Whether you’re looking to ship your goods personally, or offer a ‘Household Goods Shipment’ as part of a relocation package, how has the landscape changed? What are the latest updates? What do you need to plan for when managing your budget and time frame?
At Cornerstone we like to keep our finger on the pulse, and working closely with our partners we keep all our clients, old and new, updated on any changes to protocol or procedure regarding our services. So, whether you are an individual relocating, or an employer offering a relocation package, you know what you need to know when you need to know it! With the help of our Household Goods partner Gosselin, we’ve pulled together the below for you to learn what’s changed, and what’s on the horizon when it comes to shipping your goods!
In terms of pricing, capacity and congestion issues, we are pleased to say the market can currently offer good news to its clients! Although, as always, prices do vary depending on origin and destination, the sea freight rates have dropped and are showing continued reduction since the 1st of March 2023. This is important, as the last decrease we saw in prices was approximately two years ago; this is particularly referring to 20’ and 40’ containers leaving Europe.
European outbound rates, and airfreight rates in general continue to stabilise too. Although they are still higher than pre-COVID levels, the rates have started dropping since March 2023, which is once again a positive development.
Although road freight costs have never been affected in quite the same extreme way that air freight or sea freight have been, in March 2023 the fuel prices saw a small decrease so hopefully, this will lead to more stable transportation rates. On a less bright side, the global driver shortage has remained the same. Our partner Gosselin’s weekly in-house Intra-European hub-to-hub road service between offices, is however enabling us to maintain delivery timelines and mitigate cost increases.
As per the container cancellations and delays, matters have improved considerably over the past few months, in Europe. The timeframe between container booking and freight availability was four weeks back in the summer of 2022, but has considerably improved lately. There are currently very few delays reported!
Shipping Goods in to the UK
There are also updates on the UK import side; UK Customs have recently advised that goods coming into the UK under a ToR authorisation, cannot be brought in from multiple countries.
However, on a positive note, ToR relief can be in place when you want to transfer your goods to your normal place of residence. This will allow you to import your goods with relief from duties and charges. However, this doesn’t apply if your good are coming in from a secondary country, not your normal country of residence, for example. In this case, you would be liable for duties and taxes. Although your goods still cannot be imported from multiple countries, they can be imported in multiple consignments.
Our partner Gosselin and its haulier network continue to manage the entire Goods Vehicle Management System (GVMS) process – as part of their move management service. The GVMS process has to be implemented to get any vehicles moved through a port in the UK that uses the move management service, through customs. The GMR number is required in advance, before travel, meaning last-minute moves will be more difficult to support, furthermore there are potential increases in customs inspections because of the new procedure too, sadly with the associated inspection costs.
A couple of things that have stayed the same include the fact that food is prohibited within road shipments in the UK, and any goods entering the UK that require a CITES permit (i.e. food, plants, ivory, et al) have to be declared. If you were to include food in a shipment, you need to be prepared that this will increase the likelihood of inspection, confiscation, penalties, delays and additional charges. If your shipment needs a CITES permit, you’ll need to sign a declaration for it and have a URN acceptance letter.
The situation is still being monitored, but the updates are looking very positive so far. If you are relocating and shipping your goods, or you are assisting employees to relocate, feel free to contact us to learn more. We would be happy to share our knowledge and support your move. We are here to help!