Import Restrictions - Sept 21

Get a quote
uk shipping restrictions

Shipping updates: Imports to the UK

If you are moving to the UK you should prepare for the challenges that have severely impacted transportation services by air, sea and road. These issues are well publicised via the media highlighting the impact on the transportation industry both during the global pandemic and post Brexit.

There have also been changes in regulations and processes that have further enhanced transit times for consignments and created additional associated costs which clients need to be aware of in order to effectively manage their relocation needs and budget.

Shipping rates increase

There has been a sharp increase in demand to ship goods around the world as household effects consignments compete against other cargo.

Vessel availability is key, and the demand has fuelled an increase in shipping rates that can increase suddenly from quote to booking.

Disruption by shipping lines

COVID -19 has affected the service provided by shipping lines dramatically. As many employees worldwide were either self-isolating or working from home during the pandemic, communication was 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.

Port congestion

UK port congestion is significant, particularly Liverpool port that has seen restricted container movement for some time. Unfortunately, this is continuing to spread to all other UK ports of entry causing significant delay to container movement.

Shortage of haulage resources

To compound the problems at port, there has also been a shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers to haul the containers from port which has further increased delays and attracts additional port rent. Fees after the five-day rent-free period vary dependent on the shipping line used from £100.00 to £150.00 per day. Unfortunately, any additional charges cannot be met by your moving company as these costs are beyond its control.

Our advice to our customers

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

  • Do your research and be aware of your travel restrictions to ensure your arrival in your new country is not delayed. 
  • Be flexible and understand that your consignment may take longer and in fact delivery dates and costs can change at any time.
  • Make sure you complete your paperwork as early as possible to ensure the customs clearance is not delayed for any reason.
  • Budget for additional costs that may be enforced by the shipping lines or airlines which can be significant and beyond control of the moving company.
  • Consider storage with your removal company if you are unable to accept your goods at short notice. Storage is an additional cost but it is cheaper than long term port rental.
  • Ensure you factor in your travel and quarantine period to ensure that you are in your destination country when your consignment arrives.
  • 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.

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