We have a small story on page 6 this month that talks about how one-third of Britons are considering moving house. That’s a lot of people. The statistic is anecdotally backed up in our cover story in which Robert Bartup talks of the industry booming as a result of the government’s tax holiday and the realization that working from anywhere is a real possibility. Anyway, what interested me was the knock-on effect this seems to have had with some movers that have turned away from handling European traffic as there are rich pickings from the, much easier they perceive, domestic work.
I can understand how they feel, particularly as Brexit has undoubtedly made things harder for them. But, of course, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. The people who want to move across the Channel, in either direction, still want to do so … and somebody is going to move them. If all those domestic movers who were willing to take on a little international work when it was easy, now no longer wish to get involved, there’s a giant-sized opportunity for someone.
Of course, as far as cross-Channel work is concerned, the winners will be those companies that specialise in that sort of work. They will take up the slack. And maybe that’s not a bad thing as it should help drive up quality. There was a time, before we had heard of a town in the Netherlands called Maastricht, when all European moving was done by specialists. You had to be an expert to know the wrinkles and to get the job done. We have now reverted to a similar scenario it seems. I predict that those companies that do have the know-how to get to grips with the regulations will be seeing a boom time as well.
Government regulations will not remain for long, just as the social forces that drive markets will also change. What’s booming today might not look so good in the future and any company that has limited itself to being a ‘one-trick-pony’, might suffer as a result. Limiting a company’s activity to domestic moving only seems to be dangerous and, even while things are good, spreading the risk might be wiser. Nature abhors a vacuum: if there are opportunities in European moving, they will be grasped again eventually. Meanwhile, the specialist European movers will clean up. Good luck to them.