Shipping and Transport Update—September 2021

The challenges in global shipping continue
The cost to send a container from Asia to the west coast of the USA is now 13 times higher than in 2019, reaching a record price of US$20,000 for one 40’ container, with the global average increase of 8 times higher when compared with pre pandemic era. Yet the increase in the cost of shipping is just one of the challenges facing the international moving industry.

Congestion at ports and delays in shipping
The surge in demand for shipping from the end of 2020 combined with the reduction in available labor has resulted in congestion at many ports across the globe with vessels queuing offshore pending unloading, as we progress through 2021 this situation continues. In the USA with the Thanksgiving holiday season (the peak buying season for consumers) approaching, many importers are moving early to ensure they have required stock to respond to increasing demand. The acceleration in Delta-variant COVID-19 outbreaks in several counties has further slowed global container turnaround rates, which when combined with severe weather outbreaks in Asia and The USA has further disrupted shipping timings with less than 40% of vessels globally meeting their published schedule in July.

Driver shortage is a global issue
Road transportation is a key function of international moving, be it moving effects within country or region or moving effects arriving by sea away from the port. The severe shortage of truck drivers in the USA is also being experienced globally. This shortage is making it difficult to source transport solutions, a high level of late notice cancellations and changes of schedule further exacerbating the difficulties of committing to dates for collection and delivery.

Warehousing
Key to moving goods is warehousing, enabling effects to be stored pending on transit and delivery. The growth of e-commerce is fueling the demand for warehousing space and fulfilment centers. With the uncertainty in shipping and with transportation driving the need for storage during a move, moving companies are facing ever increasing competition for available space.

What is the outlook?
There are signs that freight prices have steadied during August as shipping lines continue to seek solutions to meeting demand, including utilizing less congested ports and sourcing of additional containers, Hapag -Lloyd having bought an additional 450,000 containers in the last 12 months. Ports are seeking to increase capacity by accommodating new “mega” vessels and introducing larger cranes. However, with a number of countries still looking to contain Delta variant out breaks and continuing supply chain issues such as a global shortage of microchips causing the world’s largest car manufacturers to cut production by 40% every indication is that the challenges impacting Moving will continue into 2022.

Tips about passports and visas when moving

A little planning and forethought to make sure you understand the requirements, complete all the forms and account for any government bureaucracy, will help to ensure everything goes smoothly when applying for a visa or passport. To ensure your required documents such as your passport, visa and permits etc. are correct, start by contacting the consular office of your host country’s embassy. They know the latest rules and registration requirements because documentation regulations may change on short notice.

Tips about passports and visas:
• Passports
A passport is an official verification of the holder’s nationality and, with a few exceptions, is required to enter another country. In many cases, a visa will not be issued unless you have a passport. Each member of your family should have a passport. Some countries will refuse entry to visitors whose passports expire during the period of their stay, so make sure passports for you and your family members are valid for well past your stay.

• Visas
A visa allows a foreigner to enter a country for a specific purpose and duration. It’s usually stamped in the visitor’s passport, although sometimes it may be on a separate document. It may authorize a single visit or multiple entries to the country.

Once you’re ready to make the big move, countries require longer-term visas. When inquiring about the regulations, make sure you specify that you are relocating to the country. Real problems can result if you obtain the wrong type of visa. The last thing you want, when starting your life abroad, is to find yourself escorted across the border in the wrong direction.

By preparing and making sure your passport and visa and other documents are all in order, it will ensure your move will be uneventful.

Safe moving!

Tips about consulates

Consulates may be established in other large or commercially important cities. If nations don’t have full diplomatic relations, one country might establish a consulate, but not an embassy with an ambassador. A consulate’s primary function is to provide services for residents or travelers.

Make sure you do your research before moving and know if a consulate is in your new country. Some of the services consulates can provide include the following:
• Renewing passports
• Replacing lost or stolen passports
• Providing aid in obtaining medical and legal assistance
• Notarizing documents
• Assisting with tax returns and absentee voting
• Making arrangements in the event of death
• Registering births to nationals abroad
• Certifying—but not performing or granting—marriages and divorces abroad
• Providing information on dealing with host country authorities
• Arranging for evacuation or other assistance in emergency situations

Some consulates may have a community liaison officer who maintains contact with nationals residing in the area. It may be a part-time position filled by the spouse of a consulate official, but the officer is likely a valuable person to know.
Before you move, know the location and contact of the consulate so if you are in need of any diplomatic services, you know exactly where to call and who to be in touch with.

Tips ensuring paperwork is in good shape before your international move

You have a passport and visa and off you go to move overseas. Not so fast, you need to make sure other documents are in order before leaving. It’s crucial that additional paperwork and important copies of medical insurance, income tax records and the like are with you heading to your host country.

There are not only obligations from your own government here but records of “who you are” are important to have to take with you. Make sure you have copies with you in your briefcase or other hand-carried case on the airplane, don’t put them in your luggage in case it’s lost and certainly don’t ship them away in your belongings heading overseas.

Below is a recommended list of documents to have with you when moving:
• Employment contracts and a letter from your employers stating the terms of your stay. If local host-country authorities need them for some reason or ask to see them.
• Birth certificates of each family member
• Pertinent medical records
• Pertinent dental records

• Driver’s license (if you are planning to drive a vehicle in your host country, you’ll need to apply for a license there)
• Property and vehicle insurance records
• Income tax records
• Wills if Appropriate
• Each member of your family’s passport and other documentation

By making sure you have multiple copies of important documents with you, your overseas move will be so much easier in the event that any of your paperwork is requested while traveling or when you are settling into your new home.

Tips on tipping movers when moving

Movers are part of the service trade. In other words, they are service professionals and you base your tip on the services performed. Yes, you do tip movers, but it’s not expected. Most people will buy them lunch for their tip and or provide cash.

Some tips on tipping movers:
• Offer the movers to buy them lunch especially if it’s at least a half-day move. That’s just as good as a cash tip. Some people do both but it’s not necessary. If you do buy them lunch, don’t assume it should be hamburgers or pizza. Keep in mind, you are not the only one that they are moving your life belongings for. Ask what the movers feel like having.
• Make sure to have small items on hand such as bottled water (easier to carry around than a glass of water), sodas and light snacks. Don’t offer them alcoholic drinks like beer, it’s stereotypical, movers can’t drink on the job and there are liability issues.
• There’s really no percentage amount to give to movers like there is in other service industries such as restaurants where waitresses or waiters receive 20 percent for excellent service. About $10 per person is proper and if it’s a full day, then about $20 or so per mover.
• If you do give a cash tip, don’t give it all to the driver or one person but to each individual. That really recognizes each individual’s efforts and is fair overall.

If your movers are professional, polite and do a good job, reward them like anyone else in the service industry. Plus, they’ll be more inclined to ensure your belongings reach your destination safely, securely and in good shape.

Safe moving!

Tips to Taking Photos When Moving

When you plan to move, you may want to keep memories of the place you’re leaving or maybe even from the moving process itself. You can have fun posting some of the photos on your preferred social media or arranging the pictures in an album after the move is over.

Always date-stamp your photos to be able to counter false claims by proving the date those photographs were taken. Turn on the date-stamp function of your (smartphone) camera or, if that’s not possible, e-mail those photos to yourself.
Also, make sure the time and date are correct in the settings of your digital camera or smartphone before you start snapping away.

Finally, keep the photos on the memory card, right between other pictures you took at that time to counter “smart” suggestions that you may have changed the time/date setting on your camera prior to taking the photos in question.

Most importantly, have fun to keep your memories alive in your previous home!

Safe moving!

Overall tips when moving overseas

This week, general and overall tips when moving overseas.

An international move can be complicated but since I’m in the moving biz, I’m going to share with you some basic tips but very important tips before you make the leap overseas.

Employment
Yeah, that’s pretty basic but you’ll need work visas or permits to ensure you are working legally in your new country. It’s also helpful just to know the job market there and a basic understanding of the city you are moving to. Do your research on Google and other platforms to be informed regarding employment in your new country.

Finances
You have money coming whether for work or another way of income and you need to make sure it’s in a safe place. Contact some banks there and find out if you can set up an account before you leave. Know what type of fees they might charge and find out how safe your money is.

Accountant
One of the smartest things you can do before your move is to know the tax system not only here when you are out of the country, but in your new land. It can be complicated so be sure to contact your accountant or hire a tax professional to ensure you have a plan and meet all of your tax obligations. It will avoid major headaches while leaving abroad, trust me.

Health insurance
This is another basic tip but believe it or not, many people don’t check to find out if they are covered overseas. The last thing you need is to get ill and be hospitalized and find out your insurance doesn’t cover you or your family. Check with your health care provider if you are insured or not and make any adjustments if needed so you are insured.

Safe moving!

Key mistakes to avoid when moving part 2

Last time, I wrote about some of the mistakes to avoid when moving. It’s so important to be prepared when the big moving day arrives.

Tips to avoid mistakes when moving art 2:
• Labels and more labels – Make sure to label all boxes that are going to be moved. Use a permanent black marker and label each box of the items that are in it. Movers will still move your boxes without labels but when they arrive at your new destination, you won’t know not only where the boxes should go in each room to unpack, but you won’t know any of the items when unpacking.
• Markers – Consider using color markers and label boxes that go into your new rooms. Write “kitchen” with all of your kitchen items, write “bathroom” for all of your bath items. Use different colors for each particular room.
• Color cards – Use different color of cards and place them on top of each box labeling where they should go. That way, your movers will know where to place each box in the pertinent areas of your new home.
• Safety – Household goods and money can easily be replaced, members of your family cannot. Stay safe and in my next blog will cover in detail safety tips you need to know about when moving.

Safe moving!

Key mistakes to avoid when moving

When you are making a move especially overseas, you want to avoid as much as mistakes as humanely possible. Even minor mistakes can prove costly in a residential or business move. You need to do your homework and select a reputable mover like us to move your household goods.

In previous blogs, I’ve covered mistakes you should avoid. This time, I’m going to give you specific tips to ensure a smooth moving day.

Tips to avoid mistakes when moving:
• Sleep – Yep, seems simple enough but some people stay up late the night before the big move and don’t function as well during the day. Get a good night’s sleep so you will alert and ready.
• Cellphone – Simply put, make sure your phone is fully charged for the day. Many folks forget this and then have to have their phones charging in a place not accessible where they need to be when moving. Charge your phone, you will thank me later.
• Errands – Ensure that all of your errands and tasks are completed before moving day. You won’t have time to do them once the moving process begins.
• Rooms – Before you go to bed and when you wake up early on the big day, go through all of your rooms to make sure everything is ready for your movers. This will give you a last chance to ensure your household items are good to go.
• Insurance – Always purchase moving insurance, it’s the only way to protect your household goods from any mishaps that may happen.

Supply Chain Issues Impacting the International Moving Industry

There is currently a shipping and supply chain crisis directly affecting every facet of international commerce; its impact is far-reaching enough to touch the lives of consumers and businesses around the world. Simple solutions are not available in our interconnected global economy. While significant industry efforts are underway to highlight the issues and draw attention to them, the international moving industry and its customers struggle to be heard by government regulators. – Source: International Associations of Movers 

Please download the full article here
IAM - International Association of Movers