When dealing with large, heavy equipment, there are typically two reasons that customers ask us to make them a custom wood crate:
If you fall into the other category and have been experiencing product damages, a crate can be a great solution. We have several customers that ship large items domestically and internationally that have tried shipping without a crate or other protective packaging. While some arrive at their final destination in good condition, others end up being damaged by the truck tarp flapping in the wind, hitting other objects, or being exposed to the weather.
Adding a large wood crate to every product can be expensive, but we have seen several customers decide that it’s cheaper to crate everything than deal with damage, repairs, and bad customer experiences.
No matter what category you fall into above, once you decide that custom crating is your best option, you then need to determine whether to handle it in-house or use a custom crate service like Vol Case. This depends on a variety of factors:
Setting up an in-house crating operation requires saws, hand tools, lumber storage, manufacturing space, misc storage, dust collection, and more. All of this takes up significant space in your facility. So if you are currently tight on space, it’s unlikely you would be able to make room for crating and would be better off having a company deliver finished crates.
If you only need a handful of crates each week or less on average, there won’t be enough work to keep an employee or group of employees busy. Therefore, what we’ve seen other customers do is they will pull employees randomly to help crate. While this is fine during slow periods, it can cause issues during busy times. We’ve seen this lead to delays further up the manufacturing line, mistakes on crates due to inexperience, and lower profitability. For example, you may have an employee that generates $300/hour in revenue spend 2 hours building a crate that would have cost you $250.
The third point is largely related to safety. At Vol Case, we routinely build small 2’ cube crates, but also regularly build crates that are 35’ long, 16’ wide, and 16’ tall. Therefore, no matter the size and weight of your equipment, we know how to build a strong and secure crate that will be safe to transport and be able to withstand the weather. If you have a very large object that needs to be crated but do not have sufficient experience in crate building, there is the possibility that the crate could break or collapse under load and therefore become a danger to employees and others around.
Lastly, if the price of a custom crate is significant compared to the price of your equipment, then you’ll want to do everything you can to drive that price down. Therefore, building the crates in-house may be your best option.It’s important to calculate your in-house costs correctly when comparing though. For example, we work with a customer that used to do their wood crating in-house because they thought it was cheaper. However, they found that the price was very comparable to switching their crating over to us because we get better pricing on lumber and are set up to manufacture twice as quickly as they were.
In summary, if you have ample space at your facility, need enough wood crate demand to keep an employee busy full time, have experience with the size crate your need, and the price of the crate is significant compared to the price of the product going in it, then handling your crating service in-house is the best choice. However, if any of those are not true, it doesn’t mean that an outside crating service is guaranteed to be your best option, but it is certainly something worth looking into.
When designing a custom crate, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that your items arrive safely and ensure ease of use when loading and unloading your crate:
Custom crate packing and shipping are made easy with our professionals who assist you from design to professional packing of your products in your new custom wood crate. Our designs can include shelves, padding, ramps, straps, removable sides and top, vibration absorption, ISPM-15 stamps, handles, and more, depending on your design needs. All our designs and quotes are done for free without a purchase requirement. For a free quote, contact us here.
Volunteer Case & Container is the oldest custom crate and case manufacturer in the East TN area. Founded over 30 years ago, all of our protective packaging solutions are still designed and assembled at our facility in Oak Ridge, TN. We specialize in custom wood crates, ATA cases, wood or plastic containers, injection molded cases, and waterjet or CNC cut foam inserts. Our customers span a variety of industries including nuclear, government, aerospace, military, medical, R&D, and more. Our team has experience designing and building everything from huge wood crating for 70,000+ lbs machinery to small injection molded cases for key-sized objects. Whatever your needs, our team works on quick turnaround times to provide you with high quality protective packaging. Contact us today for a free quote.
No matter the size or sensitivity of your product, Vol Case has a protective packaging shipping solution for you.
All of our crates are stamped and certified for international export. Whether you need a single small crate delivered to you or dozens of oversized crates built onsite at your facility, we can handle the job. Our crates are fully customizable and can include foam, shelves, shock absorbers, ramps, latches, and more. We have experience building both commercial and military crates for equipment weighing 70,000+ lbs. Learn more here.
ATA / Road cases are best for highly sensitive objects that are light enough for one or two people to lift and move around. Our ATA cases can be either wood or plastic siding and all have durable metal edging. All ATA cases come with custom foam interiors and can have any number of wheels, handles, partitions, straps, latches, and more. Our cases are split or pop riveted together to ensure maximum strength and durability. Learn more here.
If you need something lighter or cheaper than an ATA case, our PE and wood containers are the solution. PE containers are made with a strong, but lightweight, plastic siding and no metal edges. This provides a lighter and cheaper option to an ATA case, while still very durable. Our wood containers are made with wood sides and metal edges and are our most cost effective case option, but are heavier than the PE version. Learn more here.
Trunk cases are perfect for equipment regularly transported by box truck. Our trunk cases come in three sizes: Small - 22.5” x 30” x 30”, Medium - 22.5” x 45” x 30”, & Large 30” x 45” x 30”. These exterior dimensions allow them all to fit neatly in a box truck for maximum capacity. All trunk cases include handles, latches, four swivel castors, and castor cups on top to allow for secure stacking. As needed, labels, dividers, and foam can be added as well. Learn more here.
We are a certified distributor for Pelican, SKB, and Nanuk cases, meaning we offer better pricing than you’ll find anywhere else. All of our injection molded cases are watertight, comply with military specs, and are built to withstand the harshest environments. Custom waterjet or CNC cut foam inserts are available for all cases for maximum protection. Whether you need a case to hold one object or many, we can design a case for you. Learn more here.
We offer a wide range of foam types, densities, and colors to best fit your needs. We offer foams types such as PE, PU, Crosslink, and Zote foam. All of these are available in a variety of densities depending on the weight and sensitivity of your equipment. We also offer colors other than the standard black/charcoal and have options such as anti-static. All these foam varieties can be waterjet or CNC cut to perfectly fit your product. Learn more here.
Whether you need one wood crate or hundreds of ATA cases, we’d love the chance to earn your business. All of our designs and quotes are done for free without any purchase required. We are able to work off dimensions/CAD files that you provide to us or we can visit your facility to take measurements of the equipment.