By: Ann Knapp | CRP, GMS, CMC

October 29, 2019

Transferees may have a need for small shipments as part of their relocation. These are household goods moves of items that may weigh approximately 2,000 pounds or less. Some household goods moving companies have specific definitions and special programs for these types of moves. For example, United Van Lines has SnapmovesSM, their small moves program. This program includes guaranteed moving dates, loading and unloading services, and à la carte service options such as packing and storage.

By working with a qualified and experienced Relocation Management Company (RMC), transferees will learn which small shipments program is the best one for their relocation requirements. Transferees can often save a significant amount of money on their relocation when they work with an RMC. For example, Global Mobility Solutions has several relationships with household goods moving companies and other moving service providers that provide for discounted costs to our clients.

Generally, the amount of household goods found in the average one-bedroom apartment would fall into the category of small shipments. Also, household goods moving companies may use different terms for these types of moves, including:


  • Load Moves
  • Loads Moving
  • Load Shipments
  • Load Shipping
  • Moves
  • Moving

Small Shipments: Benefits

There are several benefits for transferees who only need small shipments for their move. These moves may provide cost savings depending on levels of service chosen for the move. Transferees often have a greater amount of flexibility and choices for how they want to move. Also, moves of this size are often easy to manage with the use of portable moving containers.

Cost Reduction

Many household goods moving companies often charge for a minimum weight for each shipment. Choosing a provider that offers small shipments as an option helps the transferee avoid paying for weight they are not using. This in turn may reduce relocation costs for companies that provide moving expense reimbursement.

Flexibility with Small Shipments

Transferees with small shipments may have a variety of methods to arrange for the move. Some may choose to pack their own items and arrange for pickup. Alternatively, packing services might be the best option for those looking to move as soon as possible. Household goods can easily be delivered door to door. Alternatively, they can be delivered to another location such as a dock or warehouse for pickup at a later date.

Portable Moving Containers

Some companies specialize in providing containers for small shipments of household goods, such as U-Pack®, 1-800-PACK-RAT, PODS®, SMARTBOX®, and U-Box® by U-Haul. These containers may be delivered to a transferee’s current location. Transferees may be able to fill these containers over time, rather than try to meet a specific date. This also helps transferees to gain more space, since they do not have to fill up a small space with boxes and items ready for transport. Instead, as they work to complete packing their household goods, transferees can move boxes or other items directly to the container.

What Does This Mean?

Companies with transferees who need small shipments may be able to provide several options for household goods moves. Also, companies and transferees may be able to reduce moving costs and avoid paying for minimum weights and unneeded services.

What Should Employers do About Small Shipments?

Employers with transferees that have small shipments should work with a qualified and experienced Relocation Management Company (RMC). RMCs understand the household goods moving industry. As a result, they can provide guidance to help companies determine the options that might work best for their relocation program. Global Mobility Solutions works with several household goods moving companies and other moving service providers to provide discounted costs to our clients.

RMCs have experience with overcoming challenges in relocation programs. They also have knowledge about the challenges that relocating employees face with their move to a new location. RMCs understand the top 5 points an employer should consider when employees choose to self-move. This industry knowledge in turn helps companies provide transferees with the best experience, ensuring successful relocations.

Industry Benchmarking Studies Help Employers Compare Their Relocation Program

GMS has recently published several Industry Benchmarking Studies to help employers learn whether their company’s relocation program is designed following industry-specific best practices. There are many benefits to a corporate relocation policy benchmarking. For example, employers can learn how small shipments managed in their relocation program compare to those offered by competitors in their specific industry.

Industry best practice is to schedule a relocation program and policy review every 12 to 18 months to ensure your company maintains its competitive position. This review will also help your company learn about how the relocation industry is evolving to meet increased employee demands, including recently evolving trends for household goods moves.


GMS’ team of corporate relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to provide transferees with a variety of solutions for small shipments. Our team can help your company provide the best experience for transferees and their household goods move.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a “.com.” The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

Global Mobility Solutions is proud to be named and ranked #1 Overall, and #1 in Quality of Service by HRO Today’s 2019 Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s interest in learning more about small shipments for household goods moves, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

Request your complimentary relocation policy review

Director, Transportation Services Ann has over 20 years of leadership experience in the moving and relocation industries. She is a council member for the International Association of Movers (IAM) Leadership Alliance. As a 2nd generation mover, Ann has worked in all areas of the industry from survey scheduling to claims settlement which has provided her with a well-rounded understanding of the ins & outs of moving. Ann is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Transportation Team, the GMS Transportation Network, managing contracts, policy advisement, and monitoring quality.

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