Pack n Send Blog

Planning Your International Move

Posted on Wed, Dec 12, 2018

If you are planning to move out of the country, (or if you are planning to return to the country), there are many factors to keep in mind when mapping out the logistics of your relocation. For example, when it comes to international shipping, what are some important arrangements to make in order to make your move as smooth as possible?

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  • Perhaps the first, and most important step is simply this: determine what you absolutely need to take with you, and what you can afford to leave behind in storage, give away, or get rid of. This can help you to save a lot of money in the long run.
  • Make sure you provide a detailed packing list for each crate that will be exported and received during your relocation. The packing list should include a description of every item in the crate, along with each item's weight and measurements. This is essential for insurance purposes if any loss or damage occurs during transit.
  • Along with the above point, make sure that you have performed a valuation of each item you are shipping.
  • Make sure that you are using the right containers for your items. International shipments are often measured in cubic meters. For example, a cubical 20 ft shipping container can hold about 28 cubic meters, whereas a 40 ft container can hold 64. You don't want to pay more than you have to, so don't use bigger containers than are needed.
  • Remember that air shipping is usually faster, but more expensive; ocean shipping is the opposite. It takes longer, but is usually more cost-effective. This can determine which method of shipping you decide to use for your items.
  • Research which items may be prohibited by the country you are relocating to. For example, France prohibits the import of alcoholic beverages; England prohibits animal hair and wool; and Belize prohibits political literature of any kind.

There are many factors to keep in mind in your relocation. A relocation specialist can offer much assistance, and make the process easier for you. At Pack n Send, we can help you plan out the logistics of an overseas move. Contact us today for more information.

Tags: International Cargo, Packing and Shipping Services, International Shipping Containers, International shipping service, relocation

5 Safety Measures to Implement for Secure Loading of Cargo

Posted on Tue, Dec 04, 2018

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Handling cargo is an essential part of any industry. The workers constantly need to load and unload materials safely and ensure that no harm is done to the goods being handled or to the people working nearby. In the past, it was primarily a manually driven activity, however, it became more and more automated to a great extent. It is important that you follow various safety measures like using weighing scales to determine right cargo weight and maintain a safe workplace.

 

5 Tips to Ensure Secure Loading of Cargo

 

  • Secure and Stable Loading

 

Ensure the cargo is secured properly when it arrives on deck. There must be no void spaces or loose packages on the top. It is important to avoid direct pressure on the doors and metal-to-metal contact as it can cause a slippery surface. Any loose item can prove dangerous and has the potential to seriously injure on-board personnel. Ensure that there is no overloading. Check the final weight of the containers by using calibrated industrial floor scales. Keep an accurate and detailed documentation of the goods being shipped along with their weights.

 

  • Loading Areas Must be Well-lit

 

The loading must be done only in well-lit areas. Do not handle the cargo if there is poor visibility. The reason for poor visibility can vary, such as weather change, improper lighting conditions, etc. When you handle goods in such conditions, it may lead to accidents or damage the cargo. Ensure that the loading areas are located away from the vehicles and pedestrians. Take the necessary steps to improve the lighting in the work areas.

 

  • Routine Checks of All the Equipment

 

It is essential that you conduct routine checks of all the equipment before using them. For instance, you must check for brake faults, warning devices, controls, tires, steering, etc. In case, you find any problem with the equipment, notify the management immediately. Moreover, it is critical that the equipment is not used until it is either replaced or repaired. When you are shipping goods with a proper weight check, you must ensure that the weighing equipment is operating the way it is supposed to and is safe to use.

 

  • Ensure No One is Standing Under a Hoisted Cargo

 

Every time the cargo is being handled, there is a danger of being hit by a load if anyone is standing in its path or right under it. Tragic accidents may occur if someone is standing under the hoisted load. The crane operator must ensure that there is a safe path for hoisting the cargo. Additionally, the on-deck personnel must ensure that they are well aware of the loading path and stay clear of incoming cargo.

 

  • Always Contact the Supervisor During Emergencies

 

If you feel that the safety of the workplace is compromised in any way, you must contact the supervisor immediately. For example, if a hatch cover comes loose, the load isn’t positioned properly on the lifting equipment or any other incident that has the potential to affect the safety of cargo handling, notify the management immediately. All the employees must know safety requirements employed in the cargo loading area.

 

Apart from having a safe workplace, it is essential to have a sustainable shipping environment within the cargo area. It will benefit your business and the planet in more ways than one.

For information about loading cargo and freight preparation, feel free to contact pack n send in Houston.

 

Author Bio:

Kevin Hill heads the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries. He also writes about how to care for and get optimized performance from different scales in different situations. He enjoys spending time with family and going on camping trips.

Tags: International Cargo

The 5 Biggest Pitfalls of Not Using a Trusted International Shipping Company

Posted on Mon, Nov 19, 2018

 

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Shipping a parcel to an international destination can be a bit challenging - especially for someone without any global shipping experience. Unfortunately, some novices add to these challenges by attempting to handle international shipments on their own. Below is a look at the five most common pitfalls experienced by people who do not use a trusted international shipping company.

1) Documentation errors

Failure to properly prepare a commercial invoice and packing list can lead to major roadblocks with your overseas shipment. You can avoid this pitfall by enlisting the services of an experienced international freight shipping company that will coordinate your shipment and documentation. 

2) Customs delays

Few things are more frustrating to shippers and consignees than customs delays. Common reasons for customs delays include insufficient shipping documents, address errors, poorly written descriptions of goods, and missing tariff codes. You can avoid these delays by working with an experienced international freight company.

3) Over-billing 

If you have never shipped goods overseas before, it will be difficult for you to know whether you are paying a fair rate for your shipping services. You can avoid this pitfall by refraining from using a fly-by-night shipper who has not established a positive industry shipping reputation. 

4) Shipping damage

Failure to use the proper packing materials and methods can spell disaster for a novice shipper. Before you ship your parcel, make sure that you have securely packed your goods in a sturdy carton that will resist the elements and be able to handle shipping on a cargo plane or ocean container.

5) Lost shipments

Houston is among the busiest seaports in the United States. With over 200 million tons of cargo passing through Houston, your shipment can easily be lost unless you use a trusted international shipping company with sophisticated tracking mechanisms.

The Bottom Line

The international shipping industry is not always easy to navigate. Rather than attempting to arrange an overseas shipment on your own, we invite you to contact us. One of our international shipping experts will help ensure that your parcels are safely transported from Houston to your desired international destination. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Tags: International Cargo, international freight shipping, Logistics Houston

How the Logistics of Ocean Shipping Impact the Economy...and You

Posted on Tue, Nov 13, 2018

 

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Even though international shipping is all about trade with other lands, it definitely has an impact on the home front too. How so? Well, when it comes to the logistics of sending goods over the ocean's ever-shifting waves, international shipping from the Port of Houston means that hundreds of thousands of men and women in the Texas workforce can feel like their feet are firmly planted on the ground.

The Numbers

According to a 2014 study by Martin Associates, the statewide economic impact of this particular brand of logistics checks in at about $265 billion generated. Furthermore, the study reports: "Houston Ship Channel-related businesses contribute 1,174,567 jobs throughout Texas." If the 2018 estimate from World Population Review is correct, that means that more than 4% of domestic jobs in Texas are generated from the international freight industry!

That's the data for the state, but what about you personally? How can you tell if ocean shipping is the correct financial decision for your business, as compared to air freight?

Weighing Your Options

There are a number of factors to keep in mind, but two basic principles apply. First of all, shipping by air is going to be much faster than shipping by sea. No surprises there! So if you have a deadline for your products to arrive at their destination, or if you are shipping perishable material, it is good to consider the time frame involved.

Secondly, ocean freight allows for much greater capacity than air freight. The bigger the product, or the more numerous the products, the more likely you'll need to ship by sea.

International freight shipping is an industry that can boost the economy of an entire city, region, state, even country. And with some due diligence, it can have a good economic impact on your business as well! If you need some help determining what will work best for your particular situation, or are looking for a specific quote, please contact us. Pack send can pack and ship things domestically as well as internationally. Our crating and palletizing services make sure that the items that you are shipping arrive safely.

Tags: International Cargo, Economic Impacts, Port of Houston Shipping

Moving Medical Equipment and Using Custom Crates

Posted on Wed, Nov 07, 2018

Houston is an on-the-go city, and at some point, you'll find yourself going to a new office or clinic space. Moving your office equipment is one thing; it doesn't take a rocket scientist to move a desk and crate computers. But how to move your medical equipment is another matter altogether, and while you don't need one of Houston's many rocket scientists to figure out how to move your medical equipment, you do need to ensure that the moving company has the expertise to properly pack, crate, and move your investment.

 

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How To Move Your Medical Equipment

Finding a company that can handle all the aspects of your move is the key to a stress-free experience--one that can pack both your office and your medical equipment. Some small things are fine to pack in regular moving boxes, with standard padding--you don't need a special crate for a hemostat or a box of gauze. Some small equipment--microscopes, for example--need a box or crate that has the insulation and padding to absorb any bumps and bouncing.

Your major devices, on the other hand, may need custom crates that are designed and built specifically for that piece of equipment.

Here's an example. An ophthalmologist has the phoropter--one of the most valuable pieces of medical equipment in his office. If you're an orthodontist and don't know what that is, it's the machine that's used to determine your prescription--a number of exquisitely calibrated lenses in a large case, that must be packed, crated, and moved with the utmost attention. A custom crate with custom padding to cushion the equipment and exert pressure in exactly the right places is necessary to ensure that it gets to the new location safely and ready to function.

Pack-n-send is a Houston moving and logistics firm that  specializes in high-value items, from Faberge eggs to high-tech diagnostic equipment. They have been in business for over 30 years and can be trusted to move your medical equipment anywhere--across the street or overseas. For more information about moving medical equipment, feel free to contact us.

Tags: Moving Company Houston, Relocating an Office, Medical Equipment Shipping

Ways to Save on a  Business Move- Houston Mover offers Advice

Posted on Thu, Nov 01, 2018

 

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Here are a few helpful tips so that your company can save money when they are moving the office from one location to another location.

Let your employees pack their personal belongings into boxes.  Have them label them with their name and new office location. Pick small to medium size boxes.

Unhook your own computers at the very last minute.  Mark each cable with a colored  sticker or colored tape, so that you can easily retook up the computer. If you are not sure how to do this, you can hire a professional company such as Able Networks to do this for you. When you hire a professional to take care  of the technology move, there are a few steps.

1. Get in contact with the technology move company 45 days in advance of the move. Sometimes it takes 45 days to find a internet provider.  These are important in case you need a T-1.

2. A technology survey will need to preformed so that everything can be cataloged.  Do this two weeks in advance.

3. Provide a floor plan of the new office so that it is easy to assemble everything in the new location.

4. Workstations, printers and servers will need to be installed before the technology is assembled. 

5. A Friday move is preferred so that the technology can be installed over the weekend and  you can be up and running Monday morning.

The downtime you experience when your computers are not working can be more expensive than hiring a professional to take care of this for you.

If you are hooking up the technology on your own, schedule your business move during the week during regular working hours when possible .  If your building only allows after hours moves, have the movers  arrive before the move, so that they can move everything near the door. Once the allowed move time arrives, the movers can quickly start the move.

If you need  to reserve a freight elevator for the move, reserve the elevator before you schedule your movers.

If you need a certificate of insurance from the moving company so that they are able to enter the building, ask for the information needed on the certificate at lease one week ahead of your move date.

For more helpful ideas to make moving a business go smoothly, feel free to contact pack n send in Houston.

International Shipping- Houston Logistics Company offers Advice

Posted on Tue, Oct 30, 2018

Remember when you could personally deliver all the gifts on your Christmas list, with maybe one or two trips to the post office to mail Great-Aunt Joan's fruitcake, or to get Snoopy stamps for your cards? These days, with people on the move all over the world, you just about need a logistics expert to tell you how to ship packages worldwide--even your college roommate in Vancouver needs their gift internationally shipped!

 

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Brush Up on the Regulations

The first thing you need to do when you've got to send packages out of the country is research any regulations the recipient country has that might hamstring your package. For example, if you want to send green coffee beans from your favorite local roastery to your brother in Australia, you can't--they require an import permit from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.  If you are shipping a container full of goods for a relocation to another country, make sure to have all your paperwork in order.

Logistics- By Air or Sea?

Then, you need to figure out if air or ocean travel is easiest and more cost efficient. Air costs are based on the weight and dimensions of the shipment, while sea shipping is calculated on cubic meters. For most international shipments, ocean  is cheaper and slower, but if you've shopped early and are concerned about your logistics' carbon footprint, send by sea. Air is usually faster, but the cost is usually higher.

There's an Easier Way

If all of this seems entirely too tedious and maybe you'll think about sending  an Amazon gift card instead, let a local shipping company that specializes in international freight shipping take care of all the logistics for you. The right company can do the following for you:

  • Pack according to international guidelines
  • Handle the customs forms and paperwork
  • Research the least costly shipping rates

We are here to help you navigate international logistics. With over thirty years in the Houston area we are experts in all phases of packing and transport.  Please let us know how we help you arrange your overseas shipping needs.

Tags: International Shipping Houston, Houston Logistics, International Cargo

4 Ways Staging Helps a Home or Office Sell for More

Posted on Wed, Oct 24, 2018

moving a living room for staging a living room 

While having an empty house or office for sale might seem like a good move for clean freaks and other buyers who don't want the place to be furnished, the truth is, staging pays off.

According to Cathy Creamer with Staging Spaces and More " Staging a home before listing is a very Smart decision!  Staged homes spend approx. 70% less time on the market than non-staged homes.  Per the National Association of Realtors, 81% of buyers surveyed said that they could visualize the “staged” home as their next home.  Staging Works!  I have staged properties that sat for several months with little to no traffic…after staging, a serious offer was accepted within “3” weeks!  I have staged vacant properties that received multiple offers within the 1st week.  Staging a property is not only a smart decision but it can be the silver bullet that sells the property!"

The phrase "staging" simply means strategically arranging the furniture and decor in a house in a way that makes it look best to buyers. Household movers can assist you with staging your home.

The term is often confused with "decorating," which may be the reason many sellers reject the idea. But that mix-up might keep you from selling your house quickly and at the highest possible price. HGTV's Kris Berg describes the seller's emotional state this way:

I see many home sellers confuse staging with decorating and consequently resisting the process and the recommendations of the staging professional. But the reality is that the moment you commit to marketing your home for sale, you need to commit to transforming your home into a place that potential buyers can easily picture as their home.

The same goes for staging commercial properties like offices, or even the backyard if needed to sell your property quickly at the price you'd like. Still not convinced? Here are four top reasons staging is a great idea for sellers:

Staging lets your property speak to buyers, instead of reflecting the seller's taste.

Yes, the home or maybe the office you're selling reflect years or even decades of personal purchases and design choices. But when you're selling, it's the structure buyers want to see, not your sense of style or nostalgic mementos. So even though your home is what Berg calls "a life-size memory book" of the time you spent there, you want to present the property in a way that will help potential buyers envision making their own memories. You want to show off your home or office's potential, not the stuff you've accumulated in your time there.

Staging helps you attach a label that sells to your property.

It's an open secret in the real estate industry that buyers refer to the places they're viewing with a label. If you don't stage, you run the risk of that phrase being, "the house with the Hummel collection" instead of "the one with all the great natural light." Any time you can help simplify a potential buyer's positive perception of your real estate offering, you're way ahead of the game.

Staging cancels out clutter.

In reality, your buyers probably have just as many cute coffee cups on the kitchen counter as you do, and maybe even just as many golf clubs in the foyer closet and CDs on the television stand. But here's the thing. When someone is buying, they don't want to think about clutter, much less see it. So when you stage a property that's immaculate, they can see the structure and the space--and maybe dream a little about how they'll live a clutter-free lifestyle in this new house. All those positive possibilities set you up to stay very close to your asking price, and get the best offers from potential buyers.

Staging now paves the way for a smooth relocation later.

Particularly if you've used the services of a packing, freighting and crating company to move or store most of the furniture and art you want to keep for your next home, staging now takes some of the stress out of packing up to move later. When you've already cleared out the stuff of memories, you can assure a buyer who's ready to move in right away (and pay more for the privilege) that you can be out quickly--and mean it.

Staging's a Pain, But It Pays Off.

A professional stager worthy of the name may make your life a little miserable for a while, what with all the rearranging, reallocating, and yes, personal remarks that go into the process. HGTV's Berg sums it up honestly this way:

Make no mistake -- professional staging is an inconvenience. Your daily routine will be turned, at least temporarily, on its head. And it can be unsettling as you watch your life rearranged to suit the tastes of others. But if selling your home in the shortest amount of time and for the most money is your goal, it is precisely those 'others' who should be your focus.

Just a few of the staging steps might include not-so-fun tasks like storing every one of your personal photos, painting interior rooms and maybe the front door, stashing away all your lawn furniture and even avoiding cooking "smelly" foods on showing days. No more bacon for breakfast!

You, or the staging professional you hire, will also need to minimize your furniture and arrange it for traffic flow and to show off your square footage. Your pup's favorite chair? The butcher block table blocking the breakfast nook? Gotta go. You may even need to rent more streamlined furniture until your house sells.

Yes, it can be annoying and tiring. But the gains are so very worth it, right? Since you know you, your memories, and your stuff aren't going to be at this house ever again, might as well get the best price from whoever moves in next.

And if you want to ease the process a bit, we're here for you. Contact us today to find out how we help sellers during staging, while their house is for sale, and for after-the-closing moves.

Tags: Moving Company Houston, small home office move, staging

Logistics for Shipping Your Work-From-Home Merchandise

Posted on Mon, Oct 22, 2018

 

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Working from home has a lot to offer, including flexible hours, holidays when you need them, and the ability to be more hands-on in your family's day-to-day life. If you do work from home, however, you know that there are drawbacks as well, including a constant fluctuation in your income. To combat the continual highs and lows of working at home, many self-made professionals increase their income capability by diversifying their income streams. In short, this means spreading your eggs out in multiple baskets instead of putting all of your eggs in one basket. That way, if one income stream suddenly makes less money than you're used to, you have other income streams to back you up.

One great income stream for many work-at-home parents is selling merchandise. Whether it's t-shirts with your vlog's logo on it or delicate pottery that you make in your spare time while watching TV, having merchandise for sale gives you one more way to monetize your day-to-day life.

For many work-from-home family members, coming up with merchandise to sell is the easy part. Harder, if it's not your industry, is knowing how to get your merchandise from your living room to your clients, some of whom might not even live locally. Here's what you need to know:

Packing Fragile Items

How you pack your items is almost as important as what items you're packing. The most beautiful piece of pottery on the planet isn't worth a dime if it's smashed to pieces by the time it arrives on your customer's doorstep.

When your goal is to monetize your day-to-day life, it can be tempting to skimp on packing charges, but that strategy will turn around to bite you when your customers demand a refund for broken or damaged items. Instead, request a quote to determine the cost to pack one of your items correctly, and keep that price in mind when you are deciding how much to charge your customers for the item.

Domestic vs International Shipping

Domestic shipping—or shipping within the US—is almost always cheaper than shipping internationally, logistics shouldn't dissuade you from offering international shipping. It's possible to have items shipped to most countries in the world without too much extra hassle, and offering international shipping options can be a game-changer when you work from home. After all, the internet is open to the whole world, so why wouldn't you want your home-made business equally open?

To offset the extra cost associated with international shipping, many self-made entrepreneurs charge a separate shipping cost for international vs domestic shipping. Your customers are likely to expect this, and offering separate shipping costs is less likely to alienate them than not offering international shipping at all!

Customer Satisfaction

At the end of the day, your customers are the most important thing to your home merchandise business. Increase customer satisfaction by being realistic with customers about how quickly they can expect to receive their order, keeping in mind not only how long it takes to ship items but also how long it takes you to create items. Keeping a small stock of commonly-purchased merchandise on hand can help you provide faster turnaround times to your customers.

Looking for more information on shipping your merchandise? Contact us

Tags: Packing and Shipping Services, international shipping, shipping merchandise

Choose the Most Reliable Way to Send Packages This Holiday Season

Posted on Sat, Oct 20, 2018

 

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As the holidays approach, you might be sending treasured care packages to your loved ones far away. Or, you might be sending them items they left behind when moving overseas. Regardless of the reason, there might be certain concerns as to what can be shipped internationally and the expense it will pose to you. Here are a few reasons to consider using a reliable shipping company this holiday season.

What items can be shipped internationally?

Before purchasing and boxing items to send to a loved one, check to make sure the items are not restricted from being exported from one country to another. Many household items are not restricted; however, items such as oxidizing agents, medications, dietary supplements, and perishable products are not safe for shipping internationally. There are also numerous other items which cannot be shipped internationally, so make sure you familiarize yourself with the regulations of the receiving country.

Difficulties of trying to ship on your own.

The destination of the items that are being shipped could determine if your package runs into delivery problems. It is easier to ship to some countries over others. Some countries have multiple taxes and duties which are imposed on imports. Not to mention the economic status can make delivery a nightmare.

Will you pay tax and duty?

Actually, all countries have a tax threshold where a person will begin paying taxes. However, tax and duty do not apply to every shipment being sent internationally, but when it does apply, it can be expensive. It can be a lot to wrap your mind around if you are not familiar with the practice of sending items internationally. The best way to send packages safely and keep from overspending and not having packages delivered is to use quality international shipping companies. These companies know all about shipping packages safely, what can be shipped. Remember that duties and taxes are assessed by the country that you are shipping to.   Visit us to find out more about reliably sending overseas packages to your loved ones this holiday season.

Tags: International Shipping Houston, Packing and Shipping Services, Shipping Businesses Houston