Category Archives: Blog

Avoiding Freight Damage

Although rare (less than 1%) damaged freight is a reality that can have a huge impact on your business.  Luckily, many of the accidents that damage freight are preventable.  Here are some helpful tips on how you can prevent and avoid freight damage of your goods.

Start with a Pallet

When it comes to preparing your freight for shipping, do not cut corners.  Regardless of what you are shipping, we recommend using a pallet as a base.  This is especially important if you are planning on using transloading as part of your overall shipping method.  A pallet is neither expensive nor hard to use and provides a stable base that is easy and can be wrapped or bound to protect your cargo.

Protecting Fragile Freight

A pallet is just the beginning of how to avoid freight damage.  If you are shipping fragile freight, here are some great ideas on how to ensure that your freight remains undamaged throughout its journey.

  • Add extra packing on the inside of each box to protect individual items.
  • Pack items in smaller boxes or individually.
  • Add an extra layer of shrink wrap to the outside of the pallet and boxes. (We can help with this process if needed).
  • Pack it in a crate for optimal protection.

Here’s the Deal:

Even if you take these extra steps, the most important part of ensuring that your fragile freight remains undamaged is to correctly label it.  Make sure that your labels are bright and can be easily read when they are stacked.  A fragile label goes a long way and will reduce the chances of freight damage.

Other Strategies to Avoid Freight Damage

Even if you are shipping standard materials, there are many strategies that you can employ to minimize any freight damage.  These include:

  • Pack heavy boxes at the bottom of your pallet and lighter boxes on top.
  • Distribute weight evenly on your pallet and stack your boxes evenly as well. Make sure that no boxes overhang or jut out as these will definitely get damaged.
  • Use cardboard corners around the pallet to strengthen your entire load.
  • Do not use damaged boxes as they will collapse and could potentially damage your freight.


Always use a quality adhesive when packaging your freight.  Incorrectly sealed packages are one of the top reasons that freight gets damaged.  Make sure that the tape is at least 2 inches thick and is durable enough to hold up against water damage.

By following these tips, you should be able to minimize or even negate any freight damage.  Undamaged freight will not only save your business money, it will also lead to customer satisfaction.  If you have any questions on how we can help you protect your freight, please call us or stop by today.  We have been delivering all types of undamaged freight for over 40 years and would love to be a part of your shipping process.






How Green Shipping Can Save You Money

We live in a global world.  The rise and demand for goods and products has forced many businesses to think larger than locally or even nationally.  In order to reach these new found markets, you may need to rethink and develop new cost-efficient shipping methods.  What you may not realize is that often green shipping or sustainable shipping methods can be some of the most cost efficient ways to reach these new markets.

As the premier transloading and shipping company in Vancouver, we would like to offer you the following ways to take advantage of sustainable shipping methods and why they are right for your business.

Why Use Sustainable Shipping?

Sustainable shipping is part of the larger green initiative that is influencing how companies choose to do business and is a major selling factor for consumers.  Businesses that choose to take the extra responsibility of sustainable practices are going to be rewarded by consumers and markets for their choices.  Besides a market perspective, other reasons to choose a more sustainable shipping method include:

  • The high cost and amount of waste of extra and often excessive packaging that comes when you use more traditional means of shipping.
  • Emission rates and extra and often unnecessary shipping costs. These can quickly be paired down by employing transloading to your shipping methods.

How Can You Save Money?

Less is more

Reduce the amount of packaging and material that you are using to ship your products.  If you cannot reduce your packaging, look at greener packing choices, such as:

  • Replace all plastics with paper or other bio-degradable, environmentally friendly packaging materials.

Green inside and out

  • Try to use 100% recyclable materials for your shipping packaging.
  • Reuse packing and packaging if possible to save money.

Ship in bulk

  • If possible, try to ship as many products together to maximize your freight space and weight. This is not only a more sustainable way to ship your goods, the efficiency will also save you money.

Review your shipping methods

  • Take the time to review your shipping partners. See if there are ways to save money by either consolidating freight or if you are a small company, perhaps collaborate with another business that is shipping to a similar or the same destination.
  • See if by choosing sustainable shipping methods there are any savings, rebates or taxes that can be found through greener shipping choices.

The green movement is here to stay.  By choosing more sustainable shipping practices new, you are not only choosing a more responsible way to conducting business, you are also showing consumers that you are putting the environment and earth first.

We would love to help you with your shipping needs and be a part of the new, sustainable shipping market.  Contact us today to see how we can help.





Pallet vs. Skid vs. Crate – Which One is Right for You?

We know that your shipping needs are unique, therefore we are equipped with a wide range of shipping services and methods to meet your needs.  Regardless of what you are shipping, there are some basic questions that can quickly be answered that may not only save you money in the long run, they may also expedite the shipping time and prevent freight damage.  One such question is should you be using a pallet, a skid or a crate for your freight and what makes them different from each other?

Although all three of these terms are used interchangeably, and all are made of wood, there are distinct differences between each and definitely times when you should choose one over the other.  This is especially true if you are using different methods of shipping or transloading for your freight.  Here is a definition for each and an explanation of when and why one item should be chosen over the other.


A pallet is probably the popular and most utilized way of shipping and storing freight.  A pallet has both a top and bottom deck and thus can be easily moved, loaded or unloaded by a forklift.  A pallet is the ideal for all of your transloading needs because of its stability, its ease of stacking and its ease of mobility.  Other important facts about a pallet include:

  • Can carry up to 1000 kg.
  • Typically 48” X 40”.
  • Harder to drag – more friction than a skid.


The skid is the original pallet and lacks the bottom wooden decking.  The absence of the bottom deck and the use of less materials makes the skid a cheaper version of the pallet.  Because of a skid’s mobility, they are often used as permanent foundations for heavy machinery.  Another advantage of skids is that they take up less space than pallets when they are not in use and can be stored quite easily.


A crate is different than either a skid or a pallet because it is essentially a wooden box.  A crate not only has a floor, but four walls and offers your freight far more protection than either of the other two shipping methods.  A crate can be built to fit any type of freight and thus can hold a huge volume of goods.  A crate also provides a stable platform for any goods that need to be securely stored or shipped.

The sheer amount of materials that are needed to make a crate typically makes a crate ideal for stacking but makes them bulky and slightly more challenging to transport.

Which is right for you?

Depending upon what type of freight you are shipping, any one of these three shipping methods may be right for you.  We have been specializing in a wide range of shipping services for over 40 years and pride ourselves in our customer service as well as our ability to save you money and speed up your shipping times.  Call or stop by today and let us help you determine whether a pallet, skid or crate is right for you.


How is an Expensive Sports Car Shipped?

Here you can see many hours work in a few seconds, the step by step work that goes into preparing an expensive sports car for shipping.

Cratex Group animated gif of packing and crating Mercedes BenzThe animation will repeat in a few seconds. It is part of the 4 minute video on the homepage of our website.

Every item we handle demands a different method of blocking, bracing, and crating.

Sports cars, for example, are very delicate items. They are made to move, and to move fast. But they can’t move inside the crate while being shipped.

We can expertly pack and crate anything you can throw our way, including products requiring environmentally friendly shrink wrapping and corrosion protection. We’ve been developing our own systems and expertise for packing and crating for 40 years, and we know what we’re doing. We will take on any challenge.

Contact us today to talk about your special shipment.

The Benefits of Custom Crating

Not all crates are created equally.  Regardless of what you are shipping, you want your goods to arrive at their final destination as quickly as possible and undamaged.  One of the best ways to protect your freight throughout its destination is to use a crate.  Custom crates offer even more protection and can be more beneficial if you are using transloading as your main shipping means.

Here are some of the many benefits of using custom crating.

Built to Suit

The main advantage to using a custom crate is to prevent damage.  It can be built to the exact dimensions of your goods.  Custom crating is ideal for all types of cumbersome goods or items that are too large for conventional crates.

At Cratex, we take custom crating to another level to ensure that your goods are protected at all times.  This includes:

  • Determining the exact requirements regarding the shape and size of your freight.
  • The amount of protection required.
  • The fragility of your goods.
  • Whether or not there are any environmental concerns to be considered.


A custom crate will also consider the weight of the products that you will be shipping.  This means that your custom crate will be able to support and protect your goods regardless of the method of shipping.  Using a custom crate will give you piece of mind that it will not break on its way to its destination.

Easy to Move

Because a custom crate protects and supports your freight, it can be loaded and offloaded as many times as necessary without concern of damage.  These crates can also be customized to make them stackable.  The mobility of a custom crate adds a new dimension to your shipping and will allow a more streamlined and faster shipping time.

Prevents Shifting

Custom crates also prevent any shifting that may occur as your freight is being shipped.  Using braces or blocking, a custom crate will ensure that your freight will not be damaged or move as it travels to its shipping destination.

At Cratex, we offer other ways to protect your goods as well.  We can work with you to find the perfect blend of custom crating and protections, such as shrink wrapping to ensure that your freight arrives in the same condition it left our warehouse.

We bring years of experience to every custom crate we make and understand the unique needs that you may require for your precious freight.  We can help you understand and meet all of the rules and regulations of various destination points and ensure that your goods arrive on time and undamaged.  Please contact us today and see how custom crating can help you with your shipping needs.

Cratex Group - Industrial Packing

Shrink-Wrapping–A New Approach to Shipping

Sometimes traditional shipping methods, such as crates or boxes may not be the most effective or efficient way to move your goods.  There are other less traditional approaches that may meet your shipping needs and can prove to be more beneficial.  Here are some reasons why you should consider shrink-wrapping your cargo and how this approach can be an asset to your shipping needs.


The main advantage to shrink-wrapping is its versatility.  Regardless of what type of item you are shipping, you can shrink wrap it.  Shrink-wrapping is the ideal answer for items such as:

  • Oversized or bulky items that will not fit in traditional crates or boxes.
  • Cars and other items that may corrode or scratch as it is shipped.
  • Fragile items that may break or become damaged.
  • Electronics that corrode if exposed to the elements.

Shrink-wrapping is also an ideal way to ship your freight whether it is rail, truck or boat.  All of the items you need to be moved can be shrink-wrapped and then attached to a pallet to make your shipment transloading compatible and easy to unload, offload or transfer.


Shrink-wrapping also offers your freight an extra layer of protection.  Not only will your freight be protected from scratches or abrasions, shrink-wrapping also protects your goods from the sun and prevents water damage.

A Great Companion

Shrink-wrapping can also be used alongside traditional shipping methods, such as boxes and pallets.  Shrink-wrapped pallets provide more stability by preventing boxes from sliding or tumbling over.  Stable pallets mean that your freight will arrive in one piece and is less likely to be damaged as it is shipped to its final destination.

The extra protection that shrink-wrapping provides also helps to keep packages together and prevent small pieces of your freight from falling out of any damaged box or crate.

Speed it up

Keeping your freight in one piece and intact on its pallet throughout its journey is a key piece to having it arrive on time.  In the ultra-competitive shipping world, time is money, so it is important that your freight arrives on time.  Shrink-wrapping makes the entire shipping process more efficient, which will save you time, money and provide customer satisfaction.

All in all, shrink-wrapping just makes sense from a shipping point of view.  Stop by today and let us show you how shrink-wrapping can protect, enhance and compliment your individual shipping needs.  We look forward to working with you soon.

Sport Car protect by Cratex Group

Factors to Consider Before Shipping Freight

When it comes to shipping your freight, there are always decisions that need to be made.  The most important of these choices is what method of shipping and transport will best serve your needs.  Regardless of whether you are a business who is shipping overseas or within your own country, here are some important factors to consider before making your shipping decisions.


The most important factor to consider is the cost of shipping freight.  When it comes to understanding the true cost of shipping, however, many different factors come into play.  These include:

  • The cost of storing goods in a warehouse for any prolonged period of time.
  • Any damages that may incur over the course of your freight’s journey.
  • Any loading and unloading fees.
  • Tariffs or duties if shipping overseas.

These are just a few of the many hidden costs of shipping.  It is important to take into consideration all the factors that will determine your shipping costs before making a final decision.

Here’s the Deal:

Transloading is a great way to ship your freight as it combines various shipping methods to not only speed up your shipping, but also to save you money on your shipping costs.


The length of time that it takes your freight to reach its destination is another very important part of your shipping needs.  Again, transloading can be an effective means of getting your freight to its destination quickly and efficiently and can easily be combined with other shipping methods such as ships.

It is up to you and your clients to find an agreeable middle ground for what is considered fast shipping.  However, the old adage of time is money and money is time most definitely applies to shipping methods.


Not only do you want your goods shipped as cost efficiently and quickly as possible, it is important in today’s competitive business world that your shipping methods are reliable.  Make sure to find a shipping company that is reliable and can back up their shipping methods.  Chances are if you have found a deal that is too good to be true, it probably is.


Regardless of how cheap or fast your freight is promised to arrive at its final destination, if the shipping methods or timeline is unreliable, you will damage your business relationship with your client.

Cost, speed and reliability are all very important factors that you should be taking into consideration before choosing a shipping method and a shipping company.  We at Cratex are celebrating our 40th anniversary in the shipping industry and are proud of our reliable track record.

If you would like more information about how we can best serve you, please contact us today.  We look forward to helping you with all your shipping needs.

Cratex Transloading

New Year’s Resolutions – How Transloading Can Save Your Company Money

As we welcome in the New Year, it may be time to reassess your business goals and investigate where you can improve your efficiency as well as trim some costs.  One of the often overlooked areas that can be easily improved is in the shipping department.  With a few easy tweaks, you may be able to not only improve your company’s bottom line, but you may also be able to speed up the overall shipping time.  Here are some of the reasons why you should consider transloading for all of your shipping needs.

Why Transloading?

Transloading utilizes a variety of different shipping methods to ensure that your cargo is delivered in the fastest, most efficient manner possible.  What transloading does is it cuts down on the amount of time that your goods sit in storage.

Here’s the deal:

The faster the delivery time, the happier your clients are and the more goods you can ship.  Transloading makes so much sense from a business perspective because of its efficiency and bottom line.

However, this still begs the question – How will transloading save me money?


When it comes to shipping your cargo, location is so important.  As a business owner it does you no good to have to ship your goods to a warehouse that is out of the way from your freights final destination – in essence you are shipping your freight twice.  All our warehouses are conveniently located in strategic areas in and around Vancouver to speed up your shipping times.


Just because your freight can be moved into a warehouse does not mean that it will be shipped any faster.  The method and equipment used to offload freight is as important as conveniently located warehouses.  Antiquated and improper loading equipment can:

  • Damage freight leading to replacement costs or poor customer satisfaction.
  • Slow down overall shipping times because of delays or inefficient unloading methods, thus driving up storage fees as well as shipping costs.
  • Create unwanted insurance claims and a bad name for your company.

At Cratex, we use specialized equipment that can safely handle a wide range of freight.  We carefully and efficiently are able to load and unload all types of cargo and can transfer it quickly and in an organized manner.  We strive to provide the ultimate in customer satisfaction.

Know How


The overall goal of transloading is to speed up the delivery time which will ultimately save your company money.  We have over 40 years of experience, and are confident that our transloading methods will save you money on all of your overall shipping costs.  Call today and see why transloading is the right way to ship your freight.  We look forward to working with you soon.


UV resistant plastic shrink wrapping - Cratex Industrial Packing

Tips for Packing Fragile Freight

With the holiday season only a few weeks away, you may be wanting to get a head start on your shipping needs.  Not only are holiday deadlines important, the overall packaging process should also play a role in your final shipping decisions.  This process is especially important if you are shipping or transloading fragile items.  Here are some important tips to better protect and pack your fragile cargo.

Use Boxes or Crates

Regardless of the size of the fragile freight you are looking to ship, it is a good idea to encase it in a rigid frame that will protect your cargo from the beginning of its journey to the end.  Boxes or crates not only protect freight, they are also easier to store, transload, unload and reload.  If you want your fragile cargo to arrive at its destination in the same shape it left your warehouse, use boxes or crates.

Here are some guidelines to remember when you are packing your fragile freight into crates:

  • Pack fragile items close together to minimize movement and damage.
  • Pack heavier items at the bottom and lighter items at the top, to prevent the heavier items from damaging the lighter ones.
  • Fill all crates to full capacity, to not only minimize damage, but also get full value out of your shipment.
  • Use packing material to take up any excess space in your crate.
  • Pack one crate inside another to ensure extra protection for ultra-fragile or breakable items.
  • Clearly label fragile items on the outside of your crates, so the shipper knows what they are dealing with.

Here’s the deal:

It is also advised that you separate your cargo and do not ship both fragile and non-fragile goods together.  This separation will minimize any damages that may occur over the course of the shipment.

Wrap your Goods

Another important part of protecting your freight is to wrap it up.  You may need to individually wrap fragile items before placing them in the shipping crate.  This is especially true for the following items:

  • Glass
  • Electronics
  • Antiques

Even if each item does not need to be individually wrapped, you may want to wrap the entire shipment so that it remains protected and attached to its pallet.  A well wrapped shipment is less likely to get damaged or tip over.


A fully enveloped shipment is a shipment that can be easily loaded and unloaded and will be a more efficient piece of cargo.  This can save you money and time in the overall shipping process and will ensure a timely delivery.

These are just a few ways that you can protect your fragile goods.  If you would like more information about the many different shipping options that we offer or other ways to move and protect fragile goods, please contact us today.  We would love to be a part of your shipping team and help you protect those fragile holiday goods.



How to ship your goods without corrosion

Shipping Your Cargo: Corrosion Free

Regardless of what items you are looking to ship, one of the most important factors is that your cargo arrives undamaged and in the same shape as it left your warehouse.  There are many ways to ensure a safe voyage for your goods, from proper packaging to arranging the correct transloading; However, one factor that is often overlooked is protecting your cargo from corrosion.

What Causes Corrosion?

Corrosion is a natural chemical reaction that slowly destroys material through oxidization.  Corrosion can damage or even destroy your precious freight, ultimately costing you money.

Did you know?

Over 5% of your overall profit may be lost due to corrosion.

This loss is unacceptable.  This is something that is completely avoidable, if you take the time and precautions to guard your freight.

Corrosion most likely occurs in the following areas:

  • Climate – this is the most likely culprit when it comes to corrosion. The climates that are most likely to cause corrosion include damp, salt laden and foggy climates.
  • The actual shipping process – if any goods or the container itself is scratched or bumped, corrosion can quickly set in.
  • Any area where water can pool and sit for long periods of time.

Consider the bigger picture

Unfortunately, corrosion is not just something that mysteriously happens in the shipping process.  We recommend that you consider looking at corrosion prevention as an overall part of the far larger shipping process.  To us, the shipping process includes the following stages:

  • Manufacturing
  • Storage at all points in your cargo’s shipping process – keep in mind that the conditions at different warehouses can vary greatly as can climates.
  • Shipping – in all of its various forms and methods which may include transloading.

How to Prevent Corrosion

Cortec offers many great options for corrosion control.  Many of these choices are affordable and will add another dimension of safety to the shipping process. These options include:

  • Permanent topcoats and primer paints – These paints will seal your goods in an oxygen free environment and prevent corrosion or rust damage.
  • Temporary coatings – These coatings can be removed once your goods have reached their final destination. Again, by applying this protective coat, you will ensure a corrosion free shipment.
  • Shrink wrap – A very popular option for difficult, bulky or awkward goods. This wrap will prevent moisture and climate damage to your goods as well as another barrier of protection.
  • Spray paints – Sprays allow you to prevent corrosion in those hard to reach areas or in areas that are very delicate. Electronics can and will become easily damaged by corrosion, protect your fragile shipments with Cortec’s wide range of spray paint options.

These are just a few of the many great options that can be used to keep your shipping corrosion free.  If you would like more information about corrosion options or what type of treatment is right for you, please call us today.  We look forward to working with you soon.