Strikes and service interruptions in Venezuela

Juerg Degenmann, General Manager of Mudanzas Internacionales Global in Venezuela, has advised of a worsening situation in his country including strikes and service interruptions.

Juerg writes:

As you already know, the situation in Venezuela is getting worse every day. Our country has become a constant scene of atrocities where the government has taken the social and economic balance that was once the best in South America and the Caribbean to the lowest level of poverty and insecurity.

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FIDI switches 2018 conference venue to Puerto Rico

FIDI has announced that its 2018 conference will take place in Puerto Rico, not Rio de Janeiro as previously announced. The conference will be from Sunday 8 to Wednesday 11 April 2018.

FIDI said that it had made the change as a result of concerns raised over security as the ongoing violence and political unrest in Rio de Janeiro showed no sign of resolution. The FIDI Board had carefully monitored the situation and come to its decision supported by an independent Risk Assessment Report and first-hand testimonies from local affiliates.

Aires wins gold at the Stevies

Aires has announced that its SpringBoard, self-service, lump-sum management tool has won the Gold Stevie American Business Award in the ‘New Product or Service of the Year – Software – Cloud Application/Service’ category. Winners were determined by the average scores of more than 190 professionals worldwide in a two-month judging process. Aires’ SpringBoard tool was selected for its advanced functionality, ease of use, and ability to fill gaps in current market offerings.

“When developing the tool, we worked to fully understand the patterns, motives, and decisions of our lump-sum transferees to improve their experience. This approach resulted in the refined and intuitive user experience that Aires’ clients expect,” said Aires’ Vice President of Operations, Joleen Lauffer.

One judge in the process highlighted several key benefits of the tool, stating, “Identifying gaps in competitive solutions is called value-based marketing, which not enough companies appear to do with any due diligence. Bravo for doing so. I also like that you can track actual spend against budget and have tax data available at the end of it all. Excellent. Well done!”

25% of financial institutions to move staff out of UK owing to Brexit

According to the EY Brexit Tracker, more than a quarter of the 222 UK financial services firms monitored have announced that they are moving some staff or part of their operations out of the UK, or that they are reviewing their domicile as a result of Brexit. Whilst firms voicing such intentions remain in the minority, the figures represent an increase  from four months ago when 39 (18%) of companies monitored had publicly voiced their intention to make staff or operational changes.

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Cartus top of the RMCs

The Cartus Corporation has earned the rank of No:1 for overall satisfaction among large relocation management companies in the 2017 International Managers Survey conducted by Trippel Survey & Research, LLC.

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BAR to leave FEDEMAC

The British Association of Removers (BAR) has announced a decision to leave FEDEMAC (Federation of European Movers Associations).  FEDEMAC’s main function is to express the concerns and needs of the moving industry on European level and to co-ordinate national activities with European impact.

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1,000th Neopanamax vessel passes through the expanded Panama Canal


Less than nine months after the historic inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal, managers have announced that the 1000th Neopanamax vessel has passed through the waterway, highlighting the importance of the route and customers’ continued faith in the safe, efficient service the Canal provides.


On Sunday, March 19, the containership Mediterranean Shipping Company’s MSC Anzu made the historic transit through the expanded canal, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The Panama-flagged containership measures 299.98 meters in length and 48.23 meters in beam with a carrying capacity of 9,008 TEUs. During its transit, the ship called at Panamanian port terminals on the Pacific and Atlantic to discharge and load cargo on the way to its final destinations. The container ship is part of the SAWC-USA-NWC service between Europe, the United States and the South America West Coast that was consolidated last year to take advantage of the expanded Panama Canal.


Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said, “Today’s transit represents a considerable milestone, marking the industry’s strong adoption of the expanded Canal and its successful operations thus far.”


The container segment accounts for nearly half the transits through the Canal and represents its principal source of traffic. Fifty-three percent of containership cargo transiting the waterway does so using the expanded Canal. As of March 2017, the average number of Neopanamax vessels transiting the new lane per day is 5.9.


“Although the full impact will be felt gradually over time, we’re very encouraged by the success of the expanded Canal thus far as trade patterns continue to shift in favour of the route,” said Panama Canal’s Executive Vice President of Planning and Business Development, Oscar Bazan.


Ports around the world, and in particular along the U.S. East Coast, have already expanded or are in the process of deepening and widening their channels to accommodate the influx of Neopanamax vessel traffic due to the expansion. Many of these ports have witnessed record tonnage months, including the Ports of Charleston, Philadelphia and Savannah, which experienced record container volume growths in January of this year.



Image:  MSC Anzu in the new Panama Canal 





Bridge closure in Kuwait means delays for two years


The Ghazali bridge connecting the main seaport Shuwaikh to Kuwait city has been closed for a period of two years for road development works. The closure is likely to create traffic chaos until motorists become familiar with alternative routes. The temporary road under the bridge is only open to heavy trucks and trailers from 4-10pm Sunday – Thursday. 


The closure is likely to cause delays in handling containers from the port.  OMNI members should work closely with their agents in Kuwait to monitor the situation and advise clients of delays and additional costs that may accrue.



Import Delays at Apapa, Nigeria

Yinka at IAL Nigeria has advised that household goods shipments to Nigeria are now subjected to more intensive customs examinations due to an incident two weeks ago where a lot of guns and ammunition was found in an import shipment that arrived through the Apapa ports.

Consequently, we have noticed an increased number of officers attending the examinations which ultimately results in more boxes being pried open with an equal increase in levels of pilferage and indeed damage.

We will continue to try our best to avoid any unpleasant outcomes but will appreciate that prospective transferees are informed of the likelihood of delays and rummaged boxes.

Thank you.

Orphee Beinoglou receives growth award in Greece

Orphee Beinoglou in Greece has been honoured as one of only 20 winners in the country’s Awards for Growth and Competitivity ‘Growth Awards’, organised jointly by Eurobank and Grant Thornton. The aim was to reward enterprises that were able to combine high financial performance with a successful modern corporate management and who have the drive to contribute to the structure of the business environment and corporate culture in Greece.  The awards were made on Thursday, December 1st 2016 at the Athens Music Hall.

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Glenn Stephenson joins Mudanzas Gou

Mudanzas Gou in Mexico has recently appointed Glenn Stephenson as Director of Client Relations. Glenn began his career in the international relocation industry with The Viking Corporation in St. Thomas, USVI in 1977. From there, Glenn joined NorthAmerican International holding positions in Cairo, Egypt and returning to the headquarters office of North American Van Lines in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  

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Santos strike intensified

The port strike in Santos, Brazil, has intensified this week with the introduction of ‘Red Light Week’ until 16 December.  During this period, import cargoes will be retained in the terminals and the export shipments will undergo physical and documentary inspections.

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Strike called in Chile


Hellen Concha, Traffic Manager from Unipack in Santiago, Chile, has advised that the fiscal employees in the country have called a 72-hour strike in support of their wage demands.  Services such as customs offices, NSA, health department, and others government institutions will be affected.  This means that the processing of consignments arriving at the country’s ports and airports could be delayed while the strike continues.

More information as the situation develops

UPDATE – 02/11/16
Please be aware the strike of Fiscal Employees in Chile (ANEF) will continue for another 72 hours as an agreement with the Government has yet to be made.
(Monday 31st and  Tuesday 1st  were holidays in Chile)
More information as the situation develops

Momentous, Abels and Gerson merge



Momentous Relocation in London has announced that on Friday 14th October 2016, the company merged with Abels Moving Services and Gerson Relocation under common ownership led by Paul Evans. Phil Pertoldi, the current chairman of both Abels and Gerson, will remain with the new company as chairman of Abels Moving Services. The merger combines the strength of three leading moving and relocation brands delivering a wider menu of services, increased resources, and greater capacity to clients.


Under the Royal Warrant “By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen”, Abels Moving Services is a highly acclaimed specialist in residential and international moving services and is also a leader in commercial moving and new furniture distribution. Abels has a reputation for delivering exemplary service. 


Gerson Relocation (formerly Michael Gerson Ltd) has been synonymous with delivering unrivalled quality moving and relocation services to corporate clients since 1961. This attention to detail and customer focus led to the company becoming the very first relocation recipient of the ‘Queen’s Award for Export’; the company was also selected to move Margaret Thatcher both into and out of Number 10 Downing Street. 


Momentous Relocation is a leader in international moving, relocation, commercial distribution and the movement of fine arts. Over the last two years, the company has more than doubled in revenue.


Commenting on the merger, Paul Evans, said “We are very excited about the future of the new group, given the enormous strengths and reputation of the three brands and the combined experience. We are delighted that Phil Pertoldi will remain with the Group and I know he is excited about working with us to maintain the quality-driven ethos of all three companies while making sure we adapt and grow to meet the changing expectations and needs of all of our clients.”


Also commenting on the merger, Michael Gerson, ex-chairman of Gerson Relocation, said “Congratulations, it’s really exciting news to hear and fantastic for the industry! I wish the company every success.”


Please contact for further details.