International moving update

October 01 2021

Both Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic have severely impacted the global moving industry. We want to let you know about the complications it’s caused when moving goods overseas to better prepare you for your move. We’ll explain exactly what is going on and why it might be costing you slightly more to move right now.

Increasing shipping rates

You might notice that things are a little bit more expensive in the shipping industry right now. One explanation for this is that more people are wanting to ship items overseas. This increase in demand has led to an increase in freight rates. It’s important to be aware that the cost of your shipment may change suddenly from the time a quote is issued to booking your freight.

Port congestion

COVID -19 seems to have affected how shipping lines are now operating. Communication between the shipping lines and removals companies has been affected. Booking vessel slots has proven 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 in the UK

To add fuel to the fire, there has also been a shortage of HGV drivers in the UK. This means there are less vehicles available to move the containers to and from UK ports which has further increased delays and in some instances has resulted in demurrage, which is a charge applied to containers that are left in port longer than their allotted free time. Unfortunately, any additional charges cannot be met by your moving company as these costs are beyond its control.

European moving update

If you’re moving to Europe you’ll need to know about some changes in regulations and processes due to Brexit and Covid-19. These changes include:

  • Additional customs clearance paperwork and documentation which does vary by country. It’s important to complete all your paperwork as early as possible to avoid potential delays.
  • Customers moving to the EU will require a Residency Permit to be included in the required paperwork by customs prior to the move. Typically, applications for Residency Permits are taking from 7 to 10 days.
  • Due to COVID-19 isolation requirements within the EU, European moves generally need to come in to store for a period of consolidation prior to departure to EU countries. Many countries require the individual to visit the local council offices to obtain the necessary documents on their arrival and post isolation. This may lead to additional costs for handling charges via a warehouse and storage rental.
  • Customs clearance now takes place at designated customs clearance points in Europe and additional travel to these points will be factored into the price of a European move.
  • With the end of free movement, UK customers can expect to pay duties on gifts, moves to and from secondary residences, new goods and alcohol.
  • It is now not advised that you do not move plants to Europe as they require a phytosanitary certificate and must survive for longer period where warehouse consolidation is a requirement.

Our advice to customers

In summary there are many factors affecting international moving 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 the 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.

Why not get in touch online or by calling 0800 633 5445 to talk to our team about how we can help you move overseas or receive one of our award-winning quotes.

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Video Survey
Video Survey

Getting the ball rolling for your international removals is as easy as A, B, C.
You can call us to arrange your video survey and one of our move coordinators can accurately assess the items that you want to send to any European or international destination.
Once we know what you are shipping and where to, we can then provide you with a precise moving quote. It’s as simple as that!

  • Book a remote video survey
  • Show us your items
  • Get your quote

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