It’s plain sailing for your belongings
April 9, 2018
From port to port, we ensure your household goods make a safe sea crossing every time
Trade by sea is often seen as more 19th than 21st century, but the degree to which we still we depend on oceans would surprise most. 90 percent of the consumer goods you see around you were transported via the sea; and crucially for us at Crown, the ability to move things like Queen-sized beds depends on this infrastructure.
How does modern shipping work?
Ships and ports are the basis of shipping. Ports are built by developers and then managed by “port operators.” These operators then lease use of the port and manage it on a day-to-day basis.
Shipping companies, on the other hand, compete to win business from those looking to charter their services. This can be anyone from a relocations business like ourselves moving household goods, to an energy firm moving liquid gas.
Container shipping was a revolution for relocation businesses like ours. Those metal boxes are why we can move belongings around the world safely and efficiently. Our international network of warehouses and vehicles, together with our shipping partners creates a seamless moving process.
Keeping your belongings safe while at sea
Let’s suppose you use Crown to move a significant amount of furniture in your three-bedroom Connecticut home to Sydney. The first inland phase of that journey would be handled by us: one of our moving teams would arrive to digitally itemize your belongings at home, before packing them and loading them onto a truck. You’d have your own digital inventory, to ensure everything was accounted for from this point onwards.
Large belongings like furniture that can’t be easily placed into a box are “over-carded.” This is a bespoke packing process that uses a mix of cardboard, paper and foam so that these more vulnerable items have an extra layer of protection. This is especially important in the case of something like a polished coffee table.
This truck then takes your belongings either to a port, or to one of our warehouses (likely near New York City in this case) to await the arrival of a ship. A container will have been rented within this ship for the purposes of moving your goods.
A single ship crossing the Pacific (or Atlantic) can tilt up to 40 degrees port or starboard, or 30 degrees aft or stern tens of thousands of times, especially on such a long journey as from the U.S. to Australia. As a result, our safety procedures for packing within a container need to be second to none.
Firstly, we tightly pack your belongings within the container, while also making sure none of these items are placed under any stress. We then use the space that is left over to “stuff” your container with a special foam-like material, ensuring the safety of your belongings. This means that the risk from a ship’s natural tilt is minimized.
We’ll also monitor things like humidity both at your origin and destination. If necessary, we’ll pack the container with items called “dry poles.” These large packs of silica gel keep your container protected from damp and other changes to climate and temperature, a requirement for destinations like Australia.
The ship’s captain will maintain communication with its shipping company en route; updating them of any changes to course or potential delays. This information is then fed back to Crown, allowing us to update the customer in-turn.
Once the ship eventually arrives in Australia (probably in Port Botany or Melbourne – the two largest ports), we’ll unpack the container and carefully check for damp, mold and even insect infestations. A truck will then arrive that either delivers your belongings to another of our warehouses to await you entering Australia, or your new residence, if you’ve already arrived.
Commercial shipping has changed significantly over the past 70 years. This pace accelerated during the past decade; with development of “eco-ship” standards and most recently, autonomous ships that don’t require a crew. What drives the industry that moves 90% of all international trade remains fundamentally the same however: a humble 20-foot steel container.
Crown care about what we’re moving, whether it’s a large overseas shipment or a small one accompanying a domestic move, we provide the highest level of care. If you’d like to learn more about how to move goods overseas, or move overseas yourself, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.