Shipping the latest and greatest in electronics can prove to be a matter of luck, especially if you're not aware of the numerous dangers and caveats involved. If you want to know how to keep your electronics safe as they travel to their destination, you'll want to take a look at these packing tips.
The More Cushion, the Better
When it comes to shipping electronics safely, cushioning is the name of the game. If you don't use enough packing material in your package, there's a good chance that your electronics may end up damaged during transit. There should be at least a couple of inches of packing material surrounding the item. This should provide enough cushioning to keep your electronics safe against the vibration and shock generated during the shipping process.
As far as what type of packing material you should use, that usually depends on the size and type of the electronic equipment you're shipping. Styrofoam peanuts are a popular and inexpensive go-to for most shipped goods. Starch peanuts offer a biodegradable alternative for just a few cents more, but their effectiveness is easily jeopardized by exposure to water.
Packing materials that rely on air pockets for protection, such as air bubble wrap and air pillows, are also effective and relatively economical. However, air pillows might not be ideal for small packages with space constraints. Polyurethane and shape-conforming foam are ideal for transporting sensitive electronics, but these options are also the most expensive choices available.
Wrap It Up
Whether you have a large Blu-Ray player or a small Ethernet card to ship, wrapping your goods in bubble wrap provides an extra level of protection against bumps and other forms of shock. You'll want to wrap your electronics in at least two layers of the material for the best possible protection.
Dealing with Static Electricity
Static electricity is a common killer of electronics. Any discharge of built-up static electricity can easily fry sensitive electronic components, including motherboards and CPUs. Even the very act of packing your gadgets for shipping can generate and, if you're unlucky, create a static discharge capable of damaging or even killing electronics.
The best way to deal with static electricity is by eliminating the possibility of it occurring in the first place. This means handling sensitive electronics with the utmost care. Wearing an electrostatic discharge (ESD) wrist strap can help ground the static electricity before it has an opportunity to travel to sensitive components. When packing electronics, be sure to pack them in anti-static bags. These bags help isolate those fragile electronics from any build-up of static electricity that occurs during the shipping process.
Small Components Deserve Their Own Bags
Power cords and various other cables can take up a lot of space, so it's a good idea to not only bundle individual cords with twist ties or zip ties, but you should also place them into their own plastic bags. The same also goes for screws and other fasteners, brackets and other plastic or metal components. These components should also be labeled for greater ease of assembly and/or use once unpacked.
As further protection against the slings and arrows of shipping, it's a good idea to place your packed box inside of another adequately-cushioned box. This way, the outer box will receive the brunt of any rough handling it might get during its journey.
Choose a cardboard box that's at least 1 to 2 inches larger in overall dimensions than your already packed box. Line the box with a thin layer of packing material and set the first box inside. Make sure the inner box is centered within its outer box and fill the leftover space with packing material. For more advice, contact local packing services.