A man in a forklift loading a 1st Move International pallet on to a container transport vehicle for shipping overseas

Safer Packing

The Best Protection For Your Overseas Move

Discover unbeatable packing, designed to protect what matters most.

Learn about the benefits of our unique shrink-fast packing procedures and exactly how it's done below.

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How Does it Work?

The Problem With Conventional Shipping

The conventional way of shipping goods overseas, used by almost all international moving companies, is to simply wrap, pack and load loose items into a single shipping container.

That container will be shared by many other customers and your mover will have to carefully load the container to ensure stability in transit. That means your goods will likely be mixed in with other clients household goods and all individually packed items will have to be handled separately during the loading process.

On arrival, your items will again need to be manhandled out of the container and sorted and separated from those other customers’ goods.

Once your goods have cleared customs, further handling is required by warehouse crews to move your belongings to the loading bay where they await delivery to you.

On arrival at your home the delivery drivers will then have to handle your goods again in order to offload from the delivery truck.

That’s a lot of folks touching your stuff, meaning increased chances of breakages and mix-ups.

There's a Safer Way With 1st Move
(And We've Been Doing it For Over 25 Years!)

Our unique shrink-fast packing method is designed to eliminate handling of your individual items, both in the UK and at your destination point. It is the ultimate safe moving system designed to ensure your goods arrive safely and untouched by third parties until they reach your door.

After Before

We are the only removals company who employ this system of packing. Our packing systems have been rigorously vetted, audited and approved by our insurance company and provide, without a doubt, the safest way to transport household goods and personal effects overseas. Our insurers love us and our packing methods ensure we have the lowest insurance claims records of any international removals company in the UK.

Intelligent Shipping for a Faster, Safer, Smarter move from 1st Move International.

Read on to see exactly how it's done, step by step.

Our Packing Process - Step By Step

  1. Goods and furniture securely packed in boxes and wrapped in cardboard.

    Firstly, we pack individual items into cartons, crates or boxes. Furniture and larger items are paper and bubble wrapped for extra protection.

    To reduce shipping costs, we utilise all empty spaces where possible - inside drawers, between the legs of chairs and by packing soft furnishings such as bedding inside white goods. Space costs money!

    Our packers are experts at filling up those empty spaces to ensure maximum cost savings for your move.

    This process makes for a fantastic, tight, safe and secure package so your household goods are not rattling around inside a shipping container on their journey overseas. Simply a great way to ship your stuff.

    Next, items are efficiently arranged onto your pallet and wrapped in clear stretch-wrap film.
  2. Items are then wrapped in an extra layer of cardboard and bubble wrap.

    Once packed and arranged tightly onto your pallet, your shipment is then wrapped with a clear stretch-wrap film to bind all items tightly together to minimise movement in transit.

    A further layer of double walled cardboard sheet, and 2 layers of export standard bubble wrap are added to help protect your goods from accidental knocks or bumps – and that’s just the start!

  3. Now for the good bit. We use a 125-micron polymer plastic film (shrink-wrap) to encase your shipment. This heavy-duty plastic bag is designed to shrink to a tight fit when heat treated. Strong, durable, weather and waterproof. It comes off our rollers like a large open ended bag.

    We seal one end of this bag and cover your pallet to form a safe, secure, strong and weatherproof shroud. This is then carefully heat treated to shrink fast and bind the whole pallet tightly together. Magnificent!

    The pallet is then covered in our shrink-wrap film and heat treated for a tight fit.
  4. We’re not finished yet. Polypropylene strapping is then used to further secure the pallet. With a breaking strain of 160kg, this tough export strapping is fed under the wooden pallet and over the top of your shipment (four times on a smaller pallet - six times on larger pallets).

    These straps are then joined and sealed together with a metal seal. The crimped seal closure provides a tight grip on the strapping for extra security in transit. Now there is no side to side movement whilst your goods are inside our shipping container. What a great idea!

    Finished pallet, packed, wrapped, strapped and sealed.
  5. Your pallet is then labelled and security sealed with a unique 1st Move ID Number. The security seal shown is B101065. Each seal has a different tracking code unique to your shipment.

    This number is recorded on all shipping documentation and provides a detailed paper trail in the unlikely event that the pallets have been tampered with. That doesn’t happen on our watch!

    The seal is a visual reminder to others that we can track the security of your pallet throughout transit. From our UK warehouse right up to your front door, your goods are being logged and checked every step of the way. Nobody messes with a 1st Move Pallet!

    Close up of 1st Move security seal.
  6. Finally, we precisely measure your pallet. Length, width and height are measured exactly to the nearest centimetre. This gives us your chargeable volume and our world-famous price guarantee, so that you know you’ll be charged for the EXACT size of your house move. No nasty surprises when you get your final bill.

    These measurements are clearly recorded on your pallets and are subject to additional checks by the shipping line and port authorities. You can also check the sizes when the goods arrive at your front door.

  7. We photograph every pallet and post it to our Facebook page so you can see the finished, expertly packed shipment before it sets sail overseas.

For larger moves that require full containers we pack a little differently. To see for yourself how we do it, check out the loading video on our container shipping page.

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A large container shipping vessel on the ocean carrying goods for international removals

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What Customers Say About Our Unbeatable Packing


London to Kentucky, USA

Honestly, I was amazed at the packing. The wooden furniture was covered in cardboard to prevent scratches. The mattress was wrapped in plastic. The entire pallet was wrapped in plastic, bubble wrap, cardboard, and shrink wrap. I seriously think it could have hit the water and not gotten the contents wet! TOTALLY PLEASED.

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Warrington to Alberta, Canada

These guys are the best, superb service and amazing packing skills, everything arrived safely and not a scratch or broken glass in sight.

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Wooler to Auckland, New Zealand

Great service, amazing packing of my things onto the pallet, smooth pick-up of items in the UK, and my items have arrived in great condition to New Zealand. I wholeheartedly recommend 1st Move International for shipping items overseas!

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London to New York, USA

Really great, friendly and professional service; helped us at every step and made sure the entire process is clear, not to mention the amazing packing skills!

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A man in a forklift loading a 1st Move International pallet on to a container transport vehicle for shipping overseas
135,000+ Happy Customers
9,240,000+ Cubic Feet Shipped
25+ Years' Experience

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Useful Information & Resources

Faster Shipping

Learn about how we can provide faster, weekly shipping from the UK.

Container Tracking

Use our container tracking service to track the progress of your shipment.

Smarter Pricing

Discover the 1st Move Price Guarantee and learn about how we offer smarter pricing thanks to the unique way in which we pack.

International Removals Costs

Find out how much international removals from the UK costs and use our instant online cost calculator.

Your Pallets Packed - Posted Live on Facebook

Your life, carefully wrapped, beautifully packed, and protected for the journey ahead.

We are extremely proud of our unique packing process. We are the only international removals company in the UK that uses this tried and tested method to ship your treasured personal possessions overseas.

Visit our Facebook page to find a snapshot of each shipment captured as the final pallet is wrapped.