What Is The Best Wood For Shipping Crates?

When it comes to protecting the goods that are being shipped, making the right choice about the species of wood that will be used to create the shipping crates is a critical decision that can have far-reaching repercussions. Whether you’re a manufacturer, a distributor, or just an individual who wants to transfer delicate products across huge distances, the type of wood you choose can affect the safety of your cargo as well as the effectiveness of your shipping operation.

This is true whether you’re shipping the cargo yourself or hiring a shipping company. 

This article will go into the world of shipping crates and investigate the different wood options that are available so that you can make an informed decision. In this piece, we’ll discuss what makes particular kinds of wood so wonderful for building shipping crates, what to watch out for, and how to select the appropriate kind of wood to use in your crates, as well as other packaging materials.

If you want your shipping operations to be safer and endure longer, you should educate yourself on the best type of wood to use in the construction of shipping crates that are tailored to your requirements.

What Is The Best Wood For Shipping Crates?

The needs of your shipment, your available funds, and your morals all play a role in determining which type of wood to use for your shipping crates. Shipping crates can be made from a variety of woods, each with its own set of pros and cons. The greatest types of wood for shipping boxes include

  • Pine: Pine is a popular choice for shipping crates due to its affordability and availability. It is a lightweight wood that offers decent strength, making it suitable for medium-duty applications. Pine crates are easy to assemble and work with, making them a cost-effective choice for many shipping needs.
  • Plywood: Plywood is a versatile option for shipping crates. It consists of multiple layers of wood veneers glued together, providing strength and stability. Plywood crates are customizable and can be designed to meet specific cargo requirements. They are suitable for a wide range of applications, from light to heavy-duty.
  • Hardwood: Hardwood species like oak, maple, or birch offer superior strength and durability compared to softwoods like pine. These woods are more resistant to impact and abrasion, making them suitable for heavy or valuable cargo. Hardwood crates are often used for machinery, aerospace components, and high-value items.
  • Douglas Fir: Douglas fir is a strong softwood known for its excellent weight-bearing capacity. It is commonly used for heavy-duty shipping crates and is favoured for its strength-to-weight ratio. Douglas fir crates are suitable for transporting large and heavy machinery or equipment.
  • Cedar: Cedar is a lightweight, aromatic wood that is naturally resistant to decay and insects. It is an excellent choice for shipping delicate or aromatic goods like cigars, clothing, or food items. Cedar crates provide a natural barrier against moisture and pests.
  • Redwood: Redwood is another durable and decay-resistant softwood. It is well-suited for outdoor or long-term storage needs. Redwood crates are ideal for items that require protection from the elements.
  • Heat-Treated (HT) Wood: When shipping internationally, it’s crucial to use heat-treated wood that meets ISPM 15 standards. Heat-treated wood eliminates the risk of pest infestations during international transit. It’s commonly used for export crates.
  • Reclaimed or Recycled Wood: Using reclaimed or recycled wood is an eco-friendly option for shipping crates. It can provide adequate strength and protection for certain types of cargo while reducing environmental impact.

Your needs as well as your available funds should direct the selection of the wood for your shipping crates. When determining what kind of wood to use for your crates, you should take into consideration the weight and fragility of your cargo, the transportation conditions (whether they are domestic or international), and any regulatory restrictions that may be applicable. In addition, for the safety of your goods, the design and construction of your crates are very important considerations to make.

What Kind Of Wood Is Used For Shipping?

Heat-treated (HT) wood is widely utilised for shipment, especially in international trade. Wood that has been subjected to heat treatment is compliant with ISPM 15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15). To eliminate any parasites or diseases in the wood, it is heated to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time throughout this treatment process.

Key characteristics of shipping wood that has been heat treated are as follows, check it out:

  • Pest Control: Heat treatment ensures that the wood is free from pests and insect infestations. This is particularly important for international shipments to prevent the spread of invasive pests across borders.
  • Compliance: ISPM 15 is an international standard established by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). Many countries require that wood packaging materials, including pallets and crates, comply with ISPM 15 regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of pests.
  • Marking: Heat-treated wood is typically marked with a specific stamp or brand that indicates compliance with ISPM 15 standards. The mark often includes information such as the treatment provider, treatment method, and country of origin.
  • Durability: Heat-treated wood maintains its structural integrity and durability after treatment. It can withstand the rigours of shipping and handling while providing a stable base for securing cargo.
  • Safe for Cargo: Heat-treated wood does not pose a risk to the cargo it carries, as it is free from chemicals and pesticides that could potentially damage or contaminate goods.

Even while wood that has been subjected to heat treatment is typically permitted for shipment across international borders, it is essential to keep in mind that certain nations may have extra limits or special standards regarding the treatment and marking of wood packaging materials. Before beginning the process of shipping something, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the legislation that applies in both the country of origin and the country of destination.


The type of wood that is used for shipping crates is an important factor to think about since it can affect how safely, securely, and effectively items are moved from one location to another. Which type of wood is appropriate for use in shipping crates is determined by several criteria, including the kind of cargo being transported, financial limitations, and environmental concerns.

Pine, plywood, hardwoods like oak and maple, Douglas fir, cedar, and redwood are some of the common types of wood that are used for the construction of shipping crates. Because every kind of wood has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, various kinds of cargo can benefit from using different kinds of wood.

The most secure option for international shipment is wood that has been subjected to heat treatment and complies with ISPM 15 criteria. The use of heat treatment on wood guarantees that pests are kept under control and comply with international rules designed to stop the spread of exotic species of pests.

In the end, the kind of wood you use for shipping should be to the particular needs of your business and any applicable legal restrictions. When it comes to ensuring the safety and security of your shipments while they are in transit, the design of your crates and the methods you use to create them are of equal importance.