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Packing Tips

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Relocating overseas is complex and tough, especially when it comes to packing. Most people prefer to pack their belongings on their own, so you will need to plan and pack carefully for an overseas move of months or even years in advance.

Packing on your own for an overseas move could be a daunting task but at the same time, it can be liberating. Make sure you give yourself lots of time, at least 6-8 weeks before your international move date. Planning carefully and packing will save you time and money.

We recommend you to buy good quality packaging material for your overseas move from a local packing supply store or if you prefer we can also supply you all the required packaging material at a very competitive price.

Be sure to keep some of your items out of the boxes and with you. Your possessions probably won’t get to your destination as quickly as you do, so there will necessarily be a time when you can’t access your things. This can be as long as several months for an international move, it’s critical because of the distance and complexity involved.

Ensure that you pack enough toiletries and medicines to last you for a few months as you wouldn’t want to be without the essentials as it can take a while to find replacements overseas.

Personal electronics devices like laptop computers, tablets and smartphones are often more expensive overseas and should also be packed, do some research on the internet before moving overseas to see how much they will cost, and take currency differences into the account.

Decide what will move with you and what will stay behind. There may be items that you don’t need them anymore or that aren’t worth moving or perhaps your move is temporary. It is advisable to decide beforehand what stays and what goes.

Besides, your packing will be expected to meet specific standards. This means complying with the principles of good packing as outlined here, as well as following the suggestions relative to items that should not be included in the shipment.

  • Wrapping items carefully 
  • Using sturdy cartons that close completely 
  • Making sure of a firm pack that will not rattle, bulge outward or bend inward 
  • Providing plenty of cushioning to absorb shock 
  • Limiting cartons, when possible, to a maximum weight of 50 pounds to make handling easier.

Prohibited Items: 

  • Narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances. 
  • Pornographic Material 
  • Counterfeit and pirated goods and good infringing any of the legally enforceable intellectual property rights.
  • Antiquities, Ivory, Skin of animals

Restricted Items (DO NOT SHIP): 

  • Firearms and ammunition, 
  • Live birds and animals including pets, 
  • Plants and their produce e.g. fruits, seeds, 
  • Endangered species of plants and animals, whether alive or dead, 
  • Any goods for commercial purpose: for profit, gain or commercial usage, 
  • Radio transmitters not approved for normal usage, 
  • Gold and Silver, other than ornaments (For import only), 
  • Currency above prescribed limits.
  • Foreign currency above US $5,000 in the form of currency notes or equivalent and/or foreign exchange including currency of more than US $10,000 or equivalent, you are required to make the declaration on arrival.
  • Combustible Liquids, Corrosive Liquids, Rubbing Alcohol Acids, Antifreeze compounds Bleach, Explosives, •Flammables, primers Adhesives (glue, cement), Fireworks Aerosol cans, Ammunition Cleaning fluids, Dynamite or any type of explosive Gasoline/Diesel Fuel, Hand signal flares, Gases, Compressed, Engine starting fluids Kerosene, Gases used in welding Lighter fluids, Scuba Diving tanks (unpurged) Matches, •Propane tanks (unpurged) Paint removers or thinners, Stain, lacquer, varnish, Valuables,    

While you’re packing boxes, make sure you label the top and sides of boxes as you go with a list of contents or location of contents in your house and if there are any special instructions, such as “Fragile”. Also, make an inventory list for each box in case of lost or broken items. 
Ensure that you are not packing boxes too heavy as they can break open or too light as they can crush as they are loaded into the truck. Use small boxes for heavier items and large boxes for lighter items. 

Some general-purpose boxes/cartons available through us are:

  • 1.5 cu. ft. cartons (Small/Book carton) – recommended for books, records, tools, DVD’s, CD’s
  • 3.0 cu. ft. carton (Medium carton) – recommended for small kitchen appliances, lamp bases, shoes, pots and pans
  • 4.5 cu. ft. carton (Large carton) – recommended for clothes, lampshades, linens, toys
  • 6.0 cu. ft. carton (Large carton) – recommended for stuffed toys, blankets, pillows
  • Dish pack (Barrel or Dish Barrel) – recommended for heavy and fragile items like breakable kitchenware, china and crystal because of its extra-strength, double wall. 
  • Wardrobe Cartons – recommended for shipping hanging clothes. 
  • Mirror Carton – these cartons come in various sizes as mattress cartons. Recommended use for shipping items such as pictures, mirrors or small glass tabletops.
  • Mattress Carton – carton for mattresses comes in different bed sizes. Standard sizes are a crib, twin, queen and king. 
  • Clothing – we recommend the use of wardrobe cartons to hang all your clothes. If wardrobes cartons are not used, each garment should be removed from the hanger, folded and placed in a carton lined with clean paper. Some lightweight garments may be left in drawers. 
  • Books – books are heavy and the right way to pack them is by using small sturdy cartons. Pack on edge, alternating bound edge to open edge. 
  • Appliances – all appliances must be dry before shipping them overseas. Talk to one of our representatives for more info about it.
  • Silverware – pack all silverware pieces individually using clean tissue paper.
  • China & Glassware – place plenty of cushioning material in the bottom of the carton. Wrap and pack each piece of plates and dishes individually using single sheets of paper/newsprint and bubble wrap. Place them vertically in dish pack carton. Wrap and pack smaller plates and bowls in a similar way. Leave no unfilled spaces.

Loss and Damage Protection – be sure to discuss valuation coverage of your cargo with us. In the event of lost, missing or damaged item, you’ll want to be sure that you have adequate coverage to repair or replace the item.

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