Every HR manager knows the hassles and troubles that come with relocation. The list is endless and one of the key issues is price. Exceeding the budget allocated for relocation is a very common problem. So, what are some actionable tips to slash that relocation budget? Read on for the 12 tips to save on your relocation costs!
🎫 Tip #1: Get at least 2 insurance quotes before your move
Different insurance companies have different costings and policies available. Get at least 1 other quote to decide on the better one, with greater offerings and better coverage for your shipment. A good gauge of the average insurance costs is approximately 3-4% of the total value of your shipment.
Remember to compare the coverage terms and conditions. The devil is, after all, in the details.
Head here for all you need to know about getting the best cargo insurance for your shipment.
💰 Tip #2: Avoid falling for cheap quotations with hidden charges later on
Some relocation companies may put up really cheap and affordable quotations initially so as to close the deal, but later charge multiple additional hidden charges that can go up to the hundreds on the day of packing or somewhere along the shipping process.
The rule of “if it’s too good to be true, it probably ain’t” goes a long way here.
While not uncommon, this can be avoided, and a significant difference can be saved by checking online reviews of past customers. Platforms like Facebook and Google provide accessible and reliable reviews from previous clients.
Alternatively, try to request the relocation company to guarantee their quotations. Find a company that is upfront about additional charges and allows you to estimate your cost of relocation instantly. Some relocation companies even use cost optimization technology to provide a fair quote with no hidden fees.
🚢 Tip #3: Ship during off-peak seasons
Peak season is usually indicated by a spike in freight prices. Black Friday, back to school sales or holiday season sales – are occasions where both producers and consumers want their goods shipped urgently in a short period of time. When demand increases, prices increase. Aside from a higher base rate, there is also a peak season surcharge.
As you can see from the bar chart below, shipping prices from North America to China differ greatly across the months. The peak season can be clearly identified to be the month of October when the price of shipping has increased substantially from the previous months.
Figure 1: Source: Freightos International Freight Index
Different routes will have different peak seasons. By consolidating your moves to all take place during the off-peak seasons, you can easily shave off a couple of hundred dollars per relocation.
It will be good to check with your relocation company on when it is best to relocate your employees.
📦 Tip #4: Avoid unnecessary storage costs at the destination city
By deciding on your permanent or longer-term accommodation earlier on, you can avoid unnecessary storage charges at the destination ports while waiting for a confirmed delivery address.
Storing items cost S$20 per 1000 cubic ft per day with an additional S$300-600 for handling fees in and out of the warehouse, and being aware of this fact will definitely result in lower relocation costs.
🕜 Tip #5: Be flexible with your move time
Being flexible with your move dates may save you from paying an additional $0.20-$0.60 more per cubic ft container.
This is because your relocation company will then be able to consolidate shipment to significantly reduce costs. This ensures a highly competitive rate to you and easily hundreds of dollars saved from your relocation.
🏠 Tip #6: Avoid temporary accommodation
Upon arriving, it is quite common for relocatees to stay in temporary accommodations such as a hotel while they source for permanent accommodation.
The search can be from a couple of days to weeks depending on the city and the processes involved. Unnecessary additional costs may then be incurred upon arriving at your destination.
Thus, it is advisable to start your search early. This can be done by engaging a real estate agent. Alternatively, you can research and prepare a list of accommodation beforehand to minimize the time required to source for a property.
This could save you the cost of staying in hotels when you reach there because you do not have a place to reside in yet. In Sydney, the average rental fee of a residential flat is AU$480 per week while the average cost per night of staying in a hotel is AU$163 which makes up to AU$1141 for a week.
🏃 Tip #7: Get someone professional to pack for your move
While this may seem counterintuitive, packing your items yourself may cause you additional charges due to utilization of wrong materials or methods. Relocating is a tedious process and people tend to make costly packing mistakes.
Often, insurance companies do not cover mistakes made if you decide to pack by yourself instead of engaging a relocation company. You may actually end up paying more by doing it yourself!
Engage a relocation company to deal with your packing and enjoy a peace of mind.
📦 Tip #8: Declutter your belongings early
Shipping fees are not cheap. It is common for relocatees to ship a huge chunk of unnecessary things with them, incurring huge expenses in the process. There have been cases where up to two-thirds of the shipment were unnecessary. Thus, decluttering and selling unnecessary items early will reduce the shipping costs and allow you to save on the removal costs.
From online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace to apps like Carousell or eBay, and Consignment shops, there are numerous avenues for you to sell your items. You could even hold a garage sale right at your doorstep. You might be surprised at the value that some of your stuff may fetch!
However, selling will require some time. From listing your items online to corresponding with buyers and eventually meeting up, it is a time-consuming process. Thus, our advice is to start your decluttering early! For tips on decluttering, check out 4 Easy Steps: The Marie Kondo Moving Advice!
This can save you from spending additional and unnecessary costs on shipping unwanted items to your new destination.
🛳 Tip #9: Consolidate moves to the same destination and move them together
Well, you know how things become cheaper when you buy it wholesale? Well, the same concept applies here.
You can indicate your preference for groupage shipping to your relocation company. Groupage shipping is applicable for shipping of small volumes. While groupage shipping may take slightly longer, it can save the client up to 60% as he/she does not need to pay for the whole container.
📲 Tip #10: Look for companies that can deliver an all-in-one monitoring function
Amplified by the lack of open communication and transparency within the industry, monitoring the progress of a relocation process is a key challenge. Many are often left wondering where their shipments are and the progress of their moves. The back and forth checking is a time consuming and inefficient process.
Thus, it is key to engage a relocation company that provides constant updates on the status of the move. Companies may utilize a monitoring dashboard which allows you to keep track of your entire move, any time, any day. This creates a more efficient process, freeing up the relocatee to focus on more important issues.
😖 Tip #11: Avoid costly packing day mistakes
Moving day is not a day to be underestimated. Given the nature of relocating, even a small mistake may have huge consequences.
Set aside important items such as visa, passport, and others to avoid accidentally packing them into your shipment. You may likely incur unnecessary fees for retrieval in the event that you accidentally pack something you need with you into your shipment.
Thus, it is best to avoid these charges by settling the packing early and ensuring your important items are set aside.
📁 Tip #12: Prepare Settling in FAQ Guide for your assignees who are relocating
An easy and simple FAQ guide can save your employees time from contacting relocation companies or your department for answers on relocating. Saved time could be spent on sourcing for a cheaper rental or a cheaper way to relocate, lowering your relocation costs!
Check out our FAQ page for useful content you can include in the guidebook.
We hope that these 12 tips have helped you in one way or another to slash your relocation costs.
Thanks and have a great week ahead!