Design Issues to Avoid When Shipping Server Rack Crates
25 March 2015
Shipping rack-mounted servers can be challenging. By their very nature, rack crates are top heavy, awkward and difficult to handle. What’s more, they are high-value, high risk cargo where any damage comes with a potentially high price tag. The best way to prevent problems is to be proactive before your equipment is shipped. Knowing the difference between quality server shipping crates and sub-standard design and packaging, can help insure a safe journey.
Don’t Lumber Along
Don’t let anyone convince you that cardboard will suffice. At Larson Packaging Company we always recommend wooden packaging when shipping server racks. The materials used for wooden shipping crates may vary but if plywood is chosen, make certain that it is a high-grade, and thick enough for withstanding shock and vibration. The same is true for lumber. Saving money on inferior grade lumber can turn out to be quite costly.
» Read More A Primer On Industrial Crates
Good Design Matters
When selecting a packaging company to handle your products, take time to inquire about their design engineers. Consider their education and experience. Do they “talk your language?” Can they explain their design methodology and decisions? Are they working with sophisticated tools and software like you do?
Along with lesser quality materials, poor design is an equal contributor to poor outcomes. Ask about their use of foam. Make certain it is the correct density for your particular shipping needs and is optimized according to the latest technical information and expertise. If the foam is insufficient, your cargo can be subject to shock and vibration. On the other hand, if there is too much foam, energy may not be absorbed properly during transit exposing your cargo to possible harm.
Good ramp design is also essential. Ramps must be designed at the correct angles to prevent the racks from tipping over during handling. The incline must also be tailored to the size and shape of the casters so your rack will slide into the crate properly. A good design will have no awkward parts protruding during transit. Anything sticking out is more likely to break and also poses a hazard, so it is better to ensure a compact design where every critical element of the crate is self-contained.
Another problem with designs where parts or ramp supports stick out is that they take up more space on the truck. Increasing the outside dimensions of your crates reduces the number of crates you can fit per load, and that increases the cost per crate for each trip.
Safe unloading benefits greatly from design criteria established at the starting line. Wooden crates that require workmen to pull straps should be avoided as it wastes time and is a frequent cause of injury. Check to see that crates can be delivered without special tools since these frequently get lost along the way, impeding the offloading.
It Pays to Invest in Quality
When shipping high value cargo like server rack crates, the knowledge you acquire and the decisions you make up front will reward you at the journey’s end.