Best Practices for Shipping a Large Area Rug

Posted in Shipping on May 13, 2016, tagged with household goods, how to, moving tips, shipping mistakes

Best Practices for Shipping a Large Area Rug

TSI is happy to provide you with information related to shipping and moving. If and when you’d like more details for shipping your boxes, you can request a quote or call us at 1-800-626-1257. We’ve been leading the way in small moves and specialty shipments nationally for more than 30 years and are A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau.

Packing an area rug may be fairly straightforward—often, all you have to do is roll it up, wrap it, and tie it. But moving that heavy, bulky area rug is a whole different story. Instead of balancing a rolled up rug on your shoulder (and trying to avoid taking out any innocent bystanders when you turn a corner), hiring a professional freight shipping company to transport your large area rug to your new home can simplify the packing and moving process, saving you valuable time and trouble and ensuring that your rug makes it to your new home without unravelling. Keep reading to get our tips for the best way to ship a rug.

The Wrong Way to Ship a Large Area Rug

Dexter’s parents were downsizing to a retirement community and wanted to give him their precious 10-foot-by-18-foot Persian rug. Dexter agreed to take care of all the arrangements, and started calling trucking companies that could transport the rug from Florida to his home in the Midwest.

The low bid was from Boris the Mover, so Dexter hired him for the job. Several days after the promised pickup date, Boris carelessly rolled up the rug, tied a piece of twine around the center and braced it against the wall of his trailer — between two full metal drums.

Around midnight somewhere in Georgia, Boris became drowsy and started drifting left, into oncoming traffic. When he heard the screaming blast of a truck horn, he quickly came to, steering violently to the right to avoid hitting the truck barreling toward him. Boris heard heavy thuds and felt strong vibrations coming from his trailer as he jerkily regained control of the vehicle.

Boris got around to inspecting the trailer early the next morning. It was not a pretty sight. The Persian rug was unraveled, face-up on the trailer floor. The two barrels were tipped over and empty; their contents spilled on top of the rug. One barrel had been full of oil and the other was full of sawdust.

It took Dexter several weeks to work up the nerve to tell his parents their once beautiful rug was now occupying space in a hazardous waste facility. After making a few modifications to their wills, his parents made arrangements for their other household valuables to be shipped to Dexter’s sister.

7 Tips for Shipping a Large Area Rug

To avoid experiencing the difficulties encountered by Dexter in the shipping of a large area rug, follow these tips. Since 1989, Transit Systems, Inc. has helped residential and commercial customers safely ship furniture of all kinds, and we specialize in the preparation and shipping of rugs. Here's how to ship a rug:

  1. The first step in preparing your area rug for shipment is to give it a thorough, deep cleaning. Make sure the rug is completely dry before proceeding.
  2. Many large rugs (approximately 6-foot by 9-foot and larger) can be folded before rolling. Folding them in half or in thirds makes for a tighter and easier-to-handle rolled item. Some area rugs should NOT be folded, so be careful. If you hear a crackling noise as you begin to fold your rug, stop. The creases created by the folds could be permanent or extremely difficult to remove, which may reduce the value of your rug, and certainly detract from its appearance. If you are not sure whether folding is appropriate, consult with a rug specialist or a freight shipping company that is familiar with the technical nuances of area rug manufacture and care.
  3. Roll area rugs along the width, so the rolled rug is as short as possible. This makes for easier handling and stowing in the truck.
  4. A tight roll helps prevent shifting, but don’t roll too tightly, as it may damage the warp (vertical strands of fiber) and the weft (horizontal strands of fiber) of your rug.
  5. Secure the rolled rug with heavy-duty twine, box sealing tape or stretch banding film. Important: Do not allow any of these items to come into direct contact with the surface, as they can cause indentations. Before securing the roll, wrap the carpet in a bag or moving blanket.
  6. Wrapping the rolled carpet requires care. If you are using polyethylene rug shipping bags, select an opaque color, such as black, rather than a transparent bag. Opaque bags, especially with UV-protective additives, protect the rug from exposure to the sun. However, be sure any additive or coating in the bag will not transfer to your carpet (the manufacturer or retailer should be able to tell you this). Polyethylene sheeting (sometimes referred to as poly shrouding) is also available in many hardware stores, sometimes with nylon reinforcement to give it extra strength. Sheeting is a good alternative to a plastic bag, and all plastic materials have an advantage over moving blankets when it comes to providing moisture resistance.
  7. Whether plastic or moving blankets are used to wrap the rolled rug, make sure your rug can breathe — an airtight package can cause the rug to “sweat,” creating discoloration/warping or a breeding ground for moths. Placing moth crystals and/or desiccant bags on the rug before wrapping can help prevent these outcomes. Also, make pinholes in plastic bags or sheeting to make sure the rug can breathe.

The Best Way to Ship Your Area Rug

Smaller area rugs can be shipped via parcel shipping services, provided the item does not exceed weight or girth limits. Even for smaller rugs that do not exceed these limits, parcel shipping may not be the best option. To ship via parcel, the rug will likely need to be boxed or wrapped very securely with durable material.

A better and more cost-effective option is to ship your area rug with a less-than-truckload (LTL) freight company. These companies specialize in the transportation of smaller shipments of various types of products. Competent LTL companies know how to ship rugs are able to handle an area rug job safely and efficiently. Your best LTL carrier option is one with experience moving furniture items who is familiar with the shipping route your item will be taking.

If you’d like to consider Transit Systems (and we hope you do!), we have two levels of service:

  1. White-Glove Service from TSI covers all the bases, from prepping your area rug for shipment to curb-to-curb, no-stress delivery. White-Glove Shipping Service makes sense for area rugs that are very valuable, such as antique Orientals and/or rugs that are extremely large and heavy. These rugs require expert care in packaging, something we have been doing for years.
  2. Our standard service is perfect for shipping moderate-value rugs where you are comfortable doing the prep work. We still take care of the freight shipping mechanics from start to finish.


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