New call-to-action

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Shipping Crate Company

So you’re in the market for a new shipping crate company and being proactive this time around is top priority. Valley Box agrees that this is a smart approach and fortunately, there is an easy way to stay several steps ahead. Before jumping into business with a new packaging provider, you’ll need to ask questions. Knowing the answers to some of the most critical ones will help your business foresee problems before they start.

mountain of crates


Q1. How long have you been in business?

The shipping crate company’s years in business will help you understand the depth of its understanding and involvement in the industry. Be wary of company's boasting a "combined" knowledge, often times they add up all the years of experience between the staff members. Instead ask when the company was founded, if a packaging company can say it has been in the industry for decades, you’re off to a great start!

Answer: Valley Box has specialized in custom shipping crate manufacturing industrial grade  for over-sized and delicate items since 1964. That’s more than 50 years of experience!


Q2. Can you send me a Capability Statement?

A capability statement should define precisely what the company is offering, what problems they can solve, and what benefits they bring to a prospective client. Get the shipping crate company's official capabilities to keep on file for future bids.

Answer: Valley Box’s Capability Statement is available for download from the Valley Box website. Download Valley Box’s Capabilities Statement now!

shipping crate capabilities statement

Q3. What’s your range of shipping crate manufacturing?

The answer to this question will help you to gauge the shipping crate provider’s capabilities. Do they specialize in one type of packaging, for instance, die cut corrugated or heavy duty wooden crates? Can they source a broader range of products at wholesale prices?

Answer: Valley Box offers packaging manufacturing of wooden boxes, reusable wood crates , trade show boxes, steel material handling equipment and barrier bags


Q4. Do you provide free quotes?

Most companies who offer shipping crate manufacturing should be able to provide you with a free quote to package your product. 

Answer: Valley Box's trained crating experts will conduct a complete assessment of customer's products then highly experienced packaging engineers develop cost-effective solutions. All of this is done free of charge. Check out Valley Box's Service Area

on site crew

Q5. Can you meet my deadline?

This question will help you determine if the packaging company can deliver on time. Obviously at this point it’s just promises and the company may say they "can meet your deadline" but then fall short.

However, asking for a commitment up front for timely deliveries will communicate to the vendor that you'll be evaluating their delivery performance. If they don’t meet your deadlines, it’s up to you if you want to give them another shot or try another vendor.

Answer: Valley Box utilizes Just In Time (JIT) deliveries, which is a practice that is used in many industries to assure that production is not interrupted by shortages. Unexpected shortages can lead to a halt in your production line, delivery delays, cost overruns and dissatisfied end users.

crates on forklift

Q6. How long is your lead time?

Knowing the shipping crate provider’s lead time can help you to calculate the latest possible moment you can submit a purchase order and get your packaging in time to meet your shipping deadlines.

Answer: Valley Box's lead time varies from 1-5 days depending on the project. Complex projects may require more lead time.

wood crate on pallet jack

Q7. What can I expect from your customer service?

Knowing what to expect from the shipping crate company’s customer service team will help you to manage your expectations while embarking on this new vendor relationship. Will you have one point of contact within the packaging company? Do they perform on-site measuring and pack jobs? Will you receive order confirmations and billing notices?

Answer: Valley Box feels that customer service is an attitude, not a department. In order to accomplish this, trained packaging consultants take the time necessary to understand fully each client’s packaging needs. Crating Experts will visit their customer's work site, take precise product measurements, gain an understanding of the production and distribution line, learn about the capabilities of all end users, and obtain a clear understanding of all special requests. Then Valley Box packaging engineers develop a packaging system that will maximize cost-effectiveness, meet all storage and shipping requirements, reduce waste, and improve operational efficiency.


Q8. What’s your guarantee?

This question will help you to determine if the packaging company is willing to stand behind their packaging design and construction.

Answer: Valley Box guarantees its products to be built in accordance with customer’s product specifications and industry standards of practice. Valley Box will provide the packaging and/or services set forth in the quote provided and accepted by the customer. Customers have the opportunity to review and inspect the crates, packaging materials, design, and methods used and warrant that such materials and procedures meet their requirements and specifications.

Download a copy of the Valley Box Guarantee.

Shipping crate company guarantee

Q9. Which certifications do you have?

Some customer contracts dictate that vendors must have certain certifications. Packaging manufacturers should be able to quickly tell you what certifications they have.

Answer: Valley Box believes an important part of any company’s success is the ability to meet or exceed customer expectations, which is why they associate with the following certifications:

  • Registered ITAR Compliant
  • AWS D1.1 Certified Welding
  • SBA Self Certified
  • Veteran Owned Business

Q10. Do you carry eco-friendly products?

If becoming more "green" is in the cards for your company, then you may need to assess your eco-future with your new packaging vendor. Ask them if they have current eco-friendly products. If not, ask them about their plans to incorporate green products in the near future.

Answer: From Valley Box’s engineered designs to their packaging manufacturing and management services, we make efforts to bring customers sustainable value in at least 10 distinct ways.


Topics: Tips

Alicia Guillette

Written by Alicia Guillette

Alicia Guillette, is now the third generation of family involved at Valley Box Company. Starting in 2006, she has taken Valley Box into the digital age by developing a new web presence, implementing enterprise resource management tools and expanding the product line to include material handling equipment.