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How to protect your wood furniture for overseas transportation

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Okay, let's talk wood. One of the biggest issues when it comes to this is how to protect your wood furniture from damage. Especially if it has to be transported overseas. Let's face it, wooden furniture will never go out of style and that is why you need to take good care of it.

Firstly, one of the most economical ways of transportations is ocean freight shipping. Additionally, it is the best option for shipping overseas. On the other hand, airfreight is an extremely costly alternative, especially when it comes to high-volume shipments like furniture. That is why you first need to decide how you are going to ship. Afterward, we can talk about protecting your furniture.

LCL or FCL shipping

Before doing anything, you need to decide the way of shipping. There are basically two options:

  • Less than Container Load (LCL) shipping
  • Full Container Load (FCL) shipping

​To make it easier for you, we will give you some short and easy guidelines. So, it all boils down to the volume of your furniture. If it is relatively low (between 2m3 and 13m3), choose LCL shipping for sea cargo. If the volume is above 14m3 opt for FCL. The same goes for bulky items such as sofas, matrasses, or plushy items which take more than 10 pallets to load or can't be loaded on them. That is why you are going to need an affordable and dependable solution. This is the only way to be sure that your wood furniture is going to be safe and whole upon arrival.

Preparation materials

Of course, preparation materials matter and we generally recommend that you hire professionals to do the packing. But, if you like doing it yourself, here are the tools and materials that you are going to need:

  • Corrugated cardboard, cardboard boxes, and plywood sheets
  • ZipLock bags
  • Padding/cushioning material and foam wrap
  • Ziplock bags
  • Tape and stretch foil
  • Bands/straps and pallets

Protect your wood furniture during overseas transportation.

Optionally, if you are shipping via LCL, there is a good chance you will have great use for shrinkwrapping. This way, you will ensure that the packed items are as airtight as possible. Also, this protects your furniture from dust stains, moisture, and other forms of damages.

Right packing to protect your wood furniture for an overseas transport

When the furniture packing is done right, it will drive down the cost. "How much will this cost me?" is one of the essential questions you should ask your furniture movers. Therefore, you should consider lowering the volume of the shipment so that the answer doesn't shock you. Besides that, you want to protect your wood furniture, right? There are three simple things you can do while packing that will ensure the safety of your precious belongings:

  1. Dismantle everything and wrap it individually
  2. Cover sharp corners, seal, and label
  3. Number the boxes and stack them on pallets

Dismantling and individual wrapping is a great way to protect your wood furniture

Regardless of the type of furniture, we are talking about, you should dismantle everything that can be taken apart. Aim to take it down to its smallest units. That includes all screws and knobs as well. Besides, they can be stored separately in ZipLock bags, so why bulk up the size and risk damages?

Now, once you finish dismantling everything, try and wrap each part individually. This way you will make sure that everything is protected and safe for shipping. Furthermore, it will save a lot of space. Also, if you are unsure, it's always better to call professionals, like the people at Four Winds Saudi Arabia to help you out. They will give you great advice and guide you in the right way! This goes especially for filling any empty spaces to be as space-efficient as possible.

Increased protection with covering sharp corners, sealing, and labeling

Foam and bubble wrap are your go-to when it comes to protection. Aside from these, any kind of protective material is great. The focus here should be covering all sharp edges. The reason being that any sudden movement or changes (which are not uncommon when talking about ocean freight) can scratch, damage, and otherwise destroy your furniture. You don't want to end up with a dent in your furniture.

Labelling is also important when you want to protect your wood furniture.

After you secured all sharp corners, it's time for sealing and labeling. Sealing is best done by using adhesive tape. Do this several times on each split of the box. Additionally, you can use stretch foil to wrap the entire box several times to ensure extra tightness. After everything is sealed and ready, start labeling your boxes accordingly. Don't forget to write the shipper's and consignee's names and information. Also, if needed, label the boxes with handling instructions.

The final step to protect your wood furniture - box-numbering and pallet stacking

Numbering your boxes is very important since it indicates the sequential order regarding the total number of boxes that hold your furniture. If you are shipping overseas, this helps your movers to get organized and know what number range holds which goods. Additionally, this makes it easier to notice a missing box, in case this happens.

Once you have done all of the things above mentioned, it's time for loading. Begin by stacking your boxes onto pallets. Make sure to distribute the weight evenly and look for any overhangs. When you finish, use straps to secure the boxes and add an extra layer of protection. This is especially helpful if you can't put the furniture in your home right away and you are in the process of finding a storage solution for it.

Additional tips to protect your wood furniture while shipping

If you followed this guide so far, you will most likely have no problems when packing to protect your wood furniture. But, there are some additional tips you should utilize to maximize the results.

First of all, take photos. No, not for social media, but your sanity's sake. After you packed, sealed, and numbered everything, be sure to take photos of your boxes with their numbers visible. This might come in handy if the circumstances around insurance claims require some kind of proof.

Secondly, try to stack boxes to a maximum height of 70 inches. This is optimal for the equal distribution of weight and height and will prevent the boxes from falling over during handling. Additionally, this will comfortably fit within the limitations of the shipping container.

Fragile items need extra attention.

Remember the taking photos part? Well, it ties in with the next tip, which is to buy insurance. Insurance is great, especially if you are moving overseas. It will cover damages that may arise during the ocean freight journey.

. If you are relocating, it may be tempting to bring everything along with you. Regardless of the reasons for this temptation, it might be a better option to leave some low-value furniture behind. Especially if it's bulky and not that hard to replace. That way you will be able to save some money on the shipping costs.

Last but not least, inspect your shipment upon arrival. Once the furniture has been delivered, make sure that everything is intact and in pre-shipping condition. Note down any damages and take photos of them to compare with the previous ones.

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