So, you’re moving your household, relocating your business, or shipping valuable items such as auction winnings from one place to another. You need some professional help, but you’re not sure which type of company is best for your needs. Depending on the services needed, you’ll probably require support from a crating company, a moving company, or maybe both. But what are the differences between the two? And is it possible to use just one company for all your moving needs?
What is a crating company?
Crating companies specialize in getting large, uniquely shaped, and fragile goods to their destination intact by using specialized wooden crates. Crating is the most effective way to protect valuable items on their journey, whether by land, air, or sea.
Many businesses use crating companies to send high-value, fragile items to customers, relocate offices or laboratories, or ship hazardous materials. Individuals can also benefit from crating services when shipping high-value, breakable, or sentimental items.
Services that a crating company offers
Aside from their primary service – crating your belongings – the best crating companies offer multiple extras to help get your goods from A to B as quickly as possible. Here are just a few.
Packaging and packing services
If you want your shipment to be protected as much as possible during transit, opt for wooden crates as your shipping material of choice. Measuring, creating, and packing custom crates is best left to the experts, which is where crating companies come in.
You’re not alone if you hear the word ‘hazmat’ and picture masked people in overalls wearing helmets. But the reality is that hazmat, also known as hazardous materials, can include even the most commonplace items.
What are Hazardous Materials?
Hand sanitizer, nail polish remover, and aerosol sprays are examples of household items considered dangerous goods. A hazardous material could injure somebody if the product breaks, spills, or comes into contact with another chemical during transit.
These materials can be solids, liquids, or gases. The commonality is that they could harm people, property, or the environment during the shipping process if not properly packaged. Further examples of hazardous materials include gasoline, chlorine, diesel fuel, and fireworks.
How does a crating service manage hazmat?
So, what’s the relevance of hazmat when it comes to working with a crating company? Shipping dangerous goods involves extra steps, including packaging the items in a particular way and filling out the correct paperwork to avoid a hefty fine. If you suspect some of the items you plan to ship are hazmat, consult this list to confirm, then ask your crating company whether they have experience packing hazmat.
If you need to move valuable, breakable goods that you’d rather keep safe at your premises, opt for a crating company that offers on-site crating. On-site crating involves crating experts coming to your location to pack your items in a customized crate, pallet, or skid. That way, you can save yourself a trip and reduce the risk of your goods getting damaged through multiple journeys.
Custom pallets and skids
Custom pallets and skids come in handy when shipping a wide range of products, but they are most commonly used for lab equipment, artwork, industrial machinery, electronic equipment, and vehicles. If you need pallets or skids to make your moving process more manageable, your crating company should be able to build custom ones for your needs.
When you send your goods to be shipped, they’re typically loaded into large freight containers, the largest of which are ocean containers. Loading containers is no easy feat, and only companies with expert training can provide a reliable service that doesn’t put your item at risk. If your items need to be loaded onto a container, look for a crating company that knows how to block, brace, and pack large shipments onto containers.
Foam, foil bag, and vapor barrier
When transporting items from house to house or workplace to workplace, you will likely have items containing water-sensitive materials, such as electrical equipment, making it imperative to keep your goods safe from water, moisture, or humidity. Anything shipped internationally is susceptible to water vapor, moisture, and salt water, which can corrode your goods.
Foil bags and vapor barrier products protect cargo being shipped by air or sea from water damage. The vapor barrier and foil bags work by providing a layer of protection against the elements. The air is vacuumed out of the bags and sealed shut to reduce air and humidity level fluctuation.
While most crating companies don’t specialize in shipments, many have contacts or partner companies within the shipping industry, meaning they can organize the transfer of your goods on your behalf. Using the same company to package and arrange the shipment of your products offers maximum convenience. Plus, it saves you hours of trawling the web to find a shipping company with positive reviews and affordable prices – your crating company can do the work for you.
What is a moving company?
If you’ve ever moved house, the chances are you’ve used a relocation moving company. Moving companies will arrive at your home, office, or another location, pick up pre-packed boxes and drive them to their destination. Moving companies tend to deal with moves over a relatively short distance, as opposed to shipping companies.
Services that a moving company offers
Some moving companies offer extra services beyond driving boxes from A to B.
Relocation services for personal and professional moves
Many people think that moving companies only move people from house to house, but in reality, many relocation companies can relocate offices, laboratories, and warehouses. If you’re shipping lots of machinery and electronic equipment, ensure it’s packaged in a sturdy material with the necessary insulation or padding materials before transporting it from one place to another.
Some moving companies offer packing services, so if you’re struggling to get everything neatly into cardboard boxes, your moving company can help. It’s worth noting, however, that for high-value fragile items, wooden crates are the best material for safe transportation. Unfortunately, most moving companies do not provide a crating service as part of their offerings.
Are you between houses, offices, or business premises? Some moving companies offer storage services where you can keep your items until the date you move into your new place.
Recycling and responsible disposal
If you’re moving out of an office or home, there will likely be items you don’t want to take to your next place. Some moving companies offer a responsible disposal service, so they’ll recycle your items or get rid of them in another environmentally-friendly way.
Donate or throw out your things before moving if you want to avoid paying for extra disposal services. Many belongings can be sold online for extra cash, recycled, or even given to a friend or family member who can put them to good use.
How do crating companies and moving companies differ?
Whereas moving companies take your items from one destination to another, typically using a road vehicle, crating companies pack your items into expertly-made custom wooden crates for safe transportation. While moving companies can support the packing of items, they don’t usually specialize in crating items for maximum security during their journey. If you’re shipping something substantial, valuable, or breakable, bubble wrap just won’t cut it – you’ll need wooden crates.
Moving companies tend to cover short journeys, such as moving a household a couple of hours away. That’s because moving companies drive as their primary method of transport. While crating companies don’t typically specialize in shipping your products, some crating companies partner with shipping companies to transport your goods once they’ve been crated.
Which type of company should you use for packing and moving your items?
Moving companies are great for moving non-breakable items from one house, office, or place of work to another. However, if you’re transporting valuable goods and their possible damage would lose you money or a treasured personal item, it’s best not to take the risk of moving your goods in flimsy cardboard boxes or wrapped in padded blankets.
If you need your goods crated and then moved by road from one place to another, you could contact a crating company first to crate your items, then use a moving company to relocate the crates. Many crating companies have connections in the relocation industry, so they’ll be able to recommend a moving company for you to use or even coordinate the move themselves.
A crating service that offers the best of both worlds
If you’re shipping valuable goods from one place to another in wooden crates, why not opt for a crating company that can pack your goods and arrange their safe transportation, too?
At South Shore Crate and Pack, not only do we offer a range of custom crating services, but we can also organize the shipment of your items or coordinate the removal of machinery and equipment. Whether you’re relocating an office, moving lab equipment, or need to transport valuable goods, we’re a one-stop shop for safely transporting your items.
Get in touch today for more information on our services or a quote.