You can rely on wooden crates to ship just about anything, including military spec packaging and museum artwork. They give you a powerful protective layer that safeguards your items while they ship to another location. However, unless you've done the necessary preparation, shipping some items may prove dangerous for the crate and the workers who move it.
Below, we've given you a list of items that you shouldn't ship without consulting the crate company. These items may need special packaging or preparation to ship safely, or you may not have the ability to safely ship them at all. Read on to learn more.
What You Can't Ship
In most cases, unless your crate or shipping company tells you otherwise, you can't ship the following items.
1. Fuels, Oils, and Other Vehicle Liquids
All the liquids that go into your car have flammable properties. This doesn't mean that they'll burst into flame of their own accord, but it does mean that under the right conditions, heat inside their wooden crate could make them ignite. And once these chemicals start to burn, they could not only burn everything inside the crate, but also the wooden crate itself.
2. Herbicides and Insecticides
These chemicals come with the same risks as vehicle fluids. They have flammable properties, and heat could ignite them under the right conditions. And if they leak, they could fill their containers or their transport vehicle with fumes.
3. Propane, Natural Gas, and Anything in a Pressurize Tank
Gases in pressurized tanks tend to explode when they ignite, and they could ignite under similar conditions to the items listed above. A leak could also spread dangerous fumes around the crate or vehicle.
4. Aerosol Cans
Aerosol cans function like miniature pressurized tanks, so they have many of the same risks.
5. Paint, Paint Thinner, Varnish, and Fingernail Polish
Again, these chemicals can ignite and burn everything in the crate, around the crate, and in the transport vehicle. They can also spread noxious fumes that could injure the people who work with them. Additionally, they could also ruin the crate and everything inside it if they leak.
6. Cleaning Chemicals
The chemicals in even your basic cleaners have toxic or flammable properties. This makes them susceptible to the same risks as the materials listed above.
7. Matches and Fireworks
You know about these fire hazards already. Just as you wouldn't put them near the stove or a stack of flammables, don't put them inside a wooden crate.
8. Loaded Firearms, Explosives, and Ammunition
Heat can also make ammunition and other explosives go off, so you shouldn't pack them in your crate either. However, these items, along with the other items listed above, can go into crates under the right circumstances. Some companies offer military spec packaging, which allows them to safely ship some of these hazardous items. Contact your crate expert to learn more.
What You Can't Ship Without Special Preparations
In nearly all cases, you can't put the above items in your crate unless you ship with a specialized professional. A similar rule applies to the items below. These fragile or specialty items need adequate preparation to keep them safe. However, after you've added padding and other protective elements, you shouldn't have any trouble shipping them in a wooden crate.
1. Perishable Food
Some crate shipping companies offer solutions for perishable foods. These solutions offer insulating and refrigerating techniques, which vary from company to company. Your preferred crate expert can tell you more.
When you pack dishes, you can't just set them in boxes and then stack those boxes inside the crate. You'll need cushioning between each individual dish, not to mention extra cushioning around the crate's interior surfaces. Wooden crates absorb far more shock than cardboard boxes do, but that doesn't mean they can protect your fragile items on their own.
The same rule applies to appliances. As the transport vehicle jostles or as workers load and unload the crate, items on the inside could shift and break. Cushion them all in packing materials like bubble wrap or newspaper. Your company may offer packing solutions of its own.
4. Jewelry, Artwork, Antiques, and Other Fragile Valuables
Again, you don’t want anything to damage your valuables while they travel. Wrap each individual piece in bubble wrap, then line the crate with bubble wrap. You'll have less space to work with, but at least your belongings will stay safe.
If you have to ship your animals via crate, you have to make sure they'll stay comfortable. They'll need a specialty crate that gives them adequate light and airflow. They'll also need bedding, food and water (if necessary for long trips), and clearance with the moving company.
You can use wooden crates to ship just about anything under the right conditions. Ask one of our crate expert s what other packing recommendations he or she may have.