August 28, 2020

To Move or Not to move?: A guide to the Packing and Moving business in Addis Ababa and its Positives and Negatives.

FeaturedTrendingBusinessCurrent Affairs

The author Rachel Wolchin once said “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots…

Avatar: Leul. M Allebachew
By Leul. M Allebachew

To Move or Not to move?: A guide to the Packing and Moving business in Addis Ababa and its Positives and Negatives.
The author Rachel Wolchin once said If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet”. Change is common in any human life, the phrase she used in her depiction of the inevitability of the desire to change, shows just how common it is. Human beings by nature crave change. This can be seen in different forms, from the slightest change in hair style and outfits to big changes like moving to a completely different country and starting a new life. Moving from one country to another is less common than moving from one home to another or one office to another. While the latter happens on a day to day basis, to some it is exciting, it’s a change in scenery, a fresh start. But to most people that do the moving by themselves it’s a hectic and tiring process involving lots of heavy lifting and hiring different people for different tasks. And to put salt on the wound after all the moving is done imagine sitting down and realizing there is an item missing, who is to blame? Who can you hold accountable? That is where movers and packers businesses come in.Movers and Packers businesses are those that serve the clients moving needs, the outline of their business being safely packing the current house/office, loading all the packed items onto a vehicle and unloading at the new destination. As simple as that sounds not a lot of people use it and these services weren’t as readily available in Ethiopia as they are now.Before these businesses were up and running in Ethiopia and for those that still don’t use them the process of moving is not as easy as hiring one company to handle everything, instead people hire different individuals for different tasks, which means there will be a different group of individuals for separate tasks. Which may create misunderstandings and opportunities for one’s belongings to “go missing”.Data shows that the number of service users is not that high compared to the people that actually change their residence/office. This may have various reasons including the price which in developing countries like Ethiopia is one of if not the most important criteria for using a service like this. General pricing for the complete service as collected from different sources fluctuates because it is determined by the size and amount of items to be moved.Though there might be slight changes in execution between the companies, the general idea stays the same. There are four steps to the moving process. As Addis Zeybe was told by Pack Addis Movers and Packers, one of the key players in the business, the first step is a full survey of the current house/office and the items, this survey is necessary to allocate the proper amount of resources and manpower for that specific client “A list of belongings is made by the surveyors” said Mr.Habib Abera the founder and CEO of Pack Addis. After the survey is completed and the scale of the clients need is known the movers come into the client’s house/office and start packing. As explained by Mr.Habib Abera “There is a process to this” he continued “Since there are fragile and breakable items like mirrors, tv’s and other valuables we use special crates and boxes with padding inside them to avoid any damage.’’. There are also furnitures that have to be disassembled in order to be moved safely and in order to avoid mishandling the furnitures, the Pack Addis movers team, according to Mr. Habib  has its own trained carpenter that can disassemble all needed furniture with care and have it ready for the moving truck. “Once the items are all packed and ready trained men and women come in and load all the packed items into trucks. The moving truck is lined with foam to protect the clients items and to keep water from entering, it is also a covered truck and has no openings for rain to enter so the clients property stays dry and safe” Mr.Habib Abera noted.The final step of moving to a new household or office is the unpacking, which is also covered by the movers and packers. This process starts by unloading the moving truck and unpacking all the items, this includes reassembling all the furniture which is done by the carpenter mentioned earlier. Finally after everything is unpacked the movers put the client’s items in its rightful place Mr.Habib Abera says that the Pack Addis team is responsible for putting up curtains and arranging the shelves and closets as well.The moving is now completed so the client can assess their property. During the initial survey the list of belongings will be properly jotted down so that there will be a reference for when the client receives their property at the new destination and it will be used at this stage of the operation. “If any item is missing or damaged we will cover the full cost since we are fully insured” Mr.Habib continued “But this type of thing almost never happens” The steps are clear and for anyone that is facing the hustle and bustle of life, using professionals that can handle things  with care and are insured is a simple and easy choice. Or so it seems. Here lies the question of why most people don’t use it. An anonymous customer told Addis Zeybe “between different companies the price difference is astonishing, we called a few movers when we changed our office and they came and did the survey. Everything was going well at this point, the customer service was spot on and they were very punctual and organized.” The client continued  “Our office did not have a lot of items and yet the price they gave us was too high, ranging from 17,000 ETB to 34,000 ETB and even the lowest price was twice as much as we were expecting so that was a deal breaker for us. Although the features and positives are inviting the price was just way too high. We ended up moving on our own and we did it for 3/4th the price we had expected. And of course there were damages but it was not substantial enough for us to even reconsider our decision”. The pricing might be high for some and Mr.Habib is aware of that “we here at Pack Addis price our service fairly.” he said and continued explaining the idea behind the pricing and how it is dependent on the client “after the survey is completed, using the data we calculate the resources needed for the move such as the man power, number of trucks and amount of packing material we decide and give our pricing to the client” then he went on to tell Addis Zeybe about how the client can get a lower rate “the client can choose to pay less by altering different stages, for example some clients prefer to not pack their breakable and valuable items but instead to simply put them in the moving truck unprotected and by doing that we can surely cut costs but any damage will not be compensated”.These movers and packer businesses are a much needed one in Ethiopia but due to their pricing they are unreachable for a majority of the society. And in developing countries the reality stays the same, as long as there is a cheaper alternative most of society will pick that over the pricey one regardless of the service the business offers. For some it's affordable, simple and the obvious choice but for others the price will send them running. So the decision to use the service mainly depends on the client's standpoint, with that in mind i will let you, the reader decide whether or not the service is worth it.