Moving Mountains and Masterpieces
The Mona Lisa? Giant pandas? It seems there’s nothing Crown Relocations can’t move.
Crown Relocations’ unrivaled service and extensive offerings have made it one of the largest and most trusted moving companies in the world. That reputation has won it some big-name clients including the famed Louvre museum in Paris, which hired Crown to relocate da Vinci’s masterpiece, and the Chinese government, which needed to transport two young pandas to their new home in Hong Kong.
They’ll also transfer your pets—and do everything from finding schools to helping with language training. RSVPstyle recently caught up with general manager Lezlie St. Germain to find out more about Crown’s Hawaii operations and the near-legendary accomplishments of its founder, Jim Thompson.
RSVPstyle: There are a number of moving companies here in Hawaii. What makes Crown unique?
St. Germain: Most moving companies just provide moving services, but we also help with all aspects of relocation. That includes helping customers find a home or school, as well as assisting with immigration issues, intercultural and language training, property management, furniture rental, and even handyman and domestic help services. We even offer a pet transfer service, and attend to all registrations, special travel requirements and medical regulations required for your pet.
Moreover, we have over 180 offices in 52 countries around the world. Customers know their move will be handled by one company and their departure and arrival will meet with the same standard of excellence. When we move people, we tell them, you’re going from Crown to Crown.
RSVPstyle: I understand you also operate state-of-the-art storage facilities.
St. Germain: Yes, our warehouses feature climate controls and modern security systems to protect against mold, mildew, pests, water and theft.
RSVPstyle: Crown also offers records management. What exactly does that entail?
St. Germain: We basically offer transport and storage services for business records to both small and large corporations. We currently store over 20 million cubic feet of records in various storage facilities around the world.
RSVPstyle: Crown prides itself on quality service. How are you able to deliver that?
St. Germain: We continually reinvest in our staff with training and development programs. Crown’s operations are staffed by a diverse group of people, from those native to the community to expatriates from other countries. They offer a unique combination of expertise ranging from country-specific knowledge of tax and immigration laws and household goods import regulations, to the development and execution of comprehensive global mobility programs.
RSVPstyle: A good part of Crown’s success can be attributed to its visionary founder, Jim Thompson. How did he get started?
St. Germain: Jim was a representative for an American logistics company in Japan in 1964 when the company decided to close. He sensed a great business opportunity, so he cashed in his return ticket to the States, withdrew his entire savings of $500 and started his own logistics company. He was just 24 at the time.
In 1970 he moved his business to Hong Kong, which was a savvy decision since Hong Kong was just beginning to develop into a modern business capital. He then expanded into Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asia-Pacific locations, and by the early 1980s, Crown was the leading mover in Asia.
Hawaii has strong Asia-Pacific connections, so it was only a matter of time before Jim saw the need to open an office here in Hawaii. We originally serviced the military, but today a large part of our customer base is civilian.
RSVPstyle: What tips do you have for people looking for a moving company?
St. Germain: Do your homework and always go with a reputable company.
RSVPstyle: What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
St. Germain: Knowing we serve both the local and global community with the best possible service.
RSVPstyle: What’s new on the horizon for Crown in Hawaii?
St. Germain: Some big steps: We’re looking to expand on Maui and the Big Island within the next 18 months.