At least one dedicated staging area should be part of the data center design. Staging is an area between the loading dock and the equipment's final destination, and is often used for equipment configuration. Equipment coming from receiving on its way to the data center, as well as equipment moving from the data center out to storage or shipping, will usually be processed in the staging area.
Videotaping of the packing and unpacking process is good for having a record of how things fit into place.
Equipment should go through a verification process (also known as "burn-in"). Verification test suites (VTS) are sometimes available from the company supplying the equipment. This process is usually separate from the burn-in done later after racks are placed in the data center and the operating system and software is loaded.
The packing and unpacking of equipment can create a lot of contaminants, so this should always be done in the staging area.
Equipment should be stored, if even for a short time, in the staging area. The same security measures that limit and monitor physical access should be used in the staging area just as they would be used in the data center itself.