The shipping industry has relied on wooden shipping containers for hundreds of years in transporting goods, but in recent years more and more kinds of shipping packaging have come out. One of them is cardboard. It certainly is a cheaper way to move items from one place to another, and for businesses that are constantly looking out for ways to save, using cardboard can sound attractive.

But is cardboard really better than a wooden shipping container in the long run?


Made out of corrugated paperkraft paper or fiberboard, cardboard shipping containers are becoming more and more popular for its cheap cost. Here are some more benefits of this packaging solution:

  1. It’s lightweight. Corrugated boxes weigh much less than wooden containers. A lighter weight means that you can save costs on freight costs.
  1. It’s accessible. Cardboard crates can easily be set up by one-man teams, allowing you to build more.
  1. It’s more environment-friendly.  You can build more cardboard boxes with one tree than you can with a wooden crate, and when thrown away, cardboard boxes will decompose faster than wood reducing landfill waste. 

Some disadvantages of cardboard are:

  1. It’s not weatherproof. Cardboard is essentially paper, and it will absorb water when exposed to the elements. 
  1. Not suitable for reuse. It’s more prone to wear and tear than a wooden shipping container and will be best suited for a one-time use only.
  1. It can’t bear heavy loads. Cardboard shipping containers can’t support heavy payloads and will distort quickly under stress.
  1. It offers little protection. Fragile items like paintings and equipment won’t be adequately protected from handling and transport damage. 


A wooden shipping container or crate is a box built to withstand harsh weather or transport conditions. The benefits of using one when transporting goods are numerous, but here are a few:

  1. It’s cost-effective. While wood is pricier than cardboard, due to wood’s durability, you can use these shipping containers over and over. 
  1. It’s quite easy to repair. A damaged wood container can be repaired and will be as good as new. You can’t do that with cardboard.
  1. Your goods will be well-protected. Because wood is a strong material, it can handle heavy loads and will protect goods from damage that the weather or rough handling can inflict.
  1. It’s reusable and recyclable. Once damaged beyond repair, wood containers can still be reused for DIY projects. They can also be shredded to be used as mulch. 
  1. It will save you storage space. Wood shipping containers can withstand a great deal of weight, so they can be stacked together saving you storage space.

As for the cons of wood, there are just a few:

  1. It will need treatment. The requirements for shipping using wood containers include heat treating it to remove moisture and kill pathogens.
  1. Wood crates require lifting equipment. Because finished wood containers can be heavy, lifting equipment such as forklifts and jacks are needed to move them around. 

Our Conclusion: Wood is Better!

With cardboard, you may be able to save some on initial cost. At the end of the day, though, you would have saved more and protected your goods better with wood’s re-usability and strength. 

Protect your shipment better with us. 

We at Anderson Pallet and Crate have 30 years of service under our belts. We know how to ship your product safely. Contact us to find out more about the benefits of wooden shipping containers over every other variety.