What's the Difference Between a Box and a Crate?

When individuals are deciding what sort of packaging they require for transit or distribution, this is the question that always comes up.

This is a challenging question to answer, believe it or not. But we'll give it a shot because it will allow us to discuss some of the key considerations to make when deciding what type of packaging would best fit your needs.


  • Crate: A crate is a huge box that is used to store or transport items.
  • Box: A box is a space or container with a hinged lid.

The two terms are eerily similar. A wood crate box is generally a box, but a box is not always a crate; a crate is usually a box, but a box is not always a crate. Many people believe that a box must always be constructed of cardboard, although this is not always the case.

Many crates and boxes are constructed of cardboard, but they can also be made of wood or plastic. We may also presume that crates contain "cleats" (dimensional timber, such as 14's, fastened to plywood panels) and are assembled with nails or screws, whereas boxes could be constructed using adhesive or folds. But we’re telling you again that this is a misconception.

Getting particular

So, if "box" and "crate" aren't meaningful identifiers, what differences should be considered when selecting the appropriate packing for the job?

We might begin to identify phrases that meet our demands after we become more particular about the type of packaging we want.

Here are some useful terms that can assist you in determining the type of container that will best suit your needs.

  • Collapsible: It is significantly easier to store when the crate or box is collapsible. Most standard cardboard boxes are collapsible, but if you're designing wood storage crates, extra thought must be given to collapsing and then reassembling the container. The ability to store a container quickly can make it far more helpful in some situations. A foldable box made of cleated crates using Klimp-type fasteners instead of nails or screws is a great option.
  • Hinged: The top of a hinged container is attached to the container by a hinge. This simplifies some packing operations and makes it simple to open and close frequently.
  • Reusable: A reusable wood crate box may be used again and again while maintaining its integrity. If a large number of journeys are required, the additional costs of manufacturing a reusable container will surpass the price of building new containers.
  • Mil Spec: A Mil Spec container is one that meets the requirements of the United States military. Mil Spec requirements must be followed by any container for items supplied to the Department of Defense.
  • Export: Export containers may easily be transported across national borders. It signifies that the materials used to construct the container or crate have been treated to eliminate pests that might create difficulties when sent to other countries. Export containers are given a "bug stamp" to prove that they are compliant with ISPM-15 requirements and may transit international borders.
  • Stackable: It's crucial to examine how the containers will be kept and moved, as well as their overall footprint. Making containers stackable can help you avoid major headaches in the future when you need to transfer a large number of containers at once. When stacking wooden crates, it's common to also palletize them, which should be taken into account when requesting or designing containers.

These are just a few of the crucial factors to consider when choosing the type of packaging that is ideal for your needs.

If you have a special requirement for wood storage crates, please contact us and we'll be happy to provide packing options that completely meet your requirements.