Tips for packing and moving lab equipment

When you have to move your laboratory, you have to be extremely careful. This is not as easy as moving your household. The usual household items cannot cause serious damage to the environment. On the other hand, depending on your laboratory, they can cause extremely serious damage to the environment and to the people involved. For this reason, there are special moving and packing guidelines in this specific context. When packing and moving the lab equipment, every single detail is extremely crucial. Therefore, here is how you need to plan your lab relocation. 

Assemble a team for packing and moving lab equipment 

You need to decide who is going to be responsible for moving the entire lab equipment. You cannot do it on your own. The entire lab, or at least a couple of employees, should be involved. How to assemble a proper team? You should hold a meeting with your employees. Tell them the reason behind this decision. List all the moving-related tasks and ask your employees which tasks they are willing to do. This is a better option than just randomly assigning people to certain tasks. If one employee is feeling particularly confident about a particular piece of laboratory equipment, let them do it. In addition to this, you should hold regular meetings during your relocation. This way, you can check if everything is going according to the plan, such as getting moving insurance, deciding how much to tip movers, etc. You can also solve any problem that you might encounter. 

people talking in the laboratory
All the employees should participate in the moving process

Find cold-storage transport and unit 

The first step after making teams would be to find cold-storage transport for samples, substances, and other important lab equipment. It is not enough to put them in a freezer and then in the truck. Many lab equipment and substances require particular temperatures and conditions. In order not to lose the results of ongoing research, you need to find a suitable mode of transport. This is where cold-storage transport comes in. In addition to this, you should also find a storage unit with similar conditions. Trying to find the climate-controlled storage unit for your lab equipment full step if your new laboratory is not ready, you need to be prepared to place your equipment somewhere else. For this reason, do your research beforehand to be prepared for everything. One of your employees can be responsible for finding cold-storage transport and also climate-controlled unit. 

What about moving companies when packing and moving lab equipment?

Since it is such a delicate matter, it is not enough to google packers and movers near me. Standard moving companies should not handle sensitive lab equipment. in addition to this, most lab equipment is either very fragile or quite expensive. Therefore, standard moving companies do not have the proper equipment to deal with this type of item. You need to find qualified moving companies in order to move lab equipment without causing any serious damage. Since this requires special moving equipment, it is going to be more expensive. However, it is better to pay for professional movie services than to replace all the lab equipment. For this reason, when you contact a moving company, make sure to check all their moving equipment. You should also make a plan together for this relocation. 

empty laboratory with only equipment inside
Find qualified movers to relocate your lab equipment

Think about chain of custody 

When you’re moving your laboratory, you need to pay attention to the chain of custody during your relocation. Some items require a chain of custody documentation that you need to have in order to move them. Without this, you won’t be able to relocate your laboratory since you will be breaking the law. For this reason, make sure to gather all the necessary documents before relocation. For example, hazardous materials and substances require special permits. You can contact the Department of Transportation to see which items are classified as hazardous. Based on this list, you will either have to ask for permission or you will have to buy new materials once you relocate. Then, if your laboratory has animals, they also need special requirements when moving. You have to provide food, water, and proper recommendation for animals during transport. 

Plan your route when packing and moving lab equipment 

You need to plan your route extremely carefully in order to avoid any contamination. For this reason, you need to measure your laboratory in order to see if all the equipment can fit through doorways. This also applies to your new space as well. Then, if you need to use the elevator, you also need to see if your equipment can fit inside. If it can’t, you need to find an alternative route. In addition to this, you also need to plan your route when traveling. Make sure you have all the necessary documents. You also need to comply with the requirements of GMP environments. Lastly, you should keep everyone well informed about every stage of relocation. Since this relocation will put all the laboratory work and research on standby, your employees should know how everything about relocation so they can plan their research. 

person working in the lab
Measure your laboratory before relocation

Timeline of your laboratory relocation 

When packing and moving lab equipment, it is necessary to follow a strict timeline. It should look like this. 

  • Three months before relocation – find a new lab, dispose of old materials and samples, notify everyone, assemble the team, and find a moving company. 
  • Two weeks before relocation – gather all the necessary packing supplies, start packing your equipment, label all the boxes, plan your route, see if you have all the documents and permits, and so on. 
  • Moving day – movers come to pick your items, first for chemicals, then for the rest of standard items, secure freezer, and it is time to transport everything. 
  • After relocation – check if everything arrived well and start equipping your new lab. 

It might seem a little bit complicated, but if you follow all the rules and tips given above, you should not have any problems when relocating your laboratory. 

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