Moving’s a lot of work. You know that, of course, and that’s why you’re on a mover’s website looking to hire someone else to do at least some of that work for you. Part of the reason it’s a lot of work, though, is that you can’t take advantage of one of the single biggest advances in modern transportation: the humble pallet. Those 48 by 40 inch wooden platforms you see stacked up behind your local grocery store — looking a little busted up and unloved — transformed material handling over half a century ago, and things haven’t been the same since.
Wagons, ships, then trucks and trains were once loaded and unloaded entirely by hand, by lots and lots of burly men, and maybe a burly woman or two. New York City alone was the home of tens of thousands of long-shoreman who loaded and unloaded ships one keg or crate at a time. But then the humble pallet and the fork-lift came along and changed everything.
Movers are like long-shoremen from long ago, then. We pack everything into boxes by hand, and then we load every box, every piece of furniture, every garden tool and floor lamp, onto the truck by hand, usually in tiers over 9-feet high. And doing things by hand, of course, is a lot of work. This fascinating article about pallets on slate.com, will make you long for a miraculous pre-moving day palletization of all your worldly possessions along with your own personal fork truck.
Of course, we’re ready to do it by hand if that doesn’t come to pass.