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About Timber Cases and Crates

Faced with competition from alternative materials such as plastic and steel, wooden cases and crates remain a preferred transit packaging choice for many companies due to the exceptional strength, flexibility, health and safety, economic and environmental benefits they provide. Not only is timber a strong, flexible and cost-effective construction material, it is also a uniquely natural and sustainable packaging material and the best option for companies that require a robust transit packaging solution which is also kind on the environment. 

Why source your timber cases and crates from NICKLIN?

Specification, design and manufacture of wooden cases and crates is a core activity of our business. We have a strong reputation and almost one hundred years experience and market knowledge, supplying timber cases, crates and innovative timber transit packaging solutions to clients across a wide range of industry sectors.

Specification and Design of Timber Cases and Crates

Most companies will specify a bespoke design for their timber cases and timber crates, specified and manufactured to meet the exact requirements of their application. Careful consideration when specifying and designing wooden cases and crates ensures the safest and most effective means of transportation and storage across the complete distribution process. Using the most appropriate timber cases and timber crates for your application minimises product damage, maximises use of transport space, optimises handling and storage efficiency and helps with compliance to health and safety regulations.

What is the Difference between a Timber Case and a Timber Crate?

Timber crates have less horizontal sheathing members and are usually used for products which do not require the complete protection that a wooden case offers. Whilst a timber crate offers similar load bearing properties to a timber case, it will not offer the same protection to the contents from either tampering or adverse weather conditions.

Two-Way Entry or Four-Way Entry Timber Cases and Timber Crates?
Consider whether it is necessary for you, your shipper or the end-user to access the cases or crates from either all four sides of the case or crate or from two directions only.

Specifying the Dimensions of Timber Cases and Timber Crates
The dimensions of timber cases and crates are always expressed in the format of;

Length x Width x Depth (in millimetre units) with the measurements always referring to the internal dimensions of the timber cases or crates.
 
  • Length refers to the internal length of the 'lid boards' of the case or crate
  • Width refers to the internal dimension that is at right angles to the length
  • Depth is measured from the uppermost point of the case or crate to the floor

Products Transported in the Timber Cases or Crates

The type, quantity, size and weight of the products being packed, the way in which they are packaged and the manner in which they are stacked inside the case or crate determines the design of the case or crate and the necessary working load requirements and weight distribution.

The Working Load of Timber Cases and Crates

The working load of timber cases or crates is a key factor in the design and specification process. For example, if a case or crate is used to handle 1 tonne of goods and the cases or crates are to be stacked 3 high, then the case or crate must be designed to withstand a static weight of 3 tonnes. Using cases or crates that are not ‘fit-for-purpose’ and are not capable of handling the weight of the products packed present a serious risk to health and safety.

One-Trip or Reusable Cases and Crates

If you aim to recover and reuse your cases or crates, you will require a robust design allowing them to withstand the rigours of multiple trips. If you intend to reuse your timber cases or crates, identifying ownership by branding, stencilling, or painting is important to assist recoverability by differentiating your cases or crates.

Timber Cases and Crates Destined for Export Markets

If your timber cases or crates are to be used for exporting products to countries outside the EU, then it is likely that they will be subject to ISPM15 phytosanitary regulations. This requires timber packaging to be treated inline with ISPM15 guidelines to ensure that they are free from pest infestation or wood and forest diseases that can be transferred via unprocessed raw wood, potentially having devastating effects on native timber species and their ecosystems.

The Moisture Content of Timber Cases and Crates

Timber can be kiln-dried to lower it’s moisture content. Wooden cases or crates that have a low moisture content, usually between 20-24%, are inherently stronger which makes them more durable and lighter in weight which helps to save on transport costs and environmental impact.

Type of Material Handling Equipment Used to Move the Timber Cases and Crates

The type of material handling equipment used to move your pallets throughout the supply chain should be taken into consideration at the specification stage. If a fork lift truck is to be used to lift the timber case or crate, the base of the case or crate should have battens of at least 50mm in height. If a pallet truck is to be used to manoeuvre the case or crate, a batten height of 98 – 100mm should be used.





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