Silicon Investigations Repair Service

  Shipping and Packing Information

All to often we receive customer machines that have been improperly packed and damaged in transit.  This happens for a number of reasons, so we decided to publish this page in an effort to educate our customers and share some horror stories about damaged equipment.  Please take our advice to assure that your valuable equipment arrives safe and secure.


Do not use Styrofoam peanuts!  They will not keep the instrument from shifting in the box, which will likely lead to damage when the instrument works it's way to one side of the box and then is handled roughly.  Additionally, they tend to disintegrate and become lodged inside of the instrument, requiring a careful cleaning.  Not to mention that they are an environmental disaster.

Be careful when reusing foam in place packing.  If it has been reused more than one or two times, it tends to loose its rigidity and will not protect your instrument.  Also, the dust from the foam that has been crushed is difficult to remove from your valuable equipment.

Do not use steel or plastic banding on the outside of the shipping box.  This provides an easy handhold for a large and heavy box.  It WILL be thrown by the banding.  If banding must be used, secure it to the box with packing tape so hands can't get underneath it.  This should prevent it from being thrown by the banding.

Do not depend on "fragile" or "delicate instrument" labels on the outside of the box to protect the contents.  UPS, Fedex, etc. drivers do not look at these labels or care (the claim adjuster will even tell you this if you ask).  If your instrument is damaged, the claims adjustor will immediately deny your claim as "insufficiently packed" if you tell them it was marked fragile and you thought that was sufficient.  If you are concerned that your high value instrument might be mishandled and you are uncertain of the packing (first - fix the packing), use a label that reads "High Dollar Insured.  Amount $xxx".  Print this in bold black lettering on a 8.5x11 sheet of paper so that it fills the page.  Place copies on every side likely to face the driver.

Take pictures of the  instrument and the box before shipping.  If damage does occur, this will help defend against the claims adjustor accusing you of shipping the instrument out in that condition.  Yes, this happens often with high value claims.

Insure your instrument for replacement cost!  This can't be stressed enough.  We have had many occasions when a university or company hands a valuable instrument to thier shipping department without the instructions to insure for the value of the instrument.  The default insurance value for Fedex and UPS is only $100.  You won't get far with a claim when the insurance is missing.

If your instrument is damaged:

Take pictures of the outside of the box and the packing material as soon as you become aware there is damage.  This is very important.  Without documentation, your claim could be denied (and likely will be).

Save the box and packing material in its original condition (as best you can).  If a claims adjustor comes out to inspect the package, they will want to see it.

Report the damage to the shipper and to the shipping company promptly.  We have seen claims denied when the box was received but not inspected for some time.

Be persistent and don't give up.  Both Fedex and UPS tend to deny claims outright in hopes that the person gives up and goes away.  If the claim is denied, ask for a supervisor and, if necessary, an appeals process.  UPS uses a "risk management" company called Crawford & Company to handle their high value claims.  If you are unfortunate enough to run up against these 'claim adjusters', have your institutional/corporate counsel get involved IMMEDIATELY if your claim is denied.  We have had occasions when we have tried to file a claim with Crawford, only to be told that the packing, which they never sent anyone to inspect, was insufficient.  When asked what was wrong with the packing, the Crawford claims person referred us to the UPS web site 'packing guide'.  In this particular case, UPS had even misdelivered the instrument to the wrong address and it took them several weeks to find it.

Please call us at 920-955-3693 or email [email protected]

Last Modified May 29, 2020
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