Professional Blog

Foreword

This section of the site tells about professional removers, moving companies, and everyone directly connected with this business sphere.

You may email to us all your ideas, requests and topics and they will be analysed, completed and published on the site.

Unfortunately, the competition in the business sphere, as well as the professionalism of many companies, leaves much to be desired. Many companies will agree to do a job they have never heard about, and so they will give the wrong idea to the client. Because of them most people imagine that removers are always drunk and unshaven and use rotten Gazels as vehicles and garbage bags as packaging. This section is about all this and as professional removers you will be able to share your views, and, of course, find opinions of "professionals".

I do not know whether our potential competitors and partners will be really interested in this section, but the idea of creating it has been long in the air.


A Remover. Smell of Alcohol, Stubble and Begging for Tips

Some people think that if you order a removal in a moving company your belongings will be transported by brutal men who are always drunk and dirty and keep on swearing and demanding extra money.


It is true to some degree as fly-by-night companies hire people from railway stations, emigrants or simply any Tom, Dick or Harry, just sending those who they find. They pay these people minimum sums, so their attitude to work is like "whatever I get is mine". But these companies charge clients such rates as if they would send professional removers and packers. And as a result of all this you have a spoilt opinion of all removers, your mood is killed, things are broken and some are even missing.


This approach of some companies ruins the reputation of the whole business. Clients who have never faced a move in their life are most likely to meet these very "professionals". They attract client by artificially low prices, promises that they can do whatever is necessary, move any office in a day or have many years of experience. But as a result you get strange people, ragged and dirty boxes and a rotten Gazel where its owner, who is at the same time the director-general, is going to move you office or home at least a month, and he does not care that only several days were set as the deadline.


These companies hire people from the street just to increase their own income.


Professional removers and packers (and professional companies even do not have such a position of remover, as all operations are automated, if it is possible, and physical efforts are reduced to a minimum), specialists assembling and dismantling furniture and drivers are quite well off. A professional remover and packer earns up to RUB70,000 a month!!!!! I think, it is quite a sum in these days, if you remember that they work flexible hours.


With such earnings people try to correspond to this level, hold on to their job and, as a rule, have long work experience. Such employees work in major moving companies and this cooperation is also beneficial for the companies themselves. Major companies value their reputation and position in the market.


Summing up, I would like to repeat:

Dear representatives of moving companies, please respect clients, take care of your reputation and the quality of the services you provide.


The Cost of Removal, or How to Push the Client to the Wall

Nowadays companies try to save money on everything: large companies move from the centre to the suburbs, change offices for smaller and less prestigious rooms...and, of course, they save on moving.

Monitoring the market you will certainly come across numerous companies which will be glad to move you "absolutely free of charge". They offer a price of 600 roubles for moving one workstation (but as we know, a standard workstation takes 3 m3), and home removals at 4,000 roubles for a one-room flat. The rate is often based on a verbal description and no specialist is sent to examine the items for transportation (but office furniture may be of an economy or VIP grade, and the latter requires special and professional packing) and learn the details at the places. Just the client said "OK", so it is "OK"!


Let us see what is included in the cost of removal:

First, the cost of services of professional removers/packers and specialists who would piece the furniture together. The higher the qualification, the busier the employee and the higher the cost of these services. If companies do not have to move a lot of things, they can engage just their staff, but if it is necessary to move more than 100 workstations, any company would outsource these operations. As a rule, they hire people who have worked in this field for a long time, have a particular reputation and cooperate with the leading moving companies. They charge high rates but guarantee a perfect result and quality. Like project managers supervising a site they actually create the image of a company, and major companies value their images. Of course, they can hire people just from the street, but in this case the quality of the services will be out of the question. Many small companies having on the staff a director-general and, at the very most, an accountant, work in this way and hire vehicles and removers "from the street".


Major companies, generally, entrust the remuneration of removal managers or project managers to other departments, as it is no secret that transportation of commercial cargoes is much more profitable. In other words, a moving company does not pass on clients its expenses on the salaries of its manager.


Second, the packaging. It guarantees the safety of your belongings during transportation and prevents any loss or damage. Quality packaging is quite expensive, for example, a simple cardboard box for books and files costs RUB25-30, if purchased in bulk. Professional packaging used for international removals may cost up to EURO25. It is quite easy to calculate how much packaging costs. Of course, you can transport everything in bags or used boxes. Some "wonderful" removers transport cargoes without any packaging at all; the result of such transportation seems obvious, at least to me, the furniture will be scratched, equipment will be broken and documents will be lost. This is how the oldest Russian company works (I will not write its name) and, unfortunately, this is how many small companies of Gazel owners work.


Third, the cost of the vehicle. It is the only element of a move whose cost is the same for both major and small companies.


So, summing up we can see that the cost of a professional removal that includes all services (work of specialists, packaging, motor vehicles) amounts to at least 650 roubles a cubic metre. And this is only the prime cost of a moving company.


Then how do not quite reliable removers manage to transport a cubic metre at the price of 200 roubles?!!!


A piece of cake! This price actually includes NOTHING! The client will have to pay for loading services, the vehicle rental and packaging separately. And as a result the final price will be thrice as much as the one that was promised to the client. And this price will grow during the removal when the client has no way out, as 50% of the price have already been paid and belongings cannot be left lying in the street.


If you sign a contract with major and reliable companies, you will see in this contract the final price which cannot be changed under the stated conditions. You will not have to pay if the vehicle breaks down or gets stuck in a traffic jam, if the employees have a lunch break or use more packaging than was expected. Such companies take care of their reputation and earn money from the amount of freight they transport and do not deceive clients.


An International Removal, or How You Will Be Moved

Today surfing the web you may see many moving companies that offer to move your personal belongings to any part of the world. They say they will be glad to provide a door-to-door delivery of your items and prepare all required documents for the Customs.


So let us have a closer look at this situation and find out how the cost is calculated and what resources and capacities are necessary to provide these services.


If you move from the Moscow region, there are many companies that can pack your belongings; about 30-50 Moscow companies can provide professional packing services.


Then you will need customs clearance; basically, the return must be completed by the owner of the items, but, as a rule, moving companies handle this. They must know the Customs Code, rules of crossing the border, and there is no point in pretending otherwise, how to reduce the customs duty. Transportation of books and objects of more than 50 years old, souvenirs or paintings often require permits of the Ministry of Culture. Sometimes it is necessary to transport weapons of honour. To provide such services a company must have specialists in this field. Currently, only 10-15 companies can provide these services to clients, and most of them represent Western companies.


For transportation or freight, as professionals call it, the method of delivery must be appropriately selected: in case of a small amount it must be airfreight, or if a whole flat or cottage is moved, it must be a container. Major companies establish partner relations with airlines, companies transporting by sea, owners of motor vehicles and this helps significantly bring down the cost of services. As a rule, each element of an international removal is ordered directly from the owner and not agents.


Now, the cargo has arrived in the country of destination, but it may be a city that is not the one where the client is moving. In this case this part of transportation is handled by an international partner who ensures the customs clearance, delivery, unpacking and cleaning in the new place of residence.


And now let us think whether those companies which advertise these services on their websites can really provide them. Maybe they can, but there are only no more than 5-10 such companies in the market that are represented abroad, have partners in the field of freight and partner relations with international moving companies.


Then how do other companies work? It is just a piece of cake! Orders are, at best, directed to major companies, and they play the role of an agent; but in this case the price may grow immensely. And there is one more variant which is worse than the first one: these companies undertake to ensure moving abroad themselves though they have neither expertise nor skills. And as a result, your cargo will be stored by such companies at their warehouse and you will have to pay for the storage or it will be lost at one of the terminals.


So this is the situation in our market of international removals.

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