Interview with Head of Operations Menno Martens

Interview with Head of Operations Menno Martens

Menno has held a number of leadership roles across the moving and relocation industry in his 18 year career. He runs our video survey department, helping to ensure great customer service and high conversion rates to clients in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

So Menno how did you get into the moving industry?

In my final year at university I was assigned to write a business plan for a local moving company. Once I had successfully completed my assignment and graduated, the owner of the company asked me if I had any plans to start my career. I said I hadn’t given it any thought yet so he handed me the keys to one of the trucks, and said I could work my way up starting from today. I spent a good 3 years on the road before progressing into project management and surveying. What I learnt was invaluable.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve moved?

Over the years I have moved many antiques, grand pianos, vintage cars and even small aircrafts, but the strangest thing I have ever moved has got to be an 8ft gold-plated Elvis statue.

How has the industry changed since you first started in moving?

The industry has changed considerably since I first started. We did not think twice about climbing wobbly loft ladders, and did many more things in violation of today’s H&S legislation.

In your opinion how has technology helped the industry?

Technology has obviously helped the industry an enormous amount but I guess you would have had to be there to realise just how much. Just think about having to courier all documentation across to your destination office to facilitate customs clearance. Nowadays most documentation can simply be scanned and e-mailed across in a matter of seconds. And of course the progression from handwritten survey reports to PDA’s, then tablets and now.

Key insights in to buzzsurvey

Customer questionnaire

We think it’s important to get the customers feedback because, after all, the app is all about making their lives easier. Each time our surveyors finish a survey the customer is given a few questions to answer.
Here’s how the results currently stand:
Rate your surveyor – 4.87 out of 5
Video Quality – 4.66 out of 5
How likely are you to recommend a video to a friend? – 4.75 out of 5

Surveyors of the Week

Each week one of our team is awarded surveyor of the week. This is to drive quality, instil some healthy competition, and recognise/reward consistency.
The award is based on how personable, professional, knowledgeable and how sales-minded the team are, not to mention accuracy. A special congratulations to Paul Howard, Andrew Kelly and Sam Jones who have won not once but twice!

Top 5 buzzsurvey features that are shaking up the removal industry

1. Book more video surveys and make more sales

Our operating hours are 7am -10pm Monday to Friday and 9am-3pm on weekends. This means you can book more video survey instead of missing out on a potential job because the customer or yourself was unavailable.

This works whether you do your own DIY video surveys or take full-service surveys from us.

For full-service clients we’re offering “just in time” scheduling too – a great option for when you need out-of-hours support. This means that your customer can book a survey at 6pm, say, for an hour ahead. Our surveyor does the survey for you by 7pm, and you get the recorded video and the cubed inventory by 9am the next day.

2. Saves time & fuel costs

Normally in order to create an accurate inventory you would have to travel to the movers house and carry out a survey at a time convenient for you both. This is not only time consuming but it also results in high fuel costs which is damaging to the environment and to your pocket. Our video survey only takes 15 minutes.

3. DIY and Full Service video surveys for all your business needs

Our removal companys’ feedback conveys that our video survey tool is simple for surveyors and customers to start a survey.

It begins with a white-labelled text to the customer’s mobile phone which is branded with your company name. The customer then clicks a link in the text to download the buzzsurvey app via the App Store or Google Play Store. Just before your survey is due, the customer gets a text with a link to start the survey.

We also offer website integration which allows you to advertise video surveys directly to your customers on your site. All you do is plug this into your existing website, and your customers will be able to ask for, schedule and book a video survey in just 3 clicks.

4. UK-based BAR-accredited surveyors to carry out full-service surveys (feature)

We have 8 full-time UK-based surveyors, plus 3 remote surveyors based in other parts of the world to help provide us with full out-of-hours coverage. They are all either accredited by or the British Association of Removers (BAR) and

Between them, these surveyors have over 100 years of real industry experience gained at some of the world’s leading removal and relocation companies. We also have a Quality Control Officer who checks the quality of each and every survey we do.

You can meet some of our surveyors here.

5. High conversion rate from survey to job

Here at buzzsurvey we’ve created a tool for one main reason:

To enhance your removal business for the better.

buzzsurvey is shaking up the removal industry because you can secure more jobs that you normally wouldn’t have the resources to close with our extended operating hours that’s convenient for the customer and you both.

Because our surveys are recorded and saved, you’ll have access to our cubed inventory to ensure accuracy. Another bonus is the assurance that the customer isn’t over or under quoted and also it can track last minute changes in real-time.

Why not try a free demo of buzzsurvey in your business?

There’s no cost. It takes an average of 20 mins to run through all the features and benefits. And you’re under no obligation to continue. 

Click here to claim your FREE demo today

Otherwise, we hope to see you at Movers and Storers!

IAM 2018: Some Key Takeaways

It was great showing off buzzsurvey to the world last weekend at the IAM Annual Meeting & Expo 2018 in Maryland’s Gaylord National Resort … Here are a few of our highlights.

First things first, this was a great venue, with plenty to get your teeth into besides the show. This included a vibrant nightlife – here’s looking at you, Bob McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar – and excellent seafood.

A particular highlight was the opening ceremony on the first evening in the well-appointed main hall, followed by spending the rest of the night on the rooftop terrace overlooking the resort. We loved being able to network in such a relaxed setting with so many movers from all around the world.

So what did we get out of IAM 2018?

Well, it was nice to meet movers old and new, with potential new customers from the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Thailand, Australia, NZ and of course the USA.

A particular shout-out goes to F&N Worldwide, Eagle Relocations, Jason at Anglo Pacific, John and Liam at PSS, and Eagle’s Onkar and Rebecca.

Over the 4 days of the show, there were too many discussions, experiences and sights to list them all. But here’s a quick look at our photo reel:

Entrance to the National Harbour

The National Harbour’s Capital Wheel

A Little Boy’s Room with a View

View across the National Harbour and Capital Wheel

That moment when… you run out of stash!

And last but not least: supporting charity along the way
The IAM Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of moving professionals in the world… So what was on the air?

Before we headed to Washington, we picked three moving trends to watch at this year’s IAM meeting:

  1. The future is digital
  2. Leaner operating models
  3. International moves

All in all, we found that our predictions were borne out by proceedings. Additionally, we noted a good deal of buzz around the closing military & government affairs panel, and the Department of Defense (DoD).

We’re excited of course by the fact that the DoD recently started allowing video surveys for their moves.

Video surveys continue to go from strength to strength… Comparing this year’s event with last year’s, we can say in general that there’s a lot more openness to video surveys this time round.

Movers have realised that today’s consumers are moving towards the convenience and ease of video surveys – and often not just accommodating it but outright expecting it. And so the industry is starting to follow suit.

Helping out on the IAM Technology Committee

Gatherings like the IAM Annual Meeting are not just a great way to keep up to date with what’s going on in the moving industry – they are an opportunity to shape how it’s developing for the better.

So it was a great honour to be a part of the IAM Technology Committee working on the implementation of the ISO standard for inventory-keeping. The idea behind ISO is to create universal standards for move inventories, introducing a standard code for every item.

This promises to massively simplify international moves by making inventories comprehensible to all and eliminating the cost of translating between host and target languages.

In support of this initiative, buzzsurvey is aiming to introduce ISO in the first quarter of next year.

And finally …

The great thing about the Gaylord National Resort is that it’s only a 20-minute cab ride from Washington DC. Which meant: last-day sightseeing. Particular highlights were Capital Hill, the Abraham Lincoln & WW2 Memorials and, of course, the White House.

Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial

The White House

United States Capitol


We demoed buzzsurvey at the IAM Annual Meeting & Expo in Washington DC, 4th – 8th October. If you’d like to learn more about how we’re building the #futureofmoving, please get in touch with:

Charlie Vinall,

Interested to see how video surveys could help your business? Why not check out our recent interview with TLC Movers 

Three Moving Trends We’re Watching at IAM 2018

We’re at the IAM Annual Meeting and Expo in Washington DC (5th – 8th October) – come see the buzzsurvey team at Booth 517, where we’ll be bringing you the #futureofmoving through video surveys.

This year’s IAM is shaping up to be stellar show, and we’re excited to build on our first ever attendance last year, down at Long Beach.

We’re looking forward to seeing old friends Schmidt Global, UTS, Andreas Christ, Anglo Pacific, Dolphin Movers, Euro Movers, Eagle Relocations, Clockwork Removals, Mondial Movers, John MasonBournes Relocations, AGM Group & PSS Removals. And hoping to make a few new ones too!

We’re sure as well that there’ll be plenty of healthy debate about the future of the moving industry. Here are three major trends we’re predicting for this year’s IAM …

Trend 1: The future is digital

Whether it’s healthcare, insurance or television, large swathes of the population now prefer digital services.

People can enjoy digital services on-demand and with minimal disruption to their day. To watch a film, you no longer have to walk to the video store during opening hours, you just load up Netflix whenever you like. And why should moving house or offices be any different?

Part of the process that’s crying out for a digital revamp is the moving survey, where customers must have someone physically enter their property between 9 and 5. That’s every bit as inconvenient as it is intrusive.

Imagine if, instead, customers had the option to do the survey whenever works for them – including after work or at the weekend – all from the convenience of their mobile phone?

Video survey represents a Netflix, rather than a Blockbuster, service for moving customers. And it offers faster turnaround times too: by eliminating unnecessary back-and-forth between customers and movers, customers can get cubed, quoted and sorted that bit quicker.

Customers won’t necessarily want this level of service all the time, just as the most avid Netflix enthusiast sometimes – often even – prefers to slap on a good old-fashioned DVD.  So face-to-face surveys certainly aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

But, in a growing number of cases and especially for millennial customers, a strong digital offering up front is the key to winning the business.

Trend 2: Leaner operating models

The rise of digital is not all about convenience and flexibility, digital services are also cheaper to orchestrate, which saves money for providers and ultimately leads to lower prices for consumers: a win-win.

Digital alternatives to time-consuming and costly physical processes help movers operate leaner and with more agility. Now, the move itself is a tough one to digitise – until we develop a Star Trek-style Transporter – but digital tech can help across customer acquisition, like during the survey.

This isn’t to say it’s feasible – or even desirable – to do every survey by video. What having video in your mix really means is that you can effectively segment your jobs on their value and characteristics: save your experienced surveyors for those jobs where their expertise makes a real difference on the ground, without them going round the houses on routine work.

You wouldn’t pick up your groceries in a sports car, and neither should your surveyors be doing every odd job in person. Instead, recognise those cases where face-to-face service is your trump card – and use it strategically.

So, complementing physical surveys with video is not just an excellent play from a customer perspective, it’s a great way to reduce movers’ cost base – by eliminating vehicle, fuel and people costs at least for certain types of job. And that’s before we even get on to the environmental benefits.

And before we forget: digital technologies aren’t just leaner, they are also easier to scale than old-fashioned physical processes. With demand for relocation services rising, in particular for corporate and international moves, video can be a powerful enabler of new business.

Indeed, we estimate movers could conduct x2 as many surveys a day by using our buzzsurvey tool – come to Booth 517 and we’ll show you how.

Trend 3: International moves

As our world becomes more and more globalised, we take moving continents as much for granted as moving down the road – regardless of whether we’re a business or an individual.

However, this has serious impacts on movers. Customer acquisition costs a lot more for international jobs. And the need to send surveyors to far-flung locations doesn’t just make existing long-haul work less profitable, it hampers movers in their bid for potentially lucrative new business.

We predict international moves will be a major discussion topic at IAM: both in terms of market trends and mover strategies.

It’s here in particular that video surveys can act as a major enabler of new business, by eliminating those prohibitive upfront costs and logistics. The ability to remotely cube a job on the other side of the world – and with no loss of accuracy – lets you jump straight to the front of the queue.

Wherever we go these days, we find good internet, digital literacy, and a will to reduce costs and boost convenience. So, for movers with video surveys in their arsenal, the world is very much their oyster.


We’re demoing buzzsurvey at the IAM Annual Meeting & Expo in Washington DC! Come see Menno Martens, Charlie Vinall & Roelien Ruys at Booth 517. All enquires to Charlie Vinall,

Want to contribute to the debate? Reach us via our hashtag #futureofmoving.

Interested to read more about video surveys? Well, check out our recent interview with TLC Movers.

Top 11 International Removals Companies Based on the Facts

It’s often hard to know who is the best fit for your needs, and this choice is made even harder by the sheer number of international removal companies around.

Your first port of call is obviously the Internet.

But when you’re browsing through company site after company site, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.

Therefore, it only seems right that the moving specialists break it down into simple terms.

Look below at our table of eleven leading international movers so that you can see who does what.

Data presented is correct and fact checked at time of publish. If you have any issues with the data provided please contact

>>> (Related) Need to book an international removal company for your move? Find and compare international  removals quotes in under a minute…

These eleven companies – PSS, John Mason International, Anglo Pacific, Moving Home Company, Eagle Relocations, Excess International, Pearsons, Gerson, Abels, Britannia and White and Co all offer:

  • international shipping (air, sea, freight)
  • customs guides and documentation
  • insurance
  • overseas export wrapping
  • excess baggage
  • handyman services
  • move manager

If you wanna know what makes them special based on value for money, services, reputation and how they go that extra mile, look below.

Anglo Pacific
Moving Home Company
Eagle Relocations
Excess International
John Mason International
White and Co


Based in: Croydon

Partners in:

  •         Currency exchange
  •         Overseas banking
  •         Working holiday
  •         Health and travel insurance
  •         Flights
  •         Pet shipping
  •         Expat protection and migration cover
  •         Jobs abroad

What makes them different:

  •         36 years’ experience
  •         Excess baggage
  •         Free home video survey
  •         Free estimates
  •         Furniture shipping
  •         Carried out 4,536 moves last year


>> Don’t have time to waste? Compare international removals quotes for free in just a few simple steps…

John Mason International

Based in: Liverpool and London

What makes them different:

  •         The company was founded in 1884 by Mrs Mary Mason in Wavertree, a township then on the outskirts of Liverpool
  •         Free Australian visa assessment
  •         Free New Zealand visa assessment
  •         Currency exchange
  •         Departure services
  •         Move management
  •         Destination services
  •         Migration services
  •         Trade shipping services
  •         Boat storage
  •         Caravan storage
  •         Motorbike storage
  •         Self storage
  •         Moving checklist
  •         Moving guide
  •         Country customs guides
  •         Guide to moving down under
  •         Free home video survey
  •         Free estimates



Anglo Pacific

Based in: London

What makes them different:

  •         Shipping household & personal effects around the world since 1978
  •         Theatrical removals
  •         Exhibitions forwarding
  •         Trade shipping
  •         Personal effects shipping (such as clothing and jewellery etc)
  •         During that time, they’ve delivered more than half a million consignments of personal & household effects worldwide
  •         Random site visits are carried out by our quality control personnel to ensure our standards are constantly maintained.



Moving Home Company

Based in: London

What makes them different:

  •         Over 30 years’ experience in international removals
  •         Offers regular relocation shipments to numerous destinations overseas
  •         Removers transit and storage insurance (policy features include: cover Europe-wide, archive storage is included and covers reconstitution expenses, new-for-old cover is available (not applicable to liability policies), terrorism cover is available, errors & omissions extension as standard, cover for worldwide liabilities as shipper and packer is included
  •         Marine insurance (benefits include complete flexibility on the excess (deductible), multi-currency facilities, high policy & consignment limits, excess baggage risks, cover at destination)
  •         3 shipping option: FCL (full container load), LCL (less container load) and airfreight
  •         They offer a move consultant to guide you through your move from start to finish
  •         Seven steps moving abroad guide
  •         Environmental Policy

Eagle Relocations                        

Based in: Watford

What makes them different:

  •         A family firm for over 50 years
  •         Assistance in warehousing, distribution, pick and pack, airfreight, sea freight or customs clearance
  •         Concierge services / shopping
  •         Overseas insurance
  •         Moving checklist
  •         Experts in the fields of logistics
  •         Operate a separate division to handle commercial cargo
  •         Give you an inventory of all your goods for your records
  •         Chosen as the BAR Overseas Mover of the Year 2018 Finalists


Image result for carbon neutral removals

Excess International

Based in: London

What makes them different:

  •         Custom forms
  •         Insurance
  •         International storage
  •         Tracking and regular updates of shipments location
  •         Collection and delivery of items
  •         Unpacking of belongings at your destination address


     National Quality Assurance - ISO CertificationImage result for carbon neutral removals


Based in: Warwickshire and Cleveland

What makes them different:

  •         Over 100 years move management history
  •         Over 25,000 successful moves carried out across every continent
  •         Dissembling service
  •         Unpacking and reassembling at destination
  •         Storage in transit (SIT)
  •         Additional insurance
  •         International relocation network
  •         No detail is too small – everything is guaranteed to be taken care of
  •         Obtains permits
  •         Marine insurance
  •         Quotes approved to the highest international move standard


 Gerson Relocation

Based in: Hertfordshire (Head Office) and Northants

What makes them different:

  •         Global mobility programme services
  •         Visa and immigration coordination
  •         Area orientation
  •         Airport collection
  •         Services accommodation
  •         Temporary accommodation
  •         Home search – rental
  •         School search
  •         Settling in
  •         Cultural training
  •         Expense management
  •         Language training
  •         Partner support
  •         Tenancy management
  •         Lease renewal
  •         Departure services
  •         Advisory support
  •         Immigration coordination
  •         Destination services
  •         Digital solutions (digital relocation tool suite lets you manage storage inventories, finances and budgets and even the specific task you’ve given to your assignees)
  •         Move management
  •         Group move solutions
  •         Pre-move virtual survey
  •         Graduate programmes
  •         Local area guides


Abels Moving Services Ltd

Based in: Cambridge, London, Daventry, Thetford (Head office),

What makes them different:

  •         60 years in business
  •         Own managed and operated fleet of soft ride removal trucks
  •         Run their own full time employed packing crews
  •         Purpose built house for training purposes
  •         All staff regularly DBS security checked
  •         All staff go through packing courses
  •         All packing teams return for yearly training to hone skills
  •         All crews are trained on customer care
  •         Holds Investors in People award for its training
  •         Highest quality recycled packing materials
  •         Relocation services
  •         House cleaning
  •         Furniture repair and restoration
  •         Piano handling, packing, transport, storage and shipping
  •         Charity donation of unwanted furniture and possessions
  •         Dedicated office move manager coordination removal
  •         Vehicle storage, transport and shipping
  •         European moving using own fleet and crews
  •         24-7 contact
  •         Holding FIDI-FAIM-Plus accreditation as audited by Ernst & Young
  •         Global network of audited partner companies
  •         Member of Harmony Relocation Network
  •         Full turn key move management
  •         Pet relocation
  •         Guidance on moving pets abroad
  •         Guides on moving back to the UK
  •         Financial guarantee
  •         Corporate guide to expatriate employment
  •         Transferring money overseas

Abels was also the first removals firm to gain a Royal Warrant. The crest next to the Abels logo at the top of the page signifies that Abels has a Royal Warrant and operates By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen for Removals and Storage services.


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Based in: Redhill

Partners in:

  •         Corporate Relocation
  •         Cleaning Services

What makes them different:

  •         Country Information
  •         Emigration Blog
  •         Moving Tips



White and Co

Based in: Southampton

What makes them different:

  •         Providing European Removal since 1871
  •         Over 30 vehicles travelling to Europe each week
  •         Has over 19 branches that cover all major European destinations
  •         Part of an international removals network – Giving access to the national and global resources to move you to any country worldwide
  •         Two months’ free storage
  •         Storage at destination
  •         UK storage prior to an overseas move
  •         Fabric and upholstery cleaning services
  •         Marine insurance
  •         Full financial protection for pre-payments through the overseas group of the British Association of Removers
  •         Environmental Policy



International Removal Men of Mystery: Abels

The world is becoming a smaller and smaller place as the opportunity for people and businesses to relocate around the globe rises exponentially.

It’s easy to take for granted the “global village” we inhabit today. But what makes this possible is, in no small way, the tireless work of international removals companies shipping homes, offices, antique collections – you name it! – all around the world.

Today we talk to Neil Pertoldi, International General Manager at Abels Moving Services Ltd, to learn more about the life and times of an international mover.

From 36-ft totem poles and the road-less Indonesian jungle to staff barbecues and customer service, Neil shares his experiences of an industry that can rightly be seen as an integral cog of the global economy – but which is given a bad reputation by a small minority of “cowboy” practitioners.

Where does the name Abels come from?  

The company was founded by the Abel family and so named.

How many years have you been around?  

The removals company has been operating since 1958.

What have you learnt along the way?  

That’s a challenging question as, just in life, we are constantly learning, but our culture has always been to offer a quality service and provide what we promised.  However, with an ever-changing rule book from government, agents and customs officials all around the world, and of course a diverse customer base, we have to evolve and adapt the service provision all the time.  I.e. We used to need to clear goods into most of Europe prior to the EU agreement, it looks likely we will be heading back to those days once again!

How do you train your staff?  

We bring all our new recruits into the business for a week of practical and classroom training.  They hone their skills on our possessions, not on our customers.  Every year crews return to our own training school for refresher training. We’ve recognised the need for apprenticeships since the late 70’s up until the current day. All employees regularly attend off site team building events to bring all departments closer.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever moved?  

From a 36ft totem pole, Concord engines / landing gear and cabin parts, armour-plated cars, Spitfire, Messerschmitt and Hurricane WWII planes, 4000-bottle wine collections, ornamental half-ton elephants, cows etc, Philips Radio Communications – 360,000 components, 25 suppliers, 981 radio transmissions stations to be received, collated, customs cleared, packed and shipped to in-forestry locations throughout Indonesia where there was no road access. The list is endless. 

Do you have any accreditations that you’re particularly proud of? 

We’ve held the Queens Royal Warrant for Removals & Storage Services since 1988, the 1st removal company to do so.   FIDI-FAIM-Plus, 1st removal company to gain Investors in People, ISO 9001 Quality Management / 14001 Environmental Standard / 18001 Health & Safety Management.

What kind of events / celebrations / awards do you do in-house for your staff?  

Christmas party, monthly summer BBQs, crew breakfast mornings, employee of the month and year, best idea prizes, long-service awards

How has buzzsurvey helped your business?  

It’s given another club in the bag to fulfil our customers’ needs.  

What service do you offer that most people aren’t aware of but is very beneficial?  

You’ll be surprised to hear that many customers are surprised that we can provide storage services. With many customers needing to move out of their home prior to moving into a new property, this is a vital service.

Do you do anything for the environment?  

All our cartons are made from recycled card, used packing materials are sent for recycling, printer toners are recycled, unwanted furniture from customers is collected and donated to charities that can then sell it to help sustain their efforts, our removals trucks are on a renewal program to bring them into Euro 6 (the cleanest diesel engine available), all vehicles are well maintained to ensure they comply with omissions standards, lighting through our offices and warehouses has been upgraded, office products are recycled. By achieving ISO 14001 it has made us revisit all we do in this area of our business.

What’s the most common error people make when moving abroad?  

Often leaving the contact with a moving company to the last moment and not budgeting into their home move. Which can easily add to the stress of moving.

Why should anyone choose Abels over another international removal company?  

We would not wish to be disparaging about any other mover.  We know just how hard we all work in an industry that is sadly unregulated and without real barriers to entry, leading to “cowboys” giving the majority of professional companies a bad reputation.  With Abels, the small parts make up the larger picture from: full-time employed (not subcontracted) crews, the training regime, the historical culture of workmanship to do the job right from the start, modern purpose-built air-ride vehicles that are reliable and transport possessions safely and carefully, experienced office support staff throughout the journey, a low claims ratio, a worldwide network of like-minded entrepreneurial partner companies audited to the same standard, high-strength packing materials, main-vessel-operating shipping lines (not the NVOCCs that offer cheap but unreliable shipping times and poor-quality containers that often leak, smell and are dirty).  We remain small enough to care but certainly large enough to cope, in the best traditions of a family-owned business which has been audited and assessed for decades by outside bodies, ensuring our standards remain the highest.

Buzzmove Top 11 International Removal Companies

Are PSS what you are looking for in a removal company?

There’s so much to consider when moving home:

Getting insurance, setting up a re-directory for mail with the post office,  taking final meter readings, changing your details on the electoral roll, notifying the TV licencing company about your change of address, moving your digital TV and broadband to your new address, informing your car insurance about your new address, notifying your banks, sorting packing material, actually packing, getting all the right keys from the previous owner… the list really does go on!

Not to worry, because most people do most of these things when they get to their new home… apart from one thing that’s often overlooked, yet tends to be the most essential:

Securing a perfect removal company.


Because it’s vital you match with a professional and vetted removal company so you can be rest assured that the specialist have got all the hard work covered.

What’s the best way to do it?

Learn a bit about their professional history, values and ethos.

Read below to find out who PSS are and if they’d be perfectly suited to you.

What does PSS stand for?

First and foremost: Quality!  It also stands for Personal Shipping Services.

How many years have PSS been around?

36 years.

What have you learnt along the way?

Moving overseas is extremely stressful especially for first time migrants. As we are usually the last migrant service a client will use. That means we have to ensure that we are sympathetic to their needs. We always try to be understanding and try and help as much as possible when we do the move.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever moved?

A World War 2 ambulance was one that we actually shipped; however we  have been asked to ship a number of strange items that we were unable to as customs would not allow them in at destination!

We’ve become experts over the years on what goods are prohibited or restricted. This has saved our customers a painful battle with customs which can sometimes lead to a hefty fine, their item being returned to their old home or it being destroyed!

 This is especially case with the UK’s unfortunate past reputation with foot and mouth etc. There are other items which may have the potential to incur additional charges or delays in customs so find out the regulations for your country. Ask your removal company for advice.

Items to be wary of:

New goods or those less than 12 months old – These may incur import duties in many countries.

• Prohibited and restricted goods – These differ for every country so check beforehand. For example, Australia and New Zealand – Wicker, cane and bamboo is classed as restricted as these items may be a biosecurity risk. If not processed sufficiently may contain boring insects, fungi, and other contaminants that have the potential to introduce exotic pests and diseases.

• Food & plants – Generally not allowed in order to protect native species and avoid the spread of diseases.

• Alcohol / Wine – Can be more trouble than it’s worth with import duties etc. Best save it for your farewell party! If you do have an expensive wine collection then it is possible in some countries to avoid duty if you have the relevant certification.  Talk to your removal company to get the best advise.

• Gas canisters and flammable items are not normally accepted by shipping companies if the intention is to ship these with your personal effects. If you do have any items like this please talk to your removal company as there are other options available.

• Lawn mowers, garden tools, golf clubs, bicycles and camping gear especially ground sheets and tents –These items can be sent; however it is important that they are properly cleaned before you ship them. Upon arrival it is possible for the country’s agricultural or quarantine department to instruct these items to be fumigated or cleaned. That means an additional fee maybe applicable at destination.

What kind of events / celebrations / awards do you do in-house for your staff?

PSS believe in recognising our staffs achievements – our reputation depends on the work they do!  We have a weekly prize  for the staff member who has been voted for by their peers for outstanding contribution for the week. We also have prizes for staff who consistently receive good feedback from clients, and we regularly have team building events.

How many removals did you carry out last year?

Just over 5000 moves.

How has buzzsurvey helped your business?

It has allowed us to engage with a lot more clients and achieve a better understanding of their needs. This also gives us a more accurate insight into what they are looking to send abroad. A face to face dialogue enables the client to ask as many questions as they may have. It also helps them to build confidence in the individual conducting the survey.

What’s the most popular destination to ship to at the moment? Has it changed over the years?

Definitely Australia and NZ seem to be the choice destinations and have been for the last 10-15 years.

Why did you start teddies travels?

It all started 20 years ago when the company began doing a number of exhibitions and we found it a great way to keep the young children occupied whilst we spoke to mum and dad. It has now grown to having clients send us photos from abroad with their teddy getting involved in numerous activities. We have now set up an Instagram account for Teddies Travels to share his adventures.

Why should anyone choose PSS over another international removal company?

Besides having all the necessary accreditation’s, we are a family run business who understand that moving abroad is one of the most stressful things you may have to do. If you opt to send your personal belongings, especially any sentimental items, you want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company who understands your needs and requirements. We have also a great reputation in the industry for retaining staff, meaning they have a wealth of knowledge in dealing with international moves.


Buzzmove Top 11 International Removal Companies

Is the BAR for everyone?

Last week, Tammy Rahman and Charlie Vinall attended the BAR conference annual in Bournemouth.

It was jam packed with delegates, sponsors, speakers and exhibitors.

It was also for a fantastic cause because over £9000 was raised for the Removers Benevolent Association in an auction.

Realistically, there are 100’s of conferences that we could attend this year but BAR was one we knew we couldn’t miss out on.

Read below to find out why.

Charlie Vinall, Head of Sales & Partnerships

Why did you think it was important to attend?

Because it’s got the most respectable and knowledgeable companies in the industry. Not only would we meet influential characters, but we’d actually learn a lot.

What was the conference like?

The conference had a relaxed and friendly environment. We felt as if we could approach anyone comfortably. The atmosphere was great for business and for connecting with new and old friends.

On the second night we had a 1940s themed evening in a tank museum. It was fantastic to see how much effort the majority of attendees put into their fancy dress outfits.

What did you learn?

The conference reinforced my understanding of how important it is to network in the industry, the attendees like seeing a face to put to our brand.

What weren’t you expecting from the conference?

I wasn’t expecting the talks to cover so many topics. There was the opportunity to learn about every aspect moving such as logistic, customers service, storage, packing material, sales and there was even the AGM international.

Who was the best person you met and why?

Simon Weston was a key note speaker. He spoke about his struggles after the Falklands war and his recovery after his ship was hit by a bomb, it was an inspiring speech which helped me see a new perspective on life.

Tammy Rahman, New Business and Accounts Executive

How did you find the BAR get together?

The conference had a very chilled and friendly atmosphere which made it very comfortable for people to approach each other and engage in conversations.

It was my first time at a BAR event, and I must say it gave the opportunity to understand the association and what a difference they make to the British moving Industry.

I was very keen to meet Mr Simon Weston, he speaks about overcoming adversity and positive mental attitude as well as his experiences of being in the public eye for the last three decades. His sense of humour engaging enthusiasm was one of the highlights of the conference. it made me realise how short life can be and to make the most out of every situation with positivity.

What weren’t you expecting?

The 1940’s themed party at the tank museum really exceed my expectations.  Not every day you get to have a meal with tanks parked around you!

It was not only fun but educational, we had guided tours about how soldier lived and fought in the wars in the 1900’s up to our modern troops.

What was your main takeaway from the conference?

One thing I have taken away from this conference is about the people in the moving industry, they are keen to move forward with technology, however, are very proud hardworking people who respect their graft!

Why did you think it was important to attend?

Mainly because we knew our clients were going to be there, so we went there to renew our friendships with then.

Most of the conversations we have with our clients are usually over the phone or via email, so it was refreshing to see them face to face.

It was a way of us letting them know, this is buzzsurvey.

On top of this, it was just nice to get to them on a personal level. It becomes more than just business.

6 things to think about before moving country for work

Blogger: Rudy Parker

I’ve made a few international moves in my career, but the ones where I learnt the most were to the USA in 2005, to take my MBA and then a subsequent move back to the UK, in 2015.

This was a move with my wife, Catherine, who works, my daughter, Charlotte, age 9, and my son, Jack, who has disabilities, who was 6 at the time.

My Son, Jack, in the dining room of our house in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 2015

1. Ensure as early as possible that your paperwork is in order

It required a mountain of paperwork to get my US Visa, including difficult tasks like demonstrating that I had a certain, rather large amount of money, in my bank account.

Further down the road, when I finally got my US Permanent resident card (‘Green Card‘), it was even harder. I’m a lawyer by training but because there were so many hoops to jump through, I had to hire an Immigration lawyer to help navigate this process, at considerable expense!

Right now my American wife, Catherine, is having to go through this same process, the other way around; this includes showing HM Revenue and Customs documents, Department for Work and Pensions documents, DVLA, TV Licensing; Utility bills, Bank account going back one year, and so on. Of course, we need an expensive lawyer again to work through this.

Where’s my car gone? I need to get to work right now!

2. Watch out for the weather

My second shock was rather more prosaic; I was just not prepared for the weather in Boston.

In the winter, it gets down to -10 C and that’s -20 C or more with windchill. You also have big snowstorms. For example, during the last winter, I was in Boston, in 2015, over 14 feet of snow fell in the city. In the summer, you NEED air conditioning in your apartment. It gets up to 40 degrees C and it’s also humid in the city. Try not to move during a snowstorm or a heatwave. Make sure you have the right clothes prepared.

3. Do whatever you have to, to save time

Corporate employee relocations have experienced a paradigm shift in the last 50 years.

In the 20th century, the husband usually was working and wife, who did not work, would manage a lot of the challenges of moving.

Today, more often than not, you are dealing with 2 parents, who both have to manage demanding jobs, throughout this corporate relocation.

Therefore, anything that will save them time (above all time) and money (less important ), is an absolute necessity.

Make sure you employ all the help you can get.

For this, we used a corporate relocation company to manage our move for us. We also used a veritable army of staff. It ensured that this mammoth task went relatively smoothly.

4. Make sure you employ technology to your advantage

We live in a digital world for a reason. It’s fast and efficient. We used every type of technology available to us; from DocuSign to sign all our documents (including the sale of our house in Boston) to Skype for all those foreign calls, to using a video survey tool to track where all our furniture was; particularly useful when you are moving from a standard 2,200 square foot house in the USA to a standard large garage sized house in London and you have to put half your furniture in storage!

To watch a video on the introduction to video survey click here

5. Be as flexible as possible

Some people think working from home is for slackers.

But when you’re moving home, you’re trying to pack, get the removals guys round to survey your house, organising real estate agent,  renovating the house so it will be sold quickly, getting the passports and visas for the kids… the list really does go on!

So imagine on top of this having a commute that will waste precious hours and by the time you get home after a long days work, you’re just exhausted and don’t even want to think about organising the move.

That’s why it’s so important to have a flexible working environment.

There is no way we would have managed this move so effectively without remote working.

On top of organising the move, I had 2 weeks training  Austen, Texas and I travelled back to Europe a number of times to run conferences there. There was a Sales kick-off in Las Vegas and numerous trips back and forth to London to orchestrate the move.

Throughout this, my company allowed me to work remotely, running demand generation for EMEA, from Boston, USA, for almost 4 months.

If I didn’t work remotely, I would have never been able to handle this move successfully. Let me spell this out to sceptics; I successfully managed demand generation in Europe for a medium-sized (1000 employees) cybersecurity software company, for 4 months, 3,300 miles from the office, in another country, and with a 5 hour time difference!

6. Be prepared for setbacks

When moving, we first had trouble selling our house in Boston.

We had to change real estate agents mid-move which was a major hassle.

On top of this all, Catherine and I were both managing demanding jobs.

To make matters worse, I also had my passport stolen in the UK and had to get a replacement in the USA. That was tricky and required outside help (again!).

What does this tell you?

When you’re moving an entire family, with 2 working parents, it’s a lot of work and not everything will go to plan.

Want to avoid the drama?

Make sure you are prepared, be flexible and get as much help as possible to cut your crazy workload.

Moving in the 21st Century

The Young Movers Conference (YMC) is a yearly get-together of young industry professionals from all over the world.

The main purpose of the young movers conference is to offer both an educational and networking environment during which the latest industry trends are exchanged and new business relationships are made.

The Panel at YMC

The main topic of the conference was how technology will affect the moving industry.

So with product like buzzsurvey, why would we not get involved?

Attending YMC was a pleasure because we agree that in order to be successful you need to stay relevant to your new generation of customers by floating on the ongoing & ever growing tech-revolution wave and digitization of the removals industry.

A lot of people may say “Video surveys aren’t going to replace face to face surveys though, are they?”

But this is based on a misunderstanding about what video surveys are for and what the real benefits are.

The ability to offer greater choice and convenience with video surveys is just the tip of the iceberg for removal firms.

The real benefits go much, much deeper.

And that’s because video surveys are not designed to replace physical, face-to-face surveys.

Quite the contrary: they’re designed to complement them.

At the conference we wanted to demonstrate that video surveys are a way to work smarter, not harder but we were also excited to exchange industry knowledge and build new relationships.

So what were Tammy, Neil and Nick’s main take away’s?

Read below to find out.

New Business Relationships Executive

How did you find YMC?

“Young movers 2018 was a blast!

It was very educational because I had a chance to get a real insight into the industry, exchanging and learning the latest industry trends, not to mention making amazing new contacts and renewing existing ones.”

Did it seem a like a conventional conference?

“The chilled atmosphere at the conference gave us a real possibility to network with like minded professionals, who are all looking to improve the future of the moving industry.

The three days where jam packed with activities and events taking place, from chocolate making classes to guided city tours, which compared to conventional conferences was very refreshing!”

How did the photobooth go down?

“Everyone loves a photo (just like me!) so it was cool that everyone had a chance to take home a Polaroid momento of the conference thanks to buzzsurvey.”

What did you learn?

“One thing I have learnt during this trip is that people are open minded about video surveys, eager to learn and move with new disruptive technologies.”

VP of Global Sales

Why did you like YMC?

“YMC was an outstanding experience and an amazing networking opportunity because we met so many friendly new faces from around the world and discussed a variety of subjects naturally dominated by the removals world.

The hotel was really nice and the event organisation was first class. The evening meals were delicious and there was plenty of space to make new introductions over a cold beer, soft drink or glass of wine.”

How was the  Go Active: Air Soft Adventure event?

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get to attend but I was so happy to hear that the Go Active: Air Soft Adventure that we sponsored was sold out.”

What was your favourite event?

“The boat tour in the Port of Antwerp was beautiful trip, especially along the canals. It was fun because we got to meet so many people in a relaxed casual environment aboard a boat.”

“It was interesting to learn about the port of Antwerp from the tour guide and to engage with removal companies from around the world.”

Apart from the breathtaking views, were there any other takeaways?

“Even though it was in a chilled environment it was easy to build new friendships that spanned many continents and business cards were exchanged frequently.”

“The evening event on Friday and Saturday was vibrant and it was great to see colleagues and acquaintances throwing their best dances moves on the dance floor.”

What did you learn in YMC?

“I learned that the removal industry is receptive to disruptive technologies in particular, video surveying.”

Business Development Manager

What were your 3 main takeaways from YMC?

  1. The removal/relocation industry through Germany/Netherlands/Belgium is one that is very open to technology and see the value in a video survey capability.
  2. Maurice Henk from Henk International made the point, which others echoed, that above all else, doing business in those countries is about relationships and working with partners you know you can trust to deliver on services.
  3. No one who is using a video survey platform other than ours (you know who I mean) was entirely 100% happy – there were always things that they felt could be improved.

Who was the best person you met and why?

“Anne Van Gils from Gosselin – she came over to us and thanked us sincerely for our sponsorship and support of the event. She also said we were by far the most engaged, active and creative group at the event.”

To conclude,  we strongly believe that buzzsurvey has and will continue to help and enhance the removals industry.


Because it’s been developed by moving industry experts that know what converts more customers, increases revenues and cut overheads.

That’s why we can say with confidence that this live video surveying tool is the future because it’s been created to help you work smarter, not harder.

So what are you waiting for?

Book your free demo now.