Update 27th March.
Following Government advice and discussions with the British Association of Removers (BAR) John Mason International will be making some temporary changes to our operations in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Any export moves booked to take place over the next 3 weeks will be postponed to ensure maximum safety to both our crews and you the customer. Our Move Managers will be contacting customers over the next few days to postpone their moves and explain the arrangements we are making to complete their removal as soon as we possibly can. Our Liverpool office will be closed, but our warehouses remain operating for the time being too receive Import containers, airfreights and LCL shipments.
We will have a skeleton office staff working for the next 3 weeks to handle any queries, rates etc and although no physical pre-move surveys are being performed we can arrange video or telephone surveys. If you have immediate or urgent questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will come back to you as soon as possible.
We are truly sorry for any inconvenience that this will cause but we have to be mindful of the UK Government and BAR guidelines and recommendations in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus but more importantly taking in to account the wellbeing of your customers, our crews and families.
Update 18th March.
Carriers are still advising they are operating as normal, but with the obvious issue that space is at a premium. As a result we would recommend that if you are looking to secure specific dates for your moves we will need to get your booking confirmations back as soon as possible. Additionally we have seen lines like MSC implement emergency surcharges.
As of writing no shipping line has advised of any additional measures that need to be taken in regards to operating procedure. However please note that this position can change very quickly which could result in possible delays, increased transit times and the potential for rate increases.
We are making sure that all our staff are kept up to date with the latest advice from the Government and the NHS on the recommended measures and hygiene protocol to minimise the risk of coronavirus.
Our surveyors and our crews have all been provided with hand sanitisers to keep in their vehicles, and they will use these both before and after visiting clients. Our crews have also been issued with their own towels and soap and will be washing hands throughout the packing process. If you have any concerns please speak to your dedicated Move Manager.
Update 10th March.
At the time of writing, the UK is experiencing increased risk from the coronavirus and the concern is that the number of confirmed cases of the virus will very likely increase. The Government has stated that it will be implementing (as yet) unspecified measures to combat the spread of the virus.
We have been contacted by several customers who are concerned on how this could impact their moves overseas.
The shipping lines like most industries are applying a ‘wait and see position’ to the virus, as of writing we are being told by the shipping lines that from the UK they are not experiencing excessive delays but space is very tight and booking in advance is vital.
Having spoken to Hapag Lloyd as our biggest carrier, they currently have no equipment shortages in the UK, and their Chinese offices are now 70% staffed so hopefully Asia is recovering and shipments may start to resume shortly.
Ocean Network Express have confirmed that the shipping industry has been hit with a crisis in terms of available capacity on services to the Far East, Oceania, Middle East and Indian Sub Continent throughout March & April, along with severe equipment availability issues following extended Chinese New Year Period due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. In view of this unprecedented situation Ocean Network Express have been forced to implement restrictions on booking acceptance during this period & drastically reduce the number of bookings.
As a result we would recommend that if you are looking to secure specific dates for your moves we will need to get your booking confirmations back as soon as possible.
However please note that this position can change very quickly which could result in possible delays, increased transit times and the potential for rate increases.
Please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for the latest advice on travelling and living overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus