Choosing the right shipping cases ensures that your product remains safe in storage and during transportation. Cases and packaging materials that are specific to your freight requirements are invaluable in ensuring the success of your business.
While choosing a shipping case there are a few factors that you need to pay attention to – the importance of protection, the weight of the shipment which would reflect on the material being used, the volumetric size of the package, and the total cost of packaging. Select from a wide variety of containers which include aluminum, wooden, and even corrugated cardboard taking into account costs, the possibility of and levels of damage in transit, and customer satisfaction. At Ficus Pax, we take pride in designing the perfect hard case for our customers. Here are some factors to think about.
Criteria to consider
A shipping case should ideally be waterproof if your product is high value and susceptible to damage due to moisture.
It is also important that it be heavy-duty if your shipment is likely to experience poor handling and long durations of transit.
The weight restrictions, if any, on your shipment are also of critical importance when deciding on the type of case to choose along with the options of single-use or returnable.
If your shipping volumes are high and the level of protection required is minimal then hard shipping cases may not be of critical importance to your packaging solution and could become an unnecessary expense.
The handling of shipping cases also contributes to the possibility of damage and increased costs. Design determines if your shipping cases can be stacked, protected from corrosion, and are easy to handle.
Once you have established the important criteria, you can look at options that best fit your shipping and freight requirements.
Types of hard shipping case options
There are five main types of shipping case options.
Lightweight aluminum cases are the best option when there is an issue with weight. They are used where weight needs to be kept to a minimum and protective strength is equally important. Aluminum is exceptionally lightweight relative to other materials of the same strength. This attribute makes aluminum cases especially suited for air transport. Well-designed shipping cases include handles, secure clasps, features that allow the case to be padlocked, stacking corners to prevent movement while in transit, and wheels, castors, or dollys as needed. These packaging cases are also easy to clean, can be used over multiple journeys, do not rust, and can absorb shock and impact. They are superior to plastic cases in their ability to withstand extreme temperatures. Plastic tends to become brittle or melt when exposed to extreme conditions. Foam inserts need to be used in aluminum cases for expensive and delicate items. The disadvantage of aluminum packaging cases is that they can be expensive compared to other options.
Roto-mould or rotationally moulded cases are the best types of heavy-duty shipping cases. Unlike aluminum cases, they tend to be very heavy and expensive. The upside is that these packaging cases are the best option for critical very high-value products which absolutely cannot get damaged in transit, for example, military communication equipment as they provide the best protection available. This type of shipping case is completely waterproof and exceptionally tough. When foam inserts are added they provide superior cushioning protection. Roto-mould shipping cases can be safely stacked and transported over long distances. Their tough and durable composition makes them ideal for heavy-duty applications. Available in a range of sizes, these packaging cases are reusable multiple times. Their designs usually include handles, pressure valves, specialized housing, and feet for handling with a forklift.
The disadvantages to this type of packaging case are its weight and difficulty in handling.
EXO cases are the best shipping cases for equipment that does not need the guerilla protection of roto-moulded cases. This type of packaging provides the flexibility of a fabricated case with the durability of a heavy-duty roto-moulded case. These are lightweight cases that are waterproof, provide protection from dust, moisture, and rough handling, and are cost-efficient. They can also be manufactured to size which optimizes space and reduces costs. These customized cases can include handles and wheels. Exo cases are not as tough as roto-mould cases and not as lightweight as aluminum, but they do offer a great compromise between the two.
Flight cases are the more traditional form of shipping cases. These were commonly used to store and transport audio-visual equipment. These shipping cases are easy to handle and can be manufactured in any size. Since they can be customized, they allow for efficiency and optimized space. Features can also be added according to requirements which include wheels, feet, handles, and lifting straps. Flight cases can be easily branded. They are not as strong as EXO and roto-mould cases and not as water-tight and dust-resistant. They are however cheaper and lighter than both of them. They offer a good compromise between cost and protection.
Wooden crates are the cheapest type of shipping case. They are usually made of plywood. This is the most cost-effective hard case option. They are lightweight, robust, and can be used multiple times. They do however get damaged more easily than the others. The advantages of using wooden cases are that they can be made according to the required size and are a good low-cost option. However, they provide the least protection compared to the others and have a tendency to splinter and absorb water. If there are budget constraints and a high level of protection is not required then wooden crates are a viable option.
Choosing the right shipping case for your business is imperative to protecting your products. Besides the examples of cases above, packaging solution providers can design and create cases that meet your specific needs and requirements. Get in touch with us at Ficus Pax to discuss specific shipping case requirements.