Containerization in the Moving Industry Will Unlock Efficiency, Productivity and Profitability

Posted: March 13th, 2019 | Categories: Moving

Consumers benefit during a move as their personal possessions have swelled

According to the LA Times, the average American home has 300,000 items in it, which this number of personal possessions has grown steadily over the past 50 years. So, when it comes time to move, there are a LOT of things that need to be packed away carefully.

Containerization is nothing new. In fact, Malcolm McLean, the “Father of Containerization”, developed the metal shipping container in 1956 that was designed to replace the traditional “break bulk” method of goods handling for the shipping industry. This invention reduced labor and increased the physical protection for goods being shipped by sea. Containers used in shipping offer the moving industry some very important insights into what the future holds in order to unlock more efficiency, enhance labor force productivity while helping the industry remain profitable and affordable to the consumer all the while protecting their personal belongings during a move.

Containerization use by movers helps deliver superior physical protection for household goods. Reduction in move related claims due to either eliminating theft or minimizing damage is an important aspect of using containers, benefiting both the moving companies and the consumers. Each year, losses from improperly packed containers in the shipping and moving industry add up to $5 billion a year worldwide.

In general, consumers are protected from losses and damage that occurs during the transportation of a shipment and all related services identified on the bill of lading during a move by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). The extent of a mover’s liability, however, is often inadequate for most people’s moves and their personal possession’s value. Typically, the coverage begins at 60 cents per pound which is well below a meaningful value to cover most items that me be packed up for a move. Other options exist for enhanced coverage for the consumer at an additional cost.

Movers customarily take every precaution to make sure that while your shipment is in their possession, no items are lost, damaged or destroyed, but one of the best ways to address this situation is to avoid damage and loss at inception by using containers to pack up household goods. Containers protect the movement of goods that can result in damage, along with preventing unauthorized access during transit that leads to loss.

Containers also allow shippers to maximize cargo loading efficiency by optimally building out a space while respecting constraints such as orientation, crush factors, and stacking rules. Containers help moving companies configure loads, allowing heavy and light objects to be shipped together to utilize all available container capacity, resulting in increased resource utilization for moving companies and transportation providers. During the last mile, these containers can be quickly repositioned for last mile provider route optimization if needed.

A typical container will last 20 years with the proper maintenance. This is important as many changes will occur during this time to include ongoing automation advancement that will require standardized loads to meet the handling capabilities of robots and other advanced machinery that reduces humans touching the loads during a move. Incorporating containerization capabilities into end-to-end transportation and logistics management systems will allow marketplaces to develop that provide additional opportunities for productivity improvement which positively affects a mover’s bottom line. Combined with advanced technology systems, such as Intent of Things (IoT) sensors, these connected and monitored containers can dramatically change how moving companies and consumers move from today’s standards.