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How To Ship Appliances: Easy Steps For Moving Home Goods

Last Modified: December 13, 2022
Shipping appliances is filled with all kinds of dangers and challenges. With our guide, we’ll show you how you can overcome them.

By

Jacob Lee
December 13, 2022
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How to ship appliances according to Whirlpool:

  • First, you must prepare the appliance for shipping by cleaning it, disabling power and securing attachments
  • Next, pack the attachments and the appliance in separate boxes
  • Last, apply the appropriate labels to the appliances’ box, palletize the load and fill out any applicable paperwork

Is There A Demand For Appliances?

Appliances are common goods that perform essential functions that you can find in almost every home. For these reasons, appliances are always in demand by consumers. Even before the pandemic, sales of appliances were on the rise.

Appliance Sales From 2015 To 2019 (In Billions USD)

2015$40.14
2016$41.47
2017$43.33
2018$44.23
2019$45.69

Provided by Statista

Since there is so much demand for appliances, it’s important to know how to ship them safely to keep your customers satisfied. 

A person cleaning an appliance with cleaning supplies

What Items Do I Need To Ship Appliances?

Before you start preparing your appliances for shipping, you should first obtain some items you’ll need to prepare and pack your appliances. First, get a few cleaning supplies that you can use to freshen up your appliances before packing them up. Some cleaning supplies you should use are:

  • Microfiber cloth or paper towels
  • Dish soap or white vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Bleach 
  • Nylon brush

These materials can be used to clean just about all kinds of appliances, whether they be stainless steel or not. Next, you’re going to need some materials that you’ll use to pack your appliances. These materials are:

  • Packing tape
  • Pallet or crate
  • Boxes
  • Painter’s tape

Appliances can still sustain damage when they’re shipped within the confines of a box or crate. To prevent this from happening, use any of the packing materials listed below to make sure your appliances receive the protection they need for their journey:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Bubble wrap
  • Shipping blankets
  • Packing peanuts  
  • Propylene foam

For maximum shipping protection, we recommend using a shipping blanket to protect your appliances while they’re in transit. 

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.
A person disassembling an appliance

How Should I Prepare My Appliances For Shipping?

Now that you have all the materials you’ll need to move appliances, you can get down to preparing them for shipment. These steps will ensure that your appliances look pristine and excellent condition when they arrive at their destination.

1 Cleaning

The first part of preparing appliances for transport is cleaning them thoroughly. Used appliances will need cleaning the most, but even brand-new appliances that have yet to be used can benefit from being spiffed up a bit.

Cleaning the surface appliances is fairly easy. Simply apply whatever cleaning solution you’ve chosen to the surface of the appliance. Then, start scrubbing the solution in with some type of non-abrasive cloth. When it comes to cleaning the interior of appliances, the steps you’ll follow will get a bit more lengthy. 

For example, you’ll need to do the following things to clean the inside of a refrigerator:

  • Remove shelves and drawers
  • Clean the shelves and drawers individually
  • Clean the inside surfaces of the refrigerator
  • Clean outside surfaces of the refrigerator

Removing the items within an appliance to clean them separately is a procedure that applies not only to refrigerators but to other types of appliances like ovens, air fryers and certain types of toasters. That said, the cleaning procedures you’ll have to follow when shipping a washer are much different and more complex. To keep the inside of a washer clean, you’ll have to do the following:

  • Put white vinegar and baking soda into the drum of the washing machine
  • With a nylon brush, scrub the interior of the drum
  • Place the refrigerator at the hottest temperature possible
  • Run the heaviest wash cycle the washer allows with only this cleaning solution in the drum 

Any appliances that come with attachments will need to have their attachments removed and cleaned separately as well. Appliances with attachments on them include the following:

  • Mixers
  • Blenders
  • Coffee makers
  • Crockpots

Shipping off new appliances that have been freshly cleaned is a great way to leave a good impression on a retailer or customer who ordered the appliance.

2 Disabling Power

Disabling power to the appliances you want to ship is pretty simple. First, make sure that your appliance is not in operation and is switched off. Afterward, simply disconnect your appliance from its power source.

Most appliances are plugged directly into an electrical outlet, but some use gas as their source of power. Regardless of how your appliance is powered, be sure you disconnect them from the power source safely and correctly. 

When you need to ship a washer and dryer, you’ll need to take the added step of disconnecting the washer from the water source. You can typically find the valves that control the water source on the wall behind the washer.   

Once that’s done, you can remove the hoses of your washer. There will be some leftover water in these hoses, so it’s important to make sure that you drain the hoses completely. Any leftover water will likely leak, causing the box holding your appliance to get soggy and weakening its integrity.

3 Securing Attachments

When it comes to shipping large appliances, you’re going to have to deal with securing attachments that come with them. Some of the loose parts that come with various appliances include some of the following:

  • Coffee pots
  • Racks for ovens and toasters
  • Cords
  • Mixer beaters
  • Lids  
  • Shelves and drawers

Some loose parts and attachments can be shipped while attached to the appliance while others can’t. If you can secure an attachment to an appliance without the attachment bouncing around or coming loose, then you won’t need to ship it separately. Cords that are attached to your appliance are a bit trickier to secure. One simple solution is to use some painters to tape the cord to the appliance.  

Washing machines, also pose a unique challenge for this part of the shipping process. That’s because the washer’s drum is likely to swing around inside the washer while the appliance is in transit. 

This can cause potential damage to the drum and the inside of the washer as well. To secure the washing drum, simply follow these simple solutions:

  • Using shipping or transit bolts 
  • Applying foam to the inside of the drum (if the washer came with any)
  • Placing foam board around the inside of the drum
  • Placing cardboard around the inside of the drum

Any of these options will keep the drum safe while it’s in transit. 

A roll of bubblewrap

How Should I Pack My Appliances?

Now that you’ve made all of the necessary preparations to ship your home products, you can now move on to packing them for transport. Packing your appliances safely is the only way to guarantee that they will be protected from most impacts that can cause them damage. 

Packing Loose Parts and Attachments

The first step you should take when packing your appliances for transport is by packing loose parts and attachments for appliances separately. If you’ve determined that you can’t secure attachments to your appliance, then follow these steps:

  • Obtain the appropriate amount of boxes that can carry attachments
  • Wrap the items in some type of packing material like:
    • Bubble wrap
    • Packing foam
    • Packing paper
  • Filling in the gaps of the box holding the loose part or attachment with packing materials like:
    • Bubble wrap
    • Packing foam
    • Packing paper 
    • Packing peanuts
  • Use packing tape to keep the box closed

Attachments that can be secured to an appliance can be packed with the appliance they correspond with. This can be done by placing the attachment onto the appliance and wrapping the entire object in packing material. Another option would be to secure the attachment with tape and then wrap the object in your chosen packing material. 

Packing Your Appliance

Packing the appliance in its entirety is similar to packing appliance attachments, but with some extra steps that can vary by appliance. The steps that you should take are:

  • Measure your appliance
  • Close any doors or hatches on your appliance with stretch tape
  • Wrap the entire appliance in a packing material of your choice (propylene works best for stainless steel)
  • Place the appliance in a fitted box
  • Fill empty spaces in between the inside of the fitted box and the appliance with more packing materials
  • Place the first box with the appliance into a slightly larger box
  • Fill empty spaces in between the second box and the first box with packing materials

Using the stretch wrap to close the doors or hatches is something you’ll only need to do for certain appliances like coffee makers, certain types of toasters, air fryers and refrigerators. This part can be skipped if the appliance you’re shipping doesn’t have these features.

When wrapping large appliances with packing materials, make sure you have enough to cover the entirety of the product. Measuring the dimensions of your appliances will help you discern how much packing material you’ll need to cover them. 

The hardest part of packing your appliance is getting it inside its box. While this might not be particularly difficult for lighter appliances, heavier ones like stoves, refrigerators and washers and dryers can be challenging. To do this, make sure you have some assistance from another person.

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.
The side of a cardboard box with hazard symbols

Shipping Labels

After all of the packing, proceedings are taken care of, you can start to place shipping labels on the outside of the box. Fortunately, shipping companies don’t require too much on the box of an appliance to perform their delivery services. A simple shipping label with the following information will be more than enough for them to determine where the freight you’re sending needs to go:

  • Origin address (also known as the return address)
  • Final destination address
  • Date the appliance was shipped
  • Weight of the appliance
  • Class of shipping being utilized
  • Tracking number
  • Barcode 

As long as shipping labels have this information printed on them, it doesn’t matter what format the shipping label is in. Some labels that you should include to communicate the fragile nature of your appliances are:

  • FRAGILE 
  • HANDLE WITH CARE: FRAGILE
  • THIS SIDE UP
  • FRAGILE, KEEP DRY, DO NOT TRAMPLE, UPWARDS

For some appliances, you might want to put labels saying “THIS SIDE UP” with arrows pointed in the upward direction. You might be able to find boxes that have these warning labels already printed on them. 

Palletizing 

Palletizing your appliance shipments is an option that you can explore. When deciding whether or not to palletize, you should consider the following factors:

  • Size of your appliances
  • The number of appliances
  • Weight of appliances

If you plan to ship one or a few small appliances like a coffee maker or crock pot, then you can ship your goods off as a non-palletized LTL freight shipment. However, large quantities of small appliances or large appliances should be transported on pallets. 

A pallet will help for shipments like these because they:

  • Keep freight together
  • Provide a sturdy base for freight to sit on
  • Allow for freight to be loaded and unloaded with a forklift or pallet jack
  • Prevents water damage by keeping fright off the ground

Additionally, pallets are useful when you need to ship an FTL appliance shipment. 

Paperwork

Having the right paperwork for a domestic freight shipment is essential, regardless of what type of freight you’re shipping. Many of the documents needed for a domestic freight shipment are easy to find and fill out. The purpose of these documents is to communicate information needed by both the carrier providing the shipping services and the receiver of the freight. 

You can learn more about the paperwork you’ll need for your shipment of appliances in our article on documents required for domestic shipping. 

HAZMAT Responsibilities

Hazardous goods can be a real pain to ship due to all of the regulations surrounding them. Unfortunately, certain appliances are considered HAZMAT and you will be required to follow all related regulations if you want to ship your goods successfully. 

A common appliance that is considered HAZMAT is refrigerators. If you’ve determined that the appliance you’re shipping is hazardous, you’ll need to follow the HAZMAT regulations enforced by the Department of Transportation (DOT) outlined in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). 

Some of the responsibilities that will be expected of you as a shipper of hazardous goods include:

  • Providing the correct HAZMAT paperwork
  • Marking, placarding and labeling the box holding the freight right
  • Provide emergency response information
  • Must have a certification to ship HAZMAT

For more information on shipping HAZMAT goods, check out our article on freight shipping hazardous materials. 

A delivery driver unloading an appliance

Considering Using White Glove Services

As you’ve probably noticed, shipping large appliances is no easy task, especially when it comes to unloading them or installing them in your home. A customer that has ordered an appliance from you might have trouble with these aspects of the shipping process. One thing that you might want to offer to them to make their lives easier and establish a good relationship with them are white glove services.

This type of service is offered by various carriers and caters specifically to customers who have ordered large appliances. The service works by delivering an appliance to a place of business or a customer's home. Afterward, the delivery men perform the installation service on the customer's behalf. 

We’ve already discussed how handling the wiring and hoses on appliances like refrigerators and washers when shipping can be a hassle. Installing them after they’ve arrived can be just as troublesome. Therefore, offering white glove delivery is one way you can provide some much-needed help to a customer. 

You can learn more about this service in our article on white glove appliance delivery.

Ship Your Appliances With USA Truckload

At USA Truckload, we ship just about all kinds of freight. Whether you have an FTL shipment or an LTL shipment, one of the many small carriers that we partner with can transport your appliances wherever they need to go. Some of the carriers that we partner with can even transport your freight and provide white glove delivery services. 

In addition to our array of reliable partners, we provide shipping insurance. Even when you pack your freight correctly, freak accidents can always occur and potentially damage your goods. It’s important to have the coverage you need in case such an incident occurs. 

Another service that we offer that our customers have found useful is consulting services. At USA Truckload, we understand how daunting shipping freight can be. With our consulting services, you can ask one of our professionals any question you have in regard to shipping appliances. 

If you’re ready to ship your appliances, fill out your quote immediately. If you have questions you’d like some answers to, reach out to our team and ask about setting up a consulting session at (866) 353-7178

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.
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