Transporting fragile items the right way

If you do courier work or offer a man and van service, you are solely responsible for transporting your customers’ possessions safely. Fragile items must be loaded, transported and unloaded as carefully as possible. Couriers often find musical instruments, ornaments and mirrors particularly tricky.

Here are our top tips for loading fragile items:

•    Put a protective layer of material on the bottom of your van. This will protect the boxes from the hard floor. Plastic sheeting is often recommended by experienced couriers, but cardboard will work as a last resort.
•    Load up the heaviest items on the floor. Furniture and heavy appliances can take the weight of the lighter goods you will load next.
•    Place lighter items and boxes on top of the larger goods.
•    Keep the items secure. Although items in boxes may feel secure, they can easily shift during the journey. One sudden stop or sharp turn could result in breakages. Use strong ropes or straps to tie down everything in the vehicle.
•    Fill in any gaps. However professionally you load your van, the contents are unlikely to fit together perfectly. Use soft materials to fill in the gaps. Pillows, cushions and blankets are ideal for protecting fragile, valuable items.
•    Load fragile items last. Fragile items should be placed at the top of the van, with additional straps or ropes to secure them. This will prevent them from being crushed during the delivery process, and they will be easy to access and unload first when they reach their destination.
•    Flatscreen TVs and computer monitors are two of the most common fragile items transported by couriers. Be sure to pack them upright. When placed on their sides, delicate screens often can’t take the weight of the interior components for long.

Mishandling of fragile items is a top compliant from customers, accidents happen, but don’t get caught throwing items labelled ‘Fragile’ over a garden wall. It won’t just lose you one customer…

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