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custom crate

The Benefits of Custom Packaging

From managing a facility to owning your private company, all types of industries can benefit from using custom wooden crate packaging. Many business owners spend a good portion of their time trying to figure out ways to better secure and effectively store their products for packaging or shipping purposes. Our packaging experts over at Crate Tech have came up with a couple benefits that business owners and managers alike can take advantage of.

What are the advantages of using custom packaging?

  • When it comes to heavy goods or equipment, wooden crates are the way to go. Forget the “one size fits all” motto, custom crates are built to fit anything in need of being packaged. In addition, wooden crates guarantee good strength because of the excellent weight distribution they have to offer. Wooden crates also offer endurance and have proven to last through years of wear and tear.
  • In terms of storage and transportation, wooden crates are great because they can easily and safely be stacked and stored. Taking advantage of your moving truck or warehouse space is essential. Custom wooden crates can be designed to ensure proper stacking and ultimately take up less space.
  • One of the golden perks of using custom wooden crates is their affordable cost. Wooden crates are constructed through a simple and more natural process which translates to a lower production cost.
  • If you’re transporting fragile items, then it is vital to make sure they will be secure and steady. We see a lot of this when for e.g. plumbers ship a lot of their more fragile and expensive items. Wooden crates offer a great deal of protection and are very stable. You can rest easy when shipping items of high value with custom wooden crates.

The packaging and crate industry is one that requires great interest and niche expertise. Crate Tech, Inc. is currently committed to “service beyond expectation,” and brings 20 years of wooden crate experience to the table. Constantly meeting the needs of our valued customers, Crate Tech excels in providing the best custom wooden crates around! Crate Tech now has 4 locations across the nation, in Seattle, Wichita, Chicago, and now in Kingston, NC. To get started with your own custom crates, get in touch with a Crate Tech expert today by giving us a call at 253-872-6857!

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How Do Aluminum Gussets Help to Protect Crates?

custom shipping crates

There are many different types of wooden crates used for business and industry. Lightweight one-time use crates can be more economical than investing in a heavy duty reinforced crate. The type of crate you need is as unique as your business. When you need a crate that can go the extra mile, then a wooden crate with aluminum gussets can offer the most cost effective and safe option. Here are a few things you should know when it comes to the world of reinforced crates.

Standard Wooden Crates

A typical wood crate is constructed entirely with wood and wood reinforcements. When you need a basic crate, this is one of the best options. Wood crates normally offer one large compartment for storage but a divided wooden crate can offer some organization options.

Adding Strength And Durability

For some tasks, you might need a crate that can offer a lot of strength and durability. Aluminum gussets allow the corners of a crate to be protected from damage while adding strength to the entire crate. Gussets can make a crate last for years in many cases. When applied at all joints and seams, gussets can provide a lot of protection from forklifts and other machinery. For items that are more delicate, an aluminum gusset crate is a reliable and cost effective choice.

Reduce Damaged Goods

Product loss can mean a big hit in the profits of your company. Skimping on packaging can be a costly mistake. Using high-quality crates that are meant to take more than the load you are putting on them will ensure that your business doesn’t have to deal with damaged products and the resulting loss of profits. You can make sure that your customers get what they ordered delivered in as good condition as it was when it left your care.

Custom Crating Options

Crate Tech has many standard crates and pallets available to meet your packaging needs. If you need a custom crate order, we would be happy to discuss and then design the perfect crate for your shipment. We have many locations to serve you, including Seattle, Chicago, and Wichita and offer prompt and courteous service to all our customers.

We can install caster wheels, dividers, and more into any crate we make or offer on our site. For those that attend trade shows and need specific crates for furniture and art, we offer lightweight crates with caster wheels.

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How to Ensure Product Safety with Wood Crates

In an age where technology is advancing at a supreme rate, it’s quite amazing to think we still use wood crates. Wood has been around, well, forever and here we are. Still using them to ship our beloved goods across the world. The reason we still use it is fairly simple. It works and it works well. I’m sure we’d all like to skip the shipping aspect and have our goods teleported directly to our door, but until Star Trek becomes a reality, wood crates are going to have to do. It’s not difficult to ensure your product arrives safely with a wood crate, but in case you’re worrying, just be sure of the following.

Reasons to Ship with Wood Crates

They’re Durable

If you want to ship something in a safe manner, void of any damage, wood crates should be your choice. They can stand years and years of hard labor and still hold their strength for another go. As an added bonus, they help us reduce our waste by the constant recycling. Can’t say that about cardboard can you?

They’re Moisture Proof

Shipping something that is prone to water damage is nerve-wracking. Water is pesky and can seep through the tiniest of crevices. Usually not a good mix for shipping products. This, however, can be avoided by making sure you have moisture proof crates. Most are treated this way, so the search shouldn’t be too difficult.

They’re Space Efficient

This may not seem like a way to keep your products safe but think about it. Would you rather have a neatly organized, pleasant stack of square boxes or a pile of oblong shaped objects falling over each other? Organizing the crates prevents them from moving around too much. Movement often causes damage, so in this case, it’s cool to be square.

They’re Resistant to Corrosion and Insects

Corrosion tends to break down certain elements over time, but not these crates. Due to the possibility to face all kinds of extreme temperatures, make sure your crates are treated to resist corrosion. Also, don’t forget about those annoying bugs. It seems like a losing battle, but there is a way to stop nasty, wood boring insects from destroying your cargo. Wood that is resistant to termites and similar critters should be sought after.

All in all, just choosing wood crates for you shipping needs is a good start to ensure your products arrive safely. Just make sure of a few key details for a stress-free delivery.

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How to Re-Use Wooden Crates After Shipping

Reclaim, convert, recover, reprocess, reclaim, recycle. The list goes on, but those are just some ways to express the term “re-use”. Sustainability seems to be all the rage these days. What are you going to contribute to this growing trend? Well, good news. You don’t have to be a scientist and invent some new form of biofuel. All you need is a desire for some free furniture and a surplus of wooden crates. Wooden crates have their place in society as wonderful protectors of our goods, but what happens after shipping? It’s entirely up to you, but here are five ideas to get you started.

Ideas for Re-Using Wooden Crates

Elevated Shoe Storage

Between the wife, the kids and the dog sniffing around, shoes scattered all over the ground can be a nuisance. You could get one of those fancy shoe racks at the mall, or you could go the ecological route and re-use those wooden crates you have. Just paint them any color you like and hang them on a wall for a decorative and practical solution.

Hip Coffee Table

You know that old, rustic window you have collecting dust in your basement? Or how about that spare hunk of mahogany in the shed? Well, fret no more. Just slap those on a few crates to have your very own hip coffee table. Now just place your Bob Dylan lyric book on top and some coasters and you’ll be too cool.

Rollaway Under Bed Storage

And you thought those skateboards from your youth were wasted. Not anymore. Take those wheels off, put them on some wooden crates for some easy under bed storage. You may need to make some adjustments depending on how high or low your bed sits, but that’s a small price to pay for something that’s free.

Wine Bottle Holder

Start by purchasing six bottles of wine. Drink one. Now cut six, wine bottle shaped holes in the bottom your wood crate. Mount the crate on the wall (holes facing out of course) and place those five (or four) remaining bottles in their respective holes. You know have a place to keep your wine for the night until it’s all gone.

Window Flower Boxes

This one is a classic but never gets old. Just mount your crates below the window, fill in with your choice of dirt and let nature do the rest. Don’t forget to plant something in there, or else you will just have a box full of dirt underneath your window.

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What Are the Benefits of On-Site Packaging?

These days, there are many objects and products that need to be shipped for businesses and companies, both worldwide and here in the United States. Here at Crate Tech, packaging is the specialty. But an option that not everyone is aware of is the on-site packaging. Crate Tech is able to ensure that property is kept safe by not moving it, as well as come and package items that are simply too big to be moved to a Crate Tech location where they can be packaged. That’s great news for those with large items that are needing to ship them for their business. Whether one is manufacturing airplanes, motorcycles, or the propellers for a cruise ship, Crate Tech has the tools to get anything package and ready to ship.

Pros of On-Site Packaging


The shipping and packaging specialists at Crate Tech are able to crate and package items and materials on site so that they do not need to be transported to another location. Freight, shipping, and packaging are each made easier when the service is brought to your location.

Convenience and Efficiency

Crating and Packaging on-site is much more convenient than having to go to the location of a packaging service to have materials shipped for transport. When running a business there are many items that need the attention of the employees. In many cases it is more efficient to have Crate Tech come to the location and do on site packaging right then and there.

Vacuum Sealing

Some items should not be exposed to increased moisture. To prevent oxidization and the growth of unwanted fungi or aerobic bacteria, a great idea could be to have the item vacuum sealed. Vacuum sealing Is helpful because it makes sure that no air or moisture gets in or out of the packaging.

Heat Shrink Wrap

Another way to protect an item being shipped from the elements is to have Crate Tech heat shrink wrap the item. The nature of shrink wrapping allows it to be something that can easily be done on-site. Large items can be shrink wrapped to protect them from weather and the outside world, and smaller items can also be shrink wrapped to group them together safely and securely and prevent shifting during transit.

These are just a few of the many benefits of having Crate Tech handle the crate and packaging needs on-site, rather than attempting to transport a large item to one of the locations. Shipping and freight can be a hassle, and many times the best answer is on-site shipping. Have Crate Tech come out and assist in the Midwest, including Chicago, Kansas, and even the Pacific Northwest including Seattle and Kent. Crate Tech can be reached today at (253) 872-6857!

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Crates and Pallets: Which Is Right for You?

From small wooden crates to large, there are many different types of wooden crates and with this, there are even different types of wood from which the crates are made. There are crates and pallets. There are wooden boxes, and then there are those boxes made of cardboard too, a product that’s definitely not even wood. These are just a few of the many types of boxes!  Boxes may seem ordinary but each of these containers has extraordinary uses that makes them extremely useful in everyday business here in the United States and all throughout the world. Let’s go over a few of the many types in more detail.

Types of Boxes

Wooden Crates

These are sometimes your standard shipping crates you may have received milk jugs in when you were young, like the ones those delicious golden apples are pictured in a previous blog post. Custom crates, however, are much more sophisticated. We tailor our crates to the specific needs of every customer depending on what it is they want to ship and how they need it sent. In many cases, a standard crate will get the job done but when more than one is needed, those of us here at Crate Tech have the expertise and experience to meet all of your customized shipping needs.

Crate Tech specializes in custom crates and pallets, so professional staff can tailor as well as fit a crate to any need! If you are shipping a single, large item, and need it to fit into a wooden box and be secured to be able to ship a long way, then a custom crate would be the better choice for you.

Wooden Pallets

We’ve talked about pallets before, and chances are you’ve seen them going by on a flatbed truck or maybe in the local shipping yard. Pallets are useful for shipping because of how strong and resilient they are. A well-made pallet can withstand a great deal of weight and they are great for the environment because they can be reused. There’s no argument about how advantageous pallets can be.  Depending on the type of material you want to ship, your pallets can be designed in a way that is especially made to your specific needs.

Pallets are the more logical choice when you are sending a lot of a certain item, or perhaps you have many different kinds of items that you need to send. Pallets are affordable and many times they are a great choice to suit your shipping needs.


Either of these modes of transportations could be a good choice for what it is you need to accomplish. The good news is that Crate Tech is able to build custom crates to order. There isn’t a job they won’t take on and their commitment to service and excellence coupled with their years of experience in the industry makes them the perfect choice when you have unique needs to ship nationally or even internationally!


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Pirates! How Piracy Affects Shipping Container Channels

Pirates are real people! Lets take a look at the latest news and what is going on around our world when it comes to our shipping container channels! These transportation channels for goods are vital to the economy of the world. Without these shipping lanes being open and safe for use, major problems would arise.

Impact of Piracy on Shipping Channels

A spate of daring high-seas attacks off Southeast Asia is stoking fears that its vital shipping lanes could once again become a hotspot for piracy unless regional powers act fast.

For centuries, pirates were the scourge of the Malacca Strait — the strategic channel between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore through which a third of global trade now passes.

They were largely put out of business about five years ago by stepped-up patrols.

But several tankers or cargo ships have been attacked in Southeast Asian waters since April, with pirates hijacking the vessels before siphoning off hundreds of tonnes of valuable fuel or oil.

The increasing booty of oil and other cargo floating through local seaways appears to be drawing in new players, possibly underpinned by organized criminal syndicates, according to anti-piracy experts.

“Everybody is concerned about these latest attacks because they know it will worsen,” said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) piracy reporting centre in Malaysia.

“It will become rampant again and you will have a hard time stopping it. That’s how Somalia got started.”

In recent years, global concern over piracy has focused on attacks by trigger-happy Somali pirates off East Africa.

An international naval effort has virtually stamped out that threat — but in the meantime, Southeast Asian piracy attacks have crept back up, increasing from 46 in 2009 to 128 last year, according to the IMB, and are on a similar pace for 2014.

Most are localized robbery attempts in Indonesia’s vast waters for relatively small stakes, the IMB says. It adds that major lanes like the Malacca Straits remain safe, with only one attack this year.

Tens of thousands of ships pass through the strait annually.

But the spurt of brazen incidents raises fears of a return to the frequent hijackings and kidnappings by mostly Indonesia-based armed pirates seen a decade ago, especially as successful piracy usually breeds more.

In one attack on May 28, the Thai tanker MT Orapin 4 was hijacked north of Indonesia’s Bintan Island.

The pirates reportedly painted over its name, destroyed communications equipment and brought in a smaller tanker vessel to siphon off much of the ship’s 3,700 metric tonne oil cargo. The vessel and crew were later released.

Similar incidents have been repeated, possibly indicating serial action by the same gangs.

The elaborate operations, say experts, suggest coordination with criminal syndicates organised enough to move such large cargoes to market.

“Maritime crime has always been an issue in the region, but we are seeing an increase in hijackings for cargo. The black market for marine gas oil is extremely lucrative,” said David Rider, editor of the Maritime Security Review, who wrote recently that the new attacks had “taken everyone by surprise”.

Southeast Asian piracy remains relatively benign compared to a decade ago. Pirates rarely carry guns, while taking hostages for ransom has stopped, said Choong.

But the lucrative stakes could lead to more attacks, with East and West Africa offering chilling cautionary examples.

The lust for tanker cargoes has turned waters near oil-rich Nigeria into the world’s major area of piracy concern due to the often deadly shoot-first attacks by gun-toting pirates, Choong said.

Martin Sebastian, head of Malaysia’s Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy, said growing Southeast Asian sea traffic complicates enforcement while offering increasingly enticing pickings.

“Where there is money, the pirates emerge,” he said.


Call for stepped-up patrols

The IMB is urging regional authorities to beef up naval patrols, and recommending round-the-clock anti-piracy watches on vessels.

Some calls have emerged for armed private security on ships — but that’s expensive, and in any case banned in Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai waters.

Piracy experts said the region is better-positioned today to snuff out any resurgence following the successful suppression of recent years.

An Indonesian navy spokesman said his country’s forces are continuing to coordinate on patrols with its neighbours.

But pirates are also smarter, and are exploiting national sea boundaries and the limitations of regional naval forces to evade detection, said Bantarto Bandoro, a security expert at the Indonesian Defence University.

“They have good information on who is being monitored, where the sea is being monitored — and their intelligence gathering is improving,” he said, adding that international coordination remains insufficient.

Southeast Asia has a checkered history of cooperation on various issues, and combating resurgent piracy will ultimately require close coordination to root out onshore criminal gangs believed to be fueling it, Sebastian said.

Regional economies will be burdened with extra costs, including higher shipping insurance rates and more spending on security assets, “if we don’t nip it in the bud”, he warned.


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How to Make A “Shipping Container Home”

A shipping container can be used for more than just its intended purpose. Why get rid of material that can be put to good use? If you’ve been thinking about what you can re-use your shipping container for, then consider investing in a project like creating a shipping container home.

Steps to Build Shipping Container Home

1. Design a cabin

Before we buy any containers or do anything else, we should have some idea how we want to live in our shipping container cabin.  Figure out how much space we want, or really need, and start working up a floor plan.

2. Consult an engineer

If one is thinking about removing any walls or other structural components of a shipping container, it would be best to consult with a qualified engineer.  Removing structural components of a shipping container, without the proper reinforcement, could make the structure unsafe.  A few openings for doors and windows will probably not affect a containers structural integrity, but large scale modifications definitely will.

3. Purchase the containers needed

Depending on where we obtain our containers, we may need to plan for this well in advance. Used shipping containers are more readily available, but then we don’t really know what’s been inside them during their service.

4. Build a foundation

A foundation can range anywhere from some concrete or wooden supports on the ground for a single container all the way up to a full basement for multiple containers.  The decision will need to be considering both what is structurally required and our own personal preferences.  It’s probably best to consult with a qualified builder or engineer to design a proper foundation for our container cabin.

If we decide on some type of poured concrete foundation, then we should plan on embedding steel plates into the concrete where the container corner blocks will rest.  This will allow the containers to be welded directly to the concrete foundation.

5. Place the containers

The easiest way to place shipping containers on our foundations we have created is with a crane. There is no safer way to build our shipping container home than by utilizing a crane.

Once your containers have been placed on the foundation, it’s relatively easy to make any final adjustments with a large crowbar.

6. Connect the containers

Containers can be connected using bolts, specialized clamps, or through welding.  The easiest method for those of us who plan on “Doing it ourselves” (but not necessarily the most secure), would be with sets of large bolts and drilled/punched metal plates.  The metal plates would need to fit inside the corner fittings, and would act as heavy duty washers for the bolts.

A really slick alternative, although usually very expensive, would be to use clamps specifically designed to connect containers together.

The most secure method, and probably not that difficult for a handy person, would be to simply weld the containers together.  As long as you never plan to disassemble the containers this is probably the best option.

7. Add reinforcement

Before any structural components (i.e. walls) are removed, and before the roof goes on, it’s time to add any structural reinforcement that may be necessary.

Depending on where we build, and how/if the containers are combined, we may not even need a roof.  If you do need a roof, or just want one for appearance sake, it’s really not that hard to build one.  Be sure to keep in mind how you are going to insulate the roof, and whether of not you will need access under the roof to do it.

8. Build a roof

Depending on where we decide to build our shipping container cash for home, and how/if our containers are combined, our home may not even need a roof.  If we do need a roof, or just want one for appearance sake, it’s really not that hard to build one.  A simple low pitched (3:12 or 4:12) shed roof, if one likes that look, is probably the easiest and cheapest to build.  Be sure to keep in mind how one is going to insulate the roof, and whether or not we will need access under the roof to do it.

9. Cut out openings

Removing metal from our containers is only necessary if we need passage between the containers, or we plan to add window and/or door openings to the container walls.  There are lots of ways to cut through container steel, including a plasma cutter, cutting torch, grinder, and even a jig saw.

10. Remove or encapsulate the flooring

Unfortunately, the wooden floors of nearly all shipping containers are treated with various pesticides.  Some “experts” act as if it’s nuclear waste and needs to be removed in every case, and the uninformed simply ignore it completely and use it as is.  This is something that needs to be decided on a case by case basis depending on the container’s initial chemical treatment and usage history, but this is a decision that each person will need to make for themselves.

11. Seal the cracks

If we remove any of our interior walls, we create large gaps between the containers that need to be sealed from the elements.  One solution, that is probably the most rugged, is to weld steel strips on the side gaps.  If we removed the walls, the roof would already have a beam welded across each gap for structural support.  Even if we chose to weld steel strips to the outside we would still want to fill the gaps behind them with spray foam.

12. Enclose the openings – frame, sheath, and weatherproof

This phase of construction is actually pretty easy, especially if one has had any rough framing experience, as we are just creating separate 8′x8′ framed walls to fit into the container openings.  A couple of things that are different from standard framing are how the walls are connected to the containers, and that they are not load bearing.

13. Add doors and windows

Sliding glass doors, would be very complimenting, if building a container in warmer climates. They do let in a lot of light, which is an advantage when we only have openings on a single side.

14. Frame the inside

If one is intent on saving as much interior space as possible, they need to consider using 1 1/2″ steel studs.  These studs do a fair job of securing drywall, and are stiff enough if spray foam is applied to the walls and studs.  In areas that the foam did not connect the wall and studs, the steel studs are only adequate.  An extra layer of drywall, or more narrow spacing of the studs, would definitely help here.

15. Install a subfloor

This is an optional step, especially if the floors have been replaced.  If we want to provide an additional physical barrier to the treatment chemicals, or we need to get above some structural remnants of the containers, then we need to add a sub-floor.

16. Electrical

Now is the time to wire our cabin for electricity.  Even if we are not sure we want electricity, it’s easy and inexpensive enough that we should just wire it at this point, because it would be much harder for us to do later on.

17. Insulate the containers

When it comes to what type of insulation to use, the most optimum option to consider is spray foam.  Even though it’s the most expensive route, the benefits far outweigh the financial disadvantages.  A minimum 2″ layer of spray foam will create a seamless vapor barrier against the metal walls of the container, add structural support to the walls and framing, and allow for thinner side walls and greater interior volume. I wouldn’t trust any other method to prevent condensation from forming behind the walls.

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