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.