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28 Apr 2021

Timing Your Move – Peak vs. Non-Peak Times

Moving is a highly seasonal business.  It seems almost everyone wants to move between June and the beginning of September, with another bump in activity, albeit less pronounced, at the end of the calendar year.  This seasonality is closely tied to the school year, with many people wanting to move during the summer break. Understandably, people want to move when school is on summer break and allow their children to get settled and ready to start the new school year in their new city of residence.

last school day

If you find out there is a chance you might need to move during a peak period, be sure to contact a mover as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. If you leave it until everything is confirmed (we get it, there are a lot of moving parts, and it takes a lot of time to organise a transfer), you risk finding yourself needing to move in the middle of a peak moving season, with no space available on ships to move your household goods until well after you would want to have them on their way.  It would be like calling a popular restaurant at 5 pm on a Saturday, asking to book a table for 7 pm that night. If you call up well in advance, you can get that booking penciled in and by staying in touch about your booking, you’re more likely to be able to make an adjustment to the booking if necessary. 

On the other hand, if you are in the fortunate position to be more flexible with the timing of your move, consider the seasonal cycle and plan for your move to happen outside of the peak period. This will save you a lot of undue stress and added complications. Expanding on our restaurant booking analogy, if you make a booking for a Monday or Tuesday night, you’ll find it easier to book your preferred time (and change the booking time if required), and with fewer patrons in the restaurant, you’re likely to have a better experience as the staff will have more time to add the personal touches that make all the difference.  Moreover, the cost of your meal is likely to be lower as you can take advantage of weekday specials. These same factors are also true if you’re booking a move in peak vs. non-peak times – booking your preferred date will be easier, staff will have more time to give your move extra attention, and your move will be cheaper if you can book out of peak times. 

Another analogy I’d draw is the 7 pm time slot – the highest in demand.  In moving, the end of the month, when leases tend to expire, are usually in the highest demand.

Asian Tigers truck

Quick guide to booking your move:

  • Avoid June – early September moves if possible as this is peak moving season
  • Avoid booking towards the end of the month. Early in the month is often best; late is worst
  • Start making enquiries about your move as early as you can and avoid waiting until the last minute. Think in terms of a month or more in advance when possible
  • If moving in the peak season (June – early September) be prepared for:
    • strong competition for moving dates
    • less flexibility in terms of changing moving dates or the scale and scope of your move
    • higher costs compared to off-peak moves due to the effects of supply and demand

      queue up  Crowded

The decision of WHEN to relocate can seem quite inconsequential at first, however by understanding the seasonal nature of this business, you can see the timing of your move can be an important factor to consider.

If you are preparing to relocate in the near future, all the best with your move and settling into your new home, wherever that may be.

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