Best practices: How to ship computer equipment

Transcript

Best Practices: How to Ship Computer Equipment

Despite them being used in almost every facet of our lives these days, not many people fully understand the intricacies of what makes up our computer equipment outside of the IT department. And while it might not affect our ability to use them to make our lives easier, it definitely helps to know about their physical properties when it comes to shipping them. Whether laptops, desktops, or modems, computer equipment can be a challenge to ship safely and securely. In this guide to best practices, we will be looking at how to package and ship computer equipment to ensure it and you are protected from damage.

 

Assess the Individual Risks Surrounding Each Item 

The first step when it comes to shipping computer equipment is to know how and where they are vulnerable. Depending on where and how far you are shipping, your items may be exposed to a variety of situations that can potentially damage their delicate electronic components. During shipping, damage to computer equipment falls into two categories: physical damage and environmental damage.

Physical damage occurs to the unit itself, either from being mishandled on its journey or improperly packaged beforehand. To prevent physical damage, address the particulars of each piece of equipment before preparing it to ship. Is the unit particularly fragile? Does it need to maintain a particular orientation while in transit? Does it have components that should be disassembled and packaged individually to provide better protection?

Environmental damage occurs to the item due to the environment the shipment is traveling through. If exposed, elements like heat, cold, humidity, and moisture can all damage the delicate electronics. Excessive weather conditions and climates along the route must be taken into account to protect the goods effectively. Is the item traveling on a ship, where water and weather can cause corrosion? Will it be moving through humid regions in the back of a hot truck? Does the item require a vapor-barrier bag or a moisture-absorbing desiccant? 

Answering these questions regarding your shipment will help you determine the proper packaging and shipping method.

 

Determine the Best Way to Ship 

If your shipment is too large for parcel service, LTL shipping might be the best way to ship your computer equipment safely. However, due to the frequency of stops, handling, loading, and unloading, there are a lot of dangers to your shipment from pickup to delivery. Consider additional LTL shipping services like white-glove service or temperature-controlled shipping for an added layer of protection.

 

Select the Correct Packaging

Computer equipment can vary in size, shape, weight, and complexity. They can be all-in-one laptops, multi-piece desktop setups, or awkwardly shaped printers. Whatever the case, it is important to package the item carefully and with plenty of buffer materials for protection. A reinforced or double-thickness cardboard box with foam or cardboard components inside the box to both protect the computer and keep it from moving around during shipment is ideal.

If possible, it’s also best to avoid loose styrofoam since it is easy to break off into small pieces and then get inside the electronics if they are not adequately wrapped inside the container. Secondary cardboard boxes and wooden crates can also add another layer of protection, though they will increase the weight and dimensions of the shipment, increasing the cost to ship. Consult Koho’s packaging tips for more info.

 

Obtain Adequate Insurance 

Lastly, no matter what you do to prepare, package, and ship your computer equipment as carefully as possible, things happen, and your shipment could still get lost or damaged. To protect yourself, it is essential to know the precise monetary value of the items in your shipment and to purchase insurance through your provider, a third-party insurance company, or both. To learn more about freight insurance options, check out Koho’s freight insurance guide.

Image of trucks lined up in a parking lot

Best Practices: How to Ship Computer Equipment

Despite them being used in almost every facet of our lives these days, not many people fully understand the intricacies of what makes up our computer equipment outside of the IT department. And while it might not affect our ability to use them to make our lives easier, it definitely helps to know about their physical properties when it comes to shipping them. Whether laptops, desktops, or modems, computer equipment can be a challenge to ship safely and securely. In this guide to best practices, we will be looking at how to package and ship computer equipment to ensure it and you are protected from damage.

 

Assess the Individual Risks Surrounding Each Item 

The first step when it comes to shipping computer equipment is to know how and where they are vulnerable. Depending on where and how far you are shipping, your items may be exposed to a variety of situations that can potentially damage their delicate electronic components. During shipping, damage to computer equipment falls into two categories: physical damage and environmental damage.

Physical damage occurs to the unit itself, either from being mishandled on its journey or improperly packaged beforehand. To prevent physical damage, address the particulars of each piece of equipment before preparing it to ship. Is the unit particularly fragile? Does it need to maintain a particular orientation while in transit? Does it have components that should be disassembled and packaged individually to provide better protection?

Environmental damage occurs to the item due to the environment the shipment is traveling through. If exposed, elements like heat, cold, humidity, and moisture can all damage the delicate electronics. Excessive weather conditions and climates along the route must be taken into account to protect the goods effectively. Is the item traveling on a ship, where water and weather can cause corrosion? Will it be moving through humid regions in the back of a hot truck? Does the item require a vapor-barrier bag or a moisture-absorbing desiccant? 

Answering these questions regarding your shipment will help you determine the proper packaging and shipping method.

 

Determine the Best Way to Ship 

If your shipment is too large for parcel service, LTL shipping might be the best way to ship your computer equipment safely. However, due to the frequency of stops, handling, loading, and unloading, there are a lot of dangers to your shipment from pickup to delivery. Consider additional LTL shipping services like white-glove service or temperature-controlled shipping for an added layer of protection.

 

Select the Correct Packaging

Computer equipment can vary in size, shape, weight, and complexity. They can be all-in-one laptops, multi-piece desktop setups, or awkwardly shaped printers. Whatever the case, it is important to package the item carefully and with plenty of buffer materials for protection. A reinforced or double-thickness cardboard box with foam or cardboard components inside the box to both protect the computer and keep it from moving around during shipment is ideal.

If possible, it’s also best to avoid loose styrofoam since it is easy to break off into small pieces and then get inside the electronics if they are not adequately wrapped inside the container. Secondary cardboard boxes and wooden crates can also add another layer of protection, though they will increase the weight and dimensions of the shipment, increasing the cost to ship. Consult Koho’s packaging tips for more info.

 

Obtain Adequate Insurance 

Lastly, no matter what you do to prepare, package, and ship your computer equipment as carefully as possible, things happen, and your shipment could still get lost or damaged. To protect yourself, it is essential to know the precise monetary value of the items in your shipment and to purchase insurance through your provider, a third-party insurance company, or both. To learn more about freight insurance options, check out Koho’s freight insurance guide.

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