A packing crate that is excellent for one application may be totally inadequate for another application due to the difference in the hazards that those two applications present. It is therefore advisable for you to test any packing crates extensively so that you confirm that they will keep your shipments safe. This article discusses some of the hazards that should be the subject of those tests.
Shipments may drop, knock or be knocked by other packages. The effect of the resultant shock will depend on the specifics of the package and the force of the shock. For instance, the same shock acting upon a heavy piece of machinery inside a wooden crate may cause less damage if a crate carrying light products, such as garments, was struck. Your shock tests should therefore focus on finding out how that crate will behave when carrying your products. Tweak the design in order to make it better able to handle shock. For example, you can ask the manufacturer to use thicker framing and sheathing materials.
Compression can be static or dynamic. An example of static compression is the downward force exerted on a crate by the crates stacked onto it. Dynamic compression includes the force exerted onto a crate as other crates are pushed against it by a forklift truck. Your tests should cover all the possible manifestations of compressive forces, such as scenarios in which compression forces come from different directions as a loaded truck is moving over a bumpy road.
Crates can also be affected by vibration as your shipment is being moved. The vibrations generated can weaken the joints and fastenings of the crate's structure. Expose the loaded crates to the anticipated vibratory forces and measure any changes that occur in the crate or the item within that crate.
Humidity and extremes of temperature are the biggest issues to investigate in this regard. How long can the crate survive when it is constantly exposed to rain? How can staying in a sealed truck on a hot day affect the crate and its contents? How does the crate hold up to rapid changes in temperature and humidity? The tests that you conduct should give you the answers to all these questions.
It may not be possible for you to have the know-how or equipment to test the crates at your facility. It is therefore wise for you to work with a crate manufacturer, such as 1/2 Price Pallets, so that all the relevant tests can be done at the manufacturing plant before the crates are shipped to you for use.