Guide

Wood packaging

Using a freight forwarder for wood packaging services

A freight forwarder or packing service can help you to comply with the requirements for wood packaging. Read more about using brokers and forwarders.

Freight forwarding services

A freight forwarder may offer wood packaging services, such as:

  • packaging your goods onto pallets
  • packaging your goods into crates
  • making and packing crates to order

They can take care of all the wood packaging requirements for you. You may want to take the availability of wood packaging services into account when choosing a freight forwarder. You must make sure that your chosen freight forwarder is regulation compliant. You can find a list of British International Freight Association packers or find a directory of packers who are actively registered as compliant with International Standards of Phytosanitary Measures (ISMP)15.

As well as arranging the transport of your goods - whether by air, sea, rail or road - and packaging services, freight forwarders frequently provide other services in areas such as:

  • customs clearance
  • export documentation
  • insurance
  • distribution
  • warehousing
  • other supply-chain services

Most forwarders will manage specific parts of the process for you - only a few companies offer to oversee the entire transport process. Many transport and logistics operators also offer freight-forwarding services.

Packing services

You can also find others who offer a packing service independently of freight forwarding. Therefore, whether or not you use a freight forwarder, you may also want to consider using a packing service.

Alternatives to wood packaging

Your choice of freight forwarder and method of transportation may influence the choice of packaging although, generally speaking, your choice of packing will be largely influenced by the type and volume of goods that you're shipping.

Although it can be tempting to try to avoid wood packaging altogether, there are practical reasons why wooden pallets and crates are so widely used. They are:

  • convenient - they can be handled easily by standard warehousing equipment such as forklift trucks
  • environmentally friendly - trees planted for wood packaging timber absorb immense quantities of CO2
  • flexible - it's relatively easy to build timber packaging to the perfect size and performance required
  • cost-effective - timber is far cheaper than other packaging materials
  • safe - timber pallets perform better than plastic in a fire
  • reusable - timber pallets generally last for eight trips and can then be repaired to extend their life
  • recyclable - timber pallets can be recycled to repair other pallets or for chipboard, animal bedding, fuel, garden chips and mulch

Read more about how to save money by reducing, reusing and recycling waste.