With a local population more likely to stay put than move, Romania’s emerging moving sector has been built on business from expat and national corporate clients, says Dana Dascalu, General Manager of new Affiliate CDD Relocation
FIDI Focus: What are the characteristics of the moving market in Romania?
Dana Dascalu: It is in its early stages. The first company was only established in the 1990s, compared with other places in the world where firms have existed for hundreds of years. In general, Romanian people aren’t particularly interested in using relocation services, mainly because they don’t change their place of residence – or, if they do, they ask friends or relatives to help. So this part of the market could hardly be considered thriving. On the other hand, expats use our services quite often, either for moving locally or internationally, and so do national corporations.
FF: How has the Romanian moving industry evolved?
DD: It has evolved because of the large amount of foreign investment. There has been recent annual growth that will definitely continue. Becoming an EU member in 2007 has also increased our mobility within Europe. Globalisation has had an impact on the Romanian market, too. Few Romanians were thinking about relocating to other parts of the world 20 years ago; now, there is a greater level of mobility, and accompanying use of professional relocation services.
FF: What impact has COVID-19 had on moving?
DD: Being considered an essential business, moving companies did not have to shut their doors – we have continued to work with our crews on site, and office staff working remotely. There were challenging times, especially during lockdown, which included shipments being returned because of lack of space in aircraft or people being reluctant to allow our crews into their residence. As a company, we took all the necessary safety measures and continued to stay active. European moves slowed a little during 2020, while we saw growth in international ones.
FF: Where do you see the biggest opportunities for growth in your market?
DD: By maintaining our quality standards so we keep our existing customers and win new ones. One satisfied customer shares their experience with 10 people; one less-then-satisfied customer shares their experience with 100 more.
FF: How would you describe CDD’s business ethos?
DD: Our clients give us full access to their life, to their memories and precious belongings. We treat each move personally and empathise with the client, helping them along the way. ‘Care’ is the best description of what we do.
FF: What are your main strengths as a company?
DD: In short: quality, promptness, flexibility, and a good quality-to-price ratio.
FF: Why did you decide to join FIDI?
DD: We have taken our business decisions step by step and grown organically since we were founded in 2006. As the company has reached maturity, we have been considering becoming an Affiliate for the past couple of years.
FF: How did you find the FAIM process?
DD: Since the beginning, we’ve been working in a very organised fashion and put the clients’ needs first. We were mainly working to FAIM procedures without even knowing it. The accreditation is a recognition of all our efforts and internal standards.
FF: Are you looking forward to playing an active role in the FIDI association?
DD: Some of our office staff are active in associations of which we are a member; and we will take the same approach as a member of FIDI. We are looking forward to meeting the members and making our contribution.
FF. What are the future challenges?
DD: To book a container at a decent rate has become tough; the moving industry is struggling to find solutions. In the past 10 years or so, we have noticed the volume per move has significantly decreased. If 10 years ago the medium volume moved per file was around 50 cubic metres, now it’s around 10. Being able to purchase the same furniture type and the same clothes in every country, being raised to not value material things as much and to live with less, does not help the moving industry. It’s a continuous challenge, that we all love!