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CW Crates & Pallets Q&A 

CW crates & Pallets provides custom shipping solutions for a multitude of industries

Commonly Asked Crate & Pallet Questions

Q: What wood species are used to make pallets?

A: Wooden pallets can be made with either softwood or hardwood lumber. Species such as the Southern Pine are commonly used to make softwood pallets.  Oak, Elm, Maple, Ash, and Hickory–to name a few species–are used to make hardwood pallets.

Q: How do I know what pallet is right for me?

A: One pallet does not fit all applications.  We can help guide you on the selection process based on the information you provide about your organization and its shipping/logistics needs. It is important to consider, for example, load factors and equipment compatibility. 

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Q: How do I measure a pallet?

A: Start with the length of the pallet, which is the measure of the stringer or runner, and then add the width, which is the deck board.

Q: What are the most important factors to consider when buying pallets?

A: One pallet does not fit all applications. Before buying pallets from any provider, consider the following: shipping destination, weight of product, life expectancy of pallet, equipment compatibility, and your pallet management needs.

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Q: Are wooden pallets approved to transport food?

A: Yes. Just like pallets made of other materials, the FDA has approved the use of wooden pallets to transport food as long as they are designed and maintained in a way that makes them suitable and adequately cleanable, so the food they carry does not become unsafe during transportation.

Q: How can I prevent my wooden pallets from mold?

A: Know your supplier and make sure the wood they use is freshly sawn (if a supplier stores materials for too long, there is an increased risk of mold). At your facility, store pallets where they can dry and will not be rewetted. If you can treat your pallets with mild fungicides, do so. This will reduce the risk of mold.

Q: How can I make my pallets fire retardant and flame spread resistant?

A: Purchase fire retardant/pressure treated lumber and manufacture the pallets from this material. Or, apply a fire retardant coating to the pallet parts. 

Q: Does mold affect the strength or stiffness of pallets?

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A: No, mold is only a surface phenomenon and it does not cause any structural damage to a wood pallet. However, it could contaminate the products stacked on the the pallet; therefore, mold prevention is very important.

Q: How do I prevent the decay of wood pallets?

A: Eliminate moisture from the wood and poison the food source (possible with safe fungicides). If food contact is not an issue, construct a pallet with any of the salt or water-borne commercial pressure impregnated lumbers. These pressure-treated products are typically southern pine.

Q: Does the load carrying capacity of the pallet depend on the type of load?

A: Yes, the load carrying capacity of the pallet is highly correlated to the type of load that is being carried. The type of load can increase the load carrying capacity of the pallet as much as 60-70%. The rule of thumb is that if the pallet is less stiff, the stiffness of the load makes more of a difference than if the pallet itself is stiffer.

Q: What does ISPM15 stand for?

A: ISPM15 is the acronym for the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15. It is a set of guidelines for regulating wood packaging materials in the international community and during trade. The ISPM15 is one of several global standards for phytosanitary measures adopted by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), which is a part of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, and is part of an international treaty maintained to secure actions necessary to prevent the introduction and spread of pests and other organisms.

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Q: Is a ISPM15 stamp required on all export packaging?

A: The ISPM15 regulations require that wood packaging materials (except processed wood products) carry an ISPM15 stamp to certify that it’s been treated. The treatment applied to the wood could be either heat treatment (HT) or fumigation, and the ISPM15 stamp may be required on each individual piece of wood in the packaging or in the completed packaging unit.

Q: If I receive an ISPM-15 marked pallet or crate, can I re-use it for other international shipments?

A: Yes, you can, with some stipulations. You may not replace any of the wood that was used to construct the original pallet, crate, or other wood packaging unit. If you replace any of the original wood pieces, the IPPC marks must be obliterated (rendered illegible) and the wood packaging unit would have to be re-treated and re-marked to qualify for export use. If you’re going to re-use a previously ISPM-15 marked wood packaging unit, make sure the IPPC marks are legible and appear on at least two opposite sides of the unit.

Q: What additional Pallet and Crating Services do you offer?

A: CW Crates and Pallets offers a variety of additional Pallet and Crating services available to help better secure your product if necessary. CW Crates and Pallets can offer Foam Lined Bracing, Vacuum Sealing or Shrink Wrap, Onsite Custom Crating, Custom Cradling and Design and more!

Q: I need my pallets yesterday! Can CW satisfy my need for immediacy?

A: CW is staffed and equipped for expedited orders and has satisfied countless rush orders - some within 24 hours. For more information, send your expedited order request to or call 509-926-1033.

Q: Can I trust CW with my cargo? 

A: CW takes pride in the quality of their work and welcomes the challenge of hard-to-ship and fragile items. Their custom designs include shock pallets, pallet perimeters, and cradle crates. In addition to custom design, they offer vapor sealing, bracing, blocking, stenciling, foam lining and bubble wrap. To help ensure cargo is shipped according to standard, they can even include a Tip’n Tell.

Q: Can I afford to have my crates/pallets custom designed and built?

A: Perhaps the better question is Can you afford not to?.

When weighing the value of your cargo against any extra cost that might come with a custom designed crate or pallet, the answer is clear. Standard crates and pallets are readily available, and some cost less, but discerning customers know that the power of smart buying decisions do not lie in the cheapest price, but rather in a fairly priced product that can be relied on. You can request your quote Here!

Q: I'm not local to the Inland Northwest. Can CW still meet my crating and pallet needs?

A: CW serves many Midwest and West Coast regions with custom design and ready to order crates and pallets. They also service out of area auction buyers with pick-up and onsite services. For more information contact

Q: I have a massive quantity order that may require custom crates, can CW manage mass quantity?

A: CW has the capability to manage extremely large quantities of inventory to ship including the need for custom crating or pallets. CW will also incorporate our outsourcing system in case any additional assistance necessary. 

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