It happens all the time, you have items that need to go from one place to another. The items are large and need protection, so you already know cardboard boxes are out of the question. You’d like to use a wooden container of some sort, but which one? Do you want a pallet, a box or a crate? How do you decide the best option?
What are the Differences in Shipping Materials?
Pallets, boxes and crates are similar, yet there are distinctions that allow them to serve different purposes.
A pallet is just a wooden slat base structure without protective sides. The base is designed for forklift transportation. Typically, you would stack the items on top and then wrap with plastic or strap them down to secure. Pallets are usually made of wood and come in various sizes and strengths.
A crate is more than a pallet, but not quite as much as a full box. Crates generally have protective slats on the sides and can be assembled or taken apart fairly easily.
A box is a solid container that is fully enclosed.
The best way to decide which one is right for your needs is to look at what you are shipping and determine what will be safest and most efficient.
Are You Shipping Internationally?
If you are shipping internationally you need to take into consideration that solid wood packaging material is regulated by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) to reduce the spread of pests that live in wood materials. There are rules you need to follow to make sure your wood materials meet these standards. There are also additional rules in place if what you are shipping is considered to be “hazardous material”. So, make sure you thoroughly research what you are shipping and what rules may apply.
Another consideration is the level of protection from theft and damage you require. Pallets are the least secure both for protection and theft, so it’s best to use them only for items that are very sturdy or heavy and would only need stacked and wrapped. Crates are the mid-level option. The slat spacing leaves some risk for theft and damage, but it wouldn’t be a quick heist as it would require a crowbar. Finally, boxes offer the most protection from both tampering and damage. Concerted effort would be needed if someone wanted to gain entry to the box and most times this is enough to cause someone to think twice before trying to steal something.
Are Crates the Best of Both Worlds?
When designed and constructed properly, wooden crates are extremely strong and able to protect their contents under most conditions. They provide the protective framework around the entire contents, while using less materials than a full box. Wooden crates can be custom built to fit your contents, giving you the most efficient outside dimensions and maximizing cost efficiency. No matter the shape of your product, a wooden crate makes stacking and storage efficient and cost effective.
And finally, wooden crates are reusable, which makes them more cost-effective and less wasteful. With well-constructed wooden crates, the same crates that shipped your product the first time are strong enough to use for return shipping. Even better, wooden crates constructed with SCRAIL® or Mini-SCRAIL® crate fasteners can be easily disassembled, making them ideal for flat transport to different locations, or to be stored for future use.
No matter the shipping solution that’s right for you, SCRAIL® fasteners can provide a real advantage to the crate, box, or pallet construction process, offering easy, nail-style insertion with the desirable holding characteristics associated with threaded screws. This unique design makes them extremely strong and versatile in any application. Using SCRAIL® on your next shipping container is your safest bet to get your package to its destination safely.