Unbeatable Shrink-Fast Packing – The Ultimate COVID Safe Way to Ship Your Goods Overseas

The science behind our COVID Safe packing systems

We have looked at recent studies by The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine and widely reported in the New York Times, The BBC and Healthline.

These studies looked at how long COVID-19 can survive on the surfaces of common items found in your home. They have found that it is possible the virus can survive up to 7 days on stainless steel and plastic goods and up to 4 days on glass and paper packaging.

These items are prevalent in each and every house move and whilst it is certain that the virus will not survive inside a steel container whilst on a container ship, it is important to reduce the chances of reinfection once your household goods have arrived at their destination point.

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 be mixed in with other clients household goods.

The problem with this way of shipping your personal effects means that on arrival your items will need to be manhandled out of the container and separated from those other customers’ goods.

Once your goods have cleared overseas customs they will then require further man handling by the warehouse crew to the loading bay awaiting the redelivery vehicle. Your personal effects will then require loading in to the delivery vehicle by other members of the warehouse staff.

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

That’s a lot of folks touching your stuff, all within a few days of delivering to your home!

There is a safer way with 1st Move

(And we have been doing it this way for over 20 years)

Our unique shrink-fast packing processes are designed to eliminate the amount of manhandling both in the UK and at your destination point. They are the ultimate COVID safe moving systems designed to ensure your goods arrive safely, and untouched by third parties until they reach your door. Cut open the bag, our delivery guys will use fresh gloves or you can do it yourself. No need for time consuming disinfecting, wiping or isolating your goods until you are confident you can safely put them into your home.

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.

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!

    Next, items are efficiently arranged onto your pallet and wrapped in clear stretch-wrap film.

    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.

  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. The pallet is then covered in our shrink-wrap film and heat treated for a tight fit.

    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!

  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. Close up of 1st Move security seal.

    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!

  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.

Your Pallets Packed - Live

We are the only international removals company in the UK who use this revolutionary shipping method for the transportation of personal effects and household goods, and once we have packed your shipment we post a picture of every move to our Facebook page. Neat!