A view from Estonia

Apr 08 | 2024

Steve Jordan talks to Aaro Kõuts from Movemaster in Estonia about making a living in the country’s moving business and his thoughts on the country’s proximity to Russia.

Aaro KoutsAaro Kõuts has become a familiar face at industry conferences in recent years. He represents Movemaster OÜ in Tallin, Estonia, that he started in 2011 with his business partner, Halger Sander.  “Halger does all the work,” said Aaro.  “I am very lazy.  I just travel around getting the business.”

Of course anyone that knows Aaro also knows he’s not lazy at all.  He’s a trained lawyer who started in the moving industry 24 years ago with KLG Estonia.  He progressed quickly and served on the company’s Board until he left to start Movemaster. 

Movemaster employs around 15 people and runs four vans.  The company only partly focusses on work to and from Estonia.  Aaro said that the domestic moving business is served by a swarm of van and man operators which make it hard to compete.  He tries, when he can, just to keep the crews busy, but that’s not where is interest lies.  “It’s the international side that is our main business,” he explained. 

Much of this comes from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that is continually moving officials to and from Brussels. The Estonian military is a source of good business.  Estonia also has an active business community, especially technology-related, that generates a flow of corporate transferees. “But tech company employees don’t move very much,” Aaro said.

So where does the bulk of the business come from?  Aaro said that Movemaster makes good use of lead generators.  The use them to generate the private enquiries that come mainly from Finland and Sweden. “We then send our crews on the ferry to collect,” he explained. “We are there three times a week and pick up shipments for destinations all over the world.”  Movemaster also handle third-country moves through Aaro’s network of industry partners.

That’s why he spends so much of his time attending industry conferences.  “I need to be able to trust the people we use,” he said. “I have been in this business 24 years and I know that it’s all about trust.”

There is an elephant in the room.  Estonia borders Russia and Aaro explained that a significant minority of the population is Russian ...

Photo: Aaro Kõuts.

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