Shipping crates are an important solution to an issue that has plagued cargo and shipping companies for decades: How to protect fragile items during the rough and oft-unpredictable shipping process. A crate is defined as a container, commonly a slatted wood case, used for storage and shipping. Crates are usually pieces of wood put together without any aesthetic concerns, which by definition excludes the elegant, finely crafted wooden boxes our ancestors used for valuable items. Some historians state that the first documented writings in the US regarding the use of shipping crates can be found in a 1930 handbook written by C. A. Plaskett for the US Department of Agriculture. Though the work in this handbook implies that crates were already well known before that time, Plaskett is generally accepted as the first person to define them in writing.
Shipping crates and boxes are often mixed up with one another. However, the strength of a box is rated based on the weight that it can carry before the top, ends, and sides are installed. Crates, on the other hand, can only be rated for strength when all six of their sides are put in place.
Crates are usually made of wood or metal, with both materials possessing their own advantages and disadvantages. Modern shipping standards such as those from the ASTM and ATA have stimulated the development and use of more advanced composites for a better balance of strength, weight, and flexibility.
These guidelines have also forced shipping container manufacturers to improve their designs and construction techniques, turning lowly shipping crates into cutting-edge pieces of industrial art. A selection of these high-tech examples of shipping crates can be seen and purchased from Wilson Case, Inc., which has been making the finest shipping cases and crates for 30 years running.
Wilson Case is a leading manufacturer of shipping crates and cases bearing the vaunted ATA-300 (Category I) rating. They offer a wide selection of stock and customized shipping cases with numerous builds, materials, and options. For more information, visit http://www.WilsonCase.com or call 800-322-5493.
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