Home entertainment equipment
(Brown goods)
[German version]

Table of contents

Product information
  Container transport
  Cargo securing

Risk factors and loss prevention:
Temperature Odor
Humidity/Moisture Contamination
Ventilation Mechanical influences
Biotic activity Toxicity / Hazards to health
Gases Shrinkage / Shortage / Theft
Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion Insect infestation

Product information

Product name

German Unterhaltungselektronik (Braune Ware)
English Home entertainment equipment (brown goods)
French Electronique des loisirs (Marchandise brune)
Spanish Equipos electronicos (utensilios marrón)
CN/HS number * 85 ff.

(* EU Combined Nomenclature/Harmonized System)

Product description

Home entertainment equipment is the name given to electronic equipment for receiving, recording and/or reproducing analog or digital sound and image signals. Home entertainment equipment includes, for example, radios/tuners, amplifiers, receivers, loudspeakers, compact hi-fi systems, automobile hi-fi systems, portable audio equipment, televisions, projectors, video recorders, record players, MD (mini-disc) players, cassette recorders, DAT recorders, CD (compact disc) and DVD (digital versatile disc) players etc..


Stringent requirements apply to the transport and storage of home entertainment equipment. Home entertainment equipment is sensitive to impact, vibrations and pressure as well as to climatic stresses and should be inspected by the consignor before acceptance by the intended means of transport to ensure that it meets the requirements for safe transport.

As home entertainment equipment is usually valuable, packaging must in particular be in perfect condition (adhesive strips, shrink films or other sealing means must be intact). To avoid damage caused by damp weather (snow, rain), solar radiation, contamination (dust) and theft, household appliances should not be subjected to storage or intermediate storage in the open. Strongly built, closed and secured buildings should be used for intermediate storage.

High-quality and sensitive home entertainment equipment should be subjected to continuous measurement/data recording of the stresses to which it is exposed during transport and storage, such as acceleration along the x, y, z axes, jolting (impact), temperature, stack pressure, moisture/humidity. Such measurement and recording tasks may be performed by autonomous devices which are firmly attached to the means of transport or the packaging . Color indicators which are attached to the packaging (beneath the shrink cover, if present) and change color when predetermined temperatures, humidity values, tipping angles or impact stresses are exceeded, are another, although less effective, monitoring option.

Countries of origin

Home entertainment equipment is today manufactured and transported all over the world. This Table shows only a selection of the most important countries of origin and should not be thought of as exhaustive.

Europe Germany, Great Britain, France, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Finland
Asia Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Singapore
America USA, Canada

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Home entertainment equipment is packaged in cartons manufactured from millboard or corrugated board and sometimes also in wooden or plywood boxes.

To provide protection against impact, vibratory and compressive stresses, the inner packaging consists of plastic materials (cushioning material), e.g. moldings, loose fill particles, bubble wrap or airbags. Scratch-sensitive surfaces are protected by plastic films, foam sheets or tissue paper, which must be chemically neutral and soft. Corners are protected by edge protectors.

Where this cargo is packaged in cartons, it must be ensured that the paperboard used is of wet strength and that closures, adhesive strips, metal clips and steel and plastic strapping are attached in such a way that the packaging openings are completely closed. Cartons used for packaging large appliances (e.g. televisions) which nonetheless have to be handled manually should be provided with carrying handles/recesses, which should be placed in accordance with the center of gravity of the appliance.

In the case of particularly impact-sensitive appliances, shock indicators should be attached to the packaging, which signal a need for immediate inspection of the contents upon receipt of the goods. If low limit values are specified by the manufacturer, high quality adjustable shock indicators should be used.

Depending on sensitivity and transport route and duration, the product may be packaged in plastic films to protect it against moisture; desiccants are sometimes also included. Hygroscopic material, e.g. wood wool and paper shreds should not be used for inner packaging.

In the case of small appliances, packaging sizes should be so selected that the dimensions of the individual area modules or area module multiples are conformed to the conventional pallet sizes (800×1200 mm and 1000×1200 mm) and cargo units may thus be produced. Such are the dimensions of large appliances, on the other hand, that they often cannot be adapted to the module system.

Palletized cargo units and large appliances should be enclosed in shrink or stretch films on the one hand to protect against damage and on the other to reduce the risk of theft. Company, promotional and appliance details should be omitted.

Markings should be visible on every side of the packaging.

(Click on the individual Figures to enlarge them.)

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Marking of packages

Fragile, Handle with care


Keep dry

Stacking limitation

No hand truck here

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General cargo

Means of transport

Ship, truck, railroad, aircraft

Container transport

For container transport, undamaged, dry standard containers closable with seals must be used and their numbers must be noted in the accompanying transport documents. The water content limits for packaging and container floor must be complied with. Surveys should be performed during packing and unpacking and certificates issued.

In the area of the container door, the cargo must be secured against falling out when the doors are opened by for example interlocking stowage or other cargo securing measures .

Dunnage (floor, side, top dunnage) should protect the goods on all sides. If relatively long journeys are to be undertaken through various climatic regions, a nonwoven fabric suspended in the container may protect the cargo from dripping condensation water.

Cargo handling

Suitable cargo handling equipment and lifting gear must be selected and used on the basis of the cargo’s weight and sensitivity to impact and vibration.

Stowage and handling symbols must be complied with. Maximum stack heights must not be exceeded and the forklift trucks must be used prudently and by trained personnel.

The increased risk of theft during handling can be reduced by shrink or stretch packaging and by omitting company and appliance details.

Packaging and cargo units should be checked for intactness each time they are handled.

Stowage factor

Stowage factors are very variable, e.g.:

Televisions in cartons 6.35 – 7.68 m3/t [1].
Televisions in boxes 3.80 – 6.43 m3/t [1].

Stowage space requirements

The holds/containers must be dry, clean and dust-free.


Individual packages and whole cargo units must be provided with easily visible, firmly attached slips or labels containing shipping details and/or bar codes. Marker pen or oil crayon may also be used.

Cargo securing

The consignor’s/manufacturer’s loading instructions must be complied with.

The cargo is to be stowed in such a way that the cartons and boxes or entire cargo units do not slip and become damaged during transport. Cargo securing by tight fit may be produced using other cargo, the borders of the loading area or by special cargo securing systems, such as perforated and locking tracks.

Cargo securing by tie-down lashing may cause damage to packaging due to the prestressing which has to be applied; tight fit securing is therefore preferable.

For long-distance road transport, trucks with air suspension should generally be used.

For further information see also the chapters entitled

„Basic physical principles of cargo securing“,
„Road vehicles, selection, equipping and loading capacity“,
„Cargo securing materials“

in the GDV Cargo Securing Manual.

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Risk factors and loss prevention

RF Temperature

Home entertainment equipment requires particular humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC IV) (storage climate conditions).

Designation Temperature range Source
Travel temperature ~ 25°C -40 – +50°C [1]

Home entertainment equipment may as a rule be exposed to temperatures several degrees either side of freezing. Televisions should be transported within the range of from 10 – 40°C. The temperatures specified by the manufacturer must be complied with.

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RF Humidity/Moisture

Home entertainment equipment requires particular humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC IV) (storage climate conditions).

Designation Humidity/water content Source
Relative humidity 60 – 65%. Corrosion, which increases rapidly from 60%, must be prevented on at-risk components by suitable measures. [1]
Water content No water content. The water content of a paperboard carton should be at most 5 – 8%, while that of box packaging should be at most 12 – 18%. [1]
Maximum equilibrium moisture content 65% [1]

Manufacturers generally specify very low relative humidities, e.g. 35 – 65% for compact hi-fi systems.

Home entertainment equipment is a cargo which is at risk of corrosion. Corrosion losses are in particular caused by:

 Seawater and seasalt aerosols
 during maritime transport due to leaky containers or hatches
 during storage at sea ports near water
 Rain water:
 when containers are damaged
 uncovered railroad freight cars and trucks
 incorrect storage in the open
 use of unsuitable tarpaulins
 exposed loading in wet weather conditions
 Condensation water:
 on the means of transport/container
 on the cargo/load
 within the packaging
 Accompanying chemical cargo
 Residues of chemicals from previous cargoes, possibly combined with moisture
 Hygroscopic accompanying cargo (e.g. fresh lumber)
 Relative humidities > 40%

The water content of box lumber should therefore amount to 12% to at most 18% and that of paperboard should amount to 5 – 8%, so as to avoid the risk of mold growth.

However, quality may also be impaired as a result of water vapor absorption by hygroscopic components of the products, e.g. the self-capacitance of high frequency coils may increase, insulation resistance may decrease in the case of paper capacitors or the dielectric strength of insulating materials may be reduced.

Depending on sensitivity and transport route and duration, the product may be packaged in plastic films to protect it against moisture; desiccants are sometimes also included. Hygroscopic material, e.g. wood wool, should not be used for inner packaging.

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RF Ventilation

Home entertainment equipment requires particular humidity/moisture and possibly ventilation conditions (SC IV) (storage climate conditions).

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RF Biotic activity

This risk factor has no significant influence on the transport of this product.

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RF Gases

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfur trioxide (SO3) have a corrosion-promoting action if these gases are dissolved in mist droplets; combined with water, they form sulfurous acid (H2SO3) or sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Sulfur dioxides are produced by the combustion of fossil fuels, ore smelting, bleaching of foodstuffs and textiles and insect fumigants. Cargo holds should accordingly be cleaned prior to loading.

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RF Self-heating / Spontaneous combustion

This risk factor has no significant influence on the transport of this product.

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RF Odor

This risk factor has no significant influence on the transport of this product.

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RF Contamination

Home entertainment equipment is extremely sensitive to contamination by dust. Dust raised by ventilation and cargo handling equipment may result in damage; means of transport should therefore be absolutely clean. This sensitivity to contamination even extends to air pollution, in particular due to hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is a very frequent cause of faults in electronic equipment.

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RF Mechanical influences

Home entertainment equipment is sensitive to impact, pressure and vibration (mechanical stresses).

Impact or pressure due to cargo handling or stacking may damage home entertainment equipment by deforming housings, jolting or destroying mounting plates or even causing complete destruction of internal components. Kinks in cables, scratches on housings, dents etc. reduce value very considerably. The effects are determined by the duration of exposure to jolting/vibration, the frequency and amplitude of jolting/vibration, the rigidity of shipping packages and the sensitivity of the goods themselves. The following are examples of values which may be specified by the manufacturer:

continuous stress: 15 g with an impact duration of 5 – 10 ms
overload stress: 25 g with an impact duration of 10 ms

(g = acceleration due to gravity = 9.81 m/s2)

During cargo handling, the goods must be protected from shocks or impacts, and, in particular in the case of appliances packaged in film, all impacts directly affecting the film must be avoided. Damage may lead to corrosion and contamination of the appliances.

Comply with prescribed slinging points. Take care when setting down packaged appliances using cargo handling equipment. Forklift trucks should have pneumatic tires.

The maximum stack height or load indicated on the packaging must be complied with for stowing and storage.

In the case of maritime transport, home entertainment equipment should be stowed amidships, as stresses are lowest there. Home entertainment equipment should not be stowed in the fore hatches, as jolting due to rough seas is particularly severe there (frequencies of several 100 Hertz [1 Hz = 1 vibration/second]), nor in the aft hatches, as these are subject to the vibrations of the ship’s propulsion (frequencies of 1 – 30 Hz).

The use of vibration, impact and tipping indicators or recorders provides information about any excessive mechanical stresses to which the cargo may have been subjected.

Strong electrical or magnetic radiation may render home entertainment equipment unusable.

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RF Toxicity / Hazards to health

This risk factor has no significant influence on the transport of this product.

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RF Shrinkage / Shortage / Theft

Home entertainment equipment is a valuable cargo and thus at great risk of theft. Even slightly deformed packages should, without exception, be subjected to an immediate contents inspection. In the case of the theft, packaging units are often cleverly manipulated, e.g. adhesive strips are detached and readhered by heating.

Omitting company, promotional and appliance details from packaging reduces the risk of theft.

If several containers are, for example, being used to transport home entertainment equipment, the containers should be stowed during transport and storage such that the doors of adjacent containers block each other.

In the case of conventional loading on ocean-going vessels, home entertainment equipment should be stowed in the locker.

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RF Insect infestation

As a rule no insect infestation; however, damage (corrosion, contamination) may be caused by creatures, such as beetles and beetle larvae, which mistakenly find their way into and destroy packaging in their search for new, dry breeding grounds. Termites, for example, can even eat their way through plastic films. Such cargo should thus be stowed in absolutely pest-free holds or containers and not close to foodstuffs and animal feed.

When wooden packaging containers or cargo securing materials are used, it may, under certain circumstances, be necessary to comply with the quarantine regulations of the country of destination and a phytosanitary certificate may have to be enclosed with the shipping documents. Information may be obtained from the phytosanitary authorities of the countries concerned.

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