Even if your kids are grown and you don't technically need to move your old crib to your new home, it can be difficult to part with sentimental furniture - and you shouldn't have to!
Shipping furniture that you want to keep for sentimental reasons is always tricky. There are many things to consider when determining the best way to ship a crib, including what kind of shipping is best for your move and how to prepare your crib for shipment. Keep reading to get our expert tips for shipping your crib.
How to Ship a Crib — LTL Freight or Parcel?
For shipping a crib, the two best options are LTL (less-than-truckload) freight carriers and parcel shippers.
Parcel shippers typically handle packages weighing 70 pounds or less, but some accept heavier and oversized packages — depending on the size of your crib, parcel shipping may be an option. The major upside of parcel shipping is speed: major parcel shippers have vast networks of vans, trucks, airplanes and distribution hubs that make delivery to virtually any location very rapid. If you are shipping your crib from or to a remote location, a parcel shipper may be quite a bit faster, but not always. On the other hand, parcel shippers may not handle your crib with the same tender, loving care it will receive from an LTL carrier that specializes in shipping baby furniture. If your crib is an heirloom or extremely valuable, the right LTL carrier will have the experience and necessary resources to prep it for shipment, and to stow and handle it properly. LTL carriers are expert at moving single items, and are very cost effective if your crib is going to a route they cover. If your crib weighs in excess of 150 pounds, an LTL carrier is probably your only realistic choice, so consider these factors when looking for your shipper:
- Specialization. Does the company specialize in moving furniture? These companies will have the right type of packaging materials and stowing/storage techniques to handle your crib safely every step of the way.
- Reliability. Has the company been around for a while? Does it have a good reputation? Take note of how many years the company has been in business. You can also learn a lot by reading customer reviews — on the company’s website or public review sites like Yelp.
- Cost. As mentioned earlier, LTL carriers that work the route your crib will be taking typically have the ability to deliver your crib the most quickly and at the lowest cost. Why? Because they have lots of other customers to fill the truck so it can be on its way to your destination.
How to Prepare Your Crib for Shipment
Whether your crib is a priceless family heirloom or a bargain buy, you want it to arrive at its destination in the same condition it left. That being the case, you need to prepare your crib for shipment in a way that allows the item to stand up to exposure to all handling and environmental conditions. Here are techniques to help you accomplish this:
1. The fewer protruding pieces, the better.
For parcel or LTL shipping, any knob or decorative piece that sticks out is an accident waiting to happen. Remove any casters, legs, lights, hanging toys, knobs and decorative trim from the crib, and package them separately in shipping boxes, carefully labeling them with the contents.
2. Remove drawers.
This is an option if you are concerned that taping them shut will lead to the possibility of adhesive transferring from the tape to the fine wood finish of your crib. Adhesive transfer is especially possible if the crib will be exposed to extreme heat or humidity in transit, so be careful if your crib has a fine finish. Removing drawers also makes the crib lighter, which reduces risk of damage when being handled. Each drawer should be wrapped in bubble packaging or flexible foam packaging, and then placed in shipping boxes.
3. Wrap, crate or box.
Once these first two steps are complete, you are ready to wrap, crate or box your crib. You’ll want to discuss this with your LTL carrier, as it may have a preference depending on the type of handling equipment it uses or how it will be stowed on the truck.
Wrapping protects the surfaces of the crib and provides cushioning against impact. For cribs with fine wood finishes, be sure to use a product that won’t scratch — for this need, flexible polypropylene foam is the best option, and is available online or in many hardware stores and office supply stores. Use a large bubble or thick flexible foam (1/4 inch to ½ inch thick) for wrapping. Make sure to leave openings for your crib to breathe — if the wrap is airtight, you run the risk of warping as the crib “sweats.” However, even if the wrap is not airtight, you will get excellent moisture resistance from bubble and foam.
Crating your crib in a custom wood crate, blocked and braced with custom-shaped plastic or cardboard packaging blocks is a pricey proposition, but provides the ultimate protection. So, if your crib is extremely valuable, has an extremely odd shape, is being shipped a long distance over rough terrain, or is extremely heavy, crating may be well worth the investment. Again, you can consult your LTL carrier to determine if this option makes sense.
- Boxing your crib in a heavy-duty shipping box is another possibility, though finding a box the right size may be a challenge. LTL shippers that specialize in furniture moving will have shipping boxes available or know how to get them. Boxing or crating is not always necessary, but in addition to providing additional moisture protection — above and beyond the wrapping — doing so gives added protection against contamination from dirt, dust and vermin. If the crib is going to be stored for any length of time, or will be exposed to any of these contaminants to a significant degree, boxing or crating will help you sleep better at night — because you know your baby will be sleeping better at night in the freshly delivered crib!
Since 1989, Transit Systems has been helping customers ship cribs and other baby furniture. We have the resources to prep and ship your crib anywhere in the U.S., and will take care of all the paperwork and shipping arrangements, so you can focus your attention on the rest of your busy schedule. We are eager to help you!