It has long been said that beauty is what’s on the inside. That couldn’t be truer than when shipping large, fragile, and valuable items in shipping crates. With our globalized economy, people and businesses are using shipping crates to protect and move products being shipped around the world. From retail merchandise to machines and equipment of any size, shape and weight, wooden shipping crates provide light, yet strong, enclosures to protect contents during shipping and storage.
Wood is the most common material used to build shipping crates because it is light weight, strong and can be formed and adapted into different sizes and shapes relatively easily. Wooden crates are formed by fastening a framework of boards together to create a sturdy structural enclosure that will protect what’s inside.
Wood crates are durable and provide a high level of protection for contents, and their light weight – compared to other metal shipping containers -- cuts down on the cost of shipping.
A shoddy crate could cost you
Aside from their obvious use, the use of quality wooden shipping crates also serves to positively affect a business’s bottom line. Ensuring the container will absorb the stress put on it while in transit, preventing damage to the contents, saves a business from hefty liability and insurance claims, as well as loss of income.
If your business relies on shipping crates to ship products, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest technologies and trends in crating. Given that shipping crates are moved with forklifts or cranes, and transported via tractor trailers, cargo planes and ships, they undergo considerable wear and tear. But, with the right materials and fasteners, crates can be repaired and reused numerous times.
Extending the life of a crate
Although crates can be easy to make, it’s important they are constructed properly to maintain durability and a long life. Here are some useful tips for making new crates or refurbishing older ones:
- Choose the right wood. Wood is classified into five categories based on its strength and durability. Some wood is strong but splits easily when it is nailed, while other wood is too soft for a shipping crate. Choosing the right wood to use for your crate is essential for protecting your product.
- Prevent decay. Wood is predisposed to decay given the right elements, including favorable temperatures and moisture. To prevent decay, use a coating such as paint or varnish, or use preservative-treated wood. Then, try to reduce moisture, especially when crates are sitting in storage.
- Design. You want to design crates that are strong enough to protect the contents they carry and survive exposure to the elements, but that are also light-weight and compact. Crates can be designed to be fully closed, which are good for contents that could spill. An open crate is constructed using wooden slats on the exterior with spacing between to provide ventilation. A frame crate is open even further, with wood used only for framing the crate and no other exterior sheathing. Frame crates are used for shipping heavy machinery and products that don’t need as much protection.
- Fasteners. Traditionally, nails and screws have been used to fasten wooden crates. Nails are less expensive than screws and are more flexible under pressure; however, they can easily come loose with the movement and vibration the crate will undergo. Screws have a higher tensile strength than nails and will prevent wood from pulling apart where joined. The best option for crate fasteners is a combination of the two – read on to know more about crating SCRAIL®.
Choose the best fasteners to build or refurbish your crates
SCRAIL® fasteners are rapidly driven into wood using pneumatic nailing tools. SCRAIL® install fast like nails, but are strong like screws, and they can easily be removed, making them ideal for crate refurbishing. With increased holding power, crating SCRAIL® by BECK are the ideal fasteners for all sizes and styles of wood crates.