You’ve decided to ship your equipment to ICS for calibration. Wise choice! Now, how do you get it to us? The following helpful tips will help ensure your instruments reach us safely.
1. Choose an appropriate shipping container.
When choosing an adequate shipping container, there are several thoughts to consider: How heavy is my equipment? Is it fragile? Does it have sharp edges or easily-broken parts? Your package will likely pass through many hands en route from your location to ours, so you will want to make sure it can withstand the trip. Remember, your equipment can’t be calibrated if it arrives broken.
It’s best to use a new box whenever possible. If a new box is unavailable, look for a one that is firm, with rigid corners. Make sure it has no tears, holes, or punctures. If your equipment is heavy, use a thick box or consider double-boxing your unit. Hard shell shipping cases are a great option for expensive units, as they provide added protection for delicate equipment.
* To prevent delays, remember to remove or blacken-out any previously used labels from your container.
2. Secure your equipment using packing material.
Broken equipment can not only cause down time in your facility, but the added expense can be substantial. Securely packing each unit will greatly minimize the chance that it will get damaged during shipping.
There are many commercial products available for packing equipment: Bubble wrap, Styrofoam packing ‘peanuts’, Styrofoam sheets, inflatable foam packs, and more. If these are not available, tightly crumpled kraft paper can be used, although it is not recommended for heavy electronics. Wrap each item individually, and allow a minimum of 2 inches between the contents and the outer box. Be sure to secure heavy times tightly, using materials that can withstand their weight. Packing peanuts, for instance, are adequate filler for lighter items, but will crumble under the weight of heavy units, offering little to no protection.
Even items in hard shell containers, such as pelican cases, can become damaged if not secured properly. For larger units, ensure there is room in the case for at least 2 inches of padding on each side, and for smaller units, be sure to fill in any empty space with packing materials, to prevent the unit from shifting during shipping.
We also recommend that any protruding attachments be removed if possible, and placed in a separate bag, along with any loose cords/cables or accessories. Be sure to include them with your shipment.
* Check with your shipping agent for specific packaging guidelines.
3. To insure or not to insure?
Insurance protects you in the event that your package is lost or damaged during shipment. Most shipping companies provide minimal complimentary coverage for losses, so you must decide if you wish to invest in additional insurance that will fully cover the replacement cost of your unit.
NOTE: Insurance on return shipments is the responsibility of the customer. Insurance is optional. If insurance is required, you must inform ICS in writing, and state the declared value of each individual piece of equipment. We take great care to ensure you package is properly protected, but we will not be held responsible for damages incurred during shipping.
4. Don’t forget the paperwork!
If you have a purchase order, be sure to include the hard copy with your shipment. You can also fax or email it. Include on your paperwork any specific calibration requirements, calibration cycles, preferred equipment identifications (if any), as well as any special shipping instructions.
If you are a new customer, please fill out our New Customer Form, and return it to us with your equipment (the credit application is optional)