A Look Back: The History of the Moving Industry




Lately, we’ve witnessed many conversations about the changes in the moving industry driven by various forces – emerging technology, the shift in consumer’s demand, new government and environmental policies, etc. etc. Much research has been done on the industry transformation, and we are even trying to predict what’s in store for it in the next decade.

And that’s fine – we are in the moving business and we are essentially accustomed to looking ahead and moving forward. But in this article, we won’t talk about the future of the removals industry. Quite the contrary, we will immerse ourselves in nostalgia and look back at some historical highlights which have shaped the industry as we know it today.


It all started long ago…

…in America at the time when newcomers and colonists traveled to populate the west and needed a safe and efficient way to move their household. Back then, there weren’t any moving companies and people traveled in groups, each using 3-5 wagons to move their belongings and relocate areas.

Later on, in the 19th century, with the railroad boom in America, the first moving companies that reflect the industry today were founded. At the time, movers used horse-drawn wagons to transport goods to their warehouses in the railways and then loaded them in the train cars. At the same time, in the UK there was a new key development in the removals industry – self-storage facilities. They were primarily used by banks as specialised warehouses, where high-class clients kept their personal belongings while traveling.


World War I and II

During World War I and II as well as the post-war time, the removals industry was faced with many changes.

With the ongoing hostilities during World War I, there was a limitation of the ability of removal companies to carry out their business. Throughout the war, the railways were the quickest way of moving people and goods around the country, but the warfare limited cross-channel shipping and transport.

During World War II, the road construction boom and the motorised vehicles that overtook the horse-drawn vans were opening new opportunities for growth, but warfare still dictated the business. Many people moved home and businesses out of the urban areas to the countryside, but they mainly used the railway transport. At the same time, the fuel rationing led to the revival of the horse-powered transport which persisted by 1955.

The post-war period was filled with challenges caused by transport nationalisation and denationalisation acts, technological advancements, and many other factors. But despite all peaks and slumps, the moving industry remained one of the most important sectors of the UK economy.


Present days

The modern moving industry has grown powerful, with millions of pounds in revenue and staggering potential to grow. In the UK alone, eight million people use a moving or man and van service, and international relocations even outnumbered domestic moves, which has opened up even better revenue opportunities for the players in the market.

With the technological innovation disrupting each aspect of the industry, it’s difficult to say what the future holds, but one thing is for sure – it belongs to those who recognise and leverage user-driven innovation.


Our history

It all started as a family firm in Folkestone, Kent . Our founder, Daniel Blanche, was raised in a family that has long been in the transport and shipping business. It comes as no surprise, that after spending some time exploring other professional paths, he decided to set up his removals firm.

He started the business with just a single Luton van driven by himself. He soon had a small fleet of vans with drivers and lots of happy clients who used the service to move house within and outside the UK borders. Daniel soon realised that the market had a much bigger potential for growth, and to capitalise it, he needed to relaunch the business with a different business model. This is how European Moving Technologies was born.

Daniel established the company in late 2015 and it gained traction within the first year. Thousands of customers have already trusted European Moving with their home, office and international move. The company has grown stronger and has rapidly expanded across Europe, currently operating with six offices across Europe with 70 employees.