Pickfords wins International Moving Company of the Year

Pickfords, the UK’s largest removals and storage company, has won the ‘International Moving Company of the Year’ award at the Expatriate Management and Mobility Awards 2013. The results were announced at the EMMAs Awards Gala Dinner at The Lancaster London Hotel on 8th November.

Pickfords' International Director Steve Boyd (centre) receives the trophy

Pickfords’ International Director Steve Boyd (centre) receives the trophy

The Expatriate Management and Mobility awards celebrate excellence and innovation in the international global mobility industry. These prestigious awards, created by the Global Mobility industry’s leading association, the Forum for Expatriate Management, are judged by a highly experienced panel of judges, who assess the submissions received against the criteria for the awards. Judging criteria in these categories include client communication, innovation, knowledge, skills and expertise. Following this assessment, the Judges commented that Pickfords “provides an excellent illustration of a client focused team.”

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International Director Steve Boyd, receiving the award, said: “I am delighted that Pickfords has won this award – it is a true reflection of the expertise of our move management and operational teams, their innovative approach to customer service and their continued focus on quality.”

Pickfords supports relocation project for Glenfield Hospital

Pickfords was contracted earlier this year by Leicester NHS Hospitals Trust to handle the relocation of the Respiratory Medicine departmental laboratory at Glenfield Hospital to its new home at the Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit.

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The Respiratory Specialties, Clinical Immunology and Allergy Business Unit at Glenfield Hospital provides specialised services for investigation and treatment of patients with respiratory conditions from Leicestershire, Rutland and the surrounding areas.  The Department has developed rapidly over the last decade and is the only respiratory facility for the 1m people living in the district served.

With a complex move planned involving relocation to the second floor of the new building, Pickfords Business Solutions was asked to develop a bespoke solution to move equipment including fume cabinets, glass-lined sample cabinets, and ten freezers and fridges weighing up to 400kg each. These last units could not be transported via the stairs owing to their size, so the team constructed a specialised external scaffold and crane to deliver them to the second floor.

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The move itself was handled in two phases with the fridges and freezers removed and sited in the new facility, allowing clinical staff to transport samples to the new site promptly. The remainder of the equipment was transferred by the Pickfords team people and sited according to a newly-developed floor plan, maximising space and efficiencies in the new site.

A feel-good story…

Last year Pickfords teamed up with British racing driver Dean Stoneman to compete in the Powerboat P1 Championship. Dean dominated the season and won the title at a canter – a feat made all the more impressive given that he was taking his first steps back into competitive motorsport after receiving the news that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer at the end of 2010. Dean had impressed in Formula Two during that season, securing a test with the Williams F1 Team and impressing during his drive in Abu Dhabi, and seemed set for further success when he received the devastating news.

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After two years out of competitive motorsport Dean came back in 2013, competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB series, winning five of 18 races to finish fifth in the championship. He has now announced that he is returning to single-seater racing, competing in the GP3 series that runs alongside sections of the Formula One season. Dean will be on track during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend on 1-3 November and all of us at Pickfords would like to congratulate him on this superb achievement!

Pickfords voted in the Top Ten Best International Movers

Pickfords has been voted in the Top Ten International Movers by Which Offshore, an independent online consumer resource for those seeking information and advice about expatriate life and offshore finance.

Top Ten International Movers

The team at Which Offshore tested more than 70 UK-based removal companies by rating the information available on their website, online customer reviews, ease of contact, helpfulness of staff, the time taken to respond to an enquiry and the quoted price. Each company was asked to quote for a family of 4 (two adults, two kids) moving a total of 1,000 cubic ft of contents from a 2 bedroom flat in London, to a flat in Barcelona, with no elevators available at either location.

If you’re thinking about moving overseas, here are some useful tips to make the process that little bit easier…

Choose the type of service
It is important to know the difference between part and dedicated loads. Part load removals are cheaper, as furniture is shipped at the same time as someone else relocating. Although it might take a little longer, as the companies try to coordinate shipments to the same destination. If you prefer it to happen faster, a dedicated removal might be the better option.

Packing and Insurance
As many of the removal companies point out, packing itself doesn’t affect the quote as much contrary to what many people believe. You can save up a few pounds by putting everything in boxes yourself and only having the removal company pick it up, but you may miss out on insurance coverage.

Plan ahead
Make sure you have every detail such as date, time of arrival arranged with the removal company beforehand. Packing always takes longer than you think it will. It is only when you start putting things in boxes that you realize how much you have gathered over time. Plan to pack well in advance, and give yourself extra time, just in case.

Decide what to take
We all know that we keep a lot of things for sentimental value, nostalgia or just because you ‘could use it one day’. Take some time to really consider whether it is worth taking with you, or if it might be time to bring it to a relatives’ garage for safe-keeping. If there was a time to have a clean out, it’s now.

Make an inventory
When the time comes to move, it is easy to lose sight of everything you are taking with you. Especially if you’re leaving items behind or storing them, create a list of what’s where for future reference.

Visit the Pickfords website for more information on moving overseas.

Moving a car overseas – what you need to know

One of the most common questions we are asked by people moving overseas is ‘can I take my car with me?’

Since cars are, behind houses, normally the second largest purchase we make it is understandable that you will want to hold onto it where possible. In some cases it is worthwhile, especially in countries where vehicles are more expensive and the process of importing it is not too arduous, but getting a car into certain countries is considerably harder than others.

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The most common way of shipping a car is to use a shipping container. The container will be brought to your home, the car loaded and secured to prevent movement during transit, and this will then travel on a cargo ship and be unloaded at a port in your destination country for you to collect. On payment of the appropriate importation duties and Customs fees, and possibly after a quarantine period depending on country, the vehicle can then be driven away.

In many cases people are moving lock, stock and barrel to another country and so will be taking other domestic goods along with their car. Pickfords provides a service to outfit a container with shelving which maximises the space available inside, protecting both your car and the items being transported. There’s a handy photo album showing this on our Facebook page – check it out at http://www.facebook.com/pickfords.

If you’re exporting a car from the UK, there are a number of stages you need to go through. Firstly, if you’re moving your car out of the UK permanently (or for longer than 12 months) you must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and return a completed ‘Notification of Permanent Export’ section from your V5C.

We strongly recommend that your car is cleaned thoroughly inside and out ahead of shipment. For transportation to Australia or New Zealand this is particularly important, as your vehicle will be subject to strict quarantine inspections when it arrives and could undergo additional cleaning (at your expense) if the authorities deem it necessary.

The requirements for shipping cars abroad vary by country, and Pickfords can provide you with the latest information with regard to the appropriate importation permits. In some instances, you may only import your car if you have owned it for at least twelve months, and there may also be a requirement to pass local compliance tests (similar to an MOT in the United Kingdom) before being legally allowed to drive it in the destination country. Customs will need to clear the vehicle and there will likely be duties and taxes to be paid before the vehicle is released. During this time the vehicle will remain in port or at an agent’s warehouse.

In summary, shipping your car can be worthwhile, but it depends hugely on where you want to take it. We highly recommend gaining professional advice on shipping a car overseas as early as possible – it is a complicated process and very costly if your car travels without the correct paperwork to support it. Pickfords moves hundreds of cars across the world every year, so our Move Consultants are well-placed to answer your questions. To get in touch with your nearest branch and find out more, just visit the Pickfords website at http://www.pickfords.co.uk.

Should I use long-term storage or self-store?

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Storage is commonly where goods and personal effects are loaded into containers or wooden pallets and kept in a secure warehouse, usually for longer periods.

Firms offering long-term storage often provide specialist packing services to ensure your items are protected prior to going into storage. The container used to store your items should also be sealed in your home for security purposes, and transported to the storage centre for you. 
 
If they do not inventory everything going into storage, make sure you do and keep a record of it for when you need to take your goods back out of storage in the future.
 
Self storage is a more flexible solution for shorter-term storage needs, commonly used when moving home, clearing space, redecorating or extending homes. Self storage is a more convenient, cost-effective solution. 
 
Self storage is commonly offered in units of varying sizes, with a scale of costs according to the size of unit you require. Access can be granted at any time, and elivery/redelivery of goods can either be handled by the customer or by the storage company. 
 
Find out more about Pickfords’ range of storage and self storage options:

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Pickfords self storage

Read more useful moving tips in our Moving Advice Centre