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Overseas removals during the pandemic 2021

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Britannia Bradshaws Moving Services have been helping people move around the world for what seems like forever - well, longer than we care to remember anyway - and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The past two years have been tough for everyone with all the new challenges faced by the Coronavirus pandemic, and in the history of removals we struggle to recall a time that was more difficult to navigate for both our customers and us. We’ve never seen anything like it.

Many factors are still currently affecting the volatility of removals, including the uneven demand for sea and air freight as some countries effectively closed their borders. The knock on effect of this is that there are now too many containers in one place and not enough in another.

As lockdowns have eased around the world, some consumers have found themselves with extra money in their pockets which has led to an increase in demand for certain consumer goods. To cope with the extra demand for freight to increase, large manufacturing operations have been bulk buying freight, either pricing the smaller guys out or simply taking up all available capacity.

The lumpiness in demand and supply has created havoc. Certain ports have become overwhelmed to the point of huge delays or having to close and reroute vessels to other ports that are not necessarily en-route to the final destination.

Some of the more common destinations such as the USA have seen freight rates triple with minimal if any notice from the shipping lines. Other less common destinations have seen rates increase 13-fold.

Prices are also wildly varying due to volatile fuel costs, along with the global labour shortages within the supply chain that are making onward delivery of goods or customs clearance more difficult than before.

So what does this mean for our customers?

Realistically, what this means is all of these factors now make any international move slightly more unpredictable than usual. This could mean customers might find the price they have been given suddenly increases to match the rate we are paying for freight increases. Customers may also experience significant delays and charges at destinations they didn’t anticipate.

These factors haven’t stopped people from moving internationally, as we still have lots of customers coming to us to organise their overseas removals, but we believe it is important we make customers fully aware of the moving difficulties before they move.

What are Britannia Bradshaws doing about it?

Despite there being very little can realistically do due to these factors being well beyond our control, we have been in the removals business for a long time and we don’t intend on stopping now. We are committed to doing our very best to help our customers and advising where we can.

We can also tell you what we will not do, which is we will not profiteer and exploit the situation regarding international removals for our benefit. As always, we will work with our customers to make their removal process as smooth as it can be. Moving homes is a huge life event, especially for those moving abroad, so we want to make it an enjoyable experience.

The British Association of Removers (BAR), the largest professional trade body of the UK moving industry has produced the following guide which may provide further insight into international removals. Read the guide here.

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