Regardless of your video facility, Broadcast Automation, Video on Demand, Streaming or Content Delivery Network, sometimes a video server or other component will fail and needs to be returned for repair. If the unit is not packaged properly before you give it to FedEx or UPS the end result is never very good as the photo above shows. This particular server was put in it’s shipping container upside down. This resulted in quite a bit of damage as parts shook themselves loose during transit.
Here are some tips to follow to avoid shipping damage:
- Use the original shipping box if available. If not select a very sturdy shipping box that is at least 2 inches larger on all sides than the server.
- Place at least 2 inches of foam in the bottom of the box to build a base.
- If the unit includes removable hard drives, remove them from the case to avoid internal damage.
- Place the server in the box right side up. Inserting the unit upside down can cause additional damage.
- Insert 2 inches of dense foam all around the unit to fully pack out the spaces between the unit and the sides and top of the shipping container. The goal is to fill the voids to reduce movement within the box.
- Package the hard drives separately using anti-static bags and place at lease 1 inch of dense foam around each hard drive.
- Seal the box with multiple layers of packing tape and attach shipping the document.
Things to avoid:
- Don’t use boxes that are weak, torn, damaged or have crushed corners.
- Don’t use peanuts, bubble wrap or packing material that can create dust. Computers hate dust. Peanuts move around and can create open voids in your packing material.
- Don’t leave open gaps between the unit you are shipping and the sides of the box.
- Don’t put anything loose in the box like keys. Tape keys to the unit.
- Don’t put a Fragile sticker on the box. It’s a code word for FedEx and UPS to use the box as a football.
Following these tips will help reduce unnecessary damage. If you have more tips please pass them along in the comments section.