Why Self Packing a Shipping Container is a Cost Effective Move
Using a shipping container to get your goods from A-B is a much cheaper option than asking a removals company or contractor to shift them for you.
Self packing a shipping container can save you thousands of dollars, and if you’re moving interstate or overseas, that’s a significant reduction when it comes to moving house. The main costs you save in self-packing a shipping container are in man-hours as it can take a half day in man-hours to load up a 20ft shipping container. Broken down into its components this means you will save on:
- Dismantling and rebuilding furniture
- Packing boxes with things like books and kitchen items
- Physically loading the container
Tips for packing when moving house
However, even though you’re saving money by self packing, you need to consider the best way to load the container so your goods don’t get damaged in transit. Here are a few pointers:
- Label all boxes with the contents and room they’re from/going to
- Number them clearly on the outside
- Create a manifest and check the numbers and descriptions match
- Ensure that fragile items are surrounded by heavy items so they are protected
- Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap to minimise chance of damage
- Pack the shipping container tightly from end to end and top to bottom so the goods don’t shift in transit
- Where there are gaps, fill these with lighter/softer items to prevent cargo shifting
- Wrap wooden furniture in blankets
- Try to spread the weight evenly.
How big a container do I need?
As a general rule, an average 3 to 4 bedroom house will fill a 20 ft shipping container. Another factor to remember is the overall weight of the payload. We have a table on our website that shows the different payload maximums for a container.
Never pack these things!
There are certain items you should never pack in a shipping container. These include:
- Jewellery or small, high value items like PCs and laptops
- Spray cans
- Perishable food items
- Flammable or hazardous substances
- Plants or seeds – these are likely to die and will cause problems at customs
- Important documents – family records, passports, financial records etc.
- Guns or weapons.
Shifting other goods and cargo
Here at Gateway we don’t only hire out our shipping containers to people and families moving house. Entrepreneurs and businesses often come to us for one-off container hire or purchase too for office moves and many of the same rules apply to removals as they do a home move.
Cars and other vehicles are often shifted interstate or abroad using containers as a cheaper alternative to other means. In these cases, you should drain the fuel from its tank and disconnect the battery before pushing the vehicle into the shipping container. If for export, make sure the VIN number is accessible from the front doors of the container.
When it comes to shifting containers of goods, self-packing can be cheaper than for instance using a third party logistics (3PL) company. In many cases such efforts can be done by loading pallets into the container using a forklift. If you are packing manually, pack the heavier boxes or goods at the bottom, and as with removals try to pack the shipping container as tightly as possible.
Buy or hire Gateway containers for your move
With these factors in mind, you should save yourself a wad of cash in self packing a shipping container. All you really need now is the fitness and stamina to load all your worldly goods in there. Contact us today to discuss your shipping container needs!