b'MOVING TRENDSSMALL FOR SIZEBy Oksana BuhelThe industry adapts to a growing trend of smaller shipmentsI magine a traditional relocationThere is a generational shift in the trad- shipments arriving at a transportation shipment. Now extract four beds,itional dream of home ownership, movinghub in one trailer, the last mile is a kitchen table, six chairs, a diningto the suburbs, getting married, raising amore frequently undertaken by smaller, table, two hutches, eight diningfamily, explains Alex Alpert, co-founderlocal companies. chairs, three couches and two wing- and CEO of Shyft, a U.S.-based tech and back chairs. And a baby grand piano. Thatlogistics company.With overseas groupage service, in leaves quite a lot of unused space.which shipments are consolidated with In addition to being asset-lite, Millennialother shipments destined for the same This is what happens when small ship- transferees are often moving into furnishedcountry, a large moving company can ments (roughly 6,000 pounds) replacecorporate housing or micro-accommo- store a consignment at their warehouse standard shipments (roughly 10,000dations200 to 300-square-foot livinguntil they collect enough volume for pounds), and small shipments are on thespaces with really strong WiFi and a placethe entire container. While it results rise in relocation.to sleep. For them, most items can bein a longer transit time, it also adds purchased at the destination. As a result,up to significant cost-savings for According to Tim Nager, president andyounger generations are more gearedsmaller-load moves. CEO of QMM Inc., small shipmentsto lump sum policies that allow them make up roughly 10 per cent of all reloca- freedom and independence in arrangingAs a result of this compartmentalization tion moves todayor double the five pertheir relocation.of the move, the industry must watch cent they comprised three years ago. Incosts, maintain efficiency, guarantee another five years, Nager foresees smallThe market is under tremendoustransparency and factor in other last-mile shipments absorbing as much as 25 perchange, explains Alpert, whose companyconsiderations that have traditionally been cent of the industry. As well, while theirdelivers concierge-like services to themanaged by a single company. number may be trending up, the size ofrelocation industry as well as transferees small shipments is doing the opposite andworldwide. Different trends such as nanoDisruptors such as Shyft are leveraging expected to shrink even further.technology, the gig economy, asset-litethis trend, offering a customer-centric attitudes, a shared economy and globalCRM platform that provides clients with This marks a major shift in the volumenomadism have all come together in thedetailed information on what moves are of items being moved during a reloca- perfect storm. being transported to which locations tion. The biggest contributing factor?and how much room remains in the Millennials and the general values ascribedLAST MILE transport. Its one example of a company to them. With a more adventurous spirit,One obvious consequence of the rise inadapting to the times.a greater interest in life experiences, lesssmall shipments is that a single move does interest in ownership, and milder focus onnot always fill an entire truck or container.Through an auction system Shyft says marriage and parenting, Millennials areWith standard moves, trailers deliver tois 95 per cent accurate in weight and prime candidates for relocation, and theythe final destination. With multiple smallerdimension, clients can take advantage tend to travel light. of the backhaul and fill empty spaces. As well, transferees can photograph their own items and let the mover know what they wish to have moved, and in turn, be provided with accurate per-item quotes allowing them to modify their own shipments responsively according to their budgets. What impact will the rise of small ship-ments have on the industry in the long run? As Roy Phelps, chief commer-cial officer of QMM Inc., points out: Necessity is the mother of invention. If companies respond with services that adapt to small shipments and systems that maintain or improve costs and transit times, they will fare well. Others might be farewell.Spring 2020PERSPECTIVES23'