Customs Documentation, Medical Device, Shipping & Logistics - General

Best Practices for Shipping High-Value Medical Devices

November 20, 2023
Best practices for shipping medical devices

Ensuring the Secure Transport of Critical Medical Devices

Written By: Narek Hakobyan

Securing and safely transporting high-value medical equipment is essential for healthcare providers and the manufacturers of these devices. Maintaining the equipment's safety and integrity from production or storage until it arrives at its destination, such as a hospital or dental office, is crucial.

MRI machines, CT scanners, and X-ray machines are expensive and extremely sensitive to movement and sudden environmental changes. The equipment often requires controlled temperatures, stable movement, and protection from external elements like dust and moisture. What you need is a transport strategy that minimizes the risk of damage.

Project Management

Transporting and installing medical equipment requires detailed project management. It also necessitates considering last-mile delivery to the destination, rigging services if the equipment is large, final installation, and returning or disposing of packaging/crating materials.

Choosing the Right Logistics Provider

The logistics provider you choose should have experience in handling medical equipment and possess the necessary equipment like air-ride trucks. The shipping company should comply with all regulatory requirements and have a proven track record in managing high-value medical items.

Does the Equipment Contain Hazardous Materials?

Notify your carrier about any hazardous materials included in your shipment. Precautions must be taken to ensure safe transport, including proper labelling. Refer to our Guide to Shipping Hazardous Materials.

Packing & Crating

Proper packaging is essential to protect the equipment during transit. This includes using shock-absorbing materials, secure crating, and moisture barriers. The packaging should also be clearly labelled with handling instructions and the nature of the equipment.

Tracking Your Shipment

GPS tracking and real-time monitoring systems allow for constant visibility of the equipment's location and condition. These systems can alert transporters to any issues during transit, such as significant temperature fluctuations or undue movements, enabling quick remedial action.

Shipping Insurance and Liability Coverage

Comprehensive insurance coverage is vital to protect against potential loss or damage. This coverage should be thoroughly reviewed to ensure it meets the value and specific needs of the transported equipment. A logistics provider can provide you with insurance options to ensure peace of mind.

Trained Personnel and Security Measures

The personnel involved in the transportation process should be well-trained in handling delicate medical equipment. Security measures must also be in place to protect against theft or tampering.

Plan for Contingencies

Things sometimes go differently than planned. A well-thought-out contingency plan should be in place in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as vehicle breakdowns or severe weather conditions. This might include having backup transportation options and predefined alternative routes when time is of the essence.

Compliance with Legal and International Regulations

It's essential to comply with all legal requirements, particularly customs and import/export regulations. You should consult with your logistics provider and ensure that all documentation requirements for smooth customs clearance have been appropriately vetted prior to shipping to avoid customs delays. Work with your logistics provider to carefully review all the requirements of the country to which you are shipping.

Choose Mercury for reliable, expert handling of sensitive medical devices, ensuring their integrity from start to finish.

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