Wooden Cargo Containers

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Wooden Cargo Containers

When you should choose a custom wooden cargo container over a standard sea container.

If you’re preparing to ship or store freight, you might already be checking the availability of a standard steel sea container. But have you ever considered using a custom wooden cargo container instead? Wooden cargo containers have many advantages that you may not be aware of. While they aren’t ideal for every shipping scenario, wooden cargo containers can be a safe and economical choice for your shipping needs. We’ll explain why these custom wooden containers might be a better option than a standard sea container for your freight needs.

Wooden Cargo Containers Are Customizable

One of the major advantages of wooden cargo containers is that they can be custom built to best suit the exact dimensional specifications of your item, whereas standard sea containers are uniform in size. If your cargo load is too large in any dimension for a sea container, it will obviously not fit. Also, if the item is too small to fill the sea container then you are wasting money paying to ship a lot of unused space. It is quite common for a piece of machinery to fall into one of these too big or too small categories. That never happens with a custom wooden crate.

Custom Size And Custom Features As Well

Custom wooden cargo containers can be built to any dimensions – so, they are an obvious choice when your item is larger in one dimension than the standard sea container. But they are customizable in other ways too: their construction can be tailored to accommodate the specific needs of the items being shipped. Hinges can be placed where needed, entire sides can be removable, contoured supports can be installed, not to mention that other materials such as foam, strapping, plastic, etc., can be employed in the construction of the cargo container to reduce weight, and increase safety and stability.

Wooden cargo crates are especially ideal when shipping large, single items such as industrial machines, aerospace items, but also art, furniture, or even cars and motorcycles. In these scenarios, items can be snugly secured within their custom-sized cargo containers.

Wooden Cargo Containers Are Lightweight, Inexpensive and Eco-Friendly

Compared with steel sea containers, wooden cargo containers are easy to move around and transport due to their being generally lighter. As well, especially if shipping domestically (via truck) and your cargo load is not too large, it can be much more economical to use a wooden cargo container and ship it LTL (less than a truckload) via common carriers rather than use a steel sea container that is partly empty.

Wooden Cargo Crates Are Durable

A common misconception about wooden cargo containers is that they are not strong enough to endure the various stresses of intermodal shipping (packing, loading, unloading, etc.).

The truth is that a well-constructed wooden crate is entirely capable of standing up to these mechanical stresses, even with very heavy cargo like industrial machinery.

In fact, in some cases, wooden crates are even more secure than steel shipping containers, where a surplus of space can lead to an insecure load. The customizable nature of wooden cargo crates makes it so that they can be specifically designed to protect your cargo in the particular way it needs to be protected. Not simply blocked or braced but actually cradled if need be.

When To Use A Standard Sea Container

Certainly, there are a few scenarios in which using a standardized sea container would in fact be a better option. The ISO-standardized nature of steel shipping containers can have advantages when considering long, international, intermodal routes. Also, when considering shipping projects at larger economies of scale, sea containers can be more economical than standard break bulk handling (individually-counted units). But even when a sea container is the best option it is still important to properly secure the load, protect it from moisture (container rain) and optimize the load and weight distribution for safe lifting.

We can help you decide

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to use a wooden cargo crate or a steel shipping container, and it’s not your job to be an expert – it’s ours! Reid Packaging can build your custom wood cargo container, or else help you decide if a steel shipping container would be better for your needs and if so we can help ensure that container is properly loaded and secured for a safe extended sea voyage. Give us a call and we can help you decide on the safest, most economical packaging for your cargo.