Leading international removal firm 1st Move International Limited says the amount of people emigrating from the UK is now returning to pre-pandemic numbers.

For a quarter of a century 1st Move International Limited has been shipping personal effects

But it faced uncertainty in 2020 when enquiries fell by around 75 % as borders were closed and global travel severely restricted due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

However, it managed to weather the storm thanks to its business model and is looking to flourish now the level of interest is returning.

1st Move International Managing Director Mike Harvey said: “During the Covid-19 crisis the number of enquiries fell dramatically and were limited mainly to customers who were already overseas having their goods shipped on.

“But they are showing promising signs of getting back to pre-pandemic levels and 1st Move is seeing the number of customers with new visa applications being processed on the increase again.”

The huge fall in customer levels two years ago was largely due to popular non-European destinations for expats – including the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada – closing their borders to visitors to contain the virus.

Things have dramatically improved since then, with visa and work permit applications for these locations soaring again.

Although they are not fully back to pre-pandemic levels, with countries including China still imposing strict rules for travellers, the signs are that it won’t be long before they are.

1st Move’s unique ‘Shrinkfast’ palletised shipping systems are designed to safeguard, isolate, protect and safely ship personal effects overseas.

Unlike other international moving companies, it professionally packs all household goods and personal effects to individual pallets to ensure faster sailing and arrival times because of minimal handling.

The 1st Move model offers the security and protection of palletised shipping with the economy of a weekly shared container service.

Mr Harvey added: “The pandemic didn’t only affect the movement of people – commercial freight services were also disrupted by border closures, staffing levels and the unavailability of equipment.

“But our business model differs from the majority of international removals companies, and this gives us the edge in being able to ship our customers goods a lot faster than most of our competitors.

“It also meant that although the number of enquiries we received fell, we were still able to accommodate the bookings we had and ship in a timely fashion.

“Now things are moving in the right direction again and 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.”