Advice for Shipping Some of the Trickiest Items Around

We recognize these are very hard times for many people. Our hearts go out to you. We are practicing safe procedures such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand sanitizing.  We hope our world can get back on its feet as soon as possible.

The Cratex Group is the most experienced and highly acclaimed industrial shipping, packing and crating service in all of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.  We are experts in shipping the biggest, heaviest, toughest items out there.  Check out our tips and advice for shipping some of the trickiest items on the market.

Shipping Live Plants

One of the most popular things to decorate your home with is live plants. Whether it is evergreen trees or house plants, shipping live plants, and distance can be a challenge. Here are some tips for shipping plants so that they arrive in the best condition.

Consider Insulation

When shipping plants, particularly in cold weather, you need to ensure that they are kept at a temperature that will ensure they stay alive. In the case of cut flowers or trees, you might be okay with keeping them colder but check with the type of plant to see if cold will damage the colors. Several types of packing insulation are available. The most popular is polystyrene foam (Styrofoam). This should keep your plants safe for the journey.

Ship as Quickly as You Can

If at all possible, try to ship overnight or two-day service. This may not be possible in the case of shipping large bulk or crates of plants. In that case, going with a fast, overland service or even air freight would be advisable.

While this does add a considerable amount of cost to the shipping, delays, when live plants are being shipped, can lead to a large amount of spoilage. Check with your shipping carriers to see what options they offer.

Secure Your Plants

Consider having a custom shipping crate or container made to ship your live plants. Quite often “this side up” arrows and other instructions can be ignored, meaning your plants can be in any orientation for the journey. Having a custom container built to accommodate holding your plants in any direction will lead to damage done by shipping in a less than ideal direction.

To go along with this information, consider shipping plants in vases and other containers without any liquids in them. Liquid in vases can spill during shipping if they are not in the proper orientation. If you must ship using water or other liquids, secure the containers with tight-fitting lids that will prevent spillage.

This also goes for plants being shipped in dirt. If you must ship in potting soil, then make sure to cap your plants to keep the soil in place. Also, remember to keep the soil at the proper moisture. Soil that is too dry can crumble and fall out. Soil that is too moist can damage the container that it is being shipped in or even freeze if temperatures drop too low. Plan for some of the soil in your shipment to be lost, regardless of how well you pack.

Comply with National and Local Laws

Make sure your plants are legal for the destination they are being sent to. Plants that are not legal for the region can be held up, returned, or even impounded.

Shipping live plants can be tricky. Rely on professionals like Cratex Group with years of industrial packaging experience to assist you in your plant shipment.

Tips to Protect Electronics When Shippingvancouver transloading

Electronics are among the most sensitive of items when it comes to shipping and they are also among the most frequently shipped.

On the most basic level, there are the overseas manufacturers of electronics for retail consumption that ship cargo to North America on a daily basis. Then there are the large businesses and organizations that require shipping for their electronic materials used in the manufacturing, construction, and development process. Others operate offices overseas and require safe shipping for their electronic hardware and software to be used in the scope of day to day business.

6 Tips for Protecting Electronics During Shipping

  1. Inspect Pre-Used Hardware for Discs and External Plug-Ins

Companies that ship electronics for the use of their business may be shipping items that have been used on numerous occasions. If so, be sure to thoroughly inspect them to check if any CDs, USB plug-ins, and all other forms of data-based media have been removed.

  1. Pad Screens in Excess

Screens found on viewing devices (LCD, etc…) and monitors need to be well padded for a long journey, perhaps to the point of excess if the said journey is expected to be bumpier than most standardized electronic packing can handle. Err on the side of extreme caution and you can be sure that your screens arrive without a scratch, ready for performance.

  1. Plastic Wrap Electronics with Toner Cartridges

Offices, construction companies, and architectural firms often ship electronic materials used in their day to day business that use toner. If feasible, separate the cartridges and wrap them in plastic securely to avoid any leaks or pressure-based liquid explosions. It’s one thing lose a cartridge or two, but it’s a whole other expensive ballpark when such a leak destroys the electronics packed along with it.

  1. Use Green Anti-Static Peanuts

Standard packing foam peanuts cause static and will damage electronics in shipping. Ensure that you are using anti-static peanuts and while you’re at it go-green by using an environmentally friendly alternative that can be found at many packing suppliers today.

  1. Label and Inventory Every Single Component

The more sophisticated the electronics the more it seems that the absence of the smallest of seemingly insignificant pieces, plugs, or cords will prevent the entire system from working. Be sure to label every single removable competent and sign-off on the inventory at the moment the crating is closed. This is essential both for the sake of efficiency (for receiving parties) and security.

  1. Use a Reputable Packing & Crating Company

At the end of the day, it is best to allow a professional, experienced in securing electronics for shipping over great distances and through the most tumultuous of ocean conditions to do the job. You know your product/materials, they know how to protect them.

If you are shipping electronic cargo from a Greater Vancouver area port then contacting Cratex Group for your industrial packing and crating needs for electronics is the right choice.

Tips for Shipping Produce

Spring is upon us, which means harvest season is right around the corner. Once your warehouses start filling up with freshly picked produce, you are going to have to ship it to the customers who are interested in buying.

Nobody wants a shipment of produce to arrive bruised and messy. Here are some things to remember as you get your crop ready to ship to your customers to make sure it arrives looking as good as it did the day it was picked.

 Remember the Legal Stuff

If you are planning on shipping produce overseas, remember there are several legalities that need to be taken care of first. Start filling out all that paperwork now, so that when it comes time to ship there are no delays in getting your fresh harvest sent out. If you are shipping internationally, then remember to make sure your produce will be accepted by customs and not held up on the docks to rot.

Pick the Best to Ship

Shipping is a process. This means that there is going to be time involved. Produce that is already bruised or otherwise unhealthy isn’t going to make a long journey. That means when it comes to choosing what to ship, ship the healthiest product you can find. This will help to ensure what arrives on the other end is a good buy for the consumer. Remember, if it looks questionable before you ship it, it is probably going to be rotten by the time that it arrives.

Pick Good Crating

Crating is not the item to decide to go cheap on when you are shipping produce. In many cases, the crate is all that stands between your produce and certain doom. Hiring an expert in custom crating, like Cratex Group, can help to ensure that your crop is protected for the journey to market. They can also assist in creating a crate that will reduce the likelihood of damage during transit based on the type of produce that you are shipping.

Line Your Crates

Generally, crates are constructed of wood. This means that there can be splinters or uneven surfaces that can cause damage to your produce. Lining the crate before shipping will protect it while it is making the journey to market. Having a lined crate can also reduce the tendency of your shipment to move around and shift during transit.

Use Produce Bags

If you are shipping more delicate things like lettuce or green onions, then you may want to invest in individual produce bags for them. Produce bags will add protection but also differ from regular shipping bags in that they allow your produce to breathe while in transit. Using a regular bag can cut off air and cause premature molding or rotting.

Consider Climate Control

For the extra-long journey to market, you may want to consider a climate-controlled container. This allows you to ensure the maximum freshness of your produce.

For help with custom crates or packing of your produce, call the Cratex Group for an estimate today!

Tips for Shipping a Motorcycle

If you can’t drive your motorcycle to where it needs to go, you are going to need to ship it. The question is, what do you need to do to get your motorcycle ready to ship? Before using the professionals over at Cratex to build you a custom crate, there is some preparation that needs to be done. Follow these steps for shipping a motorcycle.

Drain all the Fluids

The first thing to do is to drain the fluids out of the motorcycle. This means gas, oil, hydraulic fluid, or anything else that might flow. Freight carriers will refuse to pick up a motor vehicle that has any fluids in it, as they can be hazards. There can also be complicated rules for carrying a gassed up motorcycle across borders that the freight handler probably does not wish to navigate. Avoid trouble by draining everything.

If you are unsure how to do this yourself, get help. Professional service centers or garages can do it for a fee. Just make sure you have a way to get your motorcycle back home after having the fluids drained, as you won’t be able to drive it.

Reduce the Tire Pressure

Once you get all the fluids drained, you will need to take some of the air out of the tires. This will help the frame of the bike better absorb shocks from bumps and vibrations that it is going to experience during the trip. It will also help preserve the tires by giving them more flexibility.

Don’t deflate them the entire way; this could actually damage the tire. Just take the pressure down enough to make them a little softer than normal but capable of supporting the weight of the motorcycle.

Remove the Battery

Next, remove the battery from your motorcycle. This will prevent damage to the battery should the freight company be taking your bike through adverse weather. It will also prevent electrical systems from accidentally turning on and draining the battery during transit. Finally, some batteries contain hazardous materials that can be tricky for freight companies to carry.

Get a Custom Crate Made

Once you have the motorcycle completely drained, the battery removed and the tire pressure down it is time to crate it up. This is the most important step. Most freight carriers, no matter the mode of transport, will not take a motorcycle that is not crated up. It is up to you to make sure that this is done properly.

When crating the bike, you need to make sure that it is incapable of falling over during transit. This means securing it to the sides of the crate to keep it upright.

Cratex group has years of experience in designing and building custom crates for just this purpose. Contact us today for an estimate on a crate for your motorcycle!

Picking a Company to Prepare your Boat for ShippingBoat shrink wrapping - Cratex Industrial Packing

Our industrial packing and crating Vancouver company has found its success by becoming known as the “go-to” resource for a wide variety of industries and considerations. This is especially true with regard to our services for sea-craft.

Being a port city that comes not only with a coastline, but with a multitude of islands, bays, and inlets, there are saltwater nooks and crannies all over Greater Vancouver and each of them with a marina.

Within these concentrations are individually and corporately owned seaworthy vessels. This all equals a large demand for shipping and industrial packing services not just for parts for boats but also for entire boats themselves.

Here are some key points regarding what you need to look for when securing the services of a company to prepare your sea-craft for shipping.

Boat Weight Capacity

This part is pretty straight forward. If the packing and crating company that you are considering cannot accommodate the size/weight of your boat/s then they are of no use to you.

Understand your exact weight requirements before soliciting shipping preparation services for your boat so that you can check the ones that do not meet your needs immediately.

As a point of reference, Cratex has forklifts with a 40,000 lb. lifting capacity and total lifting capacity up to 80,000 lbs. We also have a 10 Ton Overhead Crane – there’s nary a “small-med craft” boat size that we cannot handle.

Environmental Protection

Protecting boats from the environmental elements during shipping is an absolute necessity to ensure the longevity of the vessels, in addition to the safety of those using them – be it in leisure or service.

When selecting a company to prepare your boat/s for shipping be sure that they provide UV screening, heavy-duty shrink wrap plastic boat covers, and wrapping services for both domestic and overseas transport needs. In addition, be sure that the service provider uses cutting edge environmental protection products such as Cortec Corrosion Inhibiting Products.

Awkward Dimensions

Rarely a boat comes with the same dimensions as other makes and models, because of this there is not a standardized “sleeve” for shipping that will suit your needs as it would a car. While there are relatively many other industrial packing and crating companies out there, very few can accommodate the needs of large-scale items that, to be put bluntly – are awkward in dimension.

Ensure that any company that you are considering for your boat/s shipping preparation uses state-of-the-art shrink wrapping that can fit your vessel tightly and securely without damaging the protruding appendages of the craft in the process.

Shipping Heavy Packages – Freight or Parcel?

The internet has opened up the ability to sell items all over the world. In the not too distant past, the size of your item limited what you could sell on the internet; this is not the case anymore. Shipping heavy and oversized items are a daily occurrence in this global economy. You do not have to pay more for the shipping than you do for the item any longer.

There is a little more planning involved in shipping these items. There are additional rules that apply when shipping large or heavy items, and you will need to make some additional choices when it comes to how your item is going to be shipped.

Crating Services before Shipment

Before determining a carrier, have a professional crate your items for you. There is more to packing a heavy item than just using extra tape or reinforced cardboard. Companies like ours who specialize in designing custom wooden crates are well equipped to handle your packaging needs.

Once you have your item packaged, then choose the best method for shipping.

Shipping by Freight

Traditional freight carriers generally do not accept packages over 150 pounds. This will require you to arrange freight shipping through a trucking company. There are many options that usually involve selecting a company that will allow you to purchase less than a full truckload.

Less Than a Truck Load (LTL) services generally charge you by the amount of space that you are going to take up in the bed of the truck as well as the weight of your package. This means that shipping is generally a function of weight, mileage, and the size of your package.

When shipping these types of items internationally you might want to work through a freight broker. These brokers can assist in not only arranging space in trucks, but they can also assist you in properly packaging your item for the process.

Brokers are usually in contact with several trucking companies and are able to figure out how to best bundle your shipment along with other shippers looking for the same type of service. This way you can benefit from the broker’s knowledge as well as their ability to combine your shipping order with others.

Parcel Shipping

Shipping by parcel carrier is easier but can be more restrictive. Parcel carriers charge a rate based upon the dimensions of the packaging combined with the weight of the shipment. Parcel carriers will put a maximum size restriction for packages and may not allow you to ship items larger.

Cratex Group is a trucking broker and we are experts in both custom crate creation and shipping services. Contact us today for all of your shipping and crating needs.