New Articles
  March 8th, 2022 | Written by

The role of the moving and storage industry in the US economy

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]

We often fail to see the big picture when considering the moving and storage industry. Sure, we all know that tens of thousands of Americans move every year. But, what is the role of the moving and storage industry in the US economy, and can one function without the other. This article will tackle this rather complex question and hopefully provide a deeper understanding of the moving and storage industry.


US economy and the moving and storage industry

As you’ll soon see, the connection between the US economy and the moving and storage industry is a rather complex one. There are various ways in which one impacts the other, and often those ways interact. So, while we will try to give you a decent overview, we can’t cover the entirety of this subject. If this interests you, we strongly recommend that you keep reading our blog and find out more about the connection between the US economy and moving and storage.

The tight correlation between the US economy and the moving and storage industry

It doesn’t take much research to learn that the US economy and the moving and storage industry are closely related. Almost every economy study available will show that as the economy increases or decreases, so does the moving and storage. This is best seen in times of recession, where a sharp drop in the economy perfectly correlates with a decline in moving and storage. The only notable difference is that moving and storage usually lag behind the economy. While the economy can recover relatively quickly, it takes moving and storage a bit more time to get things underway.

Understanding the moving and storage industry

When it comes to pure shipping, there are three major companies in the US – FedEx, Amazon, and the United Parcel Service. But, we have a different picture when it comes to moving and storage. The moving industry is mainly comprised of small to medium companies. These companies are spread out through the US, where each service has its area. As a moving company is dependent on the local market, it can be pretty difficult for companies to branch out. Some do, but usually at the expense of service quality.

This is important to keep in mind as there is no go-to moving and storage company, even for commercial purposes. If companies need to relocate their offices, they need to rely on local moving companies to see them through. Seeing that many companies need to relocate their offices, it doesn’t take much to realize that the moving and storage industry is integral to the US economy.

Furthermore, you have people moving for work all the time in the US. Getting the exact numbers can be difficult. But, it is safe to assume that at least a third of relocations in the US is due to work. Add to this the mass exodus from larger cities brought by remote work, and you’ll soon see how vital moving and storage are.

Do other countries depend on US moving and shipping?

As previously stated, tackling moving and storage is usually local work. Therefore, if people from other countries want to relocate to the US or transfer items, they cannot help but rely on the local moving industry. Some companies focus mainly on international moving with having websites in different languages. You will likely get help with customs and international moving insurance for your items through these companies. Some even provide educational services for future ex-pats. As you can imagine, this plays an important role in the US economy. It not only allows foreign professionals to come to the US with relative ease. But, it also helps US professionals relocate abroad. It is especially important in STEM fields as relocating to a different country is usually necessary for further education.

Military moving

The US has the most prominent military industry in the world. As such, it has a tremendous workforce backing it up, both in research and in defensive military duties. All those working in the military usually need to relocate as their duty requires. Not surprisingly, this would be a much bigger problem for both the military personnel and their families if the moving industry didn’t step in. A large number of moving companies offer military moving services. These help military personnel organize and handle relocations with relative ease. Again, we see an aspect of the US economy where the moving and storage industry plays an essential role.

Final thoughts on the role of the moving and storage industry in the US economy

As you can see, there are many aspects of the US economy where moving and storage play an integral role. From helping people relocate to find work to assisting companies in changing their commercial space. Moving industry as a whole is the literal driving force without which the US economy would be inconceivable. You can use the potency of the local moving industry to determine how strong the local economy is. Solid and stable economies usually bring in a new workforce. And the more people choose to move to a particular area, the more likely it is that a new moving company will spring up.

Autonomous vehicles

The one notable change we might see in the role of the moving and storage industry in the US economy comes with the advancement of autonomous vehicles. Namely, as self-driving vehicles become more and more advanced, we will likely see a change in how moving companies operate. As it is now, a single team takes care of a single relocation, start to finish. But, if you can automate transport, you would only need people to load and unload. While this may not sound like much, it can have serious implications for the moving and storage industry.


Jamie Walker worked as a mover and relocation organizer for over 20 years. He now writes helpful articles for Miami Movers for Less and other websites that focus on shipping, relocations, and logistics.