How Do You Make A Wooden Crate For Shipping?

Moving household things, transporting products, or mailing fragile items securely may all be accomplished with the help of shipping crates made of wood because of their durability, versatility, and cost-effectiveness. Shipping things in a wooden crate involves careful preparation and execution to ensure they arrive in one piece.

In this article, we will explain how to construct a wooden crate for shipping purposes. The processes for building a strong container, as well as advice for properly packaging your products to avoid damage in transit, will be outlined for you. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a business owner trying to find ways to improve your shipping procedures, this book is for you.

How Do You Make A Wooden Crate For Shipping?

There are several procedures involved in constructing a wooden crate for shipping purposes. The following instructions will walk you through building a strong wooden crate:

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • Plywood sheets or wooden boards
  • Screws or nails
  • Saw (circular saw or table saw)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Hammer or screwdriver
  • Wood glue (optional)
  • Corner braces (optional)
  • Handles (optional)
  • Hinges and a latch (if building a crate with a lid)

Step 1: Measure And Plan

  • Measure the dimensions of the item(s) you intend to ship, including length, width, and height.
  • Determine the internal crate dimensions, allowing for padding or cushioning around your item(s).
  • Plan the crate design based on your measurements, ensuring the crate will be slightly larger than the item(s) to accommodate protective packaging materials.

Step 2: Cut The Wood

  • Cut the plywood sheets or wooden boards to the desired dimensions using a saw. You’ll need pieces for the crate’s sides, top, bottom, and any other necessary parts.

Step 3: Assemble The Crate

  • Lay out the bottom piece of wood and attach the side pieces to it. You can use screws or nails to secure them together. Make sure they are aligned properly.
  • If you’re using a lid, attach the top piece of wood to the remaining sides to create a separate lid structure. Ensure it fits snugly on top of the crate.

Step 4: Reinforce The Corners (Optional)

  • To enhance the crate’s durability, you can add corner braces at each corner of the crate. These provide additional strength and stability.

Step 5: Add Handles (Optional)

  • If the crate is cumbersome, consider attaching handles to make it easier to lift and carry.

Step 6: Attach Hinges And Latch (If Using a Lid)

  • If your crate has a lid, attach hinges to one side of the lid and the crate’s corresponding side. Ensure the lid opens and closes smoothly.
  • Install a latch to secure the lid in place during shipping.

Step 7: Sand And Finish (Optional)

  • Sand any rough edges or surfaces to prevent splinters and give the crate a smoother appearance.
  • Optionally, you can apply a finish or paint to protect the wood and give the crate a polished look.

Step 8: Line And Pack The Crate

  • Line the inside of the crate with packing material like foam, bubble wrap, or cushioning material.
  • Place your item(s) in the crate, ensuring they are well-padded and secured to prevent movement during transit.

Step 9: Seal The Crate

  • Close the crate and secure it with screws, nails, or bolts.
  • If shipping valuable or delicate items, you can add additional reinforcement, such as strapping or banding, for added security.

Step 10: Label The Crate

  • Clearly label the crate with essential shipping information, including the recipient’s address, your return address, and any handling instructions.

When your wooden crate is finished and packed, it is ready to be shipped. To guarantee the safe arrival of your goods, you must hire a reliable shipping service that has experience with wooden crates.

What Wood Should I Use To Make A Shipping Crate?

To guarantee the crate’s strength, durability, and safety for the things being delivered, it’s important to use the proper type of wood when constructing the box. In general, shipping crates are made from the following types of wood:

  • Plywood: Plywood is a popular choice for shipping crates due to its strength and durability. It consists of thin layers of wood (plys) glued together, which provides stability and resistance to warping. Plywood comes in various grades, with higher grades offering better quality and durability.
  • OSB (Oriented Strand Board): OSB is another engineered wood product that can be used for crate construction. It’s made from wood strands compressed and glued together. OSB is cost-effective and can provide good strength for shipping crates.
  • Softwood: Softwoods like pine, cedar, and fir are commonly used for shipping crates. They are readily available and relatively inexpensive. However, they are less durable than hardwoods and may require additional reinforcement.
  • Hardwood: Hardwood species like oak, maple, and birch are more durable and resistant to damage than softwoods. They are a good choice if you need a high-quality, long-lasting crate. Hardwoods are often chosen for shipping valuable or delicate items.
  • Engineered Lumber: Engineered lumber products like LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) and LSL (Laminated Strand Lumber) can be used for extra-strong crates. These materials are made by bonding thin wood veneers or strands together with adhesives, resulting in excellent strength and stability.

The budget, the weight and fragility of the contents being shipped, the expected distance of the crate’s journey, and your personal preference are all things to think about when choosing the wood for your shipping crate. If you need to create something particularly heavy or fragile, it’s best to choose a thicker, harder wood or possibly a combination of wood types.

In addition, if you plan on shipping worldwide, you must choose wood that satisfies all applicable international shipping laws. To limit the spread of pests and diseases, certain nations have strict regulations on using wood in packaging.

Finally, if you are confused as to which wood is ideal for your shipping needs, you should seek the advice of an expert or your shipping provider to verify that you are in full compliance with all applicable regulations.


Constructing a shipping crate out of wood is an efficient and trustworthy method for preserving the condition of your belongings while they are en route. It is crucial to ensure the longevity of the crate as well as the protection of your items by selecting the appropriate type of wood to use and following the appropriate building techniques. Your decision about the type of lumber to use—plywood, softwood, hardwood, or engineered—should take into account not only the weight and fragility of the objects you are shipping but also the distance they will travel and any applicable international shipping regulations.

Create a one-of-a-kind shipping solution tailored to your particular requirements by meticulously planning, measuring, and assembling the box; fortifying the corners; adding handles; and correctly lining and labelling the crate. Always keep in mind that you should seek the advice of professionals or your shipping provider whenever you need direction, and this is especially important when shipping precious or fragile items or when dealing with international shipping rules.

Whether you are shipping products for personal or commercial reasons, constructing a solid wooden crate not only helps to ensure that your belongings remain secure during transit but also makes the entire process more efficient and less stressful for you.

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