About OSS the Company

  • OSS World Wide Movers, International Movers, Moving Specialists

OSS World Wide Movers are one of the largest international moving companies in Australia. Established in 1969 and remaining to this day a specialised “international” mover.

OSS is a long-established FIDI member in Australia and has fully-serviced customs and quarantine bonded warehouses and offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane together with long-term associates in the other major cities. OSS commenced operations as Overseas Shipping Services in 1970 servicing post-war European migrants to Australia who would frequently travel back to their homeland taking whitegoods, televisions and other spoils earned from their hard work in their new country.

Invariably these items would be left with the family in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Turkey etc., then after a short holiday they would return back to Australia and commence working seven days a week so they could repeat the same cycle in two or three years time. This market remained extremely strong up until the mid-1980s and then by that time OSS had branched out into full-service international moving servicing traditional links between Australia and the UK and New Zealand as well as the emerging association with South East Asia and particularly migration from Hong Kong in the lead up to the handover of Hong Kong by the British back to the Chinese Government in 1997.

The owners of OSS are Andrew Sorrell and Bob Wray, Andrew being a ten pound sponsored English migrant who moved as a young man to Australia in 1969 and was the first employee of OSS Melbourne in 1972.

Bob Wray was a general insurance broker who had OSS as a client from the time OSS was first set up by Richard and Gayle Overton in 1969, things progressed to the point that in early 1984 Bob decided like the Remington Man that he liked the client so much he purchased fifty per cent of OSS Sydney.

In 1998 Andrew and Bob acquired all of the remaining shareholdings for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and have remained equal partners ever since.

OSS have just celebrated the Official Opening of its new Sydney office and warehouse in a substantial modern facility at Kings Park in Sydney’s west having moved from their previous Seven Hills premises in late August 2013. Whilst Australia is a vast country in size, its population of around 22 million is primarily located in the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth all of which are also port cities.

Being an island and free from a lot of the nasty diseases prevalent elsewhere in the world, Australia has very strict quarantine laws to protect its population and primary production and as a result shipments of household and personal goods coming into Australia undergo greater scrutiny than in many other parts of the world.

Full service operators such as OSS have their warehouses customs and quarantined bonded as all containers of household and personal effects coming into Australia must be unloaded and inspected at an approved facility such as theirs. Customs inspect a small number of shipments similar to other parts of the world however AQIS (the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service now renamed as DAFF) inspect portions of every shipment, therefore clean modern facilities are important to ensure minimal exposure to losses or damages during this process.

Australian International Movers tend to do their own haulage to and from the seaport, given the vast majority of moves are emanating from one of the major seaport cities and also given the fact that shipments when loaded into steamship containers tend to be centralised at the mover’s yard to enable shuttle runs to and from the wharf to tie in with the movement of inbound containers off the wharf coming to the mover’s depot for unloading and inspection.

Being a migration country Australia has a reasonably even spread of inbound and outbound household goods and personal effects tonnage, the primary migration areas being from the traditional areas of the UK and New Zealand as well as increasingly from South East Asia and the Middle East. Outbound tonnage also travels to the traditional areas as well as an increasing number of Australian professional architects, engineers etc., always in demand, travelling to the developing parts of Asia and the Middle East as well as USA and Canada.

As Bob Wray says “the secret to the success of OSS has been specialisation from Day One in the international side of moving, as a consequence our staff are well-trained and our crews are experienced and consistent as they are 100% of the time focused on international packing, handling and stowing”

“We have always spent a lot of time on human resources and staff training” says Andrew, being a strong supporter of the FIDI Training Programmes as well as other specialist development programmes for its staff as Bob and Andrew work towards a successful succession to the next generation over the next few years.

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