Mumbai has been the worst affected in terms of skilled manpower availability in the moving industry due to the mass exodus of migrants to their respective hometowns during the initial phase of lockdown in the city. While most Packers and Movers in Mumbai have shut shop temporarily, a few still were open to cater to the existing moving needs albeit limited operations.
It is widely known by now that the truck operations had come to a grinding halt when the first lockdown was announced on 25th March, 2020. The central government however kept the movement of essential commodities exempted from this ban so as not to break the supply chain for such goods. The ban was gradually lifted for other sectors too which also included the moving industry. As the environment started to clear for the movers and made way to offer their services, the first shock that was received by them was the non-availability of skilled packers who left Mumbai in the now famous mass exodus of the migrant force that had left the city during April-May.
The plight was understandable and consumers of this service were prepared to accept even mediocre service to help them make the move. At MovingNow, we started to receive a host of inquiries from Mumbai to various destinations in India. While we were happy to receive the inquiries to cater to the immediate needs of our users, we were unable to provide services to all destinations since the availability of trucks too was thin for specific locations. The rates charged by the transporters were unreasonable and it was our duty to not encourage them for such unscrupulous acts by giving them the service orders. Therefore, we took a conscious call to deny our services for locations which were charged abnormally high by the transporters.
While we are very active for Pune, Delhi, Bangalore and Ahmedabad from Mumbai and are gradually improving our list of locations to cater to the growing demand. Since the availability of specialist Movers and Packers in Mumbai was equal to zero during the months of May and June, we decided to select among the best of local truck loaders and train them to pack household goods and load and unload them carefully. We communicated the same to our customers and requested their patience in dealing with the low level of services considering the current situation. To our surprise, we found the customers very cooperating and accept our average services.
One such move from Thane to Pune which was originally slated for 3rd July was executed on 12th July due to the sudden extension of lockdown in Thane. It had a high volume of around 900 cubic feet and required a large 20 feet truck.Such large volumes require skilled manpower too to handle the goods with care. While the truck availability was not difficult for us given the vast list of trucks on our platform, it was the non-availability of the skilled packers that was a lacuna in this move. We could successfully communicate the same with our customer who accepted the move to be done by the local manpower that we have temporarily trained.
It was communicated to the customer that packing will take place a day before the loading since the packers are not skilled enough to complete it on time. However much we try to train the loading labor to work for household goods, the communication ability with them remains a void. They were slow to start off with the work and carried on with the packing job until late in the evening two realize only half the job is done. This situation warranted the packing to the continued the next day. As the men were calling it a day, the lady of the house had asked them to take the tri-cycle with them which they apparently didn’t need anymore.
We had advised the labor to start with it early next morning to be able to complete by noon and load it on the truck. Things went exactly as planned the next day and the loading was completed by 2 pm much to the delight of our customer. While we were working at the background to get legal permissions from the authorities to move the truck, our manpower at the sight took a break for lunch. It was at 4 pm that the truck rolled out of Thane for Pune and took 5 hours to reach its destination in Pune negotiating a number of check-posts erected especially to prevent unauthorized movement during the lockdown.
The truck driver and the labor force took dinner break at this moment and were served food by our benevolent customers. Unloading and rearranging started by 10 pm and continued until late in the night. It was at this juncture that the problem arose due to certain communication gap which we could know only by next morning. To our horror, the first call in the morning we received was by the same customer intimating us that their two expensive bicycles were not delivered during the unloading. This definitely caused a major discomfort to us since we work more to gain reputation than earn profits.
We convinced our customer about our “Customer First” motto and assured them about the delivery of their bicycles as soon as possible. Our field team got on with the job immediately and contacted the head of the labor force that completed the job. They accepted that the bicycles were in their possession since the lady of the house has asked them to keep the bicycles. This precisely was the communication gap when the lady had asked them to keep the tri-cycle and they mistook it as adult bicycles.
We started to plan the delivery of the bicycles and came to a conclusion to deliver it by the Sunday which was 4 days away and communicated the same with our customer. But unfortunately we failed to keep up our word due to the extended lockdown in Maharashtra. While we were in constant touch with our customer, it was getting difficult for us to avail the ePass for transit. The frustration and anger with our customer was quite obvious and well received at our end. We could successfully avail the ePass over the next week due to our persistence and delivered the bicycles the next Sunday and gained praiseworthy words from our customer. We are persistently working during these tough times and are trying to give our best to provide satisfactory services to our users if not the best.