Design your move like Foster and Partners, the architects behind the Millau Bridge and Repsol’s new HQ in Madrid…
There is very little about the relocation process that isn’t known at the architects who are now responsible for world-class buildings in 150 cities in 50 countries and who have an office for every project in the world. Ricardo Mateu, whose team is responsible for the new headquarters for Spanish energy and fuel giant Repsol explains why he chose C-Squared Trucking for his move to Madrid ...
“As a firm, we have people with the kind of talent that is in demand throughout the world”, says Ricardo. “Unfortunately, the demand is both from our clients and from our competitors which means that we don’t deliver exactly the resources required to move our incredibly busy people around the world - at practically the drop of a hat sometimes - then Foster and Partners as a whole stands to lose
either clients or staff or both.”
“For this reason our major concern as a company lies in the absolutely faultless relocation of our people and their families and personal effects, usually quite often and for relatively short periods. For my own move to Madrid I wanted removal work done to the standards I had been used to at Foster and Partners but with my own choice of company, C-Squared Trucking. This was because, for somebody
like me who spends every day designing and specifying interiors and fittings as well as the structures that house them, safe transit of personal belongings is always going to be very high on my agenda and something I want to control myself.”
“Also, quite a bit of my business entertaining involves bringing clients or colleagues home, so quite apart from being vocationally very protective of the things that I have that I choose for great design construction and finish, you can hardly tell your guests that you can install wind turbines on the top of skyscrapers, but the sofa they’re sitting on got torn by your removal team coming up the
How to get it right like Foster & Partners …
How can you, too, avoid loss or damage and in every other way enjoy removals peace of mind at a reasonable cost? Part of the secret is to find removers who will allow you to retain the best of DIY in combination with their experienced team and specialist vehicle…
● Help with packing, loading and unloading of the truck because most firms charge the earth for a full service and you should try to keep an eye on your goods as much as possible, anyway.
● Ever, ever, ask for a full wrapping and packing service! If the removal company insists on this, it’s often because they are planning to re-load your goods several times en route (see next section), but it will always, always, either add a large amount to your quote or you will find it to be an empty promise when they actually arrive at your house. Pack and wrap small fragile items or ask for
help if you’re not sure. If your other belongings are not being transhipped - and you should always try to obtain this key benefit for your move (see next section) - the removals crew can check how they fit into spaces on the lorry and protect accordingly. This will save them a lot of preparation time and you a lot of unnecessary expense.
● If you do want a full-service move - including packing, wrapping and portering - don’t pay for a crew to sit in the lorry all the way to your destination and back. It is perfectly possible, and, for you, highly desirable, for a resourceful remover to spot hire and supervise labour (from storage companies, for example) anywhere in Europe.
TRY TO AVOID…
● Transhipment, Storage and Subcontractors. Moving your goods other than directly onto and off the international lorry - transhipment - is always entailed by going into storage and often by choosing a removals company who is (with or without your knowledge) subcontracting your load. Transhipment into storage, for example, can increase the handling of your goods by a factor of three (twice on and
off the local collection and delivery vehicle; once on and off the international vehicle) and in careless hands, can increase the consequent risk of damage by a factor that you won’t even want to think about!
Who should you call?
The flexibility you really need usually comes with hiring small owner-operator removers. These carriers are a much better bet than using big firms with salaried crews, as they generally don’t have sales offices or other forms of corporate anonymity to hide behind if things go wrong. By definition, they will be using their own vehicles for your move. And what’s more, if small really is beautiful,
then they will always help design a move that’s just right for you, and not just reproduce what they did last week.
Article © Simon Marshall August 2007