Possible impacts of coronavirus on Canadian moving industry
COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. In as little as 3 months, the virus has taken over 27 countries and infected more than 500.000 people. As the situation is developing many countries are changing their course of action and taking action to contain the spread. Borders are closing and many cities and soon countries will be in lock-down. In addition to the health issue and risk, this situation is affecting the economy of the majority of the countries. As with the virus, these economic implications will also be global. With more and more people being isolated and quarantined the question becomes: How will this impact jobs and businesses? What are the possible impacts of coronavirus on the Canadian industry and movers?
It is clear that the economic impact will be immense with some predicting as much as a 30% decline. The future seems grim with many countries coming out with support plans for both public and private sectors. The measures are aimed at both relieving the economic impact at present as well as at laying the foundation for faster economic recovery in the future. At the moment we are experiencing a drop in economic activity which has almost come to a halt in many counties. Isolation, quarantines, and advice for social distancing have stopped lives.
This means that many businesses are closed and not working. The majority of stores, shops, restaurants, cafe’s, etc. are closed and the workers are currently jobless. Faced with the lack of revenue, the owners are faced with a tough decision, to lay off workers or not. At the same time, due to the uncertainty of how long the crisis will last, they are faced with the question about the future of their business.
It is clear that the damage will be measured in billions and that this virus will trigger a deep recession. But how to cope with the problem today? How is the moving industry impacted? How will moving companies like Number 1 Movers Ontario be impacted and what should be done to help them?
Canada moving industry
Canadian moving industry is already experiencing loss and the activity is slowing down. Many movers are faced with cancellations and postponements in contract implementation. This means that both staff and equipment are unused. Many are not working and are concerned about pay cuts and their job security. Some speculate that the number of people that will lose their jobs will be enormous. In addition, many moving companies will get closed and disappear. The impact of this will be considerable. However, the government of Canada is preparing economic measures to help the economy which will influence moving companies and small businesses. But regardless of what the Prime Minister is promising, the moving companies should consider some measures to try and protect their business for the future.
What to expect
The impact that the moving companies are experiencing today will certainly last for the next two or three months. The companies will experience considerable business problems in conditions of a complete lock-down of cities, states or even just trough movement restriction. It is clear that this will happen and even moves in regions like St. Catharines will be impossible. The effects can be overwhelming and we can segment them into long term problems and effects and short term.
- The movers will experience an immediate loss of income as the virus stops the world. Even strong and healthy companies will be at risk at this moment.
- Clients will put pressure on the system by rushing deliveries and moves. Many will postpone the moves. Both will put the strain on the movers’ through added pressure and sudden loss of income.
- Shipments in transit will be at risk and their faith will be unknown.
- After the crisis, the pressure on the industry will be immense. Many movers won’t be able to handle the demand. At the same time, the number of companies surviving bankruptcy will be lower and thus unable to handle the load.
- The moving season will shift from summer until later, even in the winter.
- The strain on the system will lead to disloyal competition from unlicensed movers. These movers will try to pick up on the extensive demand to fill in the opening. This may lead to fraudulent behavior and cause damage.
What to do
The situation in Canada is pretty much as usual regarding regulations but the situation can rapidly change. At the moment, the problem is only international moves that suffering from the international ban on travel and transport. In the light of the looming long term crisis and current decrease in activity, what can movers do?
- Cash flow management
- Taking preemptive action
- Relying on government help
The moving industry is primarily labor-intensive and has a history of layoffs. These actions for many movers will be inevitable. It is important to preserve a good relationship with the workers to assure them that they will be rehired as soon as this situation passes. The companies should also make sure that their employees use the COVID packages that the government is preparing for the workers.
The rapid decrease of activity caused by self-isolation, quarantines and overall decrease in movement will lead to a drop in revenue. This will also lead to cash flow problems for many companies. It is important to follow the guidelines and adopt positive experiences from China. There is credible advice valuable for companies’ preservations that must be taken into account and perhaps implemented. One of the ways is to use your capacities to perform local moves when possible. Also, use your trucks for other activities like deliveries, focus on your storage services, distribute packaging materials, etc.
Many companies will be able to survive this situation with a bit of preemptive activity to stabilize the business. Cutting any cost immediately is the priority. Cut the advertising and also decrease fixed and overhead costs a much as possible. Create the possibility for your staff to work from home. Provide suitable protection to protect both workers and clients. Handling bulky furniture in a surgical mask can be difficult but it is necessary. Maintain connections with industry associations and exchange experiences.
The government has promised an extensive plan to support and help both the workers and industry. This aid will count in the billions of dollars to provide help and assistance to those who need it in this world of COVID 19. The relief will be in wage subsidies, loans, tax cuts, and benefits. Some of the packages will also be aimed at the staff that is being laid off. These government measures will provide at least short term relief to weather the storm and prepare for the next stage after the crisis. For many, this may be the difference between closing down and surviving
So, the world in the time of corona is an unknown ground. The impact of this virus may be too complicated to comprehend. However, the economy and the industry must prepare and adapt to the situation. It is essential especially at this moment when it is important to preserve life and ensure that the system functions. Try to contribute to the resolution to the crisis and prepare for the time after it all passes.