Allied Pickfords

by Norman Monroe 

International movers Allied Pickfords, since rolling into Tokyo twenty years ago, has emerged as one of the top moving companies in Japan. It’s success, both here and in the many countries worldwide, rest on its commitment to do whatever it takes to make sure that your household goods are delivered, even if it means first taking it apart. But more of that later.

The company boasts three global head offices, in Chicago, the UK, and Australia, and operates in over 40 countries, with offices in over 800 cities worldwide. With that kind of reach, it is well able to ship your household items or company furniture and fittings to all parts of the globe, which is just as well in Japan, where it mostly serves the expatriate community.

“Most of our customers are expats, with companies varying from financial companies to pharmaceuticals,” says Director of Moving Services, Scott McCaskie. McCaskie says that while much of it’s clientele is largely expatriate, local private moves account for over 35 percent of business. The company offers a premium service and according to McCaskie, while their rates are competitive, they’re not the cheapest movers in the market. Given the quality of service Allied offers, however, it’s likely worth the investment. The company offers door-to-door service, and they will pack your stuff, ship it and unpack it at the other end and your moves can be insured, or not, depending on the type of contract chosen. Service is offered in English and French, as well as Japanese.

Moving, especially from one country to another, always throws up logistical challenges. These can range from Japan’s narrow streets and small houses to the lack of elevators in older buildings in some European cities, as well as narrow stairs in buildings in many places, all of which offer their own unique problems in terms of access. The Allied team has had to deal with them all and this varied experience informs the wealth of advice available from them (which you would be well advised to take!) if you are planning a change of scenery.

Client Services Director Caroline Kennedy says that the company’s storage facilities is a repository for many items, especially sofas, brought from abroad, that could not find their way into comparatively smaller Japanese houses, despite the company’s willingness to go the extra mile, up to and including, for example, dismantling your tall cabinets, taking the bits inside and re-building it, as they have had to do on more than one occasion, including on the very day I visited the company’s offices!

For more information on Allied Pickfords and their moving services see