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Capacity Challenges for Household Goods Shipments

While summer months are always the busiest season for household good moves, this season will be significantly different due to a variety of factors stemming from the pandemic. Altair is prepared to work diligently with you to mitigate any issues and provide tips on how best to prepare.

Complicating Factors

  • Return to Office initiatives across the business community are spurring a lot of relocation activity within a relatively short period of time as compared to typical seasonal surges in activity.
  • With 9.3 million open jobs in the U.S., there is a very sizable labor shortage unlike anything the industry has encountered in the past. Drivers and crews are in high demand and scarce supply.
  • Coming out of COVID, supply chain challenges have intensified to the point of causing shortages of shipping containers and lift vans along with increased port congestion.
  • Additional shortages of raw materials such as lumber, cardboard, etc. have also exacerbated shipping costs. Currently, there is a six-month wait to purchase lift vans due to material shortages.
  • The U.S. military, which is the largest shipper of household goods in the nation, has recently announced they will be paying a significantly decreased discount for their moves. This will impact overall van line capacity and specific traffic lanes in the U.S.
  • All other supplier networks do not anticipate this level of difficulty in servicing our customers.

Altair Preparedness

Since February, Altair has been preparing for a unique summer. With the van lines already over capacity, Altair is expanding our Domestic Containerized Model (DCM), both in terms of use and the number of DCM suppliers in our network. These changes will increase the capacity available to our clients.

We are also adjusting our booking strategies to ensure maximum success in covering all submitted shipments.


This is shaping up to be a unique summer season. Altair is committed to providing the best customer experience possible under any circumstance. Expanding our supplier network in a way that adds capacity for our clients as well as making other strategic adjustments is the best way to achieve this goal.

We highly encourage relocating employees to book their moves as early as possible to get ahead of the surge and prioritize their preferred dates.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your Client Services representative.

Published On: June 15, 2021

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