Shipping Servers and Other Computer Equipment
If your company is relocating its server equipment, you need to take into consideration several factors: speed, safety, and cost. In balancing these three critical factors when shipping servers, you want to avoid some common errors that may improve speed and cost at the expense of safety. Damage claims result in indirect costs, especially if you haven’t purchased insurance, but they also result in indirect expenses such as delays and jeopardizing mission-critical equipment.
Avoid These Mistakes When Shipping Servers
To ensure that servers and other computer equipment reach the destination undamaged, avoid these mistakes when hiring a crating and freight company.
1. Hiring a company that outsources labor. The company you hire should be the same organization to handle the equipment. The freight industry frequently uses outsourcing and partnerships. Avoid companies that outsource the handling of your servers during the packing and crating process.
2. Failing to insure your servers for their full value. Blanket mover coverage may reimburse your company for damaged servers based on weight. This can result in a minimal payment towards a claim if your servers and computer equipment are damaged. Review your company’s insurance coverage as well.
3. Allowing your servers to be sent only on pallets. Do not allow the freighter to simply shrink wrap the servers on pallets. Make sure the crating company uses at minimum double-wall cardboard boxes. The preferred method is to use wooden crates constructed to fit your servers. Strapping computer equipment to a pallet will likely result in damage and is recommended only for shipping to a recycling or scrap yard.
4. Failing to obtain a complete, written description of the packing methods the crate company will use. This is especially important in comparing multiple quotes. You need to compare more than the overall cost.
5. Failing to back up your information. Whether you back up to an external hard drive or to the cloud, you should always have more than one copy of your data prior to shipping your server equipment. Should your computer equipment be irreparably damaged, you still have the valuable data.
6. Failing to hire a company that does not understand how to properly disconnect peripherals prior to dismantling. Unplugging electronic devices without properly powering down can result in data disruption. The company you hire should also know how to properly protect servers that have had fragile components removed for shipping. If hard drives, GPUs, or CPU heatsinks have been removed, the empty spaces need protection from jostling.
Advice for a DIY Move of Servers and Computer Equipment
In addition, if you are planning a DIY move of small, fragile OEM-packed computer equipment using a ground service, take extra care in packing and shipping the equipment. Ground service has a typically rough handling process with items stacked on top of one another, tossed onto conveyor belts, and allowed to fall into sort bins sideways or upside down. This is especially problematic with computer equipment. Do not pack with Styrofoam™–like foams. This is known as expanded polystyrene, which offers little protection against vibrations and shock. They may break apart and flakes may get into your computer equipment resulting in damage. It is best to protect your servers and computer equipment with cut-to-fit polyethylene foam, which will provide much more secure protection during the shipping process.
Relocating your computer servers always has inherent risks. You can mitigate those risks by avoiding the most common errors and following good practices. Still, the best method of reducing the risks of damage is to hire Alliance Relocation Services with decades of experience in crating servers for shipping.
Whatever reason your company has for moving its servers, any mistake can cause significant disruption to your operations and profitability. Contact Alliance Relocation Services when shipping your servers and computer equipment. We have the experience and appropriate methods to protect your valuable equipment.