If you are newcomer in the shipping business and you are shopping around for crates, you need to be aware that not all crates are made the same. Shipping crates are available in a range of different materials, and it is up to you to choose a product that will suit your needs. Let's discuss some of the most popularly used shipping crates so you can find it easier to make a decision on which type of crates are best for your business.

Wood crates

Historically, wood has been used to make virtually everything, including furniture, carts, houses and large cargo ships. It, therefore, comes as no big surprise that wood is also used to make shipping crates. Wood crates are revered for many reasons, including their sturdy construction, good heat insulation properties, customisability, eco-friendliness and affordability. 

Wood used to make shipping crates can be cut to various sizes and thicknesses. Wood crates offer excellent heat insulation because wood doesn't conduct heat. Because the crates are made from wood harvested from managed forests or forest plantations, they do not interfere with natural habitats. What is more, wood is a renewable and readily available material, so quality wood crates can be acquired quite cheaply. 

A major downside of wood crates is that they shouldn't be constantly exposed to wet conditions, as the wood can decay.

Aluminium crates 

The most notable benefit of aluminium crates is that they are lightweight yet remarkably robust. These crates weigh less than comparable wood crates, owing to the superior strength-to-weight ratio of aluminium material. Aluminium won't splinter like wood and thus is better suited for heavy-duty shipping applications. Unlike wood, which has natural heat insulation properties, aluminium prevents heat gain by rapidly dissipating radiated heat away from its shiny, metallic surface. 

In terms of aesthetics, aluminium crates can be designed to come in a selection of attractive finishes. As aluminium offers superior resistance to rust and corrosion, it is an ideal choice of material for shipping hygiene-sensitive products, like food and drugs.

Plastic crates

Thanks to the introduction of engineering-grade plastics in the industrial and manufacturing world, plastic crates are now available for shipping applications. These crates can easily be customised to suit your specific requirements, thanks to the immense production possibilities associated with plastic fabrication methods, like injection moulding. Plastic crates are built quite tough and they offer excellent resistance against water- and chemical-induced damage. Like aluminium crates, plastic crates are a hygienic option, as they won't encourage the growth of harmful biological elements such as algae and fungi. 

A major disadvantage of plastic crates is that they may be difficult to repair when they get damaged.