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Mayflower to Moscow.

Mayflower to Moscow

Glasnost is reaching out from the Soviet Union to the western world, and Mayflower is reaching back.

Earlier this spring, a U.S. moving van set wheels on Soviet soil for the first time ever. Mayflower moved the household goods of Ray Cossette and his family 8,700 miles in three weeks, from Tucson, Ariz., to Moscow. Cossette is a project manager for the Dallas-based Dresser Industries, Inc. As the van rolled into Moscow on May 10, it completed the longest move in Mayflower's 63-year history.

The moving van traveled overland from Tucson to Baltimore, where it was transferred to an Atlantic Container Line ship on its way to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. From there, the van was attached to a Sovtransavto tractor for the remaining 2,700 miles through the Netherlands, West and East Germany, Poland and Russia en route to Moscow.

After establishing a Protocol of Understanding in February, the Indianapolis-based Mayflower Transit, Inc. took the next step on May 12 in establishing formal working agreements with Sovtransavto, the largest truck transportation organization in the U.S.S.R.

The two moving companies will be exclusive agents for each other in household goods and general freight shipments between the United States and the Soviet Union, under the new agreement signed by Michael Smith, Mayflower CEO, and Tengiz Tatishvili, Sovtransavto president. As well, arrangements have been made by Mayflower to visit Poland, Hungary and Yugoslavia in an effort to penetrate the developing free market economy.

Smith hails the agreement as "one of the most significant actions ever taken by Mayflower," and anticipates that it will help to accelerate U.S. - Soviet trade. Smith also says the company expects to handle all types of commodities in the future.

Along with the Cossettes' belongings, a shipment of computer software from Borland International of Scotts Valley, Calif., also journeyed to Moscow for the U.S.S.R.'s first major computer trade show last month. Mayflower plans to concentrate on this area of general freight, as opposed to household goods.

Though the moving company has contacts all over the world, according to Mayflower Vice President Anthony Waugh, it will be placing even more emphasis on a global marketplace, and taking a proactive stance in the liberalization of Eastern Europe. Waugh feels this position presents the best opportunity for growth Mayflower, along with much of the western business world, is hoping a solid trade agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union will be signed soon, because then, in Waugh's opinion, "the free market economy process cannot be stopped." If this happens, U.S. - Soviet trade is expected to skyrocket and become a $15 billion industry in as few as three years.
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Title Annotation:Mayflower Transit Inc.
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Jul 1, 1990
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