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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
Moving can be unpredictable to say the least. Anything can happen so you want to ensure you and your entire family including any pets you may have will be safe during the move. Turning your back to safety could be a costlier blunder that you could have easily avoid.
Some safety tips:
• Kids – It can be dangerous if you have young kids around when moving. Heavy household goods can be dropped so avoid any distractions too by having your kids stay at a friend’s place or relative.
• Pets – Just like your kids, you don’t want to have your pets roaming freely while your move is underway. Anything can happen, plan on taking them to friends for the day or hire a pet-sitter to take care of them during the big move.
• Clear hallways – Pick up any clutter, toys or other items that may be in the hallways. Ensure all pathways are free of dirt, water, other substances and ice outside pathways.
• Clothes – Wear the most comfortable clothes during the move, shirts and pants that stretch. Wear comfortable shoes that have good traction and consider heavy duty gloves to protect your hands.
Even though many of us receive packages via FedEx or by other means, we still have important snail-mail to collect and when moving overseas, you want to ensure you receive it at your new home or residence. With technology today, you can now actually manage your mail from abroad by using mail forwarding services.
Moving can be stressful especially moving overseas but be sure to select a mail servicing company before heading out so that important letters, correspondences and yes, even bills are still sent to you.
You can choose a variety of features including:
• Mail sent monthly, bi-monthly or as requested
• Add an Internet account so you can view the status of your mail and specify specific shipping dates
• Shipping and customs documents can be handled by the shipping service you choose
• Categorize or select which parcels of mail you want to receive overseas
The U.S. Postal Services regulates commercial receiving agencies (CRMAs) and requires a form to be filled out (you can download it here: https://about.usps.com/forms/ps1583.pdf) and have identification documents handy when filling out the form. If you have a significant other and you’re not married, each person will need to fill out a separate form.
Mail-forwarding services eases a lot of worries when heading overseas and this is just another convenient service to use when living in another country.
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.
This week, I’m going to provide you tips if you decide to move via airplane.
Moving by a plane can be convenient alternative to moving by truck or car. If you plan correctly and if you are in a big hurry, here’s some tips to keep in mind:
• Plan ahead – Do your research online and find out what the extra baggage policies are with your airline. Airlines differ on how many bags you can take with you, size and weight are considering factors too. Do your research so you know what your total costs will be to move your personal home furnishings.
• Lighten it up – When moving across country or overseas, costs add up if you have a lot of belongings. If you are moving on a permanent basis, I’d have a garage sale and get rid of a lot of your stuff that you no longer need or use. If it’s temporary, you can probably get away with bringing only the items you use the most.
• Scale – Before you go to the airport, weigh your luggage to ensure it doesn’t exceed the size and weight limits of your airline.
• Alternatives – You probably won’t be able to ship everything via plane, so I’d hire shipping experts like Rainier to package and ship your personal belongings whether by ground, train or air.
These tips will be useful if you are moving via plane.
Your moving overseas and what do you do if you want your best friend to come with you? That nice shiny four wheeled friend has taken you many times from Point A to Point B. And now you want your cool car with you when you move. Depending upon where you Are moving, you can have your far-wheeled friend shipped overseas by us through an international auto transport company.
That’s pretty easy but there are some other things you need to consider before your car is revved up to be shipped across the Atlantic or elsewhere. As always, do your research and find out about the country or city’s public transportation system. This really varies from country-to-country and you will be able to assess how much you will need to drive your car and what kind of driving conditions you can expect.
Here are some factors to keep-in-mind and to know about:
• Is your automobile street legal in your new city? Remember that Japan, Britain, Australia and other countries require you to drive on the left-side of the road.
• Make sure your professional mover knows about any import tariffs. Your mover lets you know about any of these potential fees so you are not surprised by any unexpected costs.
• Drivers licenses – Most countries will allow you to drive with your existing American driver’s license but only for a specified period of time.
• Research your new country’s driving regulations and laws before your international move so you know when you need to obtain a new license.
• Purchase insurance – When you move, things can happen so make sure you buy moving insurance for your car especially if it’s a new car. This will provide you peace-of-mind if something should go wrong during the transport.
Follow these tips and ensure you hire a reputable moving company so that your four-wheel friend is taken care of during your overseas move.
You have your garage sale and sold a lot of items per my blog last week. But you still have really big items that you need to move. When you are planning to move whether from state-to-state or internationally, it’s important to know what personal items you have that are difficult to move so you can prepare when your assessor comes out to ensure your “big-ticket” items are safely packed and safely moved.
Being prepared is key and having movers come in to move all of your belongings especially the big-ticket items, will ensure safe transport from point A to point B.
One of the most difficult items to move are pianos, no surprise there. Pianos are heavy and challenging to move they are large and bulky but more importantly, they have small intricate parts inside that can easily be damaged. Leave it to the pros to move your piano because they will make sure to not cause damage to it but more importantly, not to damage your doorways, hallways, walls and even ceilings and fixtures on top.
Another tough item to move are fish tanks. They are large and heavy and most of the time, fish don’t survive a move if they are left in the tank due to fluctuating conditions. I highly recommend to leave some of the “original” water in the tank, just above the bottom to ensure the existing bacteria in the water remains when you fill it. In addition, move your fish into small containers or bags using your fish tank water and transport them that way. If it’s a long trip to move, have them specially shipped via overnight or if possible, take them with you in a portable dispenser bag. You can purchase the bags at most pet and aquarium shops.
I have discussed moving artwork before but it’s also in the same category of difficult items to move. More often than not, your artwork is expensive or at the very least has sentimental value to it so you want to make sure during transport, your art safely arrives without damage. Your assessor and mover will wrap it in paper and use bubble wrap all around the frame for extra protection. If they are very good movers, they will also use packing peanuts and professional moving tape and mark it as “fragile” when it’s secured in a box for the move.
When you know and are aware about some of the big-ticket items and how they should be packed before your move, your large items will be safely secured. Leave it to the pros and you’ll have less headaches when you move to your new home.
Last week, I discussed tips moving on a budget. This week, I’m going to provide you tips about garage sales so you can use the money to make it less burdensome if moving on a budget.
One of the best ways to make money and be able to lighten the load for your move is holding a garage sale that can turn your unwanted items into cash. If you’re trying to sell your home, a moving sale might even attract a potential buyer.
Here are some tips to getting the most out of a garage sale:
• Schedule your garage sale on weekends. Start on Friday and end on a Sunday. Post the hours of your sale on the neighborhoods blogs in your area, go online and promote the sale three weeks prior to your sale. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. to promote your event.
• When utilizing social media, mention some of the items you’ll be selling like electronics, furniture, appliances etc. Let them know about the prices and provide your email address so they can contact you if they want to know more about the items you are selling.
• Usually garage sales are at your home but if you don’t have plenty of parking and space for people to walk around, consider holding your moving sale at a nearby local school or community center. The fees are usually minimal and you have access to reach hundreds of parents through school or community bulletins.
• How much should you price and sell a particular item? Visit eBay and search for similar items to see what the asking prices are and go online to see how much you can reasonably expect to sell your things.
• Plan for bad weather. You won’t have to worry about the weather if your moving sale is in a school or community center but if it is at your home, get sheets of plastic to cover your items if it does rain.
• Have some drinks on hand and paper bags so shoppers have something to carry their purchases when checking out.
By using these simple tips, you should hopefully have a successful garage sale, making some decent cash while unloading your unwanted items.
Follow these simple steps and you will lower your moving expenses and will also be organized and prepared for the big move.