At 1st Move International, we have been shipping personal effects for over 25 years. During the pandemic, the number of enquiries we received fell and was limited mainly to customers who were already overseas. Now, the numbers of enquiries are showing signs of getting back to pre-pandemic levels, and 1st Move International is seeing the number of customers with new Visa applications being processed on the rise again.
Compared to pre-pandemic shipping levels in 2020, 1st Move International found that the number of overseas moving enquiries fell by up to 75%, due to most countries closing their borders to non-citizens to help contain the virus.
However, times are changing. Although some countries still have strict entry policies, the main destinations for UK expats are now processing Visa and work permit applications and are welcoming fully vaccinated travellers to their shores again. This is reflected in the increase in enquiries our team at 1st Move International are receiving and, although not fully back to pre-pandemic levels just yet, signs are that it won’t be long until they are.
The pandemic didn’t just affect migration, but commercial freight services were also disrupted by border closures and staff and equipment shortages. Thankfully, 1st Move International was in a unique position to avoid many of these issues and continue relatively unaffected compared to many other moving companies.
Our business model differs from the majority of international removals companies. We are the only moving company to palletise our client’s belongings and ensure that shipments meet the standards to be shipped alongside commercial goods. This means that in most cases, we are able to ship out regularly and we never have to wait for our own containers to be full before sending them out. This gives us the edge in being able to ship our customers goods a lot faster than most of our competitors. This meant that, although the number of enquiries we received during the pandemic had fallen, we were still able to accommodate the bookings that we had, and ship them in a timely fashion.
We now report that the number of enquiries is once again on the rise and, although the borders are open with visa applications being processed, many other movers are still facing issues with shipping schedules and equipment shortages in the industry.
We are finding more customers with new Visas and work permits, making bookings with us, and moving overseas for the first time for employment or to join up with family. We continue to update our blogs with current information, and the increased enquiry numbers are reflected in the news of borders reopening globally.