International shipping made easy.
Buy a shipping trunk!
Moving overseas? Sefco email: [contact us]

Overseas Moving made easy! Sefco Export Guide: Cartons, Boxes, Pallets and Packing Material, pg.2 - SEFCO's guide concerning packing materials, market costs, sources, on-line visual aides for MOVING OVERSEAS and international shipping services. E-mail us today for a rate quotation for your next int'l shipment, or call our main office at SEFCO Tel: 888-268-0565 or Fax: 718-732-2863

A few pointers from SEFCO...

Ouch! my back! Be careful how you lift things. That's why professional movers have Workmans Compensation insurance for their men and women packers.

Remember to be careful
when you pick up your cartons!

"Lift with your legs and not your back",
as they say.

Read more "LCL packing tips"
[click here]

Square is good...

Try to stack your goods
into a neat square shape.

Professional packers connected to van lines such as Allied, tend to do a good and thorough job, but good service also commands a good price for the mover

Packing delicate items with bubble-wrap is a good idea.

Square, neat and tight packing is a good thing. You don't want to have what we in the shipping business call "ugly freight"!

Tape each item securely, using a hand-held packing-tape dispenser.

A fork lift can easily lift this heavy load, when placed onto pallets and strapped together.

Pallets can stand a very heavy load, and are safely stowed into the container using a standard warehouse "pallet jack".

It pays to work with well-connected & experienced professionals. We can help you accomplish the task of safely moving freight overseas. Tap into our network of specialized forwarding partners, carriers, export packers and special service providers located throughout the world.

SEFCO provides you the needed expertise, to get the job done right.

E-mail us today for guidance and support for your next import-export project.


Mr. Peter DeStefano

Sefco Export Management Company, Inc.


Main Tel: 888-268-0565

Fax: 718-732-2863

Navigate our growing array
of online resources by clicking

to get
"from here to there".

We have Export Expertise

Do it yourself-ers:

Purchase all sorts of boxes, and get next day delivery. Tape, cartons, plastic stretch wrap, bubble pack, labels, truck seals, moving boxes, bulky cargo containers.

Access ULINE shipping supply specialists.

...another SEFCO courtesy link.

[click here
to find out]

export packing
tends to use more protection
for furniture, etc.
than when packing
for a local
or domestic move.

Surf our site
for all sorts of useful info.

Export Shipping
Packaging Resources


Buy a shipping case...
Hybrid Cases and trunks
for virtually any use.

Sending a small load? Consider buying a shipping trunk or heat treated wood crate.

Often, in warehouse storage, goods are stacked many levels up. Household Goods are usually stored in large square wooden "lift-vans", measuring an average 196-cubic feet for a standard storage lift-van. Some are larger, others are custom made to order. Visit our gallery to see photo's of commercial freight packed into wooden crates and cases.

    In shipping, as well as storage,
    "square is good".

[more on storage]

Plastic "shrink wrapping" your cartons after being stacked together on a pallet, helps to unitize your freight. This is good when sending LCL-less than container-load shipments. This may not be necessary if using a FCL-full container-load for your own exclusive-use.

Click here to learn more about industrial shrink wrapping and to find providers.

Some shipments of fragile household goods are loaded into what are called wooden lift-vans. These large wooden shipping crates often come in standard sizes of approx. 200-cubic feet outside volume, holding about 175 cu.ft. net volume within. Using lift-vans may not be necessary if planning to ship household goods within your own exclusive-use steel ocean container, or if the goods are uniform in size so they'll fit nice and neat on a pallet.

Lift-van photos can be found in our Warehouse Gallery section.

Lift-vans tend to increase the overall gross volume of a shipment by approximately 20% over the net uncrated volume. This is commonly called the expansion factor between the net uncrated volume and the gross after-crating volume. Palletized uniform cartons may have an expansion factor of 10-15% depending on how well everything fits together.

Different cargo, coming from and going to various places, call for different "ideal" packing and handling techniques. Knowing the optimal mix of security and economy is a matter of experience. Feel free to speak to us at SEFCO for advice on what is best for your situation.

On matters of an operational nature, eg., "when will the packers be coming to my house", our regional operations managers will report directly to you. A complete list of contact names and phone numbers for our regional operational teams will be on-line shortly. All details specific to your move, are provided in your Sefco quote and via subsequent e-mail communications.

Learn more...
Introduction to Pallets
page 1

Export Packing Techniques
page 3

Read about...
Pallet Lore
page 4

Buy you own Security Seal
for your ocean container.

security seals

Click here
to find moving supplies

Anchor Box Company sells all sorts of Moving Boxes. Referral courtesy of Sefco Export Management Company

We recommend using very sturdy air-cargo containers
such as the type "E" cartons 41-1/4" x 28-1/4" x 24"

Check out the "super box" and other packaging supplies available from Brown Corp:

    Pallet-Sized Bulk Pack Shipping Containers
    • Extra large, extremely sturdy containers
    • Ideal for shipping and storing bulky items
    • 350-lb. corrugated test with double wall, BC flute construction
    • Optional lift-off lid protects contents (must be stapled before use)
    • 48" x 40" x 40" size is scored for 24" multi-depth
    • Ships motor freight
click here for Sefco Export Guide: Box and Ship

Sefco Export Management Company, Inc.

    Cartons and packing material ...are available from: and also from the retail market from such vendors as "Mail Boxes Etc" and "Packaging Plus". Small 1.5-cuft "book" cartons are good for books, heavy & dense items. The medium 4.0-cuft "linen" carton is good for clothes, and fragiles--packed in inkless paper or bubble pack. The larger 6.0-cuft cartons can serve as a "dish-pack" or general catch-all for your various personal effects. Special cartons for "hanging" or flat wardrobes, mattress covers, rolls of corrugated cardboard and "soft pads" for furniture, tapes & tags... all this can add up, cost-wise. Retail cartons vendors aren't necessarily cheap --often charging a couple dollars for a single carton.

    click here for Sefco Export's courtesy link
    to, packing material vendor

    free courtesy link to vendor, ULINE. click here

    Scroll down Anchor Box's
    moving carton price list, to see market prices.

    For example, if you were to pack your china the right way, you'd use a dishpack carton at net cost of $3 per carton, plus "the insides". The heart of the dishpack, are the cell-dividers. You would have three layers of cells, one on top the the next. The three-layer cell dividers would cost another $ 3.30 per set, one per dishpack. Add to that, some inkless newsprint and you then get the realistic cost to pack one dispack worth of fragiles. Plus qualified and available labor.

    For very sensitive furniture, consider using a large wrap-around roll of "super-foam", about 48" wide. This study protection can easily wrap around large wooden armoires and antique dressers. A 50-foot roll costs about $ 115.

    Of course, you get what you pay for. If you have an extremely fragile and valuable antique mirror, it pays to have a custom-built wooden case made to order. Custom made crates and wooden-cases can range from $ 75 min., $ 3.50/cuft and up. A cost of $ 5.00/cu.ft. is not unusual for marble/art cases. And top quality artist-exhibition cases with padded felt interiors with a customs-made contruction which would make them safely re-usable for multiple exhibitions, can easily cost well over $ 60 per cubic foot. This would be for one of a kind Pieta-style shipments. For rates and further information about our Export Packing Operations, including custom made wood crates and cases for artwork and exhibition items, please click here.

    Good clean material and workmanship means good news for the mover--you.

    - Moving tips from -

    Eastern Seaboard Packaging referral, courtesy of Sefco-Export Management Company
    Eastern Seaboard Packaging

    More packing resources:
    Looking to buy packing material?
    If you are packing the goods yourself, buy direct.
    Consider calling 1-800-645-1232 Global Equipment Co.
    They sell package-quantities of small to large shipping boxes from 33 cents to $ 6.95 each, in lots of 50, 25, 10 and 5 at a time. 30-diffrent sizes, from 8" x 6" x 4", to 36" x 36" x 36" Also: rolls of bubble cushioning, 48" wide by 90-feet with 1/2-inch bubble thickness at $ 36.95 per roll. Hand-held packaging tape dispensers from $ 4.25 each. 3M carton sealing tape as low as 65 cents per roll, sold in cartons of 36. Global has nationwide distribution centers.

    Plan ahead.
    Receive your own free copy of
    Consolidated Plastics Shipping Supplies catalog.
    Order bags, boxes, cartons, plastic wrap, tape -- at market competitive prices.
    If you "do-it-yourself", you can keep your bottom-line under control.

    Referrals courtesy of

    Professional export packers & movers
    tend to include the cost of all materials in their prices. We can give you a good idea of market prices if interested.

    Complete "Origin Service" combines the cost for all these things, up to delivey to the air- or sea-port. Sample rates are on-line.

    If instead you decide to hire a couple local movers for labor, realize that most will charge by the hour to help you. Its not unusual to see rate of $20 - $25 per man per hour at "x" number of hours, plus one hour "traditional" travel time. In addition to this, make sure you budget accordingly for the materials you may actually need. Sefco's packers include both van-line operators as well as privately owned "niche" export-packing operations.

    FYI, many van-line movers are simply privately-owned companies that have affiliated themselves with one franchise or another. The affiliation helps with common advertising, branding, finding agents for delivery in far off destinations, and sales. Sometimes it means that you are paying more for national advertising.

    On the other hand, you may also be paying for highly-qualified and experienced manpower (if that's what you need) --people who get the job done right, and go home every week to a stable home/community. Packers can often belong to beneficial unions, and live, work, raise families and vote right in your same area. Of course, "occasional labor" may be cheaper. With moving as well as a lot of other things in life, "you get what you pay for".

    For LCL-less than container-load shipments, when its all ready-to-go, bring your pre-packed goods to the nearest SEFCO-Export designated warehouse for on-shipment.

    LCL-less than container-load receiving warehouses are located all across the United States. There are major hub CFS-container freight station warehouses aross the US, in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. The "LCL-consolidation" ocean containers are loaded at these points. They are are fed by a smaller sub-regional receiving terminals. Goods are trucked by what is called "on-carriage", euphemistically from the smaller stream into the major river, and on to the ocean from there.

    FCL-Full Container Loads:
    If you decide to go for an "exclusive-use" 20-foot or 40-foot container all your own, we can bring the ocean shipping container right to your door anywhere in the US for you to load everything into directly, filling it up to its fullest capacity.

    Our Containership Gallery has photos of actual ocean containers, with dimensions shown. The driver will either wait at your door for the normal free "live-load" waiting time of @ 2-hrs (depending on location), or we can arrange a "drop and pick" --a situation where the container is left there at your door, parked on its chassis. A couple days later, when you say its ready-to-go, off it goes.

    If putting an auto inside the container, special procedures are needed for secure-loading as well as documentation for US Customs export clearance. Most shipping rates are based on the commodity being shipped. For moving, this class is often designated: used household goods and personal effects, not-for-resale, possibly including an automobile and/or titled goods. Don't even think of sending hazardous cargo if not properly identified and prepared. Freight rates for hazardous-class cargo are much higher than "HHG" rates. Sometimes, "commercial cargo" may have a slightly lower rate than "HHG". Always refer to your Sefco quote for specifics.

    For more helpful hints continue surfing Sefco's ever-growing website.

    If you'd like some free advice just send us a message...

    ...for guidance on how to properly pack something for export.

    Sending cartons on a skid is better than sending as many loose items. This makes warehouse operations less labor intensive. Forklifts move pallets in half the time it takes to manually load and unload cartons.

    The warehouse pallet-jack lifts and moves full pallet-loads quickly and safely on & off trucks and in and out of ocean containers.

    Receiving and shipping warehouses have loading docks which are level to the height of the back of the container or truck being loaded or unloaded. These sections within the warehouse are staging areas where freight is meant to rapidly move in and out. They are often referred to as "bays".


    If freight is not meant to move promptly, the goods may need to be handled into special storage areas away from the active bays, to await release or further instructions.

    If goods are meant to be stored in a warehouse rather than shipped right out, there can often be extra charges to cover a) handling into storage, b) the storage time itself beyond the normal free-time allowed, and c) handling out from storage. For most shipments meant to go out on the next available container or ship, this will not be an issue.

    Household goods storage is different from commercial cargo storage. With HHG storage, proper handling means that the mover/warehouse foreman has to match up a numbered item from a pre-made packing list and check each one off the list as it is loaded into a storage liftvan. Such re-inventory "handling in" and "handling out" involves an added cost that is not normally borne by large, square, uniform units of commercial cargo. In those cases, they would just sign for the entire lot.

    See our origin service page for an indication of average costs involved.

    Visit Sefco's sitemap

    Go to TOP
    of this page

    Email or call us to
    book your overseas move.

    Tel: 888-268-0565

[Home] | [Rate Inquiries] | [Important Advice] | [About Moving] | [Photo Gallery] | [Regions] | [Auto Exports] | [Business] | [Government] | [Expat] | [Culture] | [Rate Inquiry] | [Cube Estimator] | [Learn about Volume] | [vehicle Export Inquiry]

Have a question or comment about SEFCO or the SEFCO website?
Visit our general inquiry page to advise us of your thoughts.

v.12/2008 ©J.Quinn/