Can I Ship Medical Devices?

Medical devices are shipped every day from manufacturers to sales reps--learn about the restrictions
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Exporting Medical Devices
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Yes! You can ship medical devices in the United States without any problems. In fact, it happens all the time. Most manufacturers ship their products in separate parts that form a whole machine (surgical or otherwise), and they send packages out to their sales representatives as often as several times a day. That makes shipping a huge part of their business.

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Which Carrier Should I Use to Ship Medical Devices?

From our experience, most manufacturers ship medical devices in smaller parts that, when put together, form a whole machine. Since that’s the case, the best carrier for shipping medical devices is USPS. Simply put, you’ll get the best mix of affordable rates and fast delivery by shipping with USPS.

How to Save the Most Money on These Shipments

Some medical device manufacturers have longstanding contracts with other carriers, such as UPS and FedEx. These contracts feature incredibly low shipping rates, but unfortunately, you won’t be able to access them unless you work for a company that’s been shipping out medical device products for a large number of years. Your best bet to save money on shipping medical devices is to purchase postage online with free shipping software. This will let you access the same level of discounts USPS only offers to huge commercial shippers, such as USPS Commercial Pricing.

Make Sure to Pack All Devices Properly

Remember: these devices are very delicate instruments, and doctors use them to operate and save peoples’ lives. You’ll need to ensure their complete safety during transit, so we suggest using plenty of packing material such as bubble wrap, custom foam cut-outs, and air pillows to fill the void inside the package.

On top of ample packing material, you’ll want to use a sturdy, brand-new corrugated cardboard box to ship the devices. If you’re looking for a box that best fits the size of the medical devices you plan to send, check the ULINE website.

Can I Ship Medical Devices Internationally?

You can in fact ship medical devices to foreign countries. However, certain shipping restrictions apply. The rules a company needs to follow depend on whether or not their device has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Foreign countries often ask companies to provide proof of FDA approval in the form of a Certificate to Foreign Government.

FDA-approved medical devices that are legally marketed in the United States can ship anywhere in the world without any issues. If you want to ship a device the FDA hasn’t yet approved, you need to follow the export provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

If you want more information on how to export legally marketed or unapproved products, check out the FDA’s rules and regulations for exporting medical devices.

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  1. John

    For years my company has worked with Mercury to ship our medical devices. They’re great because they ship through the FedEx and UPS networks as well as truck and air freight and have a whole team who specializes in medical device shipping.


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