Category Archives: Blog

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.


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.

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.


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.






Blocking, Bracing & Beyond – Tips to Shipping an Automobile Overseas

Transloading vehicles with Cratex Industrial Packing and Shipping

You’ll want to follow these overseas auto shipping tips to protect a ride like this

Our Vancouver industrial packing and crating company has many years of experience in working with customers in need of overseas shipping protection for their automobiles. Cratex Group is renowned for its work in blocking and bracing of especially sensitive items that are being shipped overseas from Lower Mainland ports, and vehicles fall into that category.

Our client and prospect base for such a task is numerous. Some are car restoration specialists that need to deliver a classic custom to a collector overseas in time for a show ‘n’ shine. Some are military personnel that desire to have their privately owned vehicle (their “baby”) with them during their tenure on a foreign base. Others include automobile retailers, contractors, or simply overseas relocating households that want to ensure their car arrives in the exact same condition that it left the carport in. No matter the reason, our Vancouver packing and crating company has been providing professional blocking and bracing for valuable vehicles for quite some time. Individuals, businesses, and shippers have been using our services from the beginning. While Cratex Group alleviates the weight off of your mind for much of the overseas car shipping process we thought we’d offer a few easy to follow tips on what you too can do to prepare for your vehicle’s overseas adventure.

5 Tips to Shipping an Automobile Overseas

1. Compare Shipping Companies Early in the Process

This is no normal “within town” relocation scenario and thus must not be taken lightly. Perform due diligence months in advance as soon as you know that you will need to ship a vehicle overseas. You will likely have to pay by the mile/kilometer so that will be your initial benchmark, but don’t only use price as consideration. Company reputation is everything when it comes to selecting an overseas vehicle shipping company. Look at how long they’ve been in business, any industry accreditation they may have, and even the quality to their website will speak to their professionalism.

2. Have Your Paperwork Well in Order

Find out what paperwork (from your shipper) you will need in advance and complete for submission early as well to leave room for corrections. Duplicate copies will likely be needed for documents such as notarized ownership title, a letter from the lien holder (if applicable), an export declaration form, a declaration of dangerous goods form, and/or other documents that will be contingent upon departure locations and arrival destinations.

3. Insurance

First find out if your existing vehicle insurance provider policy covers overseas shipping of your vehicle/s. If you will indeed require insurance, your automobile shipper will be able to provide one for you at a price that often reaches up to two and a half percent of the vehicle book value.

4. Clean & Tune

Be sure to have your vehicle professionally tuned-up before shipping. Check everything from the battery and air pressure to transmission and brakes and every fluid that your vehicle depends on for health. In addition, be sure to clean your vehicle thoroughly and remove anything that can move around within during transit so as to not damage the interior of the vehicle. Also remove exterior additions such as roof racks and other appendages to keep the vehicle more compact during transport. While the more empty the better, you will still want to ensure your standard emergency items are kept secured within the trunk – jumper cables, spare tire, jack, and flashlight. Of course you’ll also want enough gas to have the vehicle driven from the arrival port to a nearby destination or gas station.

5. Perform a Documented Inspection Before Departure

Finally, perform a documented (complete with pictures and video) walk-thru inspection of your vehicle as it sits prepared for shipping. That way there can be no question nor haggling should the automobile not be in the exact same condition as it was when it left its port of departure.

Vancouver transloading

Vancouver Transloading and Cargo Insurance

When you rely on transloading for the continued success of your business, you want to be certain that your cargo reaches its destination undamaged. Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you pack your cargo or the dependability of your transloading service, accidents do happen, and your cargo can suffer harm en route to your customers. It is for this reason that many people consider using cargo insurance.

There are several reasons to purchase cargo insurance, but the most important reason is that insurance can protect you from loss if your products are damaged in transit. However, if you’ve never used cargo insurance before, it can be a good idea to learn more about this tool. Read about cargo insurance and Vancouver transloading, and find out why you need to work with the right transloading company for your shipments.

Understand Your Cargo

Cargo insurance is meant to reimburse you if your shipments are damaged during their journey. While insurance can give you peace of mind, it can’t actually protect your cargo from damage, which means you need to understand the products you’re shipping and the different ways that they can be damaged.

Before scheduling your transloading services or buying cargo insurance, think about the items you are shipping. What are the different ways they can be damaged? Have you correctly packaged them to minimize risk as much as possible? These questions can help you know what level of insurance you need, or if insurance is necessary at all.

Examine the Journey

The longer that your items are in transit, the more risk that there is for damage, and while transloading is one of the most affordable ways to ship your cargo, it does require multiple loadings and unloading. This can also increase the chances that your cargo will be damaged in some way.

Prior to shipping your cargo, think about the journey that it must complete. Examine the route it must take and if there are any portions of the voyage where your cargo is more likely to suffer damage. Discuss the safest route with your transloading service so that you can decide how much insurance you may need.

Read Your Insurance Policy

A mistake that some businesses make when purchasing cargo insurance for their Vancouver transloading shipments is failing to read the fine print of their insurance policy. Almost every insurance policy that you choose will contain a certain number of clauses, and these clauses will determine what types of damages are covered.

Go over your insurance policy with a fine-tooth comb. Try to find out exactly what damages are covered and if the covered items match the type of damage your cargo is likely to suffer. There’s almost nothing more frustrating than making a claim against your cargo insurance only to find the damage isn’t covered by your policy.

Schedule Vancouver Transloading

Purchasing cargo insurance is a good idea to protect your important products. However, of equal importance is the Vancouver transloading company you hire, which is why you need to be sure to work with a trusted company like Cratex Industrial Packing, LTD.

Cratex specializes in transloading hard to ship items, which means we have the expertise necessary to protect your cargo from the time it departs until it reaches its destination. Contact Cratex today to find out how we can help with your transloading needs.

Vancouver transloading

How to Successfully Ship Liquid Using Vancouver Transloading

When you need to ship your important products over large distances, the ideal shipping method is transloading. Transloading allows you to combine multiple shipping methods for one shipment so that you can keep your prices as low as possible. While transloading is a great solution for every product imaginable, certain items require careful consideration, and this is especially true when you’re shipping liquids like beer or soda.

The requirements for shipping a liquid are very different than with other items. There will need to be a great deal of planning before your product has even left the warehouse. Here are a few tips for successfully shipping liquid products and tips for working with the right Vancouver transloading service.

Picking the Right Packaging

The very first step in shipping your liquid products is selecting the right packaging. If you’re shipping a drink, such as soda or beer, it’s possible that your liquid is contained in a glass bottle. Glass is extremely delicate, running the risk of breaking if it is not properly secured. Choosing the right packaging will help protect your product and ensure that it reaches its destination intact.

The most effective way to ship liquid contained in a glass bottle is packaging each bottle individually. Store a single bottle in a sealable bag and then wrap that bag with bubble wrap. This will help protect your items and will minimize the mess if a bottle happens to break.

Choosing Extra Protection

Once you’ve individually packaged your glass bottles, you will need to make sure that your items are stored together somehow to prevent them from being separated during transit. The most effective way to accomplish this task is to use a Styrofoam box that has been specifically designed for shipping liquid bottles. Hopefully, you can find one of these boxes at your shipping supply store.

If Styrofoam boxes for bottles are unavailable, it’s possible to use a regular shipping box, although you will need extra padding to prevent damage. Place your bottles into the box one by one, and then secure them as fully as possible by using newspapers and packing peanuts.

Preparing Your Freight

The final step of shipping your liquid product is preparing your packages for freight transport. If you are shipping a single box, the only thing that you will need to do is provide the box to your Vancouver transloading service and then pay for shipment. Multiple boxes, however, require a little more effort.

If you’re shipping multiple boxes at once, a good idea is to use a pallet. By using a pallet, you’ll be able to ensure that your packages stay together during transit, ensuring their successful delivery.

Schedule Vancouver Transloading

As you can see, using transloading for your liquid products is easy when you follow a few simple tips. However, you still need to find the right Vancouver transloading services, which is why you need to work with the professionals at Cratex Industrial Packing, LTD.

Cratex specialize in the toughest transloading jobs imaginable, and we can ensure that your unusual or delicate products reach their final destination safe and sound. Contact Cratex today to learn more about our transloading options and our other useful shipping services.

Vancouver transloading

Factors that Influence Truck Shipping Rates

If your company uses transloading services to deliver your goods to your customers, then one of your largest concerns may be truck shipping rates. Most people assume that truck shipping rates are directly tied to fuel prices. However, this is not always true, and several factors can influence the shipping rates that your business receives.

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sufferance vancouver

Cratex Now Offering Bonded Warehouse Services

Cratex Industrial Packing, LTD has long been known as one of Vancouver’s premier sources for transloading services, providing businesses with easy shipping for their most hard to handle products. If you already know Cratex for its shipping versatility, you’ll be pleased to learn that this trusted transloading company now offers businesses across Vancouver bonded warehouse services.

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