Tools of the Trade: Crating and Packaging

Did you know that the same material used to winterize boats is commonly used when prepping equipment for domestic shipping? Or that if wood materials shipped internationally aren’t marked with the ISPM stamp of compliance, they may be denied at customs and slapped with a hefty fine? The process of carefully preparing and protecting goods for shipment is more intricate than just mailing a package.  Find out about the different types of custom crates and packaging materials that guarantee items are safe during transportation.

Corrosion Inhibitors


Desiccants are an essential component of storing, shipping, and preserving goods. These packets, usually filled with clay or silica gel, absorb moisture and humidity, thereby protecting their contents.

Barrier Bagging

Vapor barrier bags are necessary to guard products against damage from moisture, salt, or humidity. They are particularly crucial when transporting items by sea cargo, as the salt water can cause corrosion in electronics and metal gear.

Barrier bagging is a part of the final packing process before an item is placed in a crate. After all of the items are safely in the bag, a vacuum is used to extract the air and then the bag is sealed.

Shrink Wrap

If you’re a boat owner, chances are you’re familiar with shrink wrap as many marinas use it to prep boats for storage. It is also used in the packaging process because of its elasticity and durability. When heated, this pliable material creates an airtight seal making it an effective way to guard items shipped within the country.

Shock and Vibration Control

Blocking and Bracing

When transporting goods, you want to ensure that they arrive undamaged. Though it is hoped that shipments are handled with the same caution as in the shop, it is not always the case. To guarantee safe delivery, additional packaging measures should be taken and the proper materials should be used. A variety of protective tools, such as wood braces, metal brackets, ratchet straps, and metal banding, help secure items in place.

Floating Bases

Floating bases are designed to absorb the shock and vibration of the freight. These can be built as part of the crate design or inserted within the crate as an additional cushioning measure for highly sensitive equipment. Bases within the crate typically include foam lining, risers, and a floating desk to ensure little movement during transit. From there, equipment is secured to the floating base with straps or banding further minimizing any impact.

Wood Packaging Materials

ISPM 15 Stamp

In order to stop the spread of insects and diseases that could damage the environment, ISPM15 was established. Any wood items over 6mm in thickness that will be sent internationally must go through the process of heat treatment to a temperature of 56°C for at least half an hour or fumigated with methyl bromide so they can pass customs inspection. After the treatment, the wood is labeled with an ISPM15 stamp. If wooden crates are not compliant with the ISPM 15 standards, certain countries may apply a higher fee to fumigate the shipment, while some may reject it completely, and in certain severe scenarios, the items may be incinerated.

It’s crucial to protect your equipment with the right materials during transit, especially if it’s fragile or valuable. Working with a professional crating company will ensure that your cargo arrives safely at its destination.

Looking for more information on packaging solutions and shipping services? Download our free shipping guide.