How to ship your tapes off-site

How to ship your tapes off-site

There may be times when it is necessary to repackage tape cartridges for shipment. To assure the tapes arrive in good condition, and to protect the cartridges from a variety of external elements such as impact, vibration or temperature, one must properly repackage them. A few simple tips on how to properly repackage tape cartridges include:

Use the original packaging and boxes whenever possible -- the manufacturer specifically designed the original packaging to best protect the tape cartridges. Use the original spacers and padding to keep cartridges safe. If the original packaging is not available, place the media in a sturdy cardboard box.

Always wrap the cartridges in sealed plastic bags --a clean medium weight plastic bag will help to prevent media contamination from harmful elements such as moisture and dust during storage and transfer. For safety purposes, when repackaging multiple pieces, group no more than five or ten individual cartridges together, and package the cartridges so that there is minimal spacing between the cartridge and the shipping container.

Never use paper or styrofoam to repackage tape cartridges -- while styrofoam or paper products may be useful when packaging certain items, neither product should ever be used in the repackaging of tape cartridges as they may create debris that is detrimental to the cartridges. Instead, use bubble wrap to ensure that the media is secure and to create a shield from shock and vibration.

Seal the top and bottom of the box with tape -- to make certain that data cartridges are safely repackaged always use packing tape to prevent the box from opening during transfer. Reinforce all of the box's seams to increase the security of the tape cartridges. Although tape cartridges are shipped and stored on their sides, it's okay to lay them flat while moving the media.

Additional things to remember when repacking and handling tape cartridges:

  • Do not touch the actual tape itself -- fingerprints could cause potential read/write issues.

  • Keep cartridges away from electromagnetic fields such as telephones, computer monitors or appliances.

  • Do not open the tape cartridge at any time.

  • Avoid dropping a cartridge -- the impact could damage the internal components of the cartridge.

  • Do not carry cartridges loosely in a box -- external portions of the cartridge may become jolted and result in loading errors can occur.


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    This was first published in October 2003

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