Shipping antique computers

Guy Sotomayor ggs at
Sat Jan 17 12:07:53 CST 2015

On 1/17/15 9:45 AM, Jules Richardson wrote:
> On 01/17/2015 11:18 AM, Mark J. Blair wrote:
>> For palletized freight, I've used FreightQuote (a broker) a few times to
>> ship larger computer purchases. Since I live on a rough, unpaved rural
>> road, I specified that I'd pick up from the local terminal of whatever
>> shipper I selected (based on price). I live fairly close to Ontario, CA,
>> which is a major shipping hub, so I get lots of competitive quotes
>> instead of being stuck with one trucking company with a local terminal.
>> Very roughly, I've generally spent around $300 to move a pallet across
>> the country.
>> I haven't tried any "white glove" or "padded van" shippers yet. I
>> learned of their existence back when I was contemplating getting a
>> VAX-11/780. I ended up getting a nice, fits-on-two-pallets 11/730 system
>> instead. :)
> That's a big problem I've found with trying to work out how to ship 
> the part of my collection that's still in the UK to the US - UK 
> shippers seem to go extremely quiet when they find out that I live 
> miles inland in the middle of nowhere; they can take on getting stuff 
> to a sea port, but that doesn't really help when it's still more than 
> a thousand miles from the desired destination.
> I have a nasty feeling that I'll have to go with one of the "white 
> glove" companies at many times the cost, just because they'll be the 
> only ones who will handle the full journey. The other option would be 
> to split it, dealing with one company for the overseas freight, 
> another to get my stuff somewhere vaguely-close, then to hire a van 
> and do the last few hundred miles myself - but even thinking about the 
> logistics of that (such that stuff isn't sitting around for any length 
> of time, which probably involves huge fines) gives me a headache!
Having moved my entire collection this past year (by myself with help 
from friends), I can attest to having stuff palletized makes the job a 
whole lot easier.  The only things that I didn't palletize where the big 
(heavy) items that already had casters (of sorts).  In the end I think I 
moved 30 pallets.  Here in the US they're not particularly expensive.  I 
found a local manufacturer of pallets and was able to get them for < $6 
each.  I would load 8-10 on my truck to take them to where I was 
packaging everything.  Along the way I had also acquired a pallet jack 
so it wasn't hard to move stuff around (even with 1000-1500lbs of stuff 
on a pallet).  All the "small" stuff was wrapped and put into boxes and 
those boxes were put on the pallet.  Once a pallet was sufficiently 
"full", I used shipping strapping to secure everything and then wrapped 
everything in "shrink wrap".  I used the plastic strapping with a manual 
tool but for really heavy loads, you probably want to use steel and a 
much more expensive tensioner and crimper.

Loading and unloading the truck once everything was palletized was a breeze.

The trick with palletizing heavier gear is getting it on/off the 
pallet.  The biggest stuff I put on a pallet were my Symbolics 3640s.  
For those I used my equipment lift (sort of a hand operated fork lift).  
Also all of my loose RK05, RL01/2 and Fujitsu Eagles were all loaded on 
pallets this way.  Here are some pictures of the stuff after I've moved 
it into my new shop but still on the pallets: By the 
time I was done, the entire downstairs of the new shop was filled with 
pallets...then I started to unpack.  ;-)

However, getting back to the original question.  I've shipped stuff with 
both "white glove" movers and just regular freight companies. I've had 
reasonable success with both.  It all depends upon what you're moving 
and how it's packed for shipping.  If you don't have it packed/packaged, 
then "white glove" is the way to go especially if it's just "big 
stuff".  However, if you have lots of "little" stuff that you can pack 
into boxes, then putting them on a pallet and just using freight is 
probably cheaper.

TTFN - Guy

More information about the cctalk mailing list