Working Around the West Coast Moving Truck Shortage: Make Your Cross-Country Move Easier

It’s no secret that millions of Americans relocated during the pandemic. For months, we’ve been hearing about a nationwide housing shortage, and we’ve been inundated with news stories about people fleeing more densely-populated areas on both coasts. So it should come as no surprise that there’s also a moving truck shortage.

On the West Coast, this moving truck shortage is especially obvious. One report shows that as a state, California ranked last for migration growth in 2020. What’s more, between March and June of 2020, moves out of San Francisco accounted for 58% of all U-Haul one-way moves. That doesn’t leave a lot of supply for anyone else, and there’s no end to this shortage in sight.

This leaves many who are thinking about moving in a bind. What do you do if you sell your house and are all set to move across the country, but you can’t rent the equipment you need for your move? Eugene Tolk, CEO at Verified Movers, had a few tips to share, to help avoid this headache.

1. Book as early as possible

If you are thinking about renting a moving truck and DIY-ing your move, the best thing you can do is book as soon as you even consider moving. Sure, your plans might change and that’s okay. Moving truck companies can help you adjust your rental as needed, but the sooner the booking is in the system, the better luck you’ll have.

2. Be as flexible as you can

Also, for a cross-country move, try to be as flexible as possible. Always make sure to have a “Plan B” (and C and D and E). If you absolutely must rent one-way equipment, are you open to using a different-sized truck or trailer? Can you be flexible about your pickup and return dates?

“Companies appreciate knowing which customers can be moved around if needed, especially during a moving truck shortage” Tolk said. “No one likes being inconvenienced, but we can all agree that living with an inconvenience is preferable to not getting the equipment you need at all.”

3. Consider hiring a moving company instead of DIY-ing your move

“DIY-ing makes the most sense for local or regional moves,” Tolk said. “But if you’re moving across the country, say, from California to Texas, you’re better off hiring a moving company to help you.”

Besides knowing that your belongings will be in good hands, moving companies have their own equipment, so they’re going to be less affected by the moving truck shortage. Plus, it takes all the hassle and headache out of moving, especially when you use a platform like Verified Movers. You’ll be able to streamline your research and see reviews from real people.

Although many choose to DIY their move out of fear of the moving horror stories they’ve heard from friends and family, there are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Find 4-5 companies offering the services you need. It’s always better to have options.
  • Compare moving quotes. Factor in your budget and expected costs before making a decision.
  • Do a background check on your top choice before signing a contract.

4. Treat every employee with respect

Finally, remember that kindness and respect go a long way. When you treat every employee you speak to well, your attitude will reflect back on you. We all know that moving is frustrating and throwing an equipment shortage into the mix doesn’t help matters. But know that the employees at these companies are doing their best to help you out.

“Equipment shortages are tough on everyone in the industry,” said Tolk. “No company wants to have to turn away business. You will be surprised at how far an expression of empathy can go to make the process easier.”

Above all, if your move becomes too overwhelming, try to focus on the positive. You’re making a fresh start and you’ll figure out the puzzle of getting your stuff from one location to another. The professionals are there for you to lean on when you need to.

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