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Member Project Spotlight – Hemisphere, UK
13 Feb, 2020




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Hemisphere Freight UK Prepares Customized In-House Crating & Specialty Packing for Big Printer Shipment


In October 2019, Hemisphere was tasked with preparing and shipping a large consignment for Inca Digital, one of our longstanding clients. The Cambridge-based company specializes in the design, development and manufacture of industrial inkjet printers, and is widely regarded as a leader in the space.  


The brief on this occasion was to pack one of Inca’s Onset X1 printers, plus additional parts, in preparation for shipment from Southampton to Baltimore, USA. It was yet another great opportunity for our export packing and ocean freight teams to demonstrate their expertise. 


You can view a video of the packing/crating process here.


Cargo Details 


Cargo: Inca Onset X1 Printer & additional parts 


Cargo Dimensions:

  • Printer: 11 (L) x 2.3 (H) x 2.3 (W) meters; 5,000 kg
  • When Packed: 11.07 x 2.44 x 2.57 meters 


Five additional cases for remaining parts:

  • Case 1: 2.41 x 1.7 x 1.38 m; 399 kg
  • Case 2: 2.02 x 1.73 x 1.25 m; 601 kg
  • Case 3: 2.47 x 1.87 x 2.43 m; 877 kg
  • Case 4: 2.64 x 0.98 x 0.68 m; 394 kg
  • Case 5: 2.19 x 1.58 x 1.58 m; 778 kg


Route/Service: Cambridge, UK, to Baltimore, USA. 


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Preparing a Solution 


We have worked with Inca Digital for several years, providing packing assistance as well as ocean freight services to the USA, Australia, and other overseas markets. While the packing process has been modified for each new machine, what has not changed is the value and sensitivity of Inca’s products, which always require careful handling and packing. 


Our export packing team received the Onset X1 printer at our packing facility in Ipswich Port. There, it was offloaded by crane and loaded onto a pre-prepared base in order to minimize further handling of the machine. The additional parts were received partially packed, with initial packing completed by our team on site at Inca’s headquarters in Cambridge.



A Bespoke Service


We manufactured a custom-made vacuum bag for the main machine, which would protect it from any water or moisture ingress. The bag had a clear polythene panel along one side, and inspection hatches were built into the surrounding case, allowing the shipping line to see how the machine was secured inside. The case was then covered with heavy-duty tarpaulin before boards were attached to the outside, with the front and back of the case clearly marked.  


As well as being sealed in a vacuum bag, all six of the cases were fitted with a waterproof outer membrane. This was essential, given the high-tech and valuable nature of the products. When packing the additional components, we also made sure to design cases that would minimize cargo volume and therefore keep shipping costs down.


The ‘Clamshell’ case – designed by our packing manager Mark Foster – could accommodate five pieces of machinery stood between foam-lined partitions. Previously, we could only fit four pieces in a similar size case, so this bespoke solution delivered significant cost savings for the customer.



Final Steps 


Once everything was packed, we worked with Inca’s hauler to load the crates onto a Hiab vehicle ready for transportation to Southampton. Our ocean freight team booked the consignment directly with the shipping agent, saving the client any unnecessary hassle, and the cases were loose loaded into the hold vessel ahead of its onward journey to Baltimore. 


By coming up with a solution that offered maximum protection for the machines, while keeping freight costs to a minimum, Inca Digital was once again a very happy client. 


Contact: Dan Leach <dleach@hemisphere-freight.com> 





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