Choosing the Right Methods for Fragile Medical Equipment Shipping

medical equipment shipping.

Choosing the right kind of medical equipment based on the needs of a healthcare setup followed by making a purchase is one thing. The tough part which comes after these steps is the shipping of the equipment to the location where it is needed. Like many other types of equipment, medical instruments are also very sensitive and fragile. A little pressure applied during its transportation can lead to damage to a certain part which may or may not be replaceable. Therefore, it is essential to be careful while the process of medical equipment shipping. Let us understand what methods should be followed to ship the medical equipment while minimizing the chances of breakage.

medical equipment shipping.

Shipping of medical equipment

Steps to transport a medical equipment

Although the shipping of medical equipment is specified based on the type of instrument in question, there are some basic shipping guidelines that should be followed while dealing with the equipment intended to be used in healthcare setups. These guidelines include the following:

  • Insure the medical equipment:

The cost of medical equipment is generally quite high. Therefore, it makes sense to insure the equipment as a whole or at least the expensive parts of it. It gives the advantage of reduced burden of cost which may become compulsory to bear in case of any damage while shipping and transportation.

  • Getting assistance from the experts:

Handling medical equipment while shipping is a technical task. Minor mishandling while packaging can lead to damage even prior to the shipping process. Therefore, people who have past experience in handling medical equipment should be trusted with the job.

  • Selection of suitable packaging material:

It is important to pack the equipment in a packing material that is strong enough to bear the unavoidable and unintentionally applied pressure during lifting and loading the equipment into the container. The shipping materials available are as follows:

  • Crates
  • Protective foam
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Sturdy boxes with handles and strong lid

Other packaging items include:

  • Fillers to cover the extra space around the medical equipment
  • Cellophane overwraps to protect the equipment from dust, debris, or moisture
  • Pouches
  • Cling film
  • Bubble wraps
  • Hard cases
  • Moving blankets
  • Adhesive tapes
  • Straps
  • Plastic containers
  • Aluminium
  • Medical grade paper
Packaging of medical equipment

Packaging of medical equipment

  • Levels of packaging:

According to the type of equipment, the levels of packaging must be decided. If an instrument is highly fragile, it should be packed in multiple packing materials to enhance safety.

  • Restriction of movement:

Medical equipment should be packed in such a way that the movements during transportation do not render the equipment loose. If equipment keeps on hitting its own shipping material during transportation, it is very likely that a breakage incident will happen.

  • Disassembling of medical equipment:

Medical equipment may be shipped as such or there may be a need to disassemble it due to its bigger size. In such cases, the parts of the equipment must be separated with care and then packed separately. This way, the overall space needed to ship medical equipment can be reduced.

  • Separate packaging of disassembled parts:

In the case of medical instruments with a weight of more than 150 pounds, the disassembled parts should also be packed in separate crates. By doing so, the equipment is not only protected from dust, debris, or any other sort of contaminants but there is also a reduction in chances of abrasion between the parts of a single piece of medical equipment.

  • Labeling on the packaging:

The packaging crate must contain the words “MEDICAL EQUIPMENT” written clearly on them.

  • Instructions regarding assemblage:

Along with the packed medical equipment, a written description must be attached regarding the proper method that is needed to be followed for unpacking and then assembling the equipment.

Suitable packaging materials for medical equipment

Apart from the above-mentioned packaging materials, there are some other substances which are stronger and more reliable. These include:

  • Glycol modified polyethylene terephthalate (PETG)
  • High-impact polystyrene (HIPS)
  • Glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate foam (PETG Foam)
  • Polypropylene (PP)
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Tritan
  • Amorphous polyester (APET)
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE)

How the medical equipment can be shipped?

Once properly packed, the medical equipment can be shipped via air cargo or air charter services. In this case, there is no time restriction so the equipment can be shipped via private jets at any time based on the requirements.

Shipping medical equipment via air cargo

Shipping medical equipment via air cargo

Similar measures regarding the packaging must be taken while transporting the medical equipment via land or sea. Although all the shipping routes are reliable, one must decide based on the distance between the area where the equipment is placed and the place where it needs to be shipped. Moreover, the cost of all three routes must be compared before making a decision.


Medical equipment shipping is a hectic process as there is a lot at stake. High prices of medical equipment as well as the cost of shipping them to the place where they are needed to be installed add up to a relatively large sum.

In addition, if a piece of medical equipment undergoes breakage while being shipped, the cost of its repair or replacement also has to be borne. Therefore, to save this additional cost, it is essential to pack the equipment properly to minimize if not fully avoid, the chances of breakage.

By following the above-mentioned guidelines, it is possible to make the shipping experience safe and reliable when the instrument at hand is medical equipment.

uzma e1714761913269

PhD Scholar (Pharmaceutics), MPhil (Pharmaceutics), Pharm D, B. Sc.

Uzma Zafar is a dedicated and highly motivated pharmaceutical professional currently pursuing her PhD in Pharmaceutics at the Punjab University College of Pharmacy, University of the Punjab. With a comprehensive academic and research background, Uzma has consistently excelled in her studies, securing first division throughout her educational journey.

Uzma’s passion for the pharmaceutical field is evident from her active engagement during her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) program, where she not only mastered industrial techniques and clinical case studies but also delved into marketing strategies and management skills.

Throughout her career, Uzma has actively contributed to the pharmaceutical sciences, with specific research on suspension formulation and Hepatitis C risk factors and side effects. Additionally, Uzma has lent her expertise to review and fact-check articles for the Health Supply 770 blog, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the information presented.

As she continues her PhD, expected to complete in 2025, Uzma is eager to contribute further to the field by combining her deep knowledge of pharmaceutics with real-world applications to meet global professional standards and challenges.