If you are a small business, a big business or a private citizen and wanting to ship some goods, here is some important information on how to get your items ready for shipping.
Let’s start with some general packing tips and get more specific as we go.
General Packing Tips
If you are looking to move your freight any distance, then an important step is going to be industrial packing. Moving freight is different from using a commercial service with pre-made envelopes. Here are some basic steps for getting your items ready for shipment.
Box it Up
Unless you are shipping large equipment that can take up an entire pallet or crate by itself, you are going to want to have boxes. Boxes keep everything in one place and help to protect your shipment. If you are going to have multiple boxes, you will need a shrink-wrapped pallet or a custom crate to consolidate them for shipping.
Fragile or Non-Fragile
Next determine if your shipment is going to contain fragile items or only non-fragile items. Generally speaking, fragile items are things that can break under normal shipping conditions. Glass, electronics, artwork and household goods are all examples of fragile items. Canned goods, paper, tools and bulk building materials are all non-fragile goods.
Box Items Accordingly
Depending on the type of item you are shipping, your packing methods are going to differ. When packing fragile items, more care should be taken to protect each individual item. Using bubble wrap to surround the item, placing it in a box, then wrapping that box in bubble wrap and putting it into a second box is a good strategy. Remember you want your fragile items to be as snug in the box as possible without damaging them. This will prevent items from getting broken as a result of shifting during shipping.
Non-fragile items are a bit easier. Just make sure that the boxes you are packing them into are sturdy enough to hold their weight. If they can be affected by dirt, dust, saltwater or weather, you might want to consider packing a layer of insulation around them to prevent contamination. Use foam, padding or packing paper to fill the all the gaps, secure the boxes with packing tape to ensure that they remain closed.
Shrink-Wrapping a Pallet
The pallet is the standard shipping unit for several boxes. Your palletized boxes will move as one unit. If they sway, move, or can tip over, it can cause all manner of problems for your freight company. Start by building a solid base on the bottom by wrapping several layers of shrink-wrap around the bottom of the box and the pallet. Pull the wrapping tight before going around a corner.
Once you have created a solid foundation, start building on it and work your way up. You want to make sure the second layer is firmly connected to the base layer and so on as you move up the pallet. When you reach the top, you can either stop, or work your way back down if you are not satisfied with the stability of the pallet.
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THE BASICS OF INDUSTRIAL PACKING AND TRANSLOADING
If you need to send large amounts of freight, then you are going to have to pack it up before shipping. Thing is, industrial packing is a lot different from packing to ship a single package or even a small group of packages.
To be sure that your shipment is going to arrive undamaged, you need to follow the basics of industrial packing. Here is what you need to know to get your shipment packed up and underway.
Pick Your Outer Packing Material
The first thing to do is to figure out how you are going to bundle up the things you are shipping. Typically, this means using wooden crates or cardboard boxes. While boxes are lighter and cheaper, they don’t offer the same amount of protection that you could get from a crate.
Custom built crates offer even more protection.
Choose boxes or crates that are only slightly larger than what you want to ship. Your enemy in shipping is open space, so the less of if that you have, the better off you are. Don’t worry about having lots of small boxes, you can manage that later with pallets and shrink-wrap.
How Breakable are your Breakables?
Once you’ve selected your outer packing material, step back and think about how easy what you are shipping could be broken. Obviously, you are going to pack up a shipment of wrenches much differently from a shipment of light bulbs.
How breakable your shipment is will determine how much filler you will need to secure your goods. The more breakable your shipment is, the more specialized your packing materials should be to prevent accidents. Think about using things like newspaper (with no print on it), packing paper, bubble wrap, packing filler and Styrofoam peanuts as filler. You may even want to consider a custom crate designed to keep particularly breakable objects safe.
Now it’s time to fill those boxes. Start with the stuff that can take weight and add support on the outsides of the boxes. As you continue to fill the boxes, add packing material to keep the more fragile things safe from breakage.
Do not ship partially filled boxes or crates. They will shift and move during transit and their contents can be easily damaged. Fill them up with packing material, making sure that every box is completely filled up and snug.
Choose your Pallet
Freight can’t be picked up without some way to get it on a truck. This is done using a hand truck or forklift, which means you are going to need a pallet.
Pallets come in all sorts of materials and sizes based upon your needs. If you aren’t looking for something fancy, go with simple wooden ones. When more support is needed, plastic is a better choice.
Remember to secure your shipment with shrink-wrap or stretch wrap.
Custom Crates are Perfect for Vancouver Transloading
If you need industrial packing done right, trust Cratex Group to get the job done for you.
IS CUSTOM INDUSTRIAL PACKING WORTH IT?
Do you need to ship items for yourself or your business? If so, then you might be tempted to cut some corners by going with standard cardboard packing for your shipment. While shipping can be very expensive, cutting corners on the packing that you use can be even more costly. After all, what happens if the items that you are shipping end up arriving broken, damaged or unusable? Here are some reasons why you could benefit from using custom crating and industrial packing on your next shipment or transloading freight move.
Items Are More Secure in Packing Built for Them
Is it possible to find a box or existing packing material that is pretty close to the size of what you are trying to ship? Of course it is—the issue becomes what to do with all of that empty space that needs to be filled around your items. Fragile items are particularly sensitive to packing materials that might not provide a snug fit.
Having a crate custom built for your shipment means that the packing material will be designed especially for your items. If they are fragile, extra care can be built into the packing to ensure that your items have little to no chance of getting damaged. The amount of empty space around your items will be minimized and can easily be filled up with packing material to ensure your shipment won’t move or shift in transit.
Wooden Crates Offer More Protection
Cardboard is a cheap and low-cost way to move items. The problem is, it isn’t very sturdy and can’t hold up when things are spilled on it. It also tends to be easily crushed if it is mishandled. So ask yourself this question: just how much do you trust the driver who picked up your shipment?
A wooden crate offers a multitude of protections for your shipment. It can be built to keep items up off the ground so that spills don’t affect them. And wood is much sturdier than cardboard and can take some manhandling before it breaks.
Overall, your items and your shipment are much safer in a custom crate.
Odd Sized Items Are No Problem
Are you trying to ship an oversized, odd sized or exceptionally heavy item? That isn’t a problem with custom packing.
Since your packing is being built specifically for the item that is being shipped, you don’t have to worry about it not fitting. The crate can literally be built around the item so that it fits perfectly. This will ensure that you don’t have to settle for no packing material at all or for something that is much too large. Any special conditions that your item might require can be taken care of by having custom packing built for it.
Trust Cratex Group for Your Custom Packing and Transloading Needs
Make sure that you are giving your next shipment the best protection it can have by having Cratex Group build a custom crate for you.
THE INS AND OUTS OF PACKING MATERIALS
You probably spend a lot of time thinking about what it is that you are going to be shipping. You might spend an equal amount of time thinking about what kind of container you are going to put it into when you are going to ship it. But what about the other things that go into the shipping crate or box along with your shipped items. There is a little more to it than you might think. Here are some of the different types of packing materials that you can use for your shipment and how they differ.
Fillers and Cushions
There are two main types of packing materials that go into shipping crates or boxes: fillers and cushions. Each serves a different purpose and depending on what you are shipping you may want to consider using both of them. Remember, the purpose of both fillers and cushions is to keep your shipments safe and ensure that they arrive in one piece.
Fillers are used to keep your items in place during shipping. If your items shift in transit, and they may if there is too much space in the shipping box, they can be damaged. Fillers are used to fill up those empty spaces. Here are some common fillers:
- Air Pillows – These are large plastic bags that are filled with air. They may remind you of a large type of bubble wrap but they actually fulfill a different purpose. They are great for filling large air gaps in a shipping crate.
- Vermiculite – This is a specific filler that is used when shipping liquids or chemicals. Vermiculite is absorbent and can soak up any leaks or spills that might occur during shipping.
- Paper – Both tissue paper and newspaper can be used as fillers. Remember, newspaper is actually recycled with the purpose of being used as shipping material. It is not printed newspaper.
Cushions should be in direct contact with your shipped item. They work in conjunction with fillers to prevent damage caused by bumping or contact with the crate. Some common cushions are:
- Bubble Wrap – Bubble wrap is probably one of the most common cushions. It protects your items from shock, vibration and scratches. It comes in both normal and heavy duty protection. Heavy duty is usually used for long shipments (overseas, for example) or for very large or heavy items.
- Foam – Foam can be form-fitted to the items that you are shipping. This is a more expensive option but a great way to have custom protection for what is being shipped.
- VCI Paper – Volatile Corrosion Inhibiting paper is used when wrapping metal surfaces that might rust or corrode.
WHY USE WOODEN CRATES FOR INDUSTRIAL SHIPPING?
How much time do you spend thinking about the packing that goes into your shipments? If you think that shrink-wrapping cardboard boxes onto a pallet will get the job done, you are correct. However, you may be missing out on the added benefits that wooden crates can offer you. Here are some reasons why you should consider shipping in wooden crates instead of using shrink-wrapped pallets.
Crates are Reusable
While some pallets like quality wooden ones or plastic ones can be reused, cardboard boxes cannot. This means that, for every shipment, you are most likely spending money to purchase new boxes and possibly pallets. One of the benefits that wooden crates can offer you is that they are reusable.
Crates are made of sturdy quality materials, which means that they can be used over and over again instead of being purchased every time that they are needed. Some crates can even be constructed to collapse so that they can easily be shipped back to you. These types of crates can also stay collapsed until they are needed, which means easy and convenient storage. If you are looking for a long-term solution for your packing, then wooden crates are a great way to go.
Crates Fit Workflow Better
Crates can be designed to fit the workflow of your storage or warehouse. This means you can streamline your processes around the crates that best fit your environment. Loading, unloading, packing and storage can all be made easier by using crates designed specifically for you.
The extra cost for using crates can easily be made up in the added efficiency that they bring to your shipping and storing processes.
Stack Better Than Boxes
Eventually cardboard boxes will get crushed. Sure, they can hold some weight, but there is a limit to how many you can stack up. Not so with wooden crates.
Wooden crates are built to be stacked. This can allow your warehousing to be able to utilize space they never before thought possible by going up instead of spreading out. Wooden crates let you store more in the same space by being able to be stacked higher. Again, this can help to offset the added cost of the crates by saving on the amount of storage or shipping space needed.
Offer More Protection for Your Shipment
A shipment is no good if it reaches its destination in pieces. Wooden crates offer much more protection for your shipments than other methods do.
Crates can also be custom built for use with odd sized or oversized items. Instead of trying to force an odd sized or specialty item into a box, you can have a crate built specifically for the purpose of keeping that item safe.
Trust Cratex for Your Industrial Packing and Custom Crate Construction
Cratex group has years of experience in transloading and keeping your shipments safe. Our experts can design standard or custom crates that fit any need. Contact us today for details.
YOUR SHIPPING AND PACKING CHECKLIST
You take the time to box up and get your shipment ready to be moved out to its destination, but when the shipping line shows up to load your cargo, do you take the time to inspect what it is being loaded into?
The condition of the container that your shipment is being transported in can have adverse effects on the cargo it is carrying. To ensure that your items are going to make it to their destination intact and on time, have a checklist of things to inspect prior to loading your cargo into a shipping container. Here are some ideas for your list.
Initial Inspection of the Shipping Container
When the truck arrives to pick up your shipment, take some time to look at the condition of the shipping container. If your cargo is going to be loaded into another container to be shipped overseas, you may wish to take a trip to the shipyard to do an inspection of the container it is being transferred to. Either way, during your initial inspection be sure to take the following steps.
Check the general cleanliness and condition of the interior.
- Has it been cleaned lately and is it free of dirt and grime?
- Are there any strange smells or musty odors in the container?
- Are there any water stains or moisture marks on the floor or walls?
The presence of any of these can indicate that the container might not be able to handle keeping your cargo clean and dry.
Make an Inspection of the Roof
This will probably require a ladder for checking the container on the outside, but you want to make sure that the roof seals properly and does not leak.
Start by standing inside the container and closing the doors. If you can see any light coming through the roof this is an indication that water can come through as well. Reject any container where this happens.
Next climb up on the roof and do an inspection (or have someone you trust do this). Make sure the roof is free of rust and corrosion. While rust might block out light and be invisible from the inside it may give way at any time and become a full-on leaking hole.
Check the Doors and Door Seals
After checking the roof, check the doors and the seals on the doors. Just like the roof, the doors should be free from holes, rust and corrosion. Shut and open the doors to ensure that they open easily and swing free.
Also check the seals around the doors to make sure that they will properly keep out moisture. They should not be cracked or missing.
Finally, check the locks and locking mechanisms. Make sure they operate properly and do not stick. Also make sure that when locked, the doors cannot slip the lock rods.
There you have it! Everything you will ever need to know about packing your items. The most important information from here is to use an experienced company like the Cratex group for your industrial packing needs. Contact us today!