Hello everyone. This week our Business Profile Blog highlights the international removals company UPakWeShip. I spoke with British expat and company President Mark Nash about their operation.
Hello Mark, can you tell us a bit about your background and what bought you to America?Hello. When I was 22 years old I went out to Saudi Arabia working for an American moving company. As much as Jeddah was not exactly paradise I did enjoy the expat lifestyle, the weather, the friendship between other Brits, Aussies, Europeans and Americans all out there in the same boat. After 5 years I returned to England and within 18 months started EuroUSA with a friend on mine, all the while I was wishing to move overseas again. I was hoping to open up an office in France or Belgium but business went in the American direction and our USA operation began in 1994. When it made financial sense I suggested we open up an office in the USA and I’ll volunteer to run it !! In 2000 we realized many shippers would like to save money and pack everything themselves so we developed a self pack budget moving company and opened a division called UPakWeShip. I tell people we are sort of like the Southwest / Ryan Air folks of the moving business.
How has UPakWeShip grown over the last 11 years?We now have 88 terminals in the USA where you can drop off your shipment or we can collect from your door. For small shipments we have baggage rates starting at $560 through to your door anywhere in England and have services right up to a self loading 20 or 40 foot shipping container. For small fragile shipments we recommend our U Crate, which comes in 2 sizes, where you can load small pieces of furniture and other items in the crate lock it with your own padlock and we will ship it right through to your door. We have weekly sailings to England, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and India and bi- weekly to most other places around the world.
Have you moved any unusual items or had any strange requests?
Over the years, EuroUSA has moved many shipments for famous film stars, rock stars and sports personalities. A couple of years ago we moved a family from England to Kentucky which involved packing their whole house and loading it into a plane that we had to charter so that the family and 2 dogs could travel with the shipment. I think the whole move was planned around the little dog who just had to fly over with its owner! I have moved an 80 something year old British lady from Washington DC back to England as she was moving over to get married ( for the first time !) Various interesting jobs for the US Government, United Nations, NASA, British Military, some high ranking diplomats, Arab Royal Family etc and as much as its interesting meeting and working with these people, personally you cant beat chatting and helping out Mr & Mrs normal who are often more friendly, more generous and make the whole process more fun.
Is there anything you can't move or have had to refuse to move?
As a company policy we refuse to ship guns of any sort. I suggest not shipping any liquids in case they leak. Certainly no hazardous items, drugs, hard pornography, jewelry (as you cant get insurance) nothing live, like plants, officially no food stuff, also for most countries don’t ship alcohol or cigarettes as you will be charged duty and vat and it will end up cheaper to have just bought them locally.Where in America are you based?
We are based in Charleston SC although we cover the whole country. We used to be in Baltimore but moved the offices south about 4 years ago after we got fed up with the winters, traffic, house prices and 3 of us going through divorces - it was time to move South!! Charleston is in my mind the best city in America, full of charm, character with a European influence and friendly locals.
Can you ever see yourself returning to the UK?I must say I have nothing against my home Country, I enjoy going back on trips, I consider myself a Brit even though I have citizenship here, I just enjoy living in other places and think it’s a great experience and if I ever feel the need or something goes wrong I can always move back, but in the meantime I’m enjoying it here!