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Re: Cross-country shipping of large network/computer gear?
From: Ray Wong <rayw () rayw net>
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 18:12:04 -0700

On Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 08:31:58PM -0500, Andy Walden wrote:
On 27 Aug 2003, Robert E. Seastrom wrote:
Yes, but my point is that you can stack the deck in your favor by
using a company that uses appropriate material handling devices to
move every package if you are shipping packages that are heavy enough
that moving them with a handtruck or by hand is possible-but-unwise.

I can agree in principal, so long as we can designate a company that will
execute proper company policy and do so *every* time. Unfortunately, for

So your position is that the the existence of exceptions defines the
probability and severity of damage?  That 1% and 40% damage rates are
in fact the same?  $10 and $10,000?

the purpose of the general well-being of our gear, we arrive back at
generally blue collar, none-the-less, well paid, package handlers that
individually define preferences for how they feel like doing it that day.

I still fail to see why I would choose an organiztion with handles hundreds
of times more packages, most weighing less and being less breakable than
mine, over one with the specialized equipment to move it.  An air cargo
carrier with heavy-cargo equipment is still less likely to drop a pallet
off a pallet jack than an express shipper with a handtruck.  That their
respective employees are equally lackadaisical doesn't mean all other
factors have been equalized.

Cargo/freight carriers, in general, are also aware that nearly all their
cargo is of declared value, that the fragility warnings are more likely
correct, and, perhaps most important, that the customers are far more
likely to be filing damage claims against them.  Fedex, et al, know that
most of THEIR packages are paper and other sturdy items, and that their
customers are much less likely to notice/claim damages.

It's somewhat like card counting in blackjack.  The odds are still quite
poor, but that n% shift can make the difference of coming out of the casino
money ahead or behind.

Of course, good packing is critical either way.  If you're going freight,
palletize the items with proper/extra padding/packing material, stick some
damage (shock and tipping) indicators on each side, and tuck an INSPECTION
CHECKLIST for whomever is on the receiving end (not they won't have their
own copy, just sends a sign to anyone handling it that someone's going to
look when it arrives).  If you're still determined to use a shipper, pack
and pad it well, then pack that box into another padded/packed box.

If you're desperate to get it moved ASAP, see if you can find a college
intern you can pay to drive it.  You'll want your own people to load it
in and out of the car/van, but it'll be cheap and probably less risky than
relying on the odds with a shipper.


Ray Wong
rayw () rayw net

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