Export Restrictions - Sept 21

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International moving update

If you are moving overseas you should prepare for the challenges that have severely impacted the global shipping industry. These issues are well publicised via the media highlighting the impact on the transportation industry by both Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic. There have also been changes in regulations that have increased transit times for household effects consignments, increasing both costs and delivery times.

Increase in demand and freight rates

There has been a sharp increase in demand to ship goods around the world as household effects consignments compete against other cargo. The demand has created an increase in freight rates that can change suddenly from the time a quote is issued to booking the freight.

Port congestion and disruption

COVID -19 has affected the service provided by shipping lines. As many employees worldwide were either self-isolating or working from home during the pandemic, communication between the shipping lines and removals companies has been affected, and systems were not brought up to date. Booking vessel slots has since proved to be inconsistent with no guarantee that shipments will be forwarded as pre-booked with consignments being ‘bumped’ to the next available vessels.

Ports worldwide are congested leading to restricted container movements.

Shortage of drivers

To compound the problems at port, there has also been a shortage of HGV drivers in the UK to haul the containers from port which has further increased delays and attracts additional port rent or demurrage. Unfortunately, any additional charges cannot be met by your moving company as these costs are beyond its control.

Our advice to customers

In summary there are many factors affecting international freight forwarding currently. Our advice to our customers includes:

  • Prepare before you leave your origin county and be aware of your travel restrictions to ensure your arrival in your new country is not delayed
  • Make sure you complete your paperwork as early as possible to ensure the customs clearance is not delayed for any reason.
  • Ensure you factor in your travel and quarantine period to ensure that you are in your destination country when your consignment arrives.
  • Be flexible and understand that your consignment may take longer and that transit times, delivery dates and costs can change at any time.
  • Budget for additional costs that may be enforced by the shipping lines or airlines which are beyond control of your moving company.
  • Consider storage if you are unable to accept your goods at short notice. Storage is an additional cost but it’s cheaper than long term port rental.
  • Build a contingency plan in case your consignment is late. This could include alternative accommodation for you and your family or even furniture hire to bridge the gap should your consignment be late.

Your move manager will keep you updated as to the status of your shipment and will keep you advised on any associated cost implications.