Global Outlook for the Moving Industry in 2024: Challenges and Opportunities

January 9, 2024

Bertil Durieux,
FEDEMAC President

As the global moving industry steps into 2024, it finds itself at a critical juncture, shaped by the aftermath of 2023—a year marked by significant fluctuations. Reflecting on the lessons of the past, especially comparing the recent year to the pre-pandemic era of 2019, we see an industry that has navigated through tumultuous times. The impact of the pandemic, the surge in maritime transport costs, and logistical challenges like the Ever Given incident in the Suez Canal, have all played a part in reshaping our industry.

However, the future brings its own set of global challenges and opportunities, transcending regional boundaries and affecting us all in the moving industry.

The Rise of ESG Standards

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria are no longer optional but a necessity for businesses worldwide. The integration of these standards is not confined to large corporations but is equally critical for small and medium-sized enterprises in our industry. Companies must focus on sustainable practices, from reducing emissions and energy consumption to ensuring biodiversity conservation. This shift is not just about compliance; it is about adapting to a market where customers increasingly favor providers with lower environmental impacts. The industry’s commitment to sustainability will open new doors and might even dictate market dynamics in the coming years.

Cybersecurity: A Growing Global Threat

Cybercrime knows no borders. As our industry becomes more digitally connected, the risk of cyber-attacks escalates. From e-commerce platforms to cloud storage, every digital touchpoint is a potential vulnerability. The scale of the company does not dictate the risk; rather, it is the level of preparedness against these digital threats. As an industry, we must collectively ramp up our cybersecurity measures, sharing knowledge and resources to protect against data breaches, intellectual property theft, and other cyber threats.

The Enduring Challenge of Fraud

Fraud is a persistent issue in the moving industry, irrespective of geographical location. As we combat this age-old problem, collaboration and adherence to legal frameworks become crucial. Recent initiatives, like those undertaken by various national associations (i.e. Belgian Removers Association (BKV-CBD)), demonstrate the importance of collective action in this fight. The industry must continue to work closely with governmental and regulatory bodies to establish and enforce standards that safeguard against fraudulent practices.

Embracing Digital Transformation

The digital transformation of the moving industry is not a future prospect but a present reality. This transformation, however, varies greatly across different regions and companies. To remain competitive and efficient, businesses must embrace technological advancements, from sophisticated logistics management systems to customer engagement platforms. To discuss the impact of the Artifical Intelligence on the moving industry join us at the Young Movers Conference in Malaga in April 25-28.

Regulatory Changes and Compliance

Globally, the moving industry faces a myriad of regulatory changes. Companies must stay abreast of international trade laws, local regulations, and industry-specific compliance issues. This is particularly pertinent in light of changing environmental regulations and labor laws.

As we look towards the rest of 2024, the global moving industry must navigate these challenges with resilience and innovation. It’s a time for collaboration, where sharing best practices and learning from each other across borders can lead to a stronger, more unified industry. We are not just moving goods; we are moving forward together, shaping a future that is sustainable, secure, and prosperous for all.