairs. As a result, the consumer is just going to end up paying more for moving rates." - Mark (Branch Manager in Colorado Springs, CO)

• “I think moving rates will be lower in 2023 compared to last year. From the last I heard, truckers were looking for more tonnage (more cargo to be loaded into trucks). The concept of our business is to maximize all of our truck space so we can get the best rates for our drivers. But, if we’re not filling truck space then we have to try other methods to fill those spaces, which would push moving rates down. So in other words, a lot of trucks are running half empty right now.”
- Phillip (Relocation Specialist in Denver, CO)

Interested in a Moving Quote?  

2023 could be unpredictable, but here’s what we know for sure: We can always give you a free estimate with our quoting tool so you can feel better prepared for the journey ahead. We provide ballpark estimates for moves all across the country. And for specialty services such as international moves or long-term, climate-controlled storage, you can give us a call at 888-260-5717.