5 Tips For Safely Transporting Valuable Electronic Items

5 Tips For Safely Transporting Valuable Electronic Items

You cannot be too careful when shipping electronic components, especially if they are very sensitive and expensive. While you may be able to send small consumer-grade components through standard carriers, you need specialized shipping when you have specialized equipment.

Typical examples of electronics that need special handling are extremely high-end audio and video equipment, particularly those used for professional recording; medical technology, such as imaging machines and robotics; and IT systems. Shipping high-end or special-application electronic cargo requires a great deal of care. But when done correctly, it can be accomplished without incident and worry. 

At The Logistics Guys, we are experts in transporting unique and large-scale items when you absolutely cannot risk something going wrong with your shipment. We handle the transportation from packing and pick-up to final delivery, including specialized packaging, regulatory

compliance, customs paperwork, and point-to-point transport. 

Here are five issues that should receive special attention for successfully shipping sensitive and expensive electronic equipment. You can count on The Logistics Guys to work with you to ensure these items are addressed.

  1. Preparation

Before even packing your equipment, it is essential to take careful stock of it. Ensure that everything you intend to ship is there, including all components, cords, cables, accessories, and attachments. Sometimes, parts need to be disassembled prior to shipment to prevent potential damage, such as power supplies, boards, or special batteries. 

Test the equipment to make sure everything is in working order, so there’s no doubt whether, on arrival, any problems were pre-existing or occurred during shipment. Similarly, take note of any marks or scratches (if it is used equipment) before packing it up, so you won’t be surprised if a mark you did not notice before is suddenly present when the shipment arrives.

  1. Packaging Materials

The right packaging materials will help ensure that your shipment arrives safely at its destination. Many specialty components require special packaging to cushion and absorb the small jolts, vibrations, and shifts that inevitably occur whenever you transport something. Also, some components require unique packing materials. Packing peanuts, bubble-pack, and styrofoam are notorious for holding a static charge, so they are not suitable for sensitive electronics. In addition, you may need a moisture barrier and some desiccant to protect your electronics from water vapor damage. 

For large components, you may even need custom-cut conducting anti-static foam inserts. Depending upon what you ship, you may need custom-designed corrugated cardboard boxes, double-walled containers, or wooden crates to ensure your electronic equipment is sufficiently protected. If the equipment is especially heavy, loading it onto pallets may be necessary so that it can be loaded and unloaded safely by forklift.

  1. Packing and Loading

Once you have a pick list of every item that needs to be shipped and you have the appropriate packaging materials, it is time to pack your equipment. All the crates should be accounted for. This can be done by coding the containers with letters, numbers, and other markings and carefully documenting to ensure you track what parts should be together. On the receiving end, you want to be sure that the components of your system will go back together correctly and in the correct configuration. 

All packed items should be securely sealed with tamper-resistant seals. All the boxes and crates should be properly loaded using ramps or a forklift and positioned and tied down, with no ability for your items to fall or slide. Fill any gaps with appropriate padding to prevent unnecessary falls and shifts.

  1. Carrier Choice

Work with a carrier that knows how to handle electronic equipment. You don’t want your expensive and sensitive equipment treated like a load of dog food. A good carrier will offer: 

  • Credentials: check that your carrier is legitimate and has all their licenses and paperwork in order. Unfortunately, hijacking and piracy do occur, particularly for expensive shipments. Check the background of your carrier and your drivers.
  • When possible, single-point pick-up and delivery without the need to load and unload repeatedly. Sometimes, this cannot be done if, for example, part of the trip is by plane or ship. Verify the transport methods to ensure the shipment is as direct as possible. 
  • Real-time tracking of your shipment. 
  • Knowledge of shipping regulations for every jurisdiction through which your shipment will travel. This is especially important for international shipments.
  • Security: Today, trailer theft is a reality, and you cannot afford to risk that your shipment will be vandalized or stolen. Ensure your carrier provides sufficient security for your load, including team drivers, escorts, and tighter transport schedules, which give would-be criminals less time to plan and execute a theft.
  • Environmental protection: many electronic components do not respond well to extreme cold or heat. Take note of the time of year and transit routes. Ensure your carrier knows how to protect your equipment from environmental damage using heaters, cooling, dry ice, or moisture barriers when necessary to ensure your sensitive components don’t suffer environmental damage.
  1. Insurance

Even with the best preparation and service, things can go wrong. An unexpected accident, an unusual weather event, or any other random occurrence can spoil even the most diligent planning, so purchasing insurance is prudent when shipping expensive items. You can often buy insurance through your shipper, logistics company, or even as a rider on an existing insurance policy. Alternatively, you can arrange for the receiver of the goods to insure the shipment. Whatever the arrangement, look into different types of insurance plans available through various providers depending on how much risk you’re willing to accept and how much the insurer is willing to insure. 

These steps are essential to give you peace of mind when shipping expensive electronic equipment. If you have a special transportation project and need expert assistance, you can trust The Logistics Guys to get your shipment right. Give us a call today!  

Written by James Colies

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