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EUROMOVERS in Helsinki

Jul 12, 2016
EUROMOVERS held its annual conference and AGM in May in Helsinki: a beautiful location for what was an excellent conference. Steve Jordan, Editor of The Mover, was the facilitator.


Around 75 delegates took part in the event, mainly EUROMOVERS members, including a number from outside Europe including New Zealand, China, Japan, Thailand, Australia and Canada.  Guests and prospective members were also invited.  Such a small conference naturally promotes conversation and the building of friendships which is exactly what the EUROMOVERS conference is for.     

Proceedings started with the AGM followed by the directors’ report from EUROMOVERS Chairman, Denis Zonneveld from Dijkshoorn in The Netherlands. This was followed by a report on the performance of the group by Thomas Juchum from the EUROMOVERS head office in Luxembourg.    

During the conference, sponsors were each given stage time to explain their services to the group.  First up on day one was a presentation from Kuehne + Nagel explaining the company’s specialist global LCL service for household goods.  On day two there were presentations from  In-Lease, a company providing a wide range of furniture and appliances for hire to assignees; Sofrapack, a supplier of specialist cardboard cartons designed to replace wooden cases and crates; and Transpak, a materials supply company that has sponsored EUROMOVERS for many years.  Peter Gawthrop from QSS, as the official auditor for the group, explained the importance of having recognised Standards and the services offered by his company. Gerard Geijtenbeek from Roldo Rent discussed the changes in the moving industry in recent years and speculated about what the future might hold.  

Possibly the most poignant presentation was from Stephen Denning from Fox Moving & Storage in Cwmbran.  Stephen explained the changes to the SOLAS regulations that came into force on 1 July.  He said that there was much confusion over the new global regulations and how they will be applied in each country but urged EUROMOVERS members to make certain that they had the necessary arrangements in place to provide a VGM (Verified Gross mass) with every container for shipment after the start date.  

Stephen also teamed up with Stephen Morris from Stephen Morris Shipping to explain the changes to the European customs regulations that applied from 1 May 2016.  Stephen Morris explained that although there would be some additional costs and minor delays, there was no reason why the accepted system of consolidating European traffic through the UK shouldn’t continue as before.   

A nice touch at the EUROMOVERS conference every year is that all the first time attendees, whether new members or just visitors, have the opportunity to take the stage for a minute or two to introduce themselves to the group.  It’s a tradition that works well in such a small group.  

Possibly the highlight of the conference was the presentation by Thomas Juchum detailing the progress within EUROMOVERS since last year’s conference in Barcelona.  Thomas went through all the decisions and suggestions made last year systematically and explained the actions that has taken place.  This included the organisation’s first traffic managers' meeting, specifically requested last year and held in Cologne in February; details of progress on group purchasing arrangements; the adoption of ISO Standards for the organisation; and the progress of the global awareness campaign.  

The business proceedings were concluded in traditional style with the EUROMOVERS Ceremony of Honours at which the top bookers and quality award winners were announced.  ISS Worldwide from Dubai was the run-away top booker with Dijkshoorn of The Netherlands taking the quality award.  ISS and Grundell of Finland took the quality awards for administration and finance respectively with 4Movefrom Moscow and Palmers Group from Australia taking quality awards for members from outside Europe.  

Delegates at EUROMOVERS always work hard but take time to relax and enjoy each other’s company.  Dinner on the first and second nights was taken in the conference hotel – The Scandic Grand Marina – in the restaurant overlooking the picturesque harbour. Entertainment was provided, as has become the much anticipated norm, by Luigi Briotti from EUROMOVING 2000 Milano who continued his mission to bring opera to the moving industry. First class!   

After business on the Saturday delegates enjoyed a sightseeing tour of Helsinki and a boat trip to the Suomenlinna Island fortress, built to protect the city in the 18th century and now a World Heritage Site. Dinner on the last night was celebrated at a local restaurant under the shade of the stunning Russian Orthodox church that dominates the skyline.  

EUROMOVERS is actively looking for new members in strategic locations around the world.  The annual conference is a good opportunity to showcase the organisation and present what must be one of the friendliest groups in the moving industry.  Next year EUROMOVERS will be in Edinburgh. 

New Board for EUROMOVERS  

Euromovers elected a new Board at the Helsinki conference.  Denis Zonneveld from Dijkshoorn in The Netherlands was re-elected as chairman with Angels Gallarno from Inter S+R SL in Barcelona as vice chairman.  Peter Lauret from Gebr. v/d Eijnden in The Netherlands was elected as secretary with Eddy Walschot from Servaes Services in Brussels and Stephan Straus from Gebr. Rogendorf in Cologne as Board members. 

An easy way to excel 
By Steve Jordan  

After completing my job as the facilitator at the EUROMOVERS conference in Helsinki, the chairman presented me with a certificate for ‘Excellent services and support to the EUROMOVERS network in 2016’.  I was delighted.  After 42 years in the moving industry this was the first time I’ve ever been presented with anything!   

It reminded me of one of my mantras when I did sales training for BAR many years ago.  Everyone would tell me that it was very difficult to excel in the moving industry because, fundamentally, everyone does the same thing.  I would always reply, “Well that makes it easier doesn’t it?”  Surely if everyone does the same it’s easy to be different.  

I thoroughly enjoy my job facilitating conferences, and don’t do it for applause, but I was very touched by this simple symbol of appreciation.  Thank you EUROMOVERS.  It doesn't cost much to be extraordinary.

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