how things should be shipped properly

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surrealdeal
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how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby surrealdeal » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:28 pm

Hi, I work at a "Major shipping provider" in the united states. Let me share with you some tips on how to ship sgi hardware:

1. always assume that there might at one point or another be 5-6 20lb boxes of dog food stacked on top of your delicate o2.
2. always pack things so that a 150 pound desk set decelerating from a 35 degree angle off a roller line won't really damage anything in your package.
3. insure packages in small boxes would survive being thrown a good 4-5 ft to the top, and against, a steel trailer.
4. anything packed in a flimsy thin rectangle box with a single layer of bubble wrap will invariably have 20+ pounds of random automotive parts stacked on them. I see this everyday.
5. Your heavy over-sized onyx systems in large boxes? expect a 1/2 chance of them being dropped 5 ft onto the innards of a steel container. Every heavy thing loaded into the under-section of a trailer is dropped recklessly. no exceptions.

I received a well packed, but none-the-less damaged system in the mail today. It made me sad because it was from the same company I work for.

solutions:

styrofoam: specifically styrofoam that completely envelop the system. packing peanuts shift around. from the west coast to the mid-west, your package goes through 4 different hubs. That's potentially 4 different people loading your package onto conveyor equipment, and 4 different people packing it back into a wall of boxes which may contain a 50 lb weight-set, or a 3ft industrial oil drill. ( yes we ship those ). Bubblewrap is 'better' but people don't understand that with physics, and conservation laws, any weight on top of bubble wrap is going to be shifted directly into the machine that you are sending in the mail. Sure, it's nice to avoid scratching and scuffs, but it does nothing to alleviate load. Systems shipped in the mail should be physically isolated from the surrounding environment. Which leads me to:

milk-crates: Almost no one sends anything in these really, but they should, since you aren't going to get a custom o2 or fuel syrofoam mold. There needs to be a rigid 'shell' around your system which acts as a load-bearing structure, to isolate your system physically. The inside of this can then be bubble wrap to avoid inertial bump scuffing your system against milk crates.

wooden boxes: I have seen this used often with sensitive laboratory equipment. Things like SEM heads or x-ray tubes are actually packed in a box made out of wood, which has anti-static bags and packing foam / bubblewrap inside of it. This is really the only way to ship something large that you care about.

other: other clever systems I've seen used in our facilities include pelikan weapons carrying cases, and those large durable lunch boxes, which are used to transport delicates.

all the best

robespierre
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby robespierre » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:50 pm

Styrofoam peanuts cannot shift when the box is filled to 110% with them. The whole reason for the peanut shape is to prevent shifting when it's properly used, since the surfaces of each piece interlock against the others. They are ineffective when improperly used.

"You aren't going to get a custom o2 or fuel styrofoam mold": Just buy Instapak bags.
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Geoman
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby Geoman » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:15 pm

Moderators: perhaps this can be a sticky thread.
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pentium
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby pentium » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:45 pm

Personally I'd love it if Office depot or even your chain office supply store sold Instapak bags.

Image

They're amazing for shipping weirdly shaped items, especially things like monitors or fragile machines like the O2 or compact macs. Yet it seems the only way to buy them is in packs of 20 for over $250. They aren't financially viable to buy unless you are shipping a lot of stuff.
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foetz
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby foetz » Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:27 am

Geoman wrote:Moderators: perhaps this can be a sticky thread.

indeed, moved it to the sales section and stuck it.
thanks for the nice guide surrealdeal!

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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby smj » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:06 am

Good advice, thanks surreal!

robespierre wrote:"You aren't going to get a custom o2 or fuel styrofoam mold": Just buy Instapak bags.

I remember thinking those spray-foam packing systems were the perfect solution when I first encountered them years ago, but you needed a whole shipping operation to justify one. And I guess I've been asleep ever since, because I totally missed Instapak becoming a thing.

There are several sizes available on Amazon, if nowhere else. They aren't exactly cheap, but then neither is a clean, intact O2... Looks like you have to move fast, though - foam sets in 10-15 seconds!

For example: Instapak 22x27" at Amazon (US$9.66, which will vary from day to day hour to hour because Amazon)
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Intuition
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby Intuition » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:25 am

My first O2 was sent from Acronym Systems. It was packed so good. I could have used the packed to soften a fall and the computer would have been fine.

The latest arrival... just bits everywhere. When I am finished with fixing the O2 blue cover I'll post pics showing all the tiny bits that broke off and were in the bottom of the box. Lots of little tabs and chips.
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby Shiunbird » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:25 pm

I bought my IntelliStation 285 new in the box two years ago (got lucky - paid cheap), and the original IBM box is built like a tank, incredibly well packed.

And yet the transportation company managed to miss the pallet and one of the forks of the lift fork went through the box passing centimetres from the computer.

You can never be too careful.
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby zuc » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:51 am

I had an Octane shipped in some kind of instapack type material and it arrived in perfect condition. I believe it was the eBay seller "TryC2" ... I've had other machines shipped by them and always the same - they are packed quite well and arrive in perfect condition. Sometimes RAM comes loose and rattles around, so I recommend removing and packing separately any internal components that won't handle being tossed around.
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby surrealdeal » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:38 pm

robespierre wrote:"You aren't going to get a custom o2 or fuel styrofoam mold": Just buy Instapak bags.


zuc wrote:I had an Octane shipped in some kind of instapack type material and it arrived in perfect condition.


I only remember reading about this stuff a long time ago in arts journals for people who ship cameras. It's probably a good idea. I've never used it, and it's certainly not standard at any shipping drop-off site.

Is it pliable? or does it harden around the thing you are shipping?

I'm thinking of 'great stuff foam' hole sealer for concrete, and how it might be used in a similar fashion inside of some garbage bags.

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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby surrealdeal » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:43 pm

foetz wrote:
Geoman wrote:Moderators: perhaps this can be a sticky thread.

indeed, moved it to the sales section and stuck it.
thanks for the nice guide surrealdeal!


huh. now I kind-of feel like i'm interfering with free-trade. oh well.

I guess I can maintain this thread sort-of like an FAQ, if anyone else has some pro-tips on shipping.

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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby zuc » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:20 am

surrealdeal wrote:Is it pliable? or does it harden around the thing you are shipping?


It's like that spray-in insulation foam inside of a bag so it takes the shape of any cavities inside the box and then becomes rigid foam.
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:Indy: Indy - (mimsy) - R4600 - 133MHZ - 160MB RAM - 6.5.22
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:Indigo2IMP: Indigo2 - (indigo2) - R4400 - 200MHZ - 128MB RAM - 6.5.22
:Octane: Octane - (octane) - R12K - 2X300MHZ - 640MB RAM - EMXI+4TRAMs - 6.5.30
:Octane: Octane - (petrol) - R12K - 1X300MHZ - 1.5GB RAM - 6.5.30
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby vishnu » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:57 am

surrealdeal wrote:
foetz wrote:
Geoman wrote:Moderators: perhaps this can be a sticky thread.

indeed, moved it to the sales section and stuck it.
thanks for the nice guide surrealdeal!


huh. now I kind-of feel like i'm interfering with free-trade. oh well.

I guess I can maintain this thread sort-of like an FAQ, if anyone else has some pro-tips on shipping.

If this isn't in the wiki yet it needs to be! Also, some input from mopar would be nice; the genius packaging he engineered to send me two Onyx4s would easily have survived World War III, I would have taken some pix but I was too excited to dig the goodies out, thanks mopar! :mrgreen:
Project:
Temporarily lost at sea...
Plan:
World domination! Or something...

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Trippynet
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby Trippynet » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:08 am

I'm sure Ian could chip in as well. His packaging is similarly legendary. Ordered plenty of bits from him and all have arrived fully intact without a mark on them.
Systems in use:
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mapesdhs
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Re: how things should be shipped properly

Unread postby mapesdhs » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:36 am

Beep! :D There's already a sticky, my permanent web page of advice... ;)

http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/postingadvice.html

Nobody packs better than me (so they tell me, hehe). Tell ya what though, mopar is pretty good too.

I do need to update my advice page a little, a few changes have occured over the summer among some couriers, eg. DPD has become a lot more competitive than it used to be. I also need to update from where I buy bulk packaging, including tape, labels, custom size boxes, etc. Way back I also made two how-to-wrap picture guides for O2 and Octane:

http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/sgidepot/pics ... _an_O2.zip
http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/sgidepot/pics ... octane.zip

Hmm, would youtube guides be useful? I did do a movie recently on how to take apart an O2, not uploaded it yet though.

surrealdeal makes some good points about foam chips and bubblewrap. The most common mistakes people make are:

- Using the smaller size bubblewrap (the stuff with bubblesof about 0.5cm or so) on larger items. Use 1" wrap for such things.

- Not enough layers. When wrapping any system, I use six layers of large size bubblewrap.

- Not enough or loose foam chips. It won't work simply pour foam chips into gaps down the sides of items and on top, the chips need to be rammed in to minimise movement, otherwise settling in transit will create an empty space at the top. Also, it's best to slightly overfill a box at the top since in transit it'll be squashed a bit.

- Not taping things up properly. I always seal all seams, in a manner which means at the end there are just two "end" tape edges on the entire box, which makes inteference without detection more difficult. It means more time to pack something, but worth it for a sturdier result.

- Even if all the above are done right, people just don't use big enough boxes. When shipping an O2, I use a 52x52x53cm box (custom made), large enough for a big wrapped O2 bundle and still a good thick later of foam chips on all sides, underneath and on top. I simply chose the largest size that kept the volumetric weight below 30kg (L*W*H/5000 in mm).

For Indigo2s and Fuels I either buy 24x24x24" standard boxes and then cut them vertically downto size (36cm, giving 63x63x36, again just below 30kg vol.), or I buy custom boxes. For Octane and Tezro Ibuy custom made boxes, though I forget the dimensions offhand (typing this at a ferry terminal on the west coast of Scotland. :D)

In all cases, boxes are double-wall. Beware of boxes that have pre-indented creases to aid height reduction, as they just result in weakness during transit (the sides can bulge out a bit).

Ian.
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