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The independent voice of the global moving industry

Hands across continents and cultures

May 15, 2018
I always feel very industry aware at this time of year. I have the good fortune to be able to travel around to conferences, sometimes in exotic places, and join in with the business and networking. This year, so far, we seem to be mining a particularly rich seam of knowledge and debate, and it’s still only May.

This month I have included a short report on IMC in Dubai, which I didn’t attend but seemed to be extremely well received by those who did; OMNI in Palm Beach and FIDI in San Diego. It’s odd that last month in this column I was having a grumble about the way in which prices have been driven down in the industry in recent years, and both FIDI and OMNI chose to include business sessions that looked at the demands on the corporate market and speculated on what the future might hold. I wonder whether it has now gone a little past ‘feeling the pinch’ and has moved smoothly on to full-scale strangulation.

That said, we live in a changing world and it’s just possible that we will be going full circle. We have had the era of corporate account moving in which quality was king. This morphed into a much more commodity driven approach from the RMCs and auditor-backed procurement departments that drove profit away for movers. But now we have the rise of lump sum shippers: corporate employees given a pot of cash to spend as they wish on their relocation. They have become private customers again.

Perhaps the grip is loosening a little allowing the industry to breathe again. I have enjoyed the conference scene this year: IMA was new and exciting; FIDI was grand and informative; OMNI, well, it’s impossible to quantify the benefit of spending time amongst all that wisdom. Surely some of it must rub off?

If you attended the conferences I hope you agree with my assessments. If you did not, I hope they encourage you to take the plunge and go to those yet to take place in 2018 and next year. This really is a unique business in which competitors, suppliers, friends and clients all rub shoulders, enjoy each other’s company and do business together across borders and cultures.

Incidentally, I was intrigued to find blockchain raising its head at FIDI, if you remember, I told you last year it would, but nobody believed me. Ah well!

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