Shipping database servers and electronics in the US. Need advice.
January 26, 2009 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Shipping 500-1000 pounds of electronics (some sensitive, fragile) cross country. Anyone have advice or resources? This is in the US.

I've got 2 servers, each about 75lbs, 2 HD arrays, each about 100lbs, and 4 battery backups, each about 140 lbs. I need to ship these to a different office location, about 1000 miles away. The servers and arrays have data on them that I don't want to lose.

What type of shipping should I look for? Packaging advice? Any other advice?
posted by mhuckaba to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
For something this important I'd be thinking along the lines of renting a Penske truck and either driving it myself or hiring a friend, family member, or employee to drive it. It sounds like your data is important or not easily backed up, and with most moving companies or mail/express companies there's probably too much latitude for stuff to get mishandled or lost.
posted by crapmatic at 8:14 AM on January 26, 2009

(or probably a club van would do it)
posted by crapmatic at 8:15 AM on January 26, 2009

We receive these types of shipments regularly from a company that services/installs sensitive scientific in our lab. Most of the stuff is shipped in reusable shipping crates (scroll down to "molded shipping tub"), with 6-8" of fairly dense foam around the object in question. I have no idea how much insurance they have on these things when they ship. I don't know if this is something you could rent from a shipping company as to not have to pay $800 to own one. Here's one in our lab. And some more.
posted by sararah at 8:18 AM on January 26, 2009

Individually shipped boxes get tossed around a lot.

You could look at a POD or pallet shipping solution where things can at least be kept level and bundled together.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 8:19 AM on January 26, 2009

If you can palletize them, you might (depending on value and sensitivity, call an expedited shipping company. I'm in that business, so you can memail me or look me up in facebook or email me with questions. It's very individual, this shipping thing :)
posted by pjern at 8:53 AM on January 26, 2009

Make backups.
posted by so_ at 9:25 AM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Racked or unracked?
posted by mmascolino at 10:15 AM on January 26, 2009

There are "stickers" that freight companies use that can indicate temperature variance, whether the box was tipped over, or if the product was dropped. I would find/use these as a simple protection.
posted by zerobyproxy at 10:28 AM on January 26, 2009

They are unracked, but could be racked. The dimensions are about 2.5ft long, 2 ft wide, 4ft high for the stack. We're going to remove the data before shipping. I meant they're sensitive in the sense of having the servers tossed around w/the chance of the heatsink damaging the mobo/proc.
posted by mhuckaba at 12:03 PM on January 26, 2009

This is not something I do directly, but I do know that my company racked servers and other devices in racks like this. However it also involves having those racks properly crated as well.
posted by mmascolino at 12:58 PM on January 26, 2009

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