End of the Year, Expats, Pets and Car Costs

End of the Year

As we enter the last month of the year we see all kinds of signs that our financial crisis could have an affect on our livelihood as relocation professionals. I would suggest to you that we have been here before and the relocation industry has always made a comeback. Part of the reason is that every business enterprise needs to have the availability of qualified talent to run their organizations and that means they may need to go out of their market to find the right individual, so relocation becomes the ticket to accomplish their goals. So hang in there and we will return.

ExPat Employment Status
In the October-November 2008 issue of the SHRM Legal Report is an interesting cover story regarding the employment status of ExPat employees. Many of us work in states where the rule of law is that employees are hired in a mode where the employer can hire or fire any employee at will, with or without cause. The auhtor of the article suggests that the minute you send an employee overseas, the employee at will condition goes out the door and the expat becomes subject to the at will tenant and becomes subject to the host country’s vested rights, severance pay and termination protection.

Runzheimer releases cost figures for operating a mid size 2009 vehicles
Runzheimer International has recently compiled the costs for operating a 2009 mid-size vehicle and determined the most costly areas in the country. This year the most expensive areas are Detroit, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Newark, NJ. The least expensive areas wereEau Claire, WI; Bismarck, ND and Sioux Falls, SD.

Strategic partnership created for providing Pet Relocation Services
(see related story below)
PetTravelCenter.com and Pet Relocation.com have entered into a partnership to provide the relocating transferees and the corporate world with information on moving pets both domestically and internationally.

PetRelocation.com provides Pet Relocation Advice
Rachel Farris of PetRelocation has provided this blog with a series of articles dealing with things that you need to be cognizant of when you decide to relocate your pets. Below is part one of Rachel’s series:
This is part one in a three-part series on pet relocations, written by Rachel Farris with PetRelocation.com, based out of Austin, Texas. This series originally appeared in MOBILITY magazine. PetRelocation.com offers on-site and webinar training for CRPs and companies interested in learning how to best answer their transferee’s frequently asked questions surrounding domestic and international pet relocations. For more information or to schedule a free training seminar for you and your staff, please contact PetRelocation.com at +1-512-264-9800.

Most pet owners treat Fido or Fluffy like another member of the family, with birthday parties and Christmas stockings full of rawhide hanging on the mantle. These pet owners come from the school of thought that a pet is not just a pet???he or she is a beloved member of the family, an integral part of the home and a loyal best friend. Relocation counselors at some point will likely be faced with the task of overseeing the move of this trusty companion. It is not always just a matter of handing off the transferee to a pet relocation company that specializes in the international door-to-door transfer of pets. Many times, the relocation counselor is the one responsible for having the initial conversation about the pet move with the transferee. Having a general knowledge of how the process works and answers to common questions the transferee might have will help ease concerns about the pet???s upcoming move, and can facilitate a smooth transition from the relocation counselor to the pet relocation company.
How does the pet relocation process work?

Pet relocation companies boast the ability to serve the entire world. The practice itself is fairly straightforward: pets are typically picked up at the transferee’s residence, checked in at the departure airport, then cleared through customs upon arrival and delivered to their owner’s new residence. Pet relocation specialists are also usually responsible for selecting appropriate flight arrangements, carefully reviewing the import and export documents, and counseling the transferee on the intricate details of their pet’s move.

Some pet relocation services arrange door-to-door moves by opening offices at major hubs or franchising their businesses in various parts of the world. However, a pet is not always traveling to and from the main ports of entry???sometimes it is necessary to facilitate customs clearances or deliveries in more obscure cities and countries. Most reputable pet relocation companies are members of a group called the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA). The association regulates and monitors the pet transportation industry by setting ethics standards and overseeing the performance of their members. As part of their membership, companies are given access to a network of pet transportation professionals worldwide who have guaranteed reputations for the services they provide. “IPATA is crucial to upholding quality service for pet relocations,” said current IPATA president, Gay O’Brien. “If a company wants to ensure their transferee’s clients are receiving the highest level of care, with careful attention paid to the well-being of the pets, IPATA’s listing of member companies is the best place to start.” IPATA is compromised of a menagerie of pet transportation professionals???local pet taxis and veterinarians, major corporations and even freight forwarders and customs brokers. Due to IPATA’s exacting standards for membership, affiliates are able to safely coordinate the door-to-door service for the most precious of cargo. As a way of bridging the gap often found in a global industry, IPATA also offers an annual conference where the members gather to meet and exchange ideas, attend classes on country import requirements and species-specific handling techniques, and attend forums where representatives from major airlines come to answer questions in a round-table format. International requirements vary from country to country, so working with a quality pet relocation company who is also up to date on the current import requirements is crucial.

These intricacies can often affect the overall cost and many people tend to underestimate the rates surrounding a complete door-to-door relocation for a pet. The cost of the pet move is made up by the ground transportation to and from the airports, the documentation and import fees, and then also the air freight charges for the pets. When pets travel as cargo, the airlines generally charge for the dimensional weight of the travel crate, which can sometimes mean that the cost of a one-way international flight for a pet traveling overseas costs the same amount as a first-class, round trip ticket for his owner.

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One Response to End of the Year, Expats, Pets and Car Costs

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