Make shipping large items a walk in the park

We all know the feeling. You’ve bought a gift for a loved one, or you need to return an item to a vendor, and you just can’t find a cardboard box big enough to fit it in. Cue hours of searching, then difficulty finding packaging materials stable enough to prevent damage to the item and a shipping company with the skills to transport it. 

Now imagine that scenario again, but you’re shipping an entire laboratory, warehouse, or factory full of oversized items. Difficult, right? It doesn’t have to be. With support from an expert crating company, you can reliably ship large packages, reassured that they’ll arrive at their destination intact. Let’s explore how.

How to pack oversized items

The standard cardboard boxes won’t cut when you’re shipping large items. Not only do they not provide adequate space for large objects, but if your object is heavy-duty, it will simply fall through the bottom of the cardboard.

The solution is wooden crates. Wooden crates are made from the highest-quality timber to ship oversized, odd-shaped, valuable, or breakable items to their destination.

If you work with a crating company, you can order custom crates built to fit the dimensions of your particular items. Once you’ve selected your custom crate, there are a few more things to consider before organizing the shipment of your item. 

Packing materials for shipping large objects

The most common categories of oversized items are electronic goods, laboratory equipment, and machinery. Not only are these items oversized, but they’re also cumbersome, heavy, and often odd-shaped. Therefore, part of shipping oversized items is establishing which packing materials will best protect your package during transport.

If your items are substantial, they’ll need more than standard bubble wrap to be protected. You’ll need packing materials proven to keep your item safe and absorb shocks. But most of all, in the case of electronics, you’ll need to prevent moisture from damaging your equipment.

Foil bag and vapor barrier products

When shipping moisture-sensitive items, you can rely on foil bags and vapor barrier products to keep them in perfect condition. They are used on cargo shipped via air or ocean transportation to protect from any moisture or water damage. While these products aren’t necessary for all oversized items, they can prevent damage to things such as electrical equipment and machinery, which are prone to breakage when exposed to moisture.


Meanwhile, foam packing material protects the most high-value and delicate items, such as paintings, sculptures, fragile antiques, and high-end equipment and machinery. Foam works by cushioning the items inside the wooden crate. It’s also a shock absorber. It also fills the space around the objects to stop them from breaking during the journey due to content shifting.

Custom pallets and skids for oversize items

There are currently five billion pallets in use worldwide, and there’s good reason for their popularity. When you’re shipping bulky, oversized goods, they’re not always the easiest things to maneuver. But, with the help of a specially tailored pallet or skid, you can ship a broader range of products while reducing the need for manual handling.

Sometimes, a full-blown wooden crate isn’t necessary, but you need a strong base to carry the weight of your large, heavy goods while in transit. Pallets and skids are easily transportable, inexpensive, and stackable, enabling you to transport multiple items simultaneously.

On-site crating makes shipping large items easier

If you’re working with a crating company to ship your items, you might be concerned about how to get the item to the crating company in the first place. With some crating companies, including ourselves here at South Shore Crate & Pack, you can have your items crated at your premises. On-site crating removes the risk of transporting huge items from one place to another without protection.

Ocean container loading

If you’re sending items by sea, there’s a good chance they’ll be shipped using an ocean container – especially if they’re oversized. Crates shipped in an ocean container must be adequately blocked, braced, and loaded to ensure their safe passage. With this in mind, opt for a crating company with experience loading ocean containers properly. 

How to ship large items

Once you’ve crated your items, you’ll have to organize their transportation to their destination. While shipping costs can sometimes be expensive for more oversized items, a crating company can liaise with shipping partners to get you the best deals.

There are a few other things to consider, depending on where and how you’re shipping your items. If you’re shipping overseas, check whether what you are sending is a legal import in its destination country.

Warehousing for oversize objects

If you’re shipping a significantly large product, there’s a good chance you won’t have room in your home or office premises to store the product while you wait for it to be packed and shipped. Safely storing your cargo while it awaits shipment saves you space and gives you peace of mind that your load is safe and secure. That’s where a warehousing service comes in.

Crating companies that offer warehousing allow you to store your crate on their premises before it’s shipped. At South Shore Crate and Pack, we run a facility accommodating long-term, short-term, and cross-dock warehousing. The best part? Our warehouse is under 24/7 surveillance, so you can rest assured that your items are safe under our roof.

Courier service

When shipping via courier, you have a few options. Traditional courier services are the best-known and, arguably, most reliable for shipping packages by air or sea. Moving companies (like the type you’d use to move house), on the other hand, are a good option for items being transferred over a short distance.

Suppose you’re moving multiple large items at once. In that case, moving companies might be your best option. Moving companies know how to transport large objects and are more environmentally friendly than sending your shipment by air. However, their availability might not be as good as traditional couriers, so it’s worth double-checking, especially if you require next- or same-day delivery.

Pallets and crates from the factory are loaded onto a multi-level mac truck bed for relocation
Loading a specially designed truck with large equipment.

Top tips when shipping large packages

Separate items where possible

Often, shipping large packages all in one is non-negotiable, but where possible, try to separate your items into a few smaller containers to save money on shipping costs. Of course, you’ll likely still require wooden crates to keep your items intact, but you can pay less on shipping fees by using smaller, lighter custom crates.

Distribute weight evenly

One of the best ways to minimize damage risk to your package is to distribute its weight evenly. If there are multiple large items in the box, put the heaviest at the bottom and balance the weight to avoid the box tilting when being lifted. The easiest way to keep the items as centered as possible within the crate is by using insulation (such as foam) to fill the gaps around the objects.

Use labels

While wooden crates are excellent at maintaining the integrity of your items, using labels such as “handle with care,” “fragile,” or “this way up” will alert the carriers on how best to transport them. It’s also worth highlighting the weight of the package using a sticker. This will notify your courier to take precautions when moving your item to minimize the risk of manual handling injuries or damage.

Save money by delaying the arrival date

Shipping oversized items can be expensive, so another way to save money is by delaying the arrival date if possible. Instead of opting for next-day delivery, or shipping your items by plane, choose a later arrival date or choose transportation by sea if you’re shipping abroad. Shipping via ocean instead of air is also more environmentally friendly, so it’s worth doing if that’s feasible.

FAQs about shipping large items

Shipping large items made easy

Here at South Shore Crate & Pack, we have experience working with packages of all shapes and sizes and know exactly how to ship large and oversize items. So, whether you’re relocating laboratory equipment, transporting machinery, or shipping electronic equipment, we have the tools to get your large parcel from A to B perfectly intact. 

We offer a range of services, including on-site crating and warehousing. So whether it’s more convenient for us to crate at your premises or store your package at ours, we’ve got you covered. 

We also offer a range of packing materials, from foam to foil bags and vapor barriers. As a result, your items will remain free from water damage and can be cushioned during their journey from state to state or overseas.

Want to know more about how we can pack and ship your oversized items? Contact us today for more information. 

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