Computer Shipping

In today’s world, nothing is more personal or vital than the computer. Photographs, journals, addresses, contact information…all kinds of things are contained in this one unit. In business, computers are the heart of the office. They have all the information and data, past and present. So, shipping a computer is a big deal.

If you need to ship a single laptop, an office full of desktops, or a mainframe, you can get a quick, accurate shipping quote right now by calling us at Pack and Post at 855.322.9684, or you can use our handy form. We can recommend and estimate custom crating and special transportation options. We will get you an accurate shipping quote within 24 hours.

It is unlikely that anything should befall one of our shipments. However, insuring your computer correctly is always important, especially when you are shipping something as personal and which took time to build. Naturally, we recommend backing up all of the data before a shipment, if it is not a new unit, and making multiple copies. But even if you have the data, rebuilding and replacing can be a hassle, and it is even more so if the budget is not there. If you are unsure of the exact value, we can provide you with professional appraisers who are fully certified specialists in their fields, who have access to thousands of sales and auction records, who are able to take into consideration the information that may be stored on your computer system, it’s hardware and software, and peripherals, and who can provide accurate documentation that will stand up to insurance or legal investigation.

Packing Computers

Computers are sensitive electronic equipment, and packing carefully is a must. Our team is experienced at this and ready to help. The safest way to do this is to remove a number of valuable parts and peripherals, which can be individually wrapped in bubble wrap and then packed together. Here are some of the items for which this should be done:

  • Heatsinks
  • Motherboards
  • RAM
  • GFX cards
  • Cables
  • Optical drives
  • Adapters
  • Peripherals, like the mouse and keyboard

Sometimes, it is more cost-effective to leave some elements behind. For example, if you are going overseas, it will cost less to buy a new monitor than to try to ship one. This is also true for the outer cases. Once decisions have been made about this, there are several packing methods and materials that should be used.

  • Port protection and moisture barriers to protect ports from dust or bits of Styrofoam and other material.
  • Foam-in-place methods that wrap components, then foam around them for stability
  • Pad-wrapping for extra cushion
  • Dust-free crating
  • If multiple units are involved, labeling and color coding for easier reassembly
  • Palletizing can be useful, and may require banding
  • Boxes with high pressure ratings
  • Dust-free packing materials
  • Shrink wrap and plastic wrap for pallets, boxes, crates, etc
  • Shock-mount bases

Once your computer is packed and loaded, stability becomes a major concern. Many of the components and circuits are tiny, and pressure or a bent housing can cause a failure to function. Some insurance providers have complex clauses when it comes to computers. They may cover damage that comes from a broken crate, but could refuse to cover damage if a part inside the crate comes loose and and pins are bent.

Depending on the size and shape of your shipment, whether it is in crates, boxes, or palletized, there are a variety of methods for securing cargo. Ideally, they will be moved in air-ride conditions with ramps or lift gates. A two-man team may be required for handling the shipment. Blocks of wood or foam may be used to brace a crate or pallet to prevent slippage. In some cases, a cargo crate will be suspended above the floor of a hold deck. Synthetic or polyester webbing may be used, and dunnage bags, which are airbags that inflate to hold securely and can be deflated to gently release an item, are another option. Foam may be used for added security, and in the case of sensitive material or proprietary information, it may be wise to place seals on the containers to prevent and detect any kind of tampering. In any case, we can be sure you are aware of all the options available and help you choose the right one.


  • White Glove Service

    Pack and Post offers this, the same level of care we use for museums: protecting sensitive elements and components from dust, humidity, or damage with archival-level handling skills and individual wrapping.
  • Expedited Service

    In many situations, your computer is being shipping because it is needed immediately. A delay or breakdown at work or in a home office can be costly on many levels, since time is valuable. It costs you on some level every minute your system is not up and running. We will provide overnight and other expedited shipping.
  • Custom Containment

    Computers have very delicate internal workings and need extra care. Just one wire or connection out of place can damage a unit permanently. As discussed above, computers and their parts must be packed carefully, thoughtfully, and deliberately. They must be unloaded and unpacked with equal attention to detail. If you need help, we can provide the team to do it.
  • Any location or method

    Same Day, Overnight, Ground, Air, Rail, and Ocean – whether you need domestic or international shipping, we will have options so you can select the best one for the requirements of your project.
  • Full service

    We provide full retrieval and delivery from and to any location. We can come to your office or home and load directly to minimize the risk of damage. We can unpack and install the computer at the destination, and take away any packing debris.
  • Documentation

    We can provide full documentation and create a clear record for insurance or legal purposes. This is especially important if you are using a shipping method with multiple legs, such as truck to ship to shore to truck. If your computer is being moved internationally, we can assist with customs. Countries require different kinds of forms and certifications for computers.

Tips for Shipping Computers

Calculate the Basics

Let us know the dimensions of your computer. Usually, you can find manufacturer specifications online for any model. Using a moving weight estimator can help to get the basic weight. Weight Estimator If you need assistance, give us a call; also, let us know if the weight you provide is an estimate (as opposed to actual weight from a catalog, for example.) Knowing the exact dimensions allows us to give you the best packing and shipping quote up front. If you are shipping multiple computer units, let us know if they are all identical or are different sizes.

Consider Your Shipping Goals

If you need your computer to arrive at a site overnight, one service may be better than another. Some may require more loading and unloading along the way. The less handling and changes of carrier, the safer the journey. Giving us all the information up front allows us to come up with a good plan.

Learn the Costs

Computers are incredibly delicate, but their real value is in “what they know”, the data and software stored inside. A small dent in housing can have an impact on wires and connections. Special padding, insulation, and custom crating is always recommended. That could add to the base cost of transportation. We will be glad to help you understand the details of any quote we provide.

Obtain Insurance

Make sure you have an adequate insurance. Some shipping carriers have coverage limits, and in some cases you may want additional insurance for a computer containing sensitive or proprietary material. Having professionals help can be useful, and Pack and Post can provide help. Although it is unlikely that anything will go wrong with your shipment, it is wise to be covered, just in case. You do not want to skimp on insurance with such a vital shipment. Read any insurance policy carefully, to be sure that your coverage is comprehensive.

Know the Rules

Computers require special handling. Be aware of restrictions and regulations that may affect shipping if your computer is going to go to an international destination. Until recently, there were total bans on shipping anything with a lithium battery. Although regulations have loosened somewhat in the United States, they remain very strict in some other countries. Batteries may be required to be installed inside the computer, and a fail-safe that prevents accidental activation may be required. ICAO standards set the tone, but ultimately countries get to make their own rules. You may end up having to use a marine shipping line.

Some countries have regulations about the import of “used” equipment, many times computer equipment must be “certified” for use in that country. Some laptops are forbidden altogether. There are forms that may need to be filled out to demonstrate whether the move represents a change of ownership vs. relocation. VAT registry must be attended to. Each country will have their own specific export, import, and customs regulations. Duties, taxes, and other fees will also vary depending on the locations involved. Some nations accept only computers shipped directly from a manufacturer. You will be asked to declare your computer’s value and describe it in some detail. Even though we live in a modern world with a global economy, there are still many industrial rules and regulations that require extreme paperwork and investigation when computers for a business or industrial application are moved. If tamper seals are in place, it is important to know if customs will require they be broken or replaced. Bear in mind that power plug adapters may be needed in some places.

Clear Communication

It is always important for everyone involved in any shipment to be aware of the schedule, especially when something as valuable and critical as a computer is being transported. Someone may be required to inspect it on its arrival to verify its condition and functionality. If the computer was broken down into individually-wrapped parts for shipping safety, it will have to be set up and tested on arrival. Let both your shipping carrier or broker know about special requirements up front, and be sure to give them ample contact information, such as cell phone numbers, email, and land line options for all the parties that will be involved. Notifying all parties of any potential delays, for example, can be not only courteous, but very prudent in a situation where paid experts are standing by at the destination. We can help coordinate this with you.

Types of Companies for Shipping Computers


A laptop may be considered a “household good” in some cases. A mid-sized box, depending on size, packaging and weight, could be considered “parcel” freight. Shipping with a freight line can be LTL, which means less-than-truckload, indicating that your item will share transport with other items, and may stop at different warehouses and locations along the way. This also may mean your package is moved from one truck to another multiple times, which incurs risk to the computer. You will also hear about truckload freight, which means you have a truck dedicated only to your shipment and it will go straight from the point of origin to the destination. This is most desirable when possible. Air Freight moves more quickly than standard freight, but does not necessarily mean it is flown in an aircraft. When using freight for relocating a computer or group of computers, it is important to stabilize the container. A computer or mainframe can suffer from temperature extremes, dust, and humidity, so a truck line with climate control may be required and special moisture barriers should be provided even if the packing protects against these things.


Rail remains a quick and direct way to move cargo. Roll-on, Roll-off options may be available. Some shipping cars will have climate controls, so computers can be maintained at a steady humidity or temperature. Again, the key is to be sure the computer is on one car and stays in that car the entire journey with no moving or disturbance.

Van Lines

Van lines usually use actual vans or trucks which are designed for carrying specific kinds of cargo, but may also employ shipping containers. These will offer packing and crating. Vans often have special fixtures like padded walls, and come with specialized equipment for moving heavy and awkward objects. You may also need a climate-controlled van, and certainly lift gates for smooth loading and unloading.

Air and Marine Cargo

Often, you may have to choose between these for international projects. Aircraft will provide a swift ride that is usually smooth with a minimum of bumping around, but it subjects your computer to changes in air temperature and pressure. Unfortunately, despite the fact that airlines can provide a smooth ride, this method is now often no longer an option because of the regulations and safety concerns with lithium batteries.

Marine carriers are may have air pressure, temperature, and humidity challenges, depending on the route. Cargo ships are often best equipped for loading, transporting, and unloading large crates, with cranes and cradles. In every case, there will be an ideal solution, and Pack and Post can help you find it.

Since Pack and Post is a professional shipping brokerage, we have access to every kind of packing and shipping provider in the business. We take your information and then look at the big picture with a complete understanding of what is required to get your computer relocated. Most importantly, we are experienced in handling and packing computers, their peripherals, and electronics. We know all the tiny details that must be attended to in order for the shipment to go as planned.

Pack and Post has over 28 years of experience, contacts all over the world, and all the tools for every job. We are glad to assist you in shipping your computer. You can relax, confident that every element of the packing, shipping, insurance, and even the unpacking and installation at the destination will be considered and allowed for. Call now at 855.322.9684 or use our convenient form for an accurate, professional, personalized quote!