41% of Companies Saw Relocation Volumes Increase in 2013

April 29, 2014 —The number of companies relocating employees is continuing to normalize, according to the "47th Annual Corporate Relocation Survey" from Atlas Van Lines. 41% of firms saw relocation volumes increase in 2013 while 29% also benefited from budget increases. Mid-size and large firms experienced the greatest gains overall, with nearly half seeing more relocations and more than a third seeing budget increases in 2013. Additionally, 37% of firms saw international relocation volumes increase.

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Expectations for 2014 remain positive with the majority of firms expecting volumes and budgets to stay at 2013 levels. Additionally, 25% or more presume further increases in relocation volumes both overall and internationally.
Employee reluctance to relocate once again remains far below the peaks of 2008 and 2009 which were 28% and 29%, as compared to this year €™s 13%. For the first time in five years, housing/mortgage concerns expressed by employees declining relocation fell dramatically and are no longer the primary reasoning cited for relocation declinations. Family issues/ties reclaimed the number one reason for employee relocation reluctance among all firm sizes, with spouse and/or partner employment coming in second.

Other survey highlights include:

  • On average, companies relocated 10-19 employees in 2013.
  • The greatest relocation volume growth occurred for national and international firms, with around half reporting increases in 2013; roughly a third of these firms saw increases in budgets as well.
  • 46% of companies state that the growth of the company had the most significant impact on the number of employee relocations in 2013. For the first time in seven years, it inches ahead of all other internal and external factors as the top reason for relocations last year.
  • 52% of firms saw employees decline relocation.
  • For lump sums, compared to 2012 the biggest shift remains in that fewer firms offered them to cover an entire relocation cost (42% vs. 51%) or miscellaneous expenses (53% vs. 63%).
  • The Midwest (35%) remains the most popular destination within the U.S., but the South (30%) and Northeast (28%) are not far behind. Within a single country, U.S. ranks third (18%) behind Western Europe (22%) and Asia (27%) for the most relocations in 2013.
  • More than half of all relocations last year were new hires (57%).
  • Employees age 36-40 remain the most frequently relocated salaried employee (38%).
  • The top two items companies reimburse transferees and new hires for include packing all items (70%) and moving an automobile (64%).
  • 37% of firms indicate they use alternative assignments to ensure flexibility.
  • 42% of all firms offer employment assistance to the spouse or partner, similar to levels charted over the past decade


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