The average shipping crate might not seem like much, but with closer inspection, you’ll find out that a shipping crate is much more than meets the eye. With multiple complex components, valuable cargo, and a tendency to become a world traveler, the average shipping crate lives an exciting and important life.

Although not as numerous as pallets, the shipping crate is just as important to the global supply chain as any other form of transportation packaging. Today, to highlight the many advantages of using wooden storage crates, we’ll be looking at the similarities and differences between crates and pallets, discover what a pallet/crate hybrid is, and address the additional components that make the shipping crate one of the most sought-after forms of wood packaging on the market.

Crates vs. Pallets

If you asked a child to point out the similarities and differences between a pallet and a shipping crate, they would probably start listing off their initial observations. Although anyone can do this, the important similarities and differences between a shipping crate and a pallet are much more than the eye can see. Along with this, we’ll be taking a look at the hybrid version of a pallet and crate.

Shared Traits of Pallets and Crates

To start, both a pallet and a shipping crate are most likely built from industrial grade Southern Yellow Pine(SYP). This lumber is versatile, readily available, and cost-effective for manufacturers, making it a perfect candidate for many different wood packaging products. Depending on the region in which it’s manufactured, it’s worth noting that either one of these products could very likely be built from Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF)as well (The Second most-popular lumber species group in the US). Along with this, both wooden storage crates and pallets can optionally be made of hardwood. Using hardwood in transportation packaging is typically due to either the personal preference of the user or the weight of the product being shipped.

It’s because of the similarities in building materials that a shipping crate and a pallet are both equally sustainable. Both wood packaging products have a reasonably long life cycle, 5-10 years, they both offer substantial potential for reusability, and they both can be recycled and broken down into different usable wood products (Wood chips, horse bedding, etc.)

What Makes Pallets Different Than Crates?

Although pallets and crates have many similarities because of the materials they’re made of, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any differences. Besides the initial visual observations, the main differences between a shipping crate and a pallet are found in the way each wood packaging product is constructed.

Pallets are made with weight-bearing in mind, even standard-sized pallets are designed to carry thousands of pounds of product. With their low center of gravity and compact design, wood pallets are perfect for carrying heavy loads of product almost anywhere.

In many circumstances, however, many manufacturers recommend that their customers transport their goods in crates. This is because, in various situations, it’s simply safer to have products sealed in a shipping crat – being able to seal your product within a crate drastically increases its security. With four walls around your product, no matter the turbulence experienced in the sky or the rocking of the waves on the sea, manufacturers can rest easy knowing their product will remain snug and protected.

A Hybrid Pallet and Crate? What’s that?

In the world of wood packaging, nothing is ever as simple or as set-in-stone, as it may seem. For some products, a hybridized version of a shipping crate and a pallet may be needed. Manufacturers who specialize in wood packaging can create this hybrid by simply fastening a pallet, with the corresponding dimensions, to the underside of a crate. This allows the wood packaging to have increased mobility since pallets are designed to be easily moved via forklifts or pallet jacks, as well as increasing the strength of the wood packaging. With this pallet/crate hybrid, manufacturers get the best of both worlds.

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Additional Shipping Crate Benefits

An important aspect of wooden storage crates is the ability for manufacturers, like Conner, to custom make them for any product. Custom wooden storage crates are widely preferred by many over other forms of wood packaging. Regardless of your product, wood packaging manufacturers can create a shipping crate with the exact dimensions you need.

Along with this, manufacturers add various supplemental materials to protect the products stored in crates even further. This can be anything from internal dunnage designed to separate individual products or even foam or cardboard filling. In some circumstances, when a shipping crate is planned to go overseas, manufacturers will add special ‘moisture paper’ so that any additional moisture caused by exposure to the elements will be absorbed and have no effect on the product inside.

It’s because of this versatility that the simple shipping crate is used frequently in international trade – Being effective and protective no matter the means of transportation. Due to its tendency to transport goods around the globe, it’s worth adding that a large majority of wooden storage crates are ISPM-15 certified. With the amount of travel a single shipping crate does during its lifespan, this certification is vitally important.

We Hope That We’ve Shared a Thing or Two with You!

Aren’t wooden storage crates an amazing wood packaging product? After reading this article, we hope you have a deeper understanding of the shipping crate, know how it differs from pallets, what a hybrid is, and the additional benefits associated with wooden storage crates.