Trouble with plastic totes…

Customers: Do you plan to pack your belongings for your long-distance move?  Consider the following before you purchase plastic totes.

McLaughlin Transportation abides by the Moving industry’s Best Practices:

Ensure the safe delivery of customer’s belongings

Moving cartons are designed and rated to hold packed items safely and can be stacked from floor to ceiling inside a van and transported s long distances without incident.

Movers will give away ‘gently used boxes’ to their customers who pack their own belongings. Ask your move coordinator for the sizes you need. Gently used boxes are better quality than buying non-rated moving cartons. Cartons sold at box stores have sizes on them; look to see if a weight rating is also printed on the bottom. Boxes that McLaughlin Transportation buys are the highest quality made. Each box will hold a specific amount of weight when packed full. McLaughlin Transportation’s boxes will withstand the pressure of being stacked inside a van from floor to ceiling, and the rigors of being transported long distances without incident.

Size matters: Pack your belongings inside the correct size box:

Book cartons are small boxes because books are heavy. Book cartons are designed as strong as the other cartons once packed to the top and sealed.  They can be stacked inside a van from floor to ceiling and will withstand traveling long distances without crushing.  Dishpack cartons are built to hold heavy dishes, pots and pans and small appliances. Dishpack cartons are built to withstand being stacked and the rigors of long distance moving. TV cartons are designed with special foam inside to protect delicate TV’s.


Plastic totes have become a common way for people to store their unused belongings inside their home. When the plastic totes are stacked and placed on a stationary shelf inside a climate-controlled area in the home they prove worthy. However, in recent years, people moving long distance are not repacking items from their plastic totes into cartons, instead, they are shipping the totes ‘as is’. This has become problematic because the quality and durability of totes run the gamut from extremely tough to easily subject to damage.

How does a consumer determine if a plastic tote is suitable for moving?

Search online: enter the brand name of the tote you already own or are thinking of buying. Read the manufacturer’s description and warrantee information. LOOK for ‘suitable for moving’ written in the description or warrantee. If it is suitable for long distance moving, it will say it is.


In cold weather, plastic becomes brittle causing the totes to crack, break apart and collapse. In warm weather plastic totes melt, expand and collapse.

Long distance movers have the option to:

 Open and inspect items packed inside plastic totes to determine if the contents can be safely transported. If the driver believes the items need to be repacked, this can hold up “your” move; Drivers do not carry packing supplies in their vans.

Nothing precludes a customer from using plastic totes and movers are not prohibited from accepting them for transport. However, customers need to understand that if they take the risk and pack breakables or items of sentimental value inside plastic totes for their long distance move the totes and contents may break due to the inherent nature of plastic totes.

Moving to a new home in a new town can be an exciting new venture. But, let’s face it, the actual ‘moving’ part can be challenging.

Trust the professionals at McLaughlin Transportation, New England’s Trusted Mayflower agent to move your precious belongings locally, long distance or around the world.

Together, we will help make this your Best Move!