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The Hidden Costs of Building Crates and Pallets In-house

Smart purchasing for any business involves determining which tasks are best done in-house and which can be built more efficiently by others.

When it comes to crating cargo or procuring pallets for transport, building in-house is not as wise as it might seem—in fact, the decision is often riddled with oversights and in many cases, it costs the business more than the price they set out to avoid.

As CW Crates & Pallets works with area industries, they hear a variety of reasons on why businesses choose to build in-house. Turn around time, minimum quantity requirements, keeping workers busy during slow periods, not knowing anyone in town that specializes in building crates, and the expectation of saving money all play into the decision to build pallets and crates in-house.

CW specializes in servicing Electronics Companies, Aerospace, Machine Shops, Specialty Manufacturing, Military Suppliers, etc., and buyers looking for a partner that they can trust to procure the best designed pallets and crates for the given job at hand. Their streamlined processes set them up to tackle rush jobs with accuracy and speed. They also have no minimum order requirements. No job is too big, and no job is too small. As for the potential savings, let’s break down what it takes to manufacture pallets and crates.


Lumber costs are typically much less expensive for medium to large size pallet manufacturers as they purchase pallet grade lumber directly from lumber mills. Once the shopping around for lumber and other hardware is done, transport (often with multiple stops), loading and unloading, and standing in retail lines is factored in, the deception of savings is starting to be realized.


Even the simplest pallet and crate design takes time to design, and it may or may not account for the most efficient use of supplies. Design aside, we get into the build labor which starts with cutting the lumber into appropriate sizes. CW has narrowed their cut and build times to not only keep up with the demand of orders, but to pass savings on to their customers.

Laborers who are inexperienced in building crates and pallets will cost employers time on the clock, management to oversee their process, and the likelihood of mistakes. Employees with higher skill-sets might require less overseeing, but the higher wage that comes with the higher skill-set will need to be factored in as well as the loss of their usual production.


Rarely thought of costs include the driver getting a huge ticket for the being over the legal weight limit (lumber is heavy!), an inexperienced pallet assembler nailing himself in the finger (a cost of several thousand dollars even if no bones were hit), the sawyer who cuts off his or her finger (costing tens of thousands), and the resulting L&I rate increases. There are also disposal expenses (lumber waste and misbuilt pallets), and we haven’t even touched on the risk of a poor crate or pallet design that contributes to damage in shipping, returns and upset clients. Lastly, if the given company does not realize pallets and crates being shipping out of the country need to be ISPM 15 Certified, building them in-house or scavenging could end up causing offshore shipments to be returned at the owner's expense or worse.

CW Crates & Pallets’ shop is staffed with pallet and crating specialists. They work in a safe and seamless process, have the right equipment, are ISPM certified, and are covered in the case of injury. Quality craftsmanship and an easy ordering process also bring value to CW's custom crates and pallets. You can consult with CW at any stage of the process. Their dedicated staff is happy to work with buyers on their short and long term pallet, transport, and crating needs.

To schedule a consultation, click here.

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