Correctly packing your belongings is important if they are to arrive undamaged. If you can, leave it to the professionals as many insurance policies do not cover self-packed possessions damaged in transit.
The condition of your treasured belongings when they arrive at your new home will largely depend upon the way they were packed: specifically, the skills of the packing crew and the quality of packing materials. Generally, it is best left to the experts as different levels of packing are needed for different forms of transportation. Another reason is the heightened security at customs points around the world who now will insist on checking owner packed goods causing delays and potential damage.
Once upon a time, tea chests, newspapers, corrugated paper and string were the order of the day. There is no place for these today: modulised cartons, which are cleaner, far more practical and cause no damage to packer or the contents, have replaced tea chests! Half tea-chest size cartons now accommodate heavier items like books, records and tool-kits. Whilst the full size are for chinaware, glasses and kitchenware, with lighter goods, such as clothes, bedding, toys and the like are accommodated in equivalent 1½ tea chest cartons.
There is an array of specialist cartons for items that need special care, such as pictures, wine, hanging clothes and layflats, which are like suitcases. This modulisation allows for maximum density and usage of space, which is important to reduce freight costs. However, ensure your mover is going to use heavier export gauge cartons (many don’t due to the cost).
Different levels of packing are needed for different forms of transportation. Where your goods are being consolidated with others, such as in groupage or LCL (less than container load) or where there is any trans-shipment, there needs to be expert packing. LCL really requires over-packing as your goods will be handled by port labour which is unskilled in stacking furniture or breakables. Similarly with airfreight; it is unwise to send loose goods to airports as they are not known for their loving care. Here, over packing in special palletised airfreight modules is the way professional companies will complete the task.
Van deliveries across Europe can allow for furniture items to be simply woolen blanket wrapped on the vehicle. This is especially true on full loads when there is no trans-shipment between warehouses or vehicles and if the vehicles have air-ride suspension for smoother and safer transportation. Small items need to be carefully and individually wrapped prior to packing into cartons to avoid potential chaffing, chipping or breakage. This internal wrapping can include tissue (acid free for silver), clean unprinted white paper (newsprint), globular straw bossed sheets (found between new crockery), bubble-wrap, polystyrene granules, carton inserts and dividers.
Protecting furniture ideally requires a specialist export blanket, consisting of five or six layers of varying strength and composition, possibly followed by an overlay of card for final impact protection.
The professional packer will create a “work of art” with every part of the item ensconced within the neatly taped package of materials.
Expert movers will pack everything inside the home. This is to reassure customers as they can see the care and attention taken by the crew. Once the goods are all individually packed, a full inventory is completed which both numbers the items and declares their condition, which acts as the receipt for the shipment.