The shipment of network equipment poses unique challenges. These items are often sensitive, expensive, and critical for operations. To ensure safe and secure delivery, certain tasks should be meticulously followed. This article will explore the best practices for packing networking equipment for shipment.
Packing network equipment, especially server racks, for shipment requires careful consideration of materials, packing methods, and logistics. These best practices will help protect your equipment during transit:
1. Use Appropriate Packaging Materials
Selecting the right materials is crucial. Use anti-static bubble wrap, foam inserts, or padded dividers to cushion your equipment. Also, consider double-walled boxes or custom crates for heavy items When you get to large pieces of equipment like server racks there are additional considerations.Transporting server racks safely requires careful consideration, as not every packing material or method offers the same level of protection. To ensure the intact arrival of server racks, here are some effective packing and shipping strategies:
- Customized Crating: Given the variety in servers’ sizes, shapes, and weights, it’s advisable to use custom or specially designed crates. Tailoring crates to the specific dimensions of your server racks enhances their safety during transport.
- Utilizing Bubble Wrap: Bubble wrap, known for its air-filled pockets, is a popular choice for cushioning server racks. It’s highly effective, accessible, affordable, and adaptable to various rack sizes and shapes. Wrapping racks in bubble wrap before placing them in crates is a common practice for additional protection.
- Shipping Blankets for Impact Absorption: Shipping blankets are often used to envelop crates, lessening the impact during transit. Even when racks are crated, these blankets provide an extra layer of protection. Specialized logistics firms dealing with sensitive equipment frequently employ custom-fitted shipping blankets for this purpose.
- Edge Protection Measures: Protecting the sharp, hard corners of server racks is crucial to minimize damage risk. Edge protection typically involves using simple cardboard corners, which are either shrink-wrapped or strapped to the rack for safety.
Ensure that the packaging material is clean and free of debris to avoid any potential damage.
2. Original Manufacturer’s Packaging
If possible, utilize the original manufacturer’s packaging. This packaging is typically designed to fit the equipment snugly and provide adequate protection against shocks and vibrations. While this is the easiest if you have kept the original packaging and may seem the best way to go, the OEM is not going to cover any damage that may happen when shipping used equipment.
3. Static Electricity Precautions
Wrap your equipment in anti-static materials. Static electricity can damage the sensitive components of network equipment. Use an ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) bag to cover the equipment before wrapping it with other materials.
Properly label each package with “fragile” or “handle with care” stickers. Indicate if the package needs to be kept upright. Clear labeling can communicate necessary handling instructions to the carriers. It is also important to label boxes and crates that have parts that work together. Much time is wasted going through boxes and crates trying to find companion pieces of equipment. You may put boxes and crates together for the shipper to pick up, the odds that those boxes and crates come off the truck are slim to nil. So labeling and knowing what is in each box and crate will make the unload process much easier.
5. Insurance and Tracking
Invest in shipping insurance for high-value items. This provides peace of mind and protection against the financial impact of potential damage. Be sure that the coverage is adequate for networking type of equipment which may be more that what the shipper will be recommending. Select a reputable shipping carrier with experience handling fragile or valuable equipment. Consider using a specialized logistics company
that has expertise in handling high-value and sensitive shipments. Additionally, use a tracking option to keep an eye on your shipment’s progress.
6. Weight Distribution
When packing multiple items within a box or on a pallet, consider the weight distribution. Heavier items should be placed at the bottom, and sufficient cushioning should be placed in between items to prevent shifting. Top heavy boxes and crates are more likely to get damaged in shipping.
7. Documentation, Sealing and Security
Ensure that all the necessary shipping documents are in order. This includes commercial invoices, packing lists, and any other paperwork required by the carriers or customs if shipping internationally. Beyond what the carrier may need it is always good to ship all documentation related to the equipment itself like user and service manuals and installation guides. You should ALWAYS take photos of the equipment to document the pre-shipment condition so any damage on arrival is caused by the shipping carrier.
Use high-quality sealing tape to secure the openings of boxes. For added security, use tamper-evident seals or tapes that indicate if the package has been opened.
8. Pre-Shipment Testing
Before packing, it’s advisable to perform a pre-shipment test to ensure the equipment is functioning properly. Document this process to help resolve any potential disputes that may arise if the equipment is damaged during transit.
Adhering to these best practices can significantly reduce the risk of damage to network equipment during shipping. By investing time and resources into proper packaging, you safeguard not only the equipment but also the continuity and efficiency of the operations they support. If this is part of a network upgrade there are companies like TeleTraders
that can assist with the process from guidance on the best way to dispose of old equipment to managing the entire process
and getting you funds for you old equipment.