… and receiving a Zetasizer


Service-alert-neutral-delivery-through-customs-to-speed-through-customsIn North America, this time of the year is the busiest period for shipping companies like DHL, Federal Express or the US Postal Service. Malvern Panalytical does not rest either, in fact, our systems are part of the global shipping growth in this busy season. As a global company certified in ISO 14001 we are conscious of our role and take measures to minimize the use of resources. One of these efforts resulted in the design of a new reusable shipping box for the Zetasizer. An additional benefit it that the packaging takes your back into account – even though the system itself is not that heavy.

What is so novel about the box?

The traditional method to box the system was such that one had to cut open the top of the box, then unpack the foam protectors, to then lift the system out of the cardboard box and onto the lab bench space. The new design has a few improvements built in:

  • the box has two straps on the side, so it can easily be picked up usingwell-used-shipping-box-with-handles these two “handles”
  • cutting tools are no longer required, simply click open the four white plastic taps
  • lift the cardboard lid, and remove the foam inserts: the system is now at the same level as where you placed it (for example a lab trolley) requiring no extra bending and lifting out of the box
  • the box can be re-used – without requiring any tape to seal, just insert the four white plastic clips and it holds together securely

You probably won’t need to ship a Zetasizer back to us, but it is a good idea to keep the box at least until the system is installed and tested.

4-white-clips-in-the-bottom-hold-the-complete-box-togetheWhat about customs clearance?

The special design of the shipping box allows for easy access by customs officials, in case a system requires inspection. Not often taken into account, yet this helps to facilitate efficient transport to your laboratory.

How can I make sure my system does not get stuck in customs?

We ship many instruments from the UK to our customers in the US. Through our cooperation with global shipping companies, all relevant shipping documentation is accessible through a “master file” with the express shipper. Upon arrival at the nearest hub, all orders have to go through customs clearance. This clearance typically takes a day or two, and once customs is passed, delivery should happen within another business day. typically, this all goes very smoothly, and no involvement is needed. In case you get a call from a shipping company indicating that there is a clearance delay, don’t panic. Here are three steps you can do to help alleviate any shipping stress:

  1. Take a deep breath, stay calm.  Don’t worry.
  2. Clearly state to the shipping company representative: “The information you ask for is already in the master file. Please ensure that you check the master file of the importer of record. The importer of record is stated on the commercial invoice. I am not the importer of record. The master file contains all relevant files like FDA-2877, POA power of attorney, etc
  3. Call your Malvern Panalytical account manager asking him or her to help monitor the progress.
  4. Go to the shipper’s website, track your package and set an alert so that you receive delivery updates for the shipmentLift-the-lid-to-reveal-the-instrument

At the end of the year, the sheer volume of boxes may lead to an occasional glitch in the system. If that happens the above should help speed it back on track. And fortunately, this is a very rare event, with no delay to unboxing day.

Have a good, festive holiday season!


If you have any questions, please email me at ulf.nobbmann@malvern.com. Thanks! While opinions expressed are generally those of the author, some parts may have been modified by our editorial team.