Moving 101: The Stuff You Can’t Ship

The Stuff You Can’t Ship

Every mover out there wishes it could just zip up your house, put it on the truck, and get it going to your new location. Unfortunately, movers can’t do that for many reasons. One of those reasons involves the regulations that keep dangerous items off the trucks. Wondering what those are? Here are a few we see denied all the time.


Hopefully, nobody is trying to take C-4 or any other serious explosive with them, but did you know that you can’t take your leftover fireworks? If you’re anticipating a move, spend the Fourth of July setting off a show for the neighborhood or risk throwing these out in the trash.

Gas grills are often refused for much the same reason. You can never be certain that all the fuel is out of the grill once it’s been used that first time. Liquid propane requires special permits to transport and, in some states, special licensing for the truck drivers.

Most Flammables

Candles, lighters, and a lot of camping equipment fall under this section. Until recently, most movers asked that laptop batteries be sealed away from any laptops due to the potential of fire. Since these batteries have become safer, they are no longer removed. However, this should give you a good sense of how cautious your moving company is with your belongings.

With regard to things like incense and wax melts, these are dependent upon the exact regulations of your area. It’s safe to say that many companies won’t be able to move incense. After all, they’re flammable items that may catch fire if they become too warm or if a spark occurs from static electricity from the road. While every attempt is made to prevent this, that is why these items are often banned. Wax melts are significantly less of an issue but may still be banned since wax can catch fire.

Large Magnetics

Items with significant magnetic pull are often banned from moving shipments due to a wide variety of reasons. Not only are these a large fire risk, but they can also cause crates to get stuck to the side of moving trailers. This means that these large, heavy boxes are then very difficult to remove. Debris may be pulled from the road and into tires in the case of extremely strong magnets.

You do have some options when shipping heavy-duty magnetics. If your moving company says it can’t due to a variety of regulations, we recommend speaking with a specialized mail carrier.


The remains of animals or humans are often refused due to the fact that there is no way to compensate for the loss of these. In all honesty, the residential moving company does not want to risk even the slightest chance that something may happen to those items on its watch. It is imperative that you take these on carry-on luggage (if flying) or hand-carry them to your next destination for safe-keeping. If you have a remaining urn with no ashes or something comparable, what is essentially a keepsake, these may be shipped via the moving company.

Other Frequently Denied Items

Old tools with heavy lead batteries may be rejected due to fire hazards. Vehicles are often required to have fuel lines disconnected and drained. If this is impossible, you may need to ship the vehicle through another method. Last but not least, items like air compressors that are questionable in condition will often be refused. Though these items may be drained, the risk of bursting is still there and may cause significant damage to your shipment. It’s better to send these through special shipment carriers to keep your belongings safe.