3 Things To Know For New Hire & Remote Employee Laptop Returns
Whether shipping a laptop from your office to a new hire or sending an empty laptop box with a prepaid shipping label to a remote employee for a return, transportation of work computers has become a necessity for many organizations.
1. Pick the right box
Laptops are fragile and require the proper packaging to prevent damage during the shipping process. FedEx, UPS, and many other packaging companies, such as Uline, sell padded laptop boxes that allow for safe transportation. Make sure to select a box with enough space for your laptop and any accessories such as a charger, but not too much space that your laptop will shift inside the box while in transit. Depending on the battery size and country (if shipping internationally), a lithium-ion battery included within your laptop often does not need additional labeling requirements. However, if you’re shipping additional lithium-ion batteries or other dangerous goods, regulations may apply. If you don’t use the manufacturer’s recommended packaging and your laptop becomes damaged in transit, your claim will likely be denied by the carrier.
2. Consider declared value
Shipping carriers do not provide insurance, but rather use something called declared value. The cost for declared value coverage depends on the value of the item being shipped.
For the first $100 of value, coverage is free. Above that threshold, you’ll need to pay for declared value coverage. Because laptops cost more than $100, it’s recommended to use declared value coverage in case your laptop is damaged in transit, lost by the carrier, or stolen.
If you do file a claim, you’ll need to prove the value of the laptop, so make sure to keep a record showing the value of your shipment. If you declare a value higher than the item’s proven value, your claim will only cover up to the proven value, plus the transportation cost from shipping. Regardless of the shipment’s declared value, the carrier’s liability for loss or damage will not exceed the repair cost, depreciated value, or replacement cost, whichever is less.
Note that if you declare a value over $500, the carrier will automatically add a direct signature requirement to your shipment (more info below).
3. If you’re worried about theft, require a signature
Laptops are one of the most commonly stolen items in transit. If you ship a laptop without requiring a delivery signature from the recipient, the carrier will leave it at your front door where it’s likely to be stolen. If this happens, there’s no way to support your declared value claim, and it will be denied by the carrier. As discussed above, a declared value of $500 or higher will automatically add a direct signature requirement to your shipment. However, requiring a signature can be a double-edged sword, as you’ll need someone to be available at the location to sign for the laptop or it won’t be delivered on time. If no one is home at the time of delivery to sign for a laptop, the carrier will attempt to deliver two more times before holding your shipment in a nearby location to be picked up.