Features to Look For When Investing in New Shipping Crates
You may not give much thought to the shipping crates you'll need for sending out a product, but investing in the right crates is important for your business; they need to protect your item while in transit while being as easy to use as possible. Shipping crates can actually come with a wide variety of options, so note a few tips on how to select the features you need for your new shipping crates.
Whether or not to get a lid with your crate will depend on the crate's use and your shipping method. If you ship FTL, meaning a full truckload, your crates will be the only ones stacked in a truck. In that case, you may be able to forego the added cost and weight of crate lids. However, if you're shipping LTL or less than truckload, you risk having other items stacked on top of yours in the back of the truck. Even if the items you're shipping are very sturdy, it's good to invest in crates with lids to protect your product from potential damage.
A good way to create a customised crate size for different shipments is to purchase buildable crates. These are crates with sides that come in segments, with fasteners or what are called collars along the edges. You stack each segment on top of each other, fitting the fasteners or collars together, so you can build a crate to your desired height. This is an especially good choice if you generally ship out various quantities of the same item; you won't need to invest in a variety of crate sizes but can simply build each one individually as needed.
Not all items that you ship are easily loaded into the top of a crate, so it can be good to invest in those with removable panels. This means needing to fit each side or panel together manually before shipping, but it also means being able to remove a side of the crate for easier front loading versus top loading. This is good for very delicate or very heavy items that would otherwise require a small crane or winch to load and unload.
If you do opt for removable panels, look for steel clips versus aluminum, as steel will provide the strength and durability needed to hold the panels together during transit. You also want clips that work without tools, so your end customer can easily access the crate once it arrives.