Overview of the Moving & Storage Sectors
The moving and storage sectors play an integral role in the transportation of people and commercial goods around the globe. The sectors consist of professional logistics and transportation companies dedicated to transporting, storing, moving, organising and securing raw materials, finished goods and other valuable cargo. Consignments usually travel by road or sea, depending upon the nature of the cargo and the terms of the client.
There are thousands of moving and storage businesses serving home and company markets. The majority provide a package service, and removals lorry to transport either personal possessions (during a house move), or office furniture (during a business relocation). Many moving companies focus solely on business markets. They tend to provide space planning services, refurbishment services, asset management, IT relocation and general business storage. Some larger moving and relocation providers offer specialist advice on moving overseas. This inevitably includes advice on methods for paperwork, customs clearance and storage and retrieval of possessions upon entry.
Logistics and project management are at the heart of most moving and storage services. For example, many shipping and receiving services include tracking capabilities, loading dock services, paperwork reconciliation (relating to goods received and purchase orders), coordination of onward moving transportation and delivery confirmation.
Some moving and warehouse providers provide professional packing services targeting international moves abroad. Trained packers can help to ensure soft furnishings are sealed correctly, and delicate breakables are boxed securely with right packing materials. This helps to avoid unnecessary breakages during transit. Similarly, proper packing help to ensure important items are protected from dust and moisture during their long stay in a dark warehouse. Many moving and storage providers offer insurance facilities to protect valuable belongings (should an unfortunate accident occur during transit or storage).
Many homeowners prefer doing everything themselves to keep moving and storage costs down. To help with self moves there are thousands of truck rental companies offering vans or lorries for moving purposes. Many ex-pats moving abroad for long periods choose to use a self storage warehouse service. This enables clients to leave many bulky domestic items (such as furniture, beds and sofas), rather than attempt to transport all their worldly goods to a foreign country. Most warehouses and bonded warehouses would be secured with CCTV, have temperature controls and fire and intruder alarm systems. All items would be sealed securely and may include a detailed inventory of items. Some self storage units include a collection and drop-off service, into a private section of the warehouse.
Lastly, a courier delivery service is one of the most popular types of providers in this sector. Couriers tend to focus on consumer and small business markets by delivering urgent letters and parcels. Most courier delivery services are located in large cities and use motorbikes or bicycles to cut through traffic jams swiftly. Most charge a premium for movement packages on the same day or next day. Couriers offer an alternative to state-owned mail services (which tend to be somewhat unreliable and slower). Most packages can be tracked electronically and require a signature on proof of handing over. These features provide confidence to the sender and receiver.
Domestic couriers are unlikely to have long-term storage capabilities. Whereas, international couriers are likely to own warehousing facilities near major ports and airports. These are normally required for temporary storage, customs clearance and logistics handling between rail, van and air freight.