Wooden crates on shelves in warehouse

What to Look for in a Reliable Custom Shipping Crate Provider

Manufacturers in many industries face common packaging and transportation challenges, including the risks of product damage or compliance issues if the wrong type of packaging is used. That’s why it’s crucial to work with a third-party custom shipping crate provider that offers personalized packaging services to meet your unique needs.

But…how do you choose the right provider for your needs? In this article, we’ll cover the essential criteria to consider when researching and selecting a crating company

Do You Even Need a Custom Shipping Crate?

First, you need to know if a custom shipping crate is the right solution for you.

Crates aren’t always necessary, but there are specific scenarios when they become essential, including when you:

  • Need to transport high-value items that require maximum protection.
  • Are shipping fragile items that require specialized padding.
  • Have extra-large or unusually shaped items to ship.

Essential Criteria for Choosing a Custom Shipping Crate Provider

Various Custom Wood Shipping Crates

Now that we’ve covered the primary use cases for crates, let’s take a closer look at some of the most important factors you need to consider.

Cost Flexibility

It’s smart to set a project budget before you search for a custom shipping crate provider. Once you establish that budget, it’s important to find a provider that offers flexible rates and cost-effective crating and transport solutions to help you stay on target. 

Always look for a company that takes the lead to guide you through your choices, is proactive about helping you save money, and delivers superior-quality products and services.

Capabilities/Services Offered

Give some thought to precisely what you need your custom shipping crate provider to do for you.

  • Are the items you’ll be shipping fragile?
  • Will you need custom packaging for hazardous materials?
  • Do you have high-volume packaging orders on a repetitive basis?
  • Do you need on-site packing services or warehouse storage space?
  • Do you require ocean container loading, strapping, blocking, and bracing?

Also, consider your needs for domestic freight, international freight, or both. Then, choose a crating company that supports your requirements, keeping in mind the services you’ll need for every step of your shipment’s journey.

Certifications & Quality Control

When choosing a packaging company, it’s important to ensure that the company follows all DOT, IATA, IMDG, and other industry-specific rules and regulations relevant to your industry. Ask the company which certifications they have earned, and decide if they apply to your unique needs. This is particularly important if you are handling HAZMAT items or fulfilling military/defense contracts.


Generally, it’s best to do business with a crating company in your home country. This goes a long way toward avoiding compliance issues and delivery delays because every country has specific packaging and transportation laws.

Additionally, if you make repetitive international shipments, choosing a company specializing in export packaging and offering solutions like foil bags, foam pellets, and custom strapping and blocking is smart. You need a company that understands how to ensure safe travel for your items as they travel the globe.

Partner With Export Corporation for Your Custom Shipping Crate Needs

Collaborating with a third-party crating company is critical for anyone who ships fragile, high-value, oversized, or other special-needs items.

If you’re searching for the right company, start with Export Corporation. We’ve designed and built custom export packaging, including crates, for clients in many industries, including automotive, aerospace, commercial, and defense, for over seven decades. We are also ITAR and SAM-registered and hold ISO 9001 and ISPM certifications to ensure quality and compliance. 

Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or to request a project consultation.