International moving business down but not out

Though the international household-goods moving market has become smaller and much more complicated since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Chicago-based Bekins Van Lines thinks there is still money to be made in this particular market. “There’s always been a higher level of risk with international moves, so security has received a lot of focus among companies providing such moves,” vp of business development

Though the international household-goods moving market has become smaller and much more complicated since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Chicago-based Bekins Van Lines thinks there is still money to be made in this particular market.

“There’s always been a higher level of risk with international moves, so security has received a lot of focus among companies providing such moves,” vp of business development Jack Griffin told Fleet Owner.

“What’s happened since Sept. 11, though, is that demand for such moves has plummeted. No one wants to be transferred to a corporate position overseas anymore,” he said. “So the market has contracted significantly since then, shrinking from 20% to 25%.”

Still, Griffin said international moves remain much more lucrative than domestic moves, which is why Bekins is building its presence in international moving – despite the shrinking market and higher operating costs spawned by new security regulations.

“We still have a lot of corporate moves for foreign nationals which has balanced out somewhat the huge decline in American business personnel moving overseas,” he said. “But both inbound and outbound moves are also more complex because of new security regulations – they’re not easy to comply with but we will and can adapt to them if we want to stay in this business.”

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