March 05–Companies are scheduled to make personnel changes, but they are struggling with the relocation of their employees.
In January, a 33-year-old female company employee living in Tokyo asked two small and midsize moving companies to estimate the cost of moving to another location in the city, but she was declined by both of them because their schedules were too packed.
The woman said she looked into major moving companies, which were all booked on her desired moving day of Saturday, so she changed her option to a weekday and finally secured a reservation.
“It was more troublesome than I expected. I’m tired now,” the woman said.
The moving industry usually hits its peak period in spring and autumn. According to the Japan Trucking Association, to which movers belong, movers get especially busy during late March and early April when many people start a new stage in life, such as enrolling in school, getting a job or being transferred. One-third of all moves over a year are concentrated in this period.
But this year, delivery companies have been busy due to a lack of truck drivers, as well as an expansion of the online shopping market, which has made it more difficult to secure the trucks and staff needed this year compared to previous years.
For this reason, the association posted a calendar on its website forecasting busy days. It also calls on customers to spread out their moving dates to avoid peak congestion, and asks them to request estimates at an early date.
Sakai Moving Service Co., based in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, asked its corporate customers during year-end and New Year courtesy visits to spread out the timing of employee movements in spring.
Relocation difficulties have already affected companies that make personnel changes on a large scale.
A leading convenience store company that operates on a national scale has signed a corporate contract with a top trucking firm to help with the relocation of its 60 to 70 new recruits every year. But the trucking firm said to the company, “We can only accept around 50 offers in mid- and late March.” The company had no choice but to find another mover.
Kirin Beverage Co. began hiring an intermediary on a trial basis this spring to help its employees find a mover and make reservations, which has been getting difficult for employees to do on their own. The agent deals with a large number of cases, making it easier to find a mover, Kirin said.
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