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FEDEMAC speaks to IAM

Dec 13, 2015
Gabriella Dimitrova, Head of European Affairs for FEDEMAC, spoke at the Core Members meeting at IAM to describe the work of FEDEMAC and to encourage the greatest possible cooperation within the moving industry worldwide.

, she said, was:  “The voice of European movers, the federation of European moving associations.  It was created in 1959 and now represents 3000 companies in 26 European states.”  Over those years it had helped companies in different countries work together rather than seeing each other as competitors.  

“The EU and the single market has changed the way we do business in Europe,” she said.  “The single market and the free movement of people and goods have enabled companies to expand their businesses across borders.  But to have a functioning single European market we have to have talks as a European level.” 

In explaining her role at FEDEMAC she said it was primarily to represent the moving industry at European level, this means monitoring and influencing legislation on various topics in the European Commission and the European parliament.  Gabriella said that this year European customs clearance has been a very important topic for members.  “Although there is a European Union, customs clearance is not harmonised in all Member States. We have found that many of our members feel that they are losing business to other companies because the documentation requirement in that particular Member State is so stringent. We wish to have a system in which all our members are on an equal footing.  Therefore FEDEMAC has been seeking a meeting with EU policy makers to ensure that we can find a middle ground between all the Member States.”   

The enforcement of driving regulations has also been a big issue.  Gabriella said that, in the past if, for example, a Belgian driver was caught speeding in France he would get away with it.  “This is no longer the case and the driver would now receive a fine from the French authorities.”    

EU immigration is also affecting movers.  Gabriella explained that FEDEMAC is addressing the situation at the English/French border, in which immigrants are jumping into trucks, destroying vehicles and goods and creating safety issues for drivers.  “FEDEMAC has been working closely with the UK and EU governments to ensure that we have the necessary level of security for drivers,” she said.  “Due to this crisis we have the closing down of borders which is impinging on our free movement of people and goods.  If borders are reintroduced in Europe it will have a serious impact on our industry as we will have to start queuing at borders again, which will waste time and add additional cost for our companies.”   

A serious threat in Europe was the introduction of national legislation that had a much wider affect.  The recent introduction of the German minimum wage of €8.50/hour, even for drivers merely in transit through the country, is a major problem for some Eastern European countries.  “Other countries are considering imposing similar regulations,” she said, and if this happens, it could see the fracturing of the single market and its potential collapse.”  

Gabriella closed by explaining that, as we now all work in a global environment, the actions of one country can affect others more than ever in the past.  It was for this reason that FEDEMAC had recently held its first summit, this year in Riga.   “During that meeting we had a discussion with Terry Head on the topics that the EU and US have in common. By collaborating we have a stronger voice.   Data protection and customs clearance were identified as key topics. We believe that cooperation between FEDEMAC and the US will benefit greatly our industry.” 

Photo:  FEDEMAC Head of European Affairs Gabriella Dimitrova spoke at the Core members meeting. 

Running for fun in San Diego

It was a perfect day for running (overcast with a hint of drizzle in the air) as the athletes gathered for the first ever Paramount Transportation Systems fun run held at the start of the IAM convention in San Diego. The event was held in aid of the Orthopedic Institute for Children, Paramount’s chosen charity, and run over a two-lap, 5km course along San Diego bay.

There was a combination of ‘elite’ runners, enthusiastic triers, fresh-air loving joggers and walkers who were just there to join in and enjoy the camaraderie. The men’s winner was Enrique Lopez from Hasenkamp Relocation in Spain in a time of 18.56 with Jeffrey Warzinski from Champion International following close on his heels, crossing the tape 2 minutes later. Both were remarkably fast runs in any event let alone a conference fun run. Lisa Drewery from Taylor International came in overall third and first lady in a time of 21:10.

Over the course of the IAM convention, Paramount raised $43,000 for the OIC from its fun run, garage sale and cocktail party.

Photos:  Left: Enrique Lopez; right: Lisa Drewery.

Taking a gamble at IAM 

TriGlobal, the leads generation company based in The Netherlands, took an unusual approach to its stand at IAM in San Diego: roulette.   

To play, movers placed their business card on the roulette table.  The croupier (Laura van der List) spun the wheel with a winning number providing the player with $60 to $360 dollars-worth of free leads. Even if a moving company lost, they still got a consolation prize worth of $50 free leads.  It was a great hit.  The game was open both to TriGlobal’s existing and new customers alike. 

The company had also prepared fact sheets on many countries showing how many leads it generated in each country every year.  Movers are able to use this information to see what kind of traffic can be generated on their preferred routes.  

A gamble?  Perhaps, but one in which everyone wins.  

Photo: Laura van der List spins the roulette wheel on the TriGlobal stand.

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