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Are You Still Building Crates In-House?


When it comes to buying vs. building crates in-house most manufacturers would prefer to buy packaging such as plywood and wood crates from a supplier. This way, that manufacturer can use the time and energy that would have been expended building wood crates on their core business—manufacturing! While most manufactures opt for buying packaging and crates from a supplier, some manufacturing companies still choose to build the packaging they need in-house.

If your company is a member of this dwindling group, before you begin building, there are a few points to consider that might make you rethink your decision.

Consider All Costs

Today’s packaging and shipping industry is wildly competitive. This means, finding packaging such as wood crates at an affordable price is actually pretty easy. Companies want your business, so they are willing to negotiate in order to land your account. This equals competitive rates and even possible discounts. Not so much with building your own crates. If you choose to build in-house you will have to:

  • Pay wages for the time and labor involved in building the crates
  • Pay administrative staff to help manage everything from sourcing and purchasing materials to controlling inventory
  • Pay for materials
  • Pay to have waste materials picked up by an outside company

Think About Time and Space

Your core business should be your priority. When you decide to build packaging in-house, you are ultimately taking time away from your core business activity, which could slow production and profits! Ask yourself, could these employees be better utilized in other more important areas of my business?

Just think, building crates doesn’t begin with the manual labor involved—it starts with brainstorming sessions to come up with ideas, then drawing and designing the packaging, cutting sheets, and more. The process is lengthy—do you really have time for this? And more importantly, do you have the space for to do the job right?

Space Considerations

When you decide to build your own packaging/wood boxes in-house, you will need ample space to store supplies, materials, and of course, the actual crates. Not only will this take up space, but you will also end up spending precious capital should you come to the conclusion that you do cannot afford to lose that space long-term. In this case, you will have to pay to store your inventory off-site.

One last thing to consider about space: it takes a large amount of space to build your own packaging in-house. Could the space you are using for this be used to focus more intently on your core business activities? Could that space help boost production, which could ultimately boost your bottom line?

Quality, Safety, Workmanship: How Does Your Crew Measure Up?

Not everyone can build and build well. Is crate building and manufacturing one of your specialties? If not, the quality of your crates might not measure up to the quality of a professional builder. This means that not only might the appearance look a little shabby, but the durability may be on the low end. In this case, your shipment could sustain damages which will result in repair work (cha-ching), reshipment and/or replacement of the contents of the shipment (cha-ching), and/or possible legal action (double cha-ching!).


In the end, most manufacturers choose to stick to what they do best and leave the crate building to the professionals. This way, the quality and profitability of their core business remains intact, while the quality of their packaging is never compromised.

Topics: Wood

Valley Box Company

Written by Valley Box Company

Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden crate. This specialty crating manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugated, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty crating to the next level.