When people think of crating and shipping services, the image that often comes to mind is an item being put into a simple, rectangular wood box with some packing peanuts or moving blankets being thrown in to provide a little cushioning. They also tend to envision common items like furniture, office equipment, etc. being the focus of the move.
At Craters & Freighters, we do handle those types of items, and in some cases, simple, rectangular wood boxes are the ideal container. But we also handle some very unique, often valuable and sometimes strange items, too!
As happy as we are to handle any type of shipment, we certainly enjoy the change of pace and the challenge that comes with unique, one-off projects. In fact, that’s why we describe ourselves as experts in specialty crating, packaging and shipping services. We’re eager to take on jobs that other companies are reluctant to handle.
Our packaging engineers and operations teams love to hear someone say, “We’ve got an interesting project coming up!” Non-standard projects put their skills to the test, and they feel great when they pass the test with flying colors!
So, what interesting and unusual items have we handled? Read on for details.
Specialty Crating, Packaging and Shipping Challenge Accepted!
The teams at our 65+ brick-and-mortar locations never know what will come in the door or be waiting for them when they arrive to do crating at a customer site. For example, we have photos of one of our team members standing beside a life-sized statue of the legendary and elusive bigfoot! Its very lifelike appearance was more than a little unnerving. When you see the photos, you can easily envision the creature reaching out to tap our team member on the shoulder!
From the odd to the expensive, we’ve shipped many types of vintage vehicles. In one project, we assisted in the moving of two rare Ferraris—a Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta, and a Ferrari 375 MM Spider. Our teams designed and crafted what were essentially portable garages, with a strong wood base and sides, and a customized blocking and bracing strategy that immobilized the cars during their journey.
It was worth the effort, though, to ensure that these priceless vehicles would get to their destination in as-shipped condition.
Crating and Shipping Items Big and Small
Sometimes simply maneuvering an item is a problem that needs to be solved before it can be crated and shipped. That was the case with a project for a metal fabrication company in Kansas City that produced a huge work of art for a customer in Hawaii. The four-piece jigsaw puzzle was crafted from stainless steel, with the thick, odd-shaped pieces averaging roughly 15’ x 15’.
The pieces were so massive that the local Craters & Freighters location had to rent offsite warehouse space with an oversized door that would accommodate the enormous crates. Then, developing supports for “floating” each piece within its crate and determining the ideal way to tie the pieces down was an interesting challenge!
Of course, items don’t have to be large or oddly shaped to require special attention. In some cases, an item is an irreplaceable one-of-a-kind piece. Such was the case with some sports memorabilia featuring photos and autographs from baseball legends including Honus Wagner, Jackie Robinson, and Roberto Clemente that a Craters & Freighters team picked up from an auction house in Columbus, OH.
And when an item will be taken on a long, overseas journey, that adds to the complexity of the crating, packaging and shipping services provided. For example, we once were tasked with getting a drum set belonging to rocker Ozzy Osbourne from the U.S. to Germany. While the music fans on our team may have been wowed by what they were handling, it didn’t keep them from staying focused on their work and ensuring the kit was properly protected.
Everyday Items to High-Tech Assets
It’s not every specialty crating, packaging and shipping company that can say they’ve successfully shipped a solenoid for an International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Craters & Freighters can!
Our team helped move a huge component of what will be the world’s most powerful magnet from California to France so that it can be used in a fusion energy project. Each of the seven units is constructed as a nine-sided polygon, measures 16’ x 16’ x 8’ and weighs 240 tons. We used scrim foil barrier bags, heat shrink wrap, and custom panels that attached to the upper and lower shipping unit to prepare the unit for its journey.
What’s Next for Our Specialty Crating and Shipping Experts?
It might be a stretch to say “there’s nothing we can’t ship.” But if we can’t ship a particular item, it’s safe to say that no other company like ours can. And, while we’ve helped transport some truly remarkable items and love to tell the stories, we’re not “resting on our laurels,” so to speak.
Our teams are continually coming up with new and innovative ways to make the transporting of assets easier, safer, and more efficient. That includes gaining insights from, and expanding on the successes of, our locations throughout the U.S. It also involves finding better ways to collaborate with our network of contacts in countries around the world.
So, if you look at an asset of yours and say, “I don’t think it can be shipped,” you should contact your local Craters & Freighters location before you write the project off. We’re always happy to talk about a client’s needs and the obstacles to meeting those needs. In the vast majority of cases, we can leverage our extensive experience and resources to find a way to get an item safely from its point of origin to its destination.
And maybe someday your complicated crating and shipping project will, with your permission, be profiled in a blog post or our Photo Gallery—along with the aircraft, industrial equipment, appliances, statues, stained-glass windows, and gargantuan spiders you see in there today!