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EUROMOVERS celebrates the first 10 years at Rome conference

Jul 17, 2014
The Hotel Leonardo De Vinci in Rome was the venue for the 2014 EUROMOVERS conference. Unlike any other event in the moving calendar, when you walk in it really does feel as if you have been invited to join a family celebration.


It was the 10th anniversary of EUROMOVERS International’s formation and Managing Director Thomas Juchum welcomed everyone and introduced the Board of Directors.  It was a significant milestone in the development of the organisation which was graced by the attendance of Gerhard Norek, the organisation’s first chairman.  “Today we celebrate ten years of cooperation, ten years of success and ten years of the EUROMOVERS family,” said Thomas.  “I congratulate all the members and thank them for their loyalty, integrity and dedication to this special group of removal experts.”


The conference included a video presentation commemorating ten years of EUROMOVERS' history, a presentation by Gerhard Norek, a review of the year from Steve Jordan, the Editor of The Mover, and an interesting and thought-provoking keynote speech by Dominique Alhéritière, the Honorary Chairman of the Executive Board of AIDA (International Association for Water and Law).


Business, as always at EUROMOVERS, was conducted in two separate parallel meetings, one for the agents, partners and guests; and one for the EUROMOVERS directors.


Photo: Top - Gerhard Norek and Denis Zonneveld; Thomas Juchum opens the 10th EUROMOVERS conference.


During the plenary session all delegates were given a commemorative plaque, sponsored by MS Partnership 2000 S.R.L and Euromoving 2000 Milano S.R.I. 


Board report

Before delivering his Board report, the EUROMOVERS Chairman, Denis Zonneveld, thanked the conference sponsors, Reason Global, Red Recruit, Roldo Rent, Container Plus and Transpak for their faithful support.  


In his Board of Director’s report he said that EUROMOVERS currently had 56 members worldwide.  The goal was to achieve a membership of 60 within the next 12 months.   He said that every point raised at the 2013 conference in Istanbul had been implemented and included in the company’s bylaws; that the website had been modified in line with the global corporate ID; the EUROMOVERS payment protection plan and quality standard, based on BS 8564 were in place; and the EUROMOVERS App was in the testing phase.  He said that the company’s attendance at IAM last year was successful and hospitality space had been reserved for this year in Orlando.

Gerard Norek

EUROMOVERS' first Chairman, Gerhard Norek was the guest of honour at the Rome conference.  Together with his Dutch EUROMOVERS colleagues Ad van den Eijnden and Anton Gul, he was one of the architects of EUROMOVERS International.


He said that his company had been a member of another global group for many years but felt that it was too expensive and generally not a good experience.  On the formation of EUROMOVERS, Gerhard said, “We decided to try our luck ourselves to create cooperation that was not expensive and was more democratic.” Having started EUROMOVERS in Germany it soon became obvious that partners would be required all over the world and so EUROMOVERS International was born.


“It’s very important to have reliable partners all over the world,” he said.  “But they need reliable, quality-oriented partners too.  For them, working in Europe is not as easy as working in the US.  We have different countries, traditions and languages so it is very important to have one large central office in Luxemburg to assist people.”  Gerhard praised many of the key people he had worked with over the years but singled out Thomas Juchum, calling him ‘the Braveheart of the industry’, who provided that central support for the benefit of members worldwide.


In signing off, and in view of the rising tensions in Ukraine in the news at that time, Gerhard struck a cautionary note.  “Don’t forget,” he said, “the world is not a peaceful place. Therefore it’s up to you to work together to build a successful global society.”


Photo:  Gerhard Norek addresses the EUROMOVERS conference


The year in brief

A presentation by Steve Jordan, Editor, The Mover Magazine


As part of the EUROMOVERS conference, Steve Jordan, Editor of The Mover, presented a brief roundup of some of, what he considered to be, the more interesting stories his magazine had published over the last 12 months.  In doing so he gave the delegates what he called a ‘slap across the head’ to encourage them to use the publication more to promote their ideas, thoughts and businesses to a worldwide audience.


The stories Steve focussed on were just a sample that he felt were significant.  He told of the company in New Zealand that had started giving its workers breakfast every day to improve nutrition and productivity.  Not surprisingly, it worked.  The feature story about Agility, the company that holds the MOD contract in the UK that had helped its suppliers improve their businesses by imposing strict quality standards. Interviews with people such as Rennie Schafer, from the Self Storage Association and Michael Gerson who described how he created his company’s image of quality from a virtual standing start. And he provided a brief resume of the conferences so far attended: IMC, FIDI and OMNI.    


Steve’s presentation was designed to illustrate the variety of the stories that appear in the magazine.  Then came ‘the slap’.  He said that of all the companies in the room, only two had ever sent him a story for publication.  He said that they were all missing a golden opportunity to publicise their companies and to make their opinions knows.  “Everyone has plenty of opinions in the bar,” he said, “so why do so few want to share them more widely.”  Needless to say, as he walked off the stage a small queue soon developed of people with tales to tell. Mission accomplished!


Photo:  Steve Jordan


Water for Peace

How the world comes together to secure the fountain of life


Water was on the agenda for the keynote speaker at the EUROMOVERS conference as Dominique Alhéritière, the Honorary Chairman of the Executive Board of AIDA (International Association for Water and Law), took the stage.  It was a subject that was not of particular relevance to the moving industry but was vital as a matter of fundamental importance to us all.


Dominique spoke of a frequently reported potential catastrophe and a miracle that was preventing it.  He said that despite the fundamental nature of water, and the potential for what he called “water wars”, water had become more of a unifying factor than the cause of dispute.


He looked at the Mediterranean region as an example.  He said that it had 3% of the world’s population but only 1% of its water reserves.  The level of fresh water availability before a society is considered to be under water stress, is accepted as 1m3/person/day. In some areas of the region this was already down to 50lit/day and, in some ways, the trend is for that to become worse.


The Mediterranean was amazingly diverse with Europe’s wettest regions rubbing shoulders with its driest.  Population continues to increase.  Tourism, an activity that uses immense volumes of water for high class hotels, golf courses, etc. is on the increase. Advancing agriculture causes pollution making water difficult to reuse.  Many countries have outdated industrial practices and many domestic systems were leaking and used obsolete fittings.


Dominique said that this situation could look very gloomy but for a miracle that had taken place in recent years and was continuing to this day. Firstly, the discovery of the world’s largest underground aquifer in North Africa harbouring enough water to last 2000 years at current rates of consumption. Some say that it’s not a renewable resource so should not be exploited.  “But it would be like saying to a cave man that he shouldn’t use flint because it wasn’t renewable,” he said.  “When you have such huge quantities it’s legitimate to use it even though it’s not renewable.”


His second reason for optimism was the rapid development of technology for the use and reuse of water. In particular he spoke about modern desalination plants that could produce fresh water almost as cheaply as conventional resources.  Some countries have come to rely on desalinated water almost exclusively.


Finally, the improvement in techniques for water usage.  Dominique said that a modern paper mill, for example, uses just 1% of a similar facility 100 years ago. New methods of irrigation and the use of special grasses have cut water usage on golf courses dramatically. And hotels and domestic suppliers are investing heavily in new equipment.


All this requires massive financial investment.  The sector needs $100bn a year for maintenance and development.  However organisations such as the World Bank are subsidising programmes to support private investment in the sector; and the World Health Organisation and UNICEF are working with the World Water Council to make sure that the miracle of ‘Water for Peace’ continues.


Politicians too are playing their part.  There is huge co-operation between governments with all the Mediterranean countries coming together in the fight to secure water supplies.  “Even the commissioners for Israel and Palestine talk constructively about water.” 


Dominique concluded by saying that agreed targets to cut by half the number of people who had no access to safe water, by 2015, had already been achieved.  “There are still one billion people affected but progress is being made more quickly than in any other sector.”  And of the recorded 3000 potential clashes about water supply, only 37 have developed into anything significant.  A miracle indeed!


Photo:  Dominique Alhéritière describes the miracle that is Water for Peace




It’s not all business at the EUROMOVERS conference.  As well as some relaxation time enjoying the sights of Rome, there was the traditional last night party, this year at a restaurant just a gentle stroll from the conference hotel.  Great Italian food, entertainment from Alain Iannone, a mind-blowing magician, and the inevitable song (or two) from EUROMOVERS’ own home-grown operatic star, and conference sponsor Luigi Briotti. 


Those who attend EUROMOVERS regularly will be familiar with Luigi’s operatic outbursts which are welcomed and enjoyed by all at any time.  However, when in Rome, they were ideally suited to the occasion and added to immensely to the atmosphere and sense of occasion.  Well done Luigi. 


Photos: Luigi Briotti breaks into song; Thomas Juchum cuts the cake in celebration of ten years of EUROMOVERS International.



Cooperation award winners


The whole point of a network is for member companies to trade together.  In 2013 the 38 EUROMOVERS members that took part in the organisation’s annual survey recorded 1047 shipments exchanged, approximately 18% of which were outside Europe.  Members were asked to rate their partners in terms of quality of workmanship, quality of administration, and finances with the winners and the top booker receiving awards. 


Grundell from Finland was the top booker and also led the pack in overall service quality.  Gebr. Roggendorf from Germany came in first place for finances.


EUROMOVERS also condusced a customer survey of 40,000 customers who had used members’ services during 2012.  Overall nearly 38% of transactions were rated as ‘outstanding’ with a further 48.5% considered to be ‘excellent’ and 7.9% ‘good’.  Only 0.7% of transactions generated a customer complaint.




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