How to Prepare Large Wooden Crates for Shipping Overseas

cargo in wooden cases

Wooden crates are a great choice when it comes to international shipping. They’re strong, durable and all-natural, ensuring your products will arrive at their destination intact. But wooden crates come with their own set of shipping best practices. From package labeling to international regulations, learn how to get your large wooden crates ready for international shipping.

Why Wooden Crates?

When you’re sending your products overseas, few storage containers provide as much strength and support as wooden crates. These large containers are nailed together so that the only way someone can tamper with your products is to use a large crowbar on one of the seams. The walls of the crate tend to be thick so that there is less of a chance that something could damage your products while they’re in route to the destination. Wooden crates are also reusable, helping you save money on your international shipping costs.

Preparing Your Wooden Crates

Now that you’ve settled on wooden crates as your preferred shipping method, it’s time to get these crates ready for the long road ahead.

  • Sanitize (If Used Before)

Before you start loading your products into the wooden crate, make sure you’ve cleaned out the interior if you’ve used this crate before so that you don’t contaminate your products. But it’s best not to oversoak the wood with too much water. Instead, use a damp rag to wipe off the inside of the crate. If you find any residue or a strange odor, use a vinegar-water solution to sanitize the wood.

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  • Stack Them to Save on Space

Wood crates are some of the most durable shipping containers money can buy, so you’re free to stack these containers on top of each other to save on precious cargo space. These crates are designed to hold up under pressure so that you can stack another crate on top without worrying about crushing the items underneath. It’s best to stack lighter crates on top and keep your heaviest shipments on the bottom.

  • Use Pallets for Extra Security

When loading, unloading and stacking your crates, it’s best to use wooden pallets for extra support and security. Depending on the manufacturer, most pallets will be the same dimensions as your shipping crates, or you can order custom wooden pallets if your crates are larger than normal. Find pallets for sale that match the dimensions of your crate so that the crate fits securely onto the pallet. The pallet comes with openings on the bottom so that the loading dock employees can easily use a forklift to move one crate at a time. All the pallets should face the same way with the openings pointing out so that the loading dock employees can quickly access the crate with the forklift.

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  • Package Labelling

It’s always important to label your crates before you ship them overseas. Customs officials will need access to certain information as they process your company’s order at the border. The label should include information about the destination, who’s shipping the package, what’s inside, how much it weights and whether the contents are considered fragile. This information should be clearly labeled on all sides of the crate so that loading dock personnel can quickly find the information they’re looking for. If this information is buried or hidden on one side of the crate, the crate may be returned to the sender, or the loading employees may mishandle the crate, damaging what’s inside.

  • The Bug Stamp

In addition to properly labeling the crate, you’ll also need to have your crates inspected and approved by national plant protection organizations (NPPOs) before the destination country will accept the order. This is part of the International Plant Protection Convention, which is responsible for inspecting wooden shipping containers to prevent the spread of pests associated with wood packaging, such as termites and other insects. Having your crates approved means getting what’s known as “the bug stamp,” which shows customs officials that your packages are bug-free and safe to import. Without this stamp, your packages will be returned to the sender, which will lead to costly delays and poor customer service.

World-Wide Shipping with Wooden Crates

Wooden crates are the ideal choice when it comes to international shipping. They give you the support and strength you need to protect your products as they travel thousands of miles. Make sure your crates are clean, properly labeled and have been approved by NPPOs before sending them out for delivery. This ensures your packages won’t be returned to sender, which can cost your company in more ways than one. Stock up on wooden crates and start shipping your products overseas today!