How to ship computers


Use this guide to pack and prepare your computer and peripheral shipments. Follow the instructions for the packaging method of your choice.

Steps for how to ship with original packaging

Original packaging is usually designed to ship the product once, not multiple times. Overboxing provides extra integrity for the weakened original manufacturer’s packaging.

How to ship computers with original packaging

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1. Inspect the package

Inspect the original packaging to ensure that the cushioning material and box are intact and unbroken. Pack the product using all the original packaging components. Make any repairs with pressure-sensitive adhesive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide. 

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2. Re-package the computer in a larger box

Obtain a box that is at least 6" larger in length, width and height than the original manufacturer’s packaging.Fill the bottom of the box with 3" of packing material (e.g., air-cellular cushioning material such as Bubble Wrap® or loosefill peanuts). Do not use crushed paper.  Center the original manufacturer’s packaging inside the outer box and fill empty spaces on all sides and the top with packing material. The inner box should be surrounded with at least 3" of packing material around all six sides of the inner box.

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3. Seal and label the package

Seal and label package instructions

Using the H taping method, apply at least three strips of pressure-sensitive adhesive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide to both the top and bottom of the carton. Tape all seams or flaps. Place the shipping label on the top of the package. Ensure that all required outer markings, labelings and documentation appear.

Steps for how to ship computers without original packaging

We recommend one of three methods for shipping your computers and peripherals if you don’t have, or prefer not to use, the original manufacturer’s packaging.

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1. Pack with air-cellular cushioning

Shipping without original packaging

Wrap the computer or peripheral on all sides with at least 3" to 4" of air-cellular cushioning material such as bubble wrap. Place the wrapped item inside a sturdy outer box. Accessories that are wrapped in appropriate amounts of cushioning can also be placed in any open spaces of the box. Fill all spaces with additional cushioning so that the wrapped item fits tightly inside the box. If no open spaces exist, pack accessories in an additional box.

Packing with loosefill peanuts

Wrap the computer or peripheral in a plastic bag to prevent the loosefill peanuts from getting inside the unit. Fill the bottom of the inner box with at least 2" of loosefill peanuts and center the wrapped item inside the box. Fill empty spaces on all sides and top with loosefill peanuts, ensuring that there is at least 2" of loosefill peanuts on all six sides of the item. Pack accessories such as power cords, keyboards and external drives separately, away from the computer or peripheral.

Close and seal both the top and bottom of the box with three strips of pressure-sensitive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide. Repeat this step with an outerbox.

Shipping with corner cushioning

Place the computer or peripheral inside the box and surround the item with at least 1-1/2" of packing material (e.g., loosefill peanuts, air-cellular cushioning, foam-in place) on all sides so that the item does not move inside the box.

Close and seal the top and bottom of the inner box with three strips of pressure-sensitive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide.

Place the box containing the item inside a larger (outer) box fitted with the foam corner cushions. The outer box must fit tightly around the foam corner cushions.

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2. Seal and label the package

Seal and label package instructions

Using the H taping method apply at least three strips of pressure-sensitive adhesive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide to both the top and bottom of the box to protect the package and its contents. Tape all seams or flaps.

General guidelines for packing computer parts and electronic shipments

Whichever packaging method you use, you’ll find the following tips helpful when packing specific items.

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Remove the base and any attachments from the monitor when possible. Ship the monitor face-down.


Remove printing cartridges before shipping, and place cartridges inside a sealed plastic bag to prevent ink or powder from leaking into the box. Tape moving parts such as doors and print heads to secure them during transit. Remove any paper trays and pack them separately.


Most manufacturers recommend that you secure the scanner carriage to prevent movement when shipping. Refer to your owner’s manual for more information.

Computer housing with or without internal components

Packaging designed for computer housings without internal components is usually designed for the weight of the empty housing. If you assemble and install inner components (such as circuit boards and disk drives), make sure your packaging can accommodate the increased weight. For security reasons, you may want to encrypt or remove any confidential data stored on the computer before shipping. Overbox shipments of assembled units in original packaging.

Data storage devices

Before shipping CDs, memory sticks, magnetic tapes or other data storage media, you should back up any data stored on the devices. For security reasons, you may also want to remove or encrypt any sensitive personal, confidential or financial information. Our liability for loss of any electronic data is limited only to the cost of the medium on which the data is stored.

Servers, routers, large laser printers

Due to the high value and variable weights and sizes of these units, we recommend that customers contact FedEx Packaging Services for packaging recommendations.

Shipping in a FedEx Laptop Box
FedEx Laptop Box

When shipping a laptop computer, we recommend that you use our specially designed FedEx Laptop Box whenever possible. The box includes cushioning material and is available for purchase at FedEx locations.

Place the laptop in the plastic bag, then place one foam pad above and one foam pad below the wrapped laptop. Adjust the slotted foam liner by tearing off just enough material to ensure a snug fit around the laptop. Close the box by inserting the flaps into the side walls. Seal the bottom edge of the laptop box with a strip of pressure sensitive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide.

Shipping in a transit case
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When selecting a transit case, make sure the inner foam cushioning is designed to the proper fragility level to protect the computer or peripheral during shipping. Also make sure the outer case is manufactured in compliance with Airline Transport Association (ATA) standards. Handles, latches, wheels and locks should be recessed into the case. Replace the foam cushioning inside the case periodically, because with use, the cushioning will break down and no longer provide proper protection for the product.

Attach the shipping label using a FedEx tie-on tag, available at or by calling 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339.

Freight shipments
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Shipments that qualify as freight must be packaged accordingly.

You must package your freight shipments to allow for stacking of other packages on top of your shipment. Make sure your freight shipments are banded and stretchwrapped to the pallet, with the bands running in both directions. (Pallet loads secured with only stretchwrap are not acceptable.)

Avoid corrugated or fiberboard pallets. You must secure all freight shipments weighing 151 lbs. or more on a forkliftable base, compatible for pallet jack usage. The minimum specifications for a typical base for forklift or pallet jack configuration are illustrated above.

NOTICE: This packaging information is provided to FedEx customers to help reduce loss or damage due to improper packaging. It is NOT intended to be a comprehensive guide for packaging items we accept for transit. We make no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding this information. Proper packaging is the sole responsibility of the shipper. For more information and comprehensive guidelines, contact the FedEx Dangerous Goods/Hazardous Materials Hotline at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339; press “81” or say “dangerous goods,” then press “4” for the next available dangerous goods agent. (Outside the U.S., request to speak to a dangerous goods representative.) Refer to the current FedEx Service Guide for terms, conditions, and limitations applicable to FedEx® delivery services.