Two-year-old art moving company has explosive growth

By Bill Parry

A busy warehouse in Long Island City is the base of operations for a young and successful company that is hard to define beyond its can-do attitude that has made it a favorite of the rich and famous in New York City and around the world.

The website for Aequitas Packing Group describes it as a premier white glove moving, storage and logistics company servicing the interior design and fine art world.

The three partners who own Aequitas tried their best to describe their company.

“Primarily we pack and ship art, fine furniture and antiques for the top 1 percent and their designers,” said Matthew Quinn, a partner. “It’s a specialized industry and we approach it differently than other companies. I guess you can say we’re unique.”

Sean Lane said, “We can take whatever is in a high-end luxury store or residence and move everything in them to Dubai, Doha, Hong Kong, Cannes, Antwerp or anywhere else in the world. We collect and hold everything right here in this warehouse until the installation date and then we get everything there on time.”

His younger brother Godwin, the third partner, said, “It’s a very particular industry in the way things are done and we are very particular people and that’s helped us grow quickly — in fact, our growth is actually best described as an explosion.”

Just two years ago the three had a single moving van. Now they have a fleet of a dozen trucks and vans, a 145,000-square-foot warehouse in LIC and another in London.

The three agree their secret weapon is a dedicated staff they call “The Family” made up mostly of international craftsmen from Ireland, Russia, Trinidad and Ukraine.

“These guys are from all over the world — we even have two guys from the same town in eastern Europe,” Sean Lane said. “The one thing they have in common is they are very professional, they are all accountable and have integrity. Not everyone can work for us. In fact, we turn away four or five applicants every week.”

One of their workers, Robby Walsh, had bounced from job to job since moving to the United States from Ireland more than a decade ago.

“It’s an amazing atmosphere where everyone works together and takes pride in what they do,” he said. “When I’m building a shipping crate, I’m making the best crate I can make whether it’s for moving a Picasso or just a chair.”

Aequitas Packing Group does not serve the general public, but it depends on repeat business and references from the interior designers and the luxury stores.

“We’re innovators and problem solvers and we execute better than the other companies,” Sean Lane said. “We trust our intuition and find ways to get the job done and that’s what keeps bringing the clients back.”

The globetrotting adventures never get old, according to Godwin Lane.

“It’s very interesting,” he said. “We get to see fabulous places with some very famous clients. We know what they want and that’s part of our success.”

But there is a price.

“Everyone’s sacrificed a lot to make this company succeed. A lot of baseball games with the family have been missed by everyone that works here in order to make the company succeed,” Godwin said. “But there’s going to be a lot of kids going to college because of this success.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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