This summer has been a banner season for local movers. With area home sales at their highest level since 2005, the demand for services has moving companies getting creative to handle the business.
“There’s been a real surge this year,“ said Dean Kupka of Ed’s Moving and Storage of Tukwila, which offers services in Pierce County.
In past years, some segments of the business, say military transfers, corporate moves or individual relocations, have jumped, he said. But this year, all segments have seen high activity.
“The needle is moving in all categories,” he said.
In past years, Ed’s could offer customers a moving day within a week or week and a half of their call. This year, the earliest dates are two and a half to three weeks in the future, Kupka said.
“We can sometimes fit in a small move if another customer’s closing is delayed and we suddenly have a truck and a crew available.”
The uncertainty that now surrounds the timing of home sales closings has been reflected in the moving and storage business.
“Unless they’ve already got the keys, we’ve learned that their dates can be uncertain,” he said.
Dean Savage, owner of Puyallup’s Apex Moving and Storage, said business this summer is better than even the good years in the past.
But moving delays are up because of the new volatility in closing scheduling.
In the past, it was typical to have one or two of the 50 or 60 monthly moves the company made postponed because of issues at closings. Now the number has tripled to five or six monthly.
“It’s chaotic,” said Savage.
Those last-minute schedule changes affect his business and cost him money.
“If a closing gets postponed at the last minute, then I may have a crew that works less than a full day one day and then overtime the next to handle the changes,” he said.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663