How to pack your shipping container for transport

There’s an art to packing a shipping container to ensure that your contents arrive safe and sound. Follow these tips for easy and effective packing.

Heavy things go first

Fridges and furniture or heavy equipment should be put in first at the bottom of the container. This way your delicate items don’t get smashed by heavy moving objects during the journey over.

Balance and distribute the weight equally

When the container is uplifted and transported, your contents may move about. Your truck driver may apply the brakes suddenly or turn a sharp corner. If one side of the container is heavier than the other, the heavier contents may crush the contents on the lighter side. Balance is key, distribute the heavy items equally on either side of the container.

Tightly pack your contents

When items are packed loosely, damage may occur. Think of Tetris, the game, all items must be snugly packed next to each other. Where gaps appear, fill these with padding such as pillows and blankets or pieces of wood until nothing can move.

Tie it down

There are small metal rings on the walls on each side of the container that you can use to tie your items down to. Secure your bigger, heavier contents tightly with rope or loading straps.

Save the most important for last

What goes in last, comes out first when you unpack, so think ahead of what immediate items you will need and store them on the side closest to the door. With the essentials easily accessible, you can unpack the rest of your contents at your leisure.


If you are packing your container up and then storing it for a time before unloading, be aware that condensation may build up on the ceiling and walls of the container. You can reduce this by ensuring that you don’t pack the container on damp or overly humid days, and by not putting any damp contents inside the container. We recommend dehumidifying your container once a week or airing it out on warm days. Alternatively, put in moisture traps/desiccants.

Be weight conscious

Our Hiab crane can lift up to 6 tonnes. That’s a 20ft container full of ordinary household furniture. If you are planning on loading the container with concrete or heavy machinery, you must be aware of how much it weighs and how much you pack inside.

Good packing techniques are an important component for a stress-free move. Take the time to do the job right and you’ll find the process of moving to your new home smoother than you might have imagined, and your items will arrive in the exact same condition as they were packed.