Pandemic is history says boss of logistics of firm
The managing director of an international household goods shipping company says global logistics have finally returned to normal following the pandemic, as the company marks 25 years in business.
Removals experts 1st Move International will return to pre-pandemic levels of profit this year after a period of restructuring and improved efficiency enforced by the impact of Covid-19.
The company closed its doors for three months during the first lockdown in 2020 and had doubts it was ever going to reach its quarter century milestone, as global supply chains were devastated by Covid, compounded by the crisis in the Suez Canal in March 2021.
“From a logistics point of view, the pandemic is over,” said Mike Harvey, managing director of the Bristol-based firm. “And it’s certainly been a journey for all of us.
“Any company involved in international removals will know that Covid was, without question, the single biggest challenge that they have faced. Services like ours depend on reliability.
“However, we are pleased to say that our industry appears to finally be over the aftershocks of what happened. Global supply chains seem to be working smoothly, we’re now over the backlogs which were created and cargos are moving properly again.
“Given everything our industry has been through, reaching our 25 year milestone is a tremendous achievement. We’ve faced economic ups and downs, changes in regulation, new competition and disruptions like COVID-19.
“But through it all we’ve kept our commitment to providing rapid, reliable and quality-focused international moving services.
“Since our company was founded there’s been tremendous growth in demand for international removals as globalization increases. Following Covid, we’re now positioned better than ever to meet that need with our specialized expertise and focus.”
This financial year, which closes at the end of November, has seen profits at 1st Move International returning to levels not seen since 2011.
Mr Harvey credits the company’s return to profitability this year to improvements made during the pandemic. “We carefully analysed our operations and implemented changes to enable managed growth while controlling costs,” he said. “That included internal efficiencies, and enhancing our customer service model.
“The result is the implementation of systemic and cultural change within our own organisation which is helping us manage risks and maintain business stability.”
1st Move International is based in Avonmouth, Bristol, and has been solely dedicated to managing international removals since 1998.
The company was founded by company owner James Limerick after he identified a niche for combining expertise in international commercial shipping with a demand for rapid removals of household goods between the UK and expat destinations.
Looking forward, Mr Harvey said the company expects managed growth over coming years. “There’s been a growth in expatriation since the pandemic, as people have looked to move overseas with families or for remote working,” he said.
“People are looking for a quality, rapid service with a freight forwarding company which brings all the benefits of time-sensitive, service driven commercial shipping with a specialisation in the movement of personal household effects.
“Our approach is different to most international removals firms, who ship full container loads, as we provide a unique pallet-based service, using commercial shipping lines combined with a network of trusted agents at destinations around the world.
“We have the opportunity to grow in our premises but we’re also conscious of our balance sheet, so we’re not looking to over-burden ourselves.
“There will always be challenges, but we stay focused on delivering value to customers. Our employees are our greatest asset,” he said. “Their commitment to going above and beyond for every customer is what sets us apart.”