Crates are containers that are designed specifically for packing and transporting various goods. The size, design, and composition of a packing case can vary widely, depending on what it was designed for, and such cases are often designed to be used over and over again for greater efficiency. In addition to being used for the packaging and transportation of commercial materials, packing cases can also be useful for people, and some people even use antique chests as decorative objects around the home and businesses.
The goal of a designer packing case is to create a case that is as light as possible, to reduce shipping costs, while also being robust enough to protect the goods transported inside, so that they are not damaged. The designers are also concerned about stackability, as they want crates that are easy to manage and reconfigure inside a truck or transportation container. Many packaging cases today have been designed to snap together on shipping pallets for greater efficiency.
A wide variety of materials can be designed to fit crates, ranging from packing peanuts to cushioning bumps from special racks for transporting delicate fruit, such as peaches. A packing case can be lined with paper, foam, rubber, wood chips, plastics, and other materials to protect the contents inside, and in some cases molded racks are installed inside crates to hold things particularly stable in transit.
Historically, the packaging cases were made of wood, and were often decorated with advertising and the manufacturer’s logo. Fruit crates in particular were actually quite beautiful, as well as being functional, and some very excellent collections of labels from fruit crates were published in coffee table books, for people who appreciate art advertising. Modern cases tend to be more utilitarian, and can be made of plastic or metal, rather than wood, as these materials are more durable.
People who want to use crates for storage, transportation, or decoration can often find them in supermarkets and large retail stores. In some cases, the store may be required to send those cases to the manufacturer, so it’s a good idea to ask for permission before packing crates. Vintage cases from past eras can often be collected from thrift stores, garage sales and antique shops.