Moving, Shaking ...and Crating?

Moving, Shaking ...and Crating?

Published: Feb 20, 2015

Slate pool tables, grandfather clocks, pianos, paintings, glass tables, antiques, special vases, china sets, ATVs, unusual machinery – the list goes on.  But the true value?  When transferees or assignees have specialty items they want to protect from being damaged, the extra cost might be worth the peace of mind….and increase overall move satisfaction for the relocating families.  

As no two relocations are exactly alike, specialty move item challenges can also be diverse and unique.  When a relocating family’s household goods items are just too massive, fragile or expensive to be moved safely, using a crating expert who is both well trained and experienced is highly recommended during a relocation.  

Here are some examples: 

Modern Front Load Washers

Moving modern, delicate front load washers require manufacturers shipping kits to stabilize the drum for safe transport.  

  • These kits are not generic and every front load washer has a specific stabilization kit depending on the make and model.  
  • Transporting without these stabilization kits could cause serious internal damage to the machine. 
  • The universal air bag type kits are only used when no other option is available as an emergency fix.

Oil Paintings and Other Artwork

Oil paintings, and other artwork that is not placed behind glass may require a crating technique that is different from the crating of items such as glass or marble tabletops.

  • The problem encountered is that the paint used in oil painting may become soft in the transportation of the item. 
  • On a hot day, the interior temperature of a moving truck can exceed 140 degrees.  

Technicians from one of NEI’s Service Partners, MSS Logistics, uses a variety of crating techniques to ensure the surface of the artwork is not adversely impacted by contact.


Airbeds need special attention to prevent serious damage. An increasingly popular item today, problems arise when the soft foam sides and ends are improperly packed, causing permanent indentation and creasing.

  • A better alternative is to leave the mattress structure intact and pack it in standard household goods mattress cartons.
  • This requires disconnecting air pumps, removing supply hoses and sealing bladders—with the original manufacturer supplied caps that are typically missing on pack and load day.

MSS Logistics crews carry these in stock and are prepared for proper service to minimize chance of transit damage.

But Wait, There’s More!

There’s never a shortage of new or tricky items to address today.  Michael Cordaro, Corporate Sales Manager at MSS Logistics says new specialty items come to market on a continual basis. “Current examples of this are the new curved screen and Super HD Picture TVs. These newer TVs are much more expensive than their predecessors. They range from $4,000- $8,000, depending on the size, and are more sensitive than current TVs.”

And solutions don’t end at new technologies.  Taxidermy items -- animal heads, stand-alone antlers, fish and some game bird mounts -- continue to be popular.  Often they are mounted with special fastening systems.  MSS technicians use a variety of mounting and/or strapping techniques to minimize any chance of damage.

An example of this exact situation occurred when an executive transferee had an extensive collection of 80 animals and was concerned as to how it would do in transit.   Understanding its importance and value to the transferee, NEI’s Account Executive reached out to a taxidermist to explore the best way to move the collection and then worked closely with our household goods service partner to hire a crating crew specializing in carpentry for such items. They:

  • built custom crates to transport each piece,
  • brought in scaffolding to remove every mounted animal from the wall,
  • and remounted each piece in the custom crates.

After crating, the crew transported the valuable cargo to climate-controlled storage for one month. The collection sustained no damage throughout the entire process and the transferee was thrilled. He rated NEI’s service at 100% excellent due to the extra care, attention and research provided—even though the transportation for these specialty items was at the transferee’s expense, per company policy.

This success story is just one example of many. NEI calls on service partners like MSS Logistics and their national network of skilled professionals to extend our mission of Service Exceeding Expectations.

“We are constantly training and informing our network regarding new technology and items hitting the marketplace. We accomplish this through our Technician University Portal, our Network Service Bulletins, our Annual Contractors Meetings and field training by our Mgr. of Field Network Development,” says Cordaro.

Policy Perspective

From a policy perspective, each NEI client company is unique in its approach to reimbursing crating costs.

  • Some cover these expenses by approved exception only 
  • Others expect the costs to be paid out of pocket or through one’s miscellaneous expense allowance 
  • Still others choose to clearly state a maximum dollar limit reimbursed within their policy’s “Moving Your Household Goods” section 
  • These caps can range anywhere from $300 to $2,000, depending on company preference and history

NEI always works with each client to develop policy parameters that work for one’s cost objectives and culture.  If the policy does not offer crating as a covered benefit, NEI’s Account Executive could offer to obtain a bid from MSS Logistics for the service and the transferee would set up a C.O.D. payment.