Recently I have had some concerns about how Glowforge will ship it’s large and very delicate package through UPS or FedEX. Adding to my concern was legal language in the Terms and Conditions that pretty much states that Glowforge’s damage responsibility ends when they hand our package to the shipper. So I investigated and the language is reasonably common. Luckily most companies will just ignore the legal language to ensure customer satisfaction. They work with the customers and will usually ship replacement parts while working with the shipper to resolve the issue. I have no reason to believe that Glowforge will be the exception. That said, there is an interesting process necessary to safely ship something that weighs 70lbs and is quite large. If the package were just a little larger shipping companies would employ lift gates, pallets, tie down straps, etc. But with Glowforge we’re probably dealing with the volume shippers UPS or Fedex. Here are a couple interesting links and comments from the head of Inventables, currently shipping similarly sized desktop equipment.
A link discussing Carvey shipping tests-
These are the standard ISTA 3A Shipping Tests that were used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyGsta1RURg
Jan 16th Carvey damage discussion-
“UPS has destroyed many of the Carvey machines we have shipped. I’ll be posting pictures but if I gave you a baseball bat I don’t know if you could do what they have done to the machines. I think one they must have used a fork lift and rather than picked it up forced the forklift through the center of the box. A few of them they shattered the acrylic into pieces. We are filing claims but we were nervous to continue shipping like this. It is absolutely unacceptable”
“Last week we tested adding straps and even more foam supports on the inside of the box. We are hoping by adding straps the UPS personnel will use them to carry the box instead of puncturing the box or simply shoving it off the back of the truck. The new packaging approach was successful with the tests we ran last week and we will continue shipping on Monday the Kickstarters in addition to replacing all the people who we sent machines to that have been destroyed by UPS.”
Continued frustration: Feb 14th -“We have been in communication with UPS on all this damage. UPS has taken responsibility and is paying for the replacements and the replacement shipping costs. Before we shipped any units we went through the tough ISTA3a shipping test with UPS where they drop the box 18 times. It failed the first time, we adjusted the packing and it passed the second time. It’s not every unit but when there is abuse it’s bad. We had one customer witness the abuse and the UPS driver said “sorry”. The handlers don’t like the box because it is heavy. We added straps to the outside to make it easier for them to carry and pay the extra fee for heavy items that require a two person lift but they ignore their own rules and just charge the fee but don’t deliver the service. They aren’t even using the cart in the truck many times. We had a customer observe the driver “roll” it up to the door. We are happy to fix, replace, or repair any unit that was damaged in transit.Despite the fact that UPS admitted it is their fault for doing this to the boxes we are switching from acrylic to polycarbonate for the front window. We don’t want customers going through this hassle."
rpegg - My intent here is just to let y’all know the process is not always foolproof and takes time to get it right. I trust everyone will be satisfied with the results.