Pallets Vs Crates: Which Is Best for Your Machine Tool Transport?

pallets vs. crates

An item is seldom loaded as is onto a truck. Most carriers and linehaul shippers require placement on a pallet or skid or in a crate. This leads to the discussion of pallets vs crates. Which method is ideal for your next scheduled transport?


Crates are essentially wooden boxes. Manufacturers usually provide custom crates so they accommodate your machine tools perfectly without using excess space.

Compared to pallets, crates provide more protection since the machine tool is completely enclosed inside a wooden frame. One drawback, though, is that crates are heavier than pallets, which may add to the shipping cost. Fortunately, most crate manufacturers now offer corrugated crates, which are lighter in weight. Another option is a frame crate, which is exceptionally sturdy and intended for storing heavy objects.


Pallets are usually the go-to option by default. They are readily available, sturdy, and convenient. They are especially useful for transferring items in bulk. They are also easily transportable using a pallet jack or forklift. 

In place of pallets, some people opt to use skids instead. Skids are similar to pallets but lack the bottom deck. This makes them less mobile but allows them to serve as a good long-term base and foundation for heavy machinery.

Pallets Vs Crates at a Glance

If maximum safety of your equipment is priority, then go with a crate. If convenience and saving money is your concern, then you can’t go wrong with pallets.

Keep in mind that most truck load line haul services have regulations regarding how pallets and crates must be prepared.

We Help You Prepare Your Next Outbound Shipment

Contact Machine Transport to schedule your next freight transport. We connect you with a carrier best suited to your needs. Request a quote today. Study the differences between crates and pallets to determine which is most efficient for your shipment.

North American Machine Tool Transportation

Serving manufacturing industries throughout North America