Boxes as shipping containers
- high strength is needed for heavy and difficult loads
- long term warehousing may be needed
- large size is required
- when stacking strength is critical
Boxes and crates are not the same. If the sheathing of the container (plywood, lumber, etc.) can be removed, and a framed structure will remain standing, the container would likely be termed a crate. If removal of the sheathing resulted in there being no way of fastening the lumber around the edges of the container, the container would likely be termed a wooden box.
The strength of a wooden box is rated based on the weight it can carry before the cap (top, ends, and sides) is installed. "Skids" or thick bottom runners, are sometimes specified to allow forklift trucks access for lifting.
Performance is strongly influenced by the specific design, type of wood, type of fasteners (nails, etc.), workmanship, etc.
Nailed wood box
A nailed wooden box is constructed of pieces of lumber (sometimes with reinforcing battens, cleats, etc.) attached by nails or other suitable fasteners. It usually completely encloses the contents. A box usually has a bottom and four side panels and often has an attachable top.
Very thin lumber is used for a wirebound box. Wires are stapled or stitched to the girth and to wood cleats. These are sometimes used for produce and for heavy loose items for military or export use. These are lighter than wood boxes or crates. They have excellent tensile strength to contain items but not much stacking strength.
Other wooden boxes
- D6179 Standard Test Methods for Rough Handling of Unitized Loads and Large Shipping Cases and Crates
- D6199 Standard Practice for Quality of Wood Members of Containers and Pallets
- D6251 Standard Specification for Wood-Cleated Panelboard Shipping Boxes
- D6253 Practice for Treatment and/or marking of Wood Packaging Materials
- D6254 Standard Specification for Wirebound Pallet-Type Wood Boxes
- D6256 Standard Specification for Wood-Cleated Shipping Boxes and Skidded, Load-Bearing Bases
- D6573 Standard Specification for General Purpose Wirebound Shipping Boxes
- D6880-05 Standard Specification for wooden boxes
- Band saw box
- Box compression test
- Crowbar (tool)
- ISPM 15 Regulations explain requirements for international shipping of wood boxes, crates, or pallets.
- McKinlay, A. H., "Transport Packaging",IoPP, 2004
- Yam, K. L., "Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology", John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 978-0-470-08704-6