There are alot of things to consider when shipping a package. Shipping carriers are under tremendous pressure to stay on time, control costs, and deliver, all without any issues. Many times, when issues arise, it is typically due to carelessness or mistakes in the packing process, then it is the carrier. The worst situation is when damage to a package occurs. Below are tidbits for packing heavy items. This article is written to reflect superchargers, a heavy car part, but could apply to any related industry. Our company deals with many auto shops as well as residential customers. Many times, packing materials are not readily available. We hope that this article will inform and educate.
- Things you need to know first. Most carriers base pricing on SIZE, WEIGHT, and ZIP CODE. This is important as it will tell them how many packages will fit on the truck, semi, airplane, or boat. They can calculate the fuel cost and labor costs. But more importantly, they can calculate how many packages can fit on that truck or plane before space or weight becomes an issue. All space is used. From the floor to the ceiling. It is not uncommon to have box weights under 65 lb placed on 2nd, 3rd, or 4th row to consume all available space. If you wish to refrain from having any item stacked on top of your package, you should most likely choose Freight Shipping with a Pallet. If your package will weigh over 150 lbs, you should also choose Freight Shipping. This article will focus on Parcel Shipping which is primarily 99% of our business.
- Choose a box size that is 2″ to 4″ larger than the supercharger on all dimensions .
- Choose a weight of a box that will properly support your supercharger. In the USA, you can identify this by a round label in the bottom of the box called a Box Manufacturer’s Certificate. The BMC below on the singlewall box is rated for 65 lbs, but can be crushed if anything over 32 lbs per inch is placed above it. This means this box would be a poor choice for a bottom row item.
- The 2nd picture below is a similar size of box, but doublewall. This box is rated for 100 lbs of goods inside the package, but more importantly, able to hold 275 lbs per inch. This box would make an excellent candidate for a heavy, bottom row item. It will be able to take the force of many rows of boxes, of various weights, stacked above it.
- Choose the packing material carefully. Air pillows and peanuts will not work with heavy items. Air pillows will pop. Peanuts will shuffle around, allowing heavy items to settle to the bottom, exposing them to damage from below. Bubble wrap and twisted paper works well on items under 30 lbs. Avoid using bubble wrap on anything over this weight. Solid, dense foam, layers of cardboard sliced to line the sides of the box are a good choice. Pink building Styrofoam are really good choices for customers without proper packing materials. They come in 4×8 sheets and in various thicknesses, but can be cut down easy with a utility knife to fit in any package. We recommend the 1.5 to 2″ thickness as a good, overall choice. For those that wish, we offer up Room Temperature Instapak foam in our Shipping Supplies page for purchase.
- Does the item contain any hazardous materials that can leak or cause a safety risk? If your supercharger has any oil that can leak out, it should be drained and properly recycled. Any coolant should be blown out of an intercooler. Any fuellines should have the fuel blown from the fuel lines- or removed. Failure to do these things can cause your package to become wet, which can damage and soften up the cardboard, leading to container failure. Gasoline can be highly explosive and dangerous not only for trucks, but air freight. Many times, packages like this can be red flagged and forced to travel by Freight, leading to a slow, and expensive process for the consumer. Take the time to remove the hazardous materials now, and save a bunch later.
- Note any areas of the supercharger that could poke through packing materials and or could be easily damaged. As you are packing the item, these are the areas to focus on. Bypass valves, pulleys, bolt studs, and vacuum ports are common items to become damaged.
- Line the box with many layers of cardboard or foam. Be sure there is at least 1.5″ to 2″ of solid foam. This is your base.
- Lay the supercharger within the package by centering it up. Any loose hardware you wish to include, place in a ziplock or small box and place aside or tape to the supercharger. Start by lining the sides of the box. Choose the pulley side as the first side to protect. Sometimes, a layer of cardboard in this area will offer up extra protection. Continue lining up the sides till you have your minimum sidewall base. Now you have a foam protective box within your box. Identify open air space areas. This is the area to fill with dense packed items, bubblewrap, cardboard. You do not want the supercharger to shift around and break out of the package. Pay attention to the areas that were identified earlier as areas that damage could occur. Use extra dense materials in this area, perhaps some extra cardboard to assist.
- After you have confirmed airspace voids are full, place your minimum coverage over the top side of the box. Now is the time to trim down you box size if necessary. Make sure to leave enough cardboard on your flaps to cover the package.
- Be sure to use a tape that will stick and hold to your package. Tape all edges, not just the center of the box. Check the box for any old labels, bar codes or tags. Old tags or bar codes can cause delayed and or lost packages. Remove them or cover them up. If your supercharger weighs more than 65 lbs, place warning stickers on the package that the item is heavy.
- Stand back. Does your supercharger look like a UPS driver can drop it from 2 feet? If so, you are ready to ship! Do not forget to include your REPAIR REQUEST FORM!
- If you find that you require materials or wish to have a foam box delivered with the space within, we can offer this service. You do pay for the box and foam upfront, but it is refunded and applied when your supercharger arrives. We can even prepare UPS labels and UPS pickup for you so that you do not need to heave this item into your only other running vehicle and haul it across town. Just pay the shipping fees! Reach out to us in our contact section.
Last note. Insurance. Insurance will not cover damage to poorly package items that do not follow the guidelines above, no matter who you pay to pack the item. Think of insurance as protection against lost items, acts of God, or the crazy idiot that tried to pass the UPS truck on a snowy road. You can add all the insurance you want. If you package the supercharger like the one below, without any protective material, you just threw away the insurance money that you should have spent on packing materials. You wouldn’t send a diamond ring in a padded envelope, so why send your supercharger with just a single chunk of cardboard.