Packing Cabinets and Tops for Delivery

Advice on packing and shipping for a large shipment of cabinetry. November 29, 2014

I have a commercial job (in the city, up freight elevators, etc.), and am looking for the best solution for protecting the millwork for delivery. Some of it is quite bulky and difficult to wrap (curved reception station in large segments, bench seating that's large, heavy and awkward), but most importantly: about sixty 10' long by 24-30" wide quartered maple veneered countertops, finished, delicate and heavy. I thought that poly strapping and cardboard sheets might be a good approach, using those fiberboard protectors at the edges so the strap doesn't dig into the wood edge. Is this probably my best bet? The thought of wrapping everything in blankets and trying to get all my blankets back is really turning me off. I also thought of just hiring a reputable moving company and let them worry about protecting everything. That sounds like the way to go, but I'm worried also about damage that may occur on-site after delivery if it's all just out there and uncovered.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor T:
Look up .25 cushioning foam packing supplies. Buy the 6' width roll and cut to size needed. It can be reused if you can get it back. Don't bother using the .125'' thickness rolls. There good for boxes but not for hand shipping. I would still put some cardboard over the foam and tape or shrink wrap. The foam is worth the extra cost. We use two large rolls per week. It's not cheap but it is cheaper than fixing damaged goods.

From contributor D:
Yep, 1/4" foam wrapped around everything and cardboard and corner protectors as needed. Overkill on packaging a high-end job is a good thing.

From contributor X:
I would look at U line products, they specialize in that sort of stuff.

From the original questioner:
What about RamBoard, the roll they sell at the big stores for floor protection? Can't beat the price, and the general contractors I know swear by the stuff for floor protection. I have a couple thousand square feet to cover, and the cost of the foam is scary for that amount. Unless there's a source I don't know about? I know U-line. Good for some stuff, pricey for some stuff it seems.

From contributor H:
U-line is great in a pinch with next day shipping to most areas in the north east, but they are really overpriced. In addition, their freight fees get large quickly with larger rolls/items. 1/4" foam is a good suggestion for hand shipping. We UPS a lot of our products and use 1/16 or 1/8" foam as a first layer, and 1/2" bubble wrap over that. Using bubble wrap on any fresh solvent based finish is asking for a disaster. I only know this because I have done it and had the pains of refinishing! Foam doesn't adhere to pretty much any finish we have found.

From Contributor O:
Personally I would hire a professional moving company to handle everything. If there happens to be some damage which you can probably count on your able to back charge the moving company for the cost of repair. Also, youre not tying up your production workers by tasking them with wrapping, loading, travel time, waiting for elevator, unloading, etc. Id vote for a professional moving company. After all the customer is footing the cost regardless of who delivers it. The key is to get it to the job site with as little hassle as possible.