Is double boxed shipping really necessary? Not according to this company.

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by AB7RU, Jan 25, 2019.

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  1. AB7RU

    AB7RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Okay fellow amateurs, need some help on this one because I don't know the answer!

    I have always assumed that delicate radio equipment is shipped double boxed by ham radio retailers. Until yesterday! When I received my Comet Antenna Analyzer from Gigaparts... and they stuck it in a slightly bubble wrapped FedEx plastic envelope along with a couple of connector adapters (all loose). So here is a rather expensive piece of test equipment that the manual warns in several places, Please do not drop it or subject it to a strong (physical) shock. Well I hope the FedEx people had Xray vision and could see this was a Comet analyzer in the plastic bag so they would then be extra careful with it all along the trip from Las Vegas to Spokane. So, am I over reacting and the analyzer should be fine?

    Here is a snapshot of how it was shipped. I emailed gigaparts to voice the concern, so will wait to hear from them. I guess it is okay, there is no indication physically that the box was damaged. But it still freaked me out. It will be interesting to see what they say... maybe they will tell me, "oh we ship these all the time this way, there is never a problem..."
  2. AE1N

    AE1N Ham Member QRZ Page

    My dad shipped me his Yaesu transceiver just before he passed away some 10 years ago. He used UPS. The device was practically destroyed. It was in a single box. With a hassle, I was eventually able to collect the depreciated value of it.
    My experience: Use FEDEX ground and DOUBLE BOX everything! It's worth the extra expense.
    ---Layne AE1N
    K4AGO, N1DQQ and KP4SX like this.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'd be surprised if Comet ships them this way from Japan or wherever they're manufactured.

    But packaging determined by weight and details of contents. Something as light as an antenna analyzer should withstand single carton packaging fine, I would think.

    We use double packaging for heavy stuff, but also put all product packaging through ISTA testing by a certified lab who has the machinery to do the 30" drop shock tests on all sides and corners, (also various slide shock tests) using impact instruments, etc, and has us functionally test the products after testing to assure they're okay and undamaged. The testing can cost about $1200 per product/packaging, but it's fairly cheap insurance.

    For the heavy stuff we also use tilt and shock recording tabs on the outside of the cartons so the recipient can tell before opening the cartons whether the ratings were exceeded in transit and can refuse delivery if any of those "trip."
    AB7RU likes this.
  4. W5GX

    W5GX Ham Member QRZ Page

    My biggest pet peeve is when they put the product in the shipping box, directly on the bottom of the box, and then fill peanuts/bubble wrap/etc. around and on top. Really? :p
    K4TTJ, K3XR, KP4SX and 1 other person like this.
  5. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was flying cargo we loaded the plane off the clock and got paid by the flight-hour.
    UPS - You beat up our packages :mad:
    ME - Tell me again how much you paid me to load them :rolleyes:
    I always tell people to expect their boxes to fall several feet off a cart onto concrete and maybe get kicked a few times :eek:

    There is nothing magical about double boxing. I worked someplace once that had a foam hose. We would wrap stuff up in plastic, put it in the box, and inject foam around it. The idea is a solid piece of foam/Styrofoam does not let the object migrate to one side of the box where it has no more insulation than cardboard between it and the UPS boys.
    K9ASE and AB7RU like this.
  6. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Perhaps the "UPS boys" are not always the problem
  7. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had one genius ship an EF Johnson Viking II (approaching 100lbs) in a used single box with 3/4 Inch of used peanuts on all sides!

    Amazingly it survived with only a slight scuff and a little shift on some knobs. The saving factor must have been that it was traveling only about 200 miles. I held my breath when watching the UPS driver unload.
    AB7RU likes this.
  8. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    It really depends on what is being shipped.

    Most radios I have bought have very generous internal packing that shock-insulates the radio from its box. The double-boxing is really just to protect the manufacturer's box, which is important to many amateurs.

    I did buy an amplifier one time that was very heavy -- maybe 60 lbs. It also had generous internal packing inside the manufacture's box, but it really did need to be double boxed, because the single layer of cardboard from the manufacturer wasn't enough to resist the wear and tear of the ex-football stars who work for the major carriers. It's not that the packing was insufficient per se, but because of the mass, a single layer of cardboard would be shredded under the stress. In fact, the first outer box I received with the amplifier was very badly damaged by shipping for this reason.

    An analyzer in its factory box inside a padded bag is probably sufficient. Double boxing would be nice, of course. Loose connectors inside any packing isn't a good idea, tho.
    N2EY and AB7RU like this.
  9. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I ship I remember that the out of work Samsonite Gorillas have all secured positions with the major carriers... and then pack accordingly.

    Hmmm... ship the radio in a Samsonite suitcase? The handlers would feel right at home.
  10. N8FVJ

    N8FVJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Heavy items should be double boxed with 3-4" of padding. 50 lbs in a single box can collapse the single wall box. Light items should also be in a box, not an envelope.
    KA0HCP and AB7RU like this.

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