OMNI spotlight on… Kings International

Kings International is the new Probationer member of OMNI in South Africa.  Steve Jordan interviewed Rolf Lamers, the company’s Managing Director in Cape Town, to find out a little more about the company’s past and present.

Kings Transport was originally formed in Cape Town in 1923 by ‘Old Man’ King, as Rolf affectionately refers to him.  At the time the company had a horse and cart and was mainly involved in the moving of sand and commercial cargo in the local area.  He subsequently left the business to his son, Juno, who many in the industry will remember well today.

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OMNI COVID-19 BULLETIN – The Philippines & Indonesia

Gerry Lane looks at the ways in which COVID-19 has affected his businesses and, perhaps, offers a little inspiration as the world changes.

It is the beginning of November 2020 and Virginia and I are spending some time in Sydney, Australia.  The fact is that the Philippines, where we live most of the time, has severe restrictions on movement and, were we there, we would probably be confined to the house.  I think we’ll stay here for a while enjoying the legendary Australian hospitality.

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Joleen Lauffer, Executive Vice President at Aires in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, looks at the ways in which COVID-19 has affected her business and lessons for the future.

We have around 600 people working at Aires, so when many of them started working from home early this year we had to work really hard to make sure they still felt connected to the organisation. We did this through regular video communications from our leadership team that allowed us to talk to everyone about what was happening in the company and how our work was impacted.  I think these regular touchpoints really helped get us through the transition phase.

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Rolf Lamers of Kings International in Cape Town looks at the ways in which Covid-19 has affected his business and lessons for the future.

It’s amazing how quickly us humans re-invent ourselves.  Only a few months ago we had never heard of Zoom, now most of us spend most of our days talking to people all over the world using the technology.  Good job we do, we would all have been very lonely this year without it.

We have also all got used to the idea of working from home.  I would never have expected that.  But here I am, in my home office, looking at the ocean and carrying on my business just as well as if I were in the office.  We have a timetable that we follow so everyone takes it in turns to go to the office once or twice a week to do the things we can’t do remotely, but somehow we have all worked out how to function more effectively from home.

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Gerson Relocation Ltd is pleased to announce that it has acquired the business and assets of Dijkshoorn Euromovers B.V., a leading moving services provider based in the Netherlands.
The acquisition of the Dijkshoorn business will expand Gerson Relocation’s European service and support capabilities, consistent with the company’s strategy to meet the needs of their clients and allow the company to be prepared for the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

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Kenneth Egelrud from Alfa Quality Moving in Sweden looks at the ways in which Covid-19 has affected his business and lessons for the future.

The Swedish government took a rather different approach to handling the Covid-19 crisis than most.  Rather than shut down completely it took a more light-handed attitude, advising people what to do but not locking them down and allowing business to continue.  The aim from the beginning was to restrict the virus while avoiding affecting society as much as possible.

It’s a strategy that might not have worked everywhere.  We have a relatively low population density and, more importantly, Swedish people are quite used to listening to the government. If they say we need to keep our distance, then we keep our distance, there’s no need for lockdown. We try to keep to the rules. I feel that the strategy has worked quite well both for society and for business. We have been able to continue working all the way through, as long as we stick to the regulations.

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Suddath Earns Another Year of ISO 9001 Recertification

Suddath announced today that it was once again recognized for its excellence across the board with an ISO 9001 recertification, the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). Suddath received high marks in a yearly audit required to maintain the certification based on a set of international quality management and assurance standards, which are based on seven principles: customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision-making and relationship management. 

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OMNI World Series with Derrick Young of BGRS

On Thursday 8th October, OMNI (Overseas Moving Network International) held the first of its World Series virtual meetings online. The purpose of the series of meetings, that OMNI intends to maintain at least until face-to-face meetings are again possible, is to bring members together for network updates and to further the educational aims of the organisation.

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Steve Alves from Kent in Australia looks at the ways in which COVID-19 has affected his business and lessons for the future.

We have 13 offices in 12 cities in Australia, each with different degrees of lockdown status. Victoria, of course, has suffered more than other states and, at the time of writing, is still in lockdown following an outbreak. The Victorian border is sealed but we can still perform moves as most freight travels by rail.

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Suddath Announces Jira Sansom as General Manager Dallas

Suddath today announced Jira Sansom as the new general manager for its Dallas-Fort Worth branch.

Sansom is a motivated leader with over 20 years of experience in operations and logistics. He joins Suddath with a wealth of distribution experience and leadership standards from some of the most well-known brands in the U.S. Before joining Suddath, Sansom worked as a supply chain specialist at Martin Brower and before that, he served as general manager of distribution and logistics at Ryder in Hutchins, Texas.

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Charl Pienaar, looks at the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic affected Stuttaford Van Lines in South Africa, and takes a glimpse into the future.

It was on the 5th March that South Africa was put under total lockdown. We were not considered to be an essential service, so the business was completely closed for 41 days. We opened again on 7th of May. It’s ironic that, when we closed we only had 1 case of COVID-19 in the country, now we have had 216,000 cases, are nearing the peak of the virus, and are back working normally, with the obvious precautions. Fortunately for us, we are a very young nation with only 5% of the population being over 60.

It’s been difficult and still is. The borders are still closed and there are no international flights other than for repatriation. It’s very difficult to get bookings on vessels. China was our biggest trading partner so, now there are fewer inbound vessels, outbound space is at a premium. It’s an awkward situation.

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Wouter Hijzen, Managing Director of De Haan in The Netherlands, looks at the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his business and lessons for the future COVID-19 is not the first crisis we’ve seen since our company was formed in 1777. It probably won’t be the last either. The first contract we signed was with the Emperor Napoleon and, over the years, we have seen our fair share of good times and bad. But we survived and we fully intend to be here in another 250 years.

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Al Mithal looks at the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his business and lessons for the future.

It’s been approaching three months since India went into one of the strictest lockdowns seen anywhere in the world and, for me, the strain is beginning to tell.  Not so much for the business, which is getting by, but personally.  As someone who has spent most of the last 40 years travelling to conferences and visiting clients, I do feel that I am getting a little stir crazy.

We didn’t expect this.  From 24th March nobody was allowed to go to work (unless they were an essential business), and we were confined to our houses, not even able to go out for essential supplies, they were all delivered to us.  My wife, my elderly mother and I have been isolated in our 15th-storey condominium in Delhi.  Just how many books can you read and how much Netflix can you watch?

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Robert Voerman talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his business what the future possibly holds

We first realised we had a problem in mid-March.  The government put a lockdown in place on Sunday night and we had to quickly work out how to get everyone working from home. Of course, home working works better for some than others, so we had to work out what was best for each individual, As we have experience with working from home in our offices in Eastern Europe & Africa we were able to switch quickly to this new way of working in The Netherlands. Key has been the technology of RedSky which enables us to all work from home.

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