Shipping Fragile Items Overseas

Moving overseas isn’t an easy task, you will need to pack all the possessions and ship them to your new home. The list of household goods may also include fragile items, so you need to pack them carefully and make sure they reach the new destination safely.

Regardless of whether you will move all your heirlooms or not, still you may have one or two items that will require extra care and protection while you pack them for the move. Before we move ahead to explore the tips for packing fragile for an overseas move, let’s understand what are fragile items.

List of Fragile items

Items that possess the risk of breaking during shipments can be classified as fragile items. Such items will need to have multiple layers of packaging and carrier-specific precautionary measures. In a nutshell, they will require more love and care from you to reach the new country without getting damaged.

Here’s a list of fragile items:
  • Plants
  • Food
  • Jewelry
  • Ice Cream
  • Bendable items
  • Musical instruments
  • Electronic items
  • Mirrors
  • Artwork & Antiques
  • Glassware
  • Lampshade
  • Ceramic items

Tips to pack fragile goods

Items that possess the risk of breaking during shipments can be classified as fragile items. Such items will need to have multiple layers of packing services and carrier-specific precautionary measures. In a nutshell, they will require more love and care from you to reach the new country without getting damaged.

Take additional care of your belongings

  • Treat fragile items like a baby who will need extra love and care, despite being resilient.
  • Pack fragile items with packing paper and packing peanuts to prevent damage during transit.

Use good-quality packing supplies

Towels and T-shirts may work for a short-distance move, but for an international move, they won’t be appropriate. Instead, you should use bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or packing paper to wrap fragile items and move them safely to your new destination.

Make sure you use packing tape of good quality and sturdy moving boxes as your precious possessions won’t be safe if the boxes are torn.

Let’s explore how the packing materials you use will keep the items safe and secure during transit:

  • A bubble wrap will help cushion and protect lightweight items. Apply this in multiple layers, focusing on corners and edges to protect fragile items from damage or breakage.
  • People typically use airbags as void-fill material for packing lightweight items. However, you shouldn’t use the same for items that have sharp edges or corners. The too-hot or too-cold temperature will affect the degree of protection that an airbag can provide to your belongings.
  • Crumpled kraft paper is a void-fill material. You can use this for packing medium or lightweight, non-fragile items for moving overseas.
  • You can also use polystyrene packing peanuts as void-fill materials for packing lightweight items. To obtain the best result you will need to excessively fill the moving box with loose fills. You also need to close the flaps, and tightly seal the box. Crumple the paper tightly. Ensure to place a minimum of two inches of paper between the outer box and the content.

Avoid using this packing material for narrow or flat items as they might shift towards the edge or bottom during transit and get damaged. You must use at least two inches of cushioning around such items as packing peanuts will often shift and settle.

Also, you shouldn’t use packing peanuts for electronic items because this can cause static electricity and damage the item. It’s recommended to use anti-static peanuts for packing electronic items.

  • You can also use engineered foam enclosures for packing fragile items. The materials will include polyethylene, polypropylene, co-polymers, or expanded polystyrene. Additionally, you need to pre-customize them according to the item.
  • Another important packing material will be foam-in-bag, which can be sprayed into the moving boxes. It can be even mixed in the packet. They will expand and create a protective cushion around the content of the boxes. This packing supply is available in various densities. So, it’s important to purchase the appropriate one. This is so as to meet the requirements of the item you need to move.
  • Corrugated inserts or liners can be placed inside a package to enhance its strength and performance.

Inspect the item

  • Check whether an item has any delicate parts, for example, a thin handle.
  • Check whether an item is of an odd shape or not.

In both cases, you must take extra precautions while packing the items and prevent them from breaking or getting damaged during transit.

  • Wrap such fragile items with thin layers of bubble wrap. This must be just in the way of a mummy wrapping. Then, tape it tightly.
  • Wrap it with a layer of packing paper. Then, tightly wrap it with another layer of bubble wrap before placing it into a sturdy moving box.

Tip: Avoid applying the packing tape directly on the items, instead you must apply it on the bubble wrap.

Mark the package as fragile

Don’t forget to label the parcel as fragile before handing it over to the shipment company for transporting it to the new country. Also, it will be a good idea to add directions with the help of arrows and help the shipping company understand which side the parcel should while it is being handled or during transit.

Buy shipping insurance

Though this isn’t a mandatory step, purchasing shipping insurance will give you a sense of relief as you may be worried about the way your items will be handled during the shipment. Moving fragile items to another country will be a costly process, so it’s suggested to get shipping insurance and keep yourself prepared for an unfortunate situation.

Having insurance will get the fragile items covered and you will be able to save yourself from a big loss in case of mishap or accident during the transit.

Double-check the necessary information

  • Check the items carefully before handing them over to the overseas shipping company. You need to check that you haven’t missed placing any important information or labels on these items.
  • Check whether you have mentioned the correct name and address on the parcel. Even a slight mistake can put your parcel in the wrong hands and cause unnecessary expenses.
  • Mention the return address on the parcel as well. This will ensure that if the parcel doesn’t reach its destination, it reaches back to you.

A few good examples of shipping fragile items

Tips to ship food items

Adhere to the guidelines of the carrier service you will be using and prevent them from crumbling or turning into mush. You need to ship every item at your own risk, seeking the help of a carrier service like USPS will be worth your time.

Tips to ship musical instruments and plants

  • Place fragile items like plants and musical instruments securely in the package and prevent them from breaking or damage.
  • Fill the vacant spaces around the content with environmentally friendly packing materials like packing peanuts or even packing paper.

By taking the steps above you can ensure that these items will reach safely to the new country and will have lesser chances of shifting from their places.

Tips to ship bendable items

  • Add stickers or stamps of do not bend to both the inner and outer packaging. This applies for bendable items specially like a calendar or any other stationery.
  • Since the items will exhibit a certain level of stiffness, the servicemen will consider them as parcels rather than mail.
  • You will require to show the post office staff that the item isn’t totally solid.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read this guide, you will feel less stressed and can concentrate on other aspects of the move. If you still aren’t confident about packing fragile items efficiently you can hire international sea & air shipping a professional international mover for the same.

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