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  • Writer's pictureAmy

6 Frequently Asked Questions: How The Global Shipping Crisis Is Affecting International Moving

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

From As Early As October 2020, Shipping Rates For Containers Started To Climb…..

A cargo ship

1. WHY?

In short, capacity shortages on vessels as a result of knock-on effects from port congestion globally especially in the busier ports and bottlenecks caused by the

Covid-19 pandemic.

Read: - White Paper from International Association of Movers


Increasing delay, lack of container space, and significant freight price increases for ocean shipping in every industry. Not Just Household Goods Moving.


A. Affects budget planning as freight rates change every 2 weeks. Therefore a quotation for SEA FREIGHT is only valid for up to the date indicated.

Currently Shipping Companies ( Not the International Mover ) provide updated Freight Rates every 2 weeks, 15th of the qualifying month and 1st of the next month.

Therefore, if you have accepted a quotation dated 10th July and your shipment has been booked on a vessel dated 28th August, your sea freight rate is only secured up to the 15th of July.

Your International Mover will have to provide you with an updated sea freight rate closer to your vessel departure date. Currently, we are experiencing an increase every 2 weeks.

B. Apart from increasing freight rates, limited space on vessels are affecting customers preferred sailing dates.

What this means is that, if your moving out date from your residence is on 30th July and the movers are booked to come in from 28-30th, there is a possibility there won’t be a vessel sailing date to meet your timing. For popular destinations, some of the vessel dates are booked in advance especially in peak seasons, not just for household goods but for other general cargo.

In this instance, if there is no availability for a vessel sailing date close to your moving out dates from your current residence, in all likelihood, your shipment will need to go into short-term storage until a space can be booked.

Once again this is affecting budgeting for moves as there is an added increase of temporary storage costs.


A. The only way of reducing your shipping costs at the moment is to reduce the volume of your shipment. Do consider selling and donating as means to reduce your volume.

B. You can consider long-term storage in country of origin and wait out this current crisis. However bear the following in mind:

I. There is no timeline when the rates will “normalise”

II. Potential increase in storage costs due to limited availability

III. Condition of the shipment after long term storage in non-temperature controlled environment

IV. Paying for Insurance during the storage period

C. Plan ahead and set realistic expectations, we recommend at least 3 months.

D. Be mentally prepared for the unexpected. International Movers are doing their best to get shipping lines to prioritise household goods shipments, but in reality the industry does not have much power with the shipping magnates compared to the fast moving consumables. Please note that shipping lines reserve their right to ‘bump’ the household goods container to a later sailing, or altogether cancel the booking to free up capacity for other cargo.

E. Take comfort that you are not alone as every International Mover and Relocating Customer is affected.


This is a global issue affecting the post popular relocating countries with high consumer demand and busy ports.


While we may see some short term and spot relief, experts are predicting that current shortages and increase in freight rates could continue into 2022 or until there is stability in the post Covid-19 pandemic.


Established in Singapore in and Malaysia since 2006, SIR Move Services is a Singapore/British brand and it is a moving company that continues to build a business based on integrity and trust. With a firm belief that 110% attention to the technicalities involved in moving is an expected pre-requisite, it is these strong building blocks that have served as a foundation for their mission which is, to ensure that the delivery of their services comes with consistent quality of exceptional standards at every level and in every move. SIR provides Complete Move Solutions for International, Commercial and Domestic Relocations inclusive of storage and insurance. We move pets too. Moove My Box (MMB) is the newest addition to our suite of services allowing customers to ship small shipments faster. Similar to Air Express Delivery with the addition of packing and collection services. SIR Move is a qualified FIDI/FAIM Quality Mover.

SIR Move Services

Call 65 65347345

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