Plastic Crates

What is a Plastic Crate?

Crates or Plastic Containers are used for moving or transporting goods from point A to point B. They are also used for storage. The basic material is plastic; it gives its distinctive character as durability. They are more expensive than wooden or carton crates due to their durability compared to other crates.

Why choose Plastic Crates from Dreymar Industrial?

We help you organise your space during transport whilst saving you time and money with one of the strongest Plastic Crates in South Africa.

Whatever type of items you are looking to store and/or transport, our range of plastic crates will provide you with a light-duty, reliable and economic solution.

How are Plastic Crates Made?

Plastic crates are mostly made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) or polypropylene (PP). Polyethylene has a higher impact strength and a very low degradation by ultraviolet radiation, while polypropylene has a better scratch resistance. To improve the performance of both materials, the addition of antioxidants and UV protectants.

The type of plastic forming process used depends on the form of the plastic crate. Each type of plastic crate has its distinct shape and design that suits one type of fabrication process better than the others. Below are some of the common methods for producing plastic crates.

Injection Molding

Injection molding is a plastic forming process that involves injecting molten plastic raw materials into a closed chamber or mold. This process has three main processes:

  • Grinding and heating the plastic until it flows under pressure.
  • Injecting the plastic inside the mold and allowing it to cool.
  • Opening the mold to eject the plastic container.

A reciprocating screw type extruder is used mainly in the industry for plastic making for mixture; there is repeated mixing and kneading of the screw type extruder. When the plastic (raw materials) is ready to be injected, as the screw moves, it pushes the plastic out of the extruder and into the mold.

To make the shape required by the customer, there is a mold designed with specifics that contains a certain shape. Normally it contains two parts or halves with similar features. One does have the ability to move or it remains still while the other part of the mold can move. After molding, the other half can move thus to release the product from the mold in undemented form. The mold contains several or multiple openings or channels. These are used to introduce the plastic into the mold, vent air, and permit some plastic to flow out of the mold.

Injection molding has restricted production when it comes to the production of one sided containers or crates. Tubs, pails, cups, food containers, and bowls are examples. By itself, injection molding is not suited for producing closed, hollow products such as plastic bottles that is why it is suited for the production of open crates. To produce these products, an inert gas is used. This is used because it will eliminate reactions that can incur in the mold when the process is in motion. This is introduced into the mold partially filled with molten plastic. This pushes the plastic onto the surface of the mold producing a hollow part. This process is called gas-assisted injection molding.

Design of Plastic Crates

Designing crates can be in two configurations, the open and closed configurations. Closed plastic crates are designed with detachable or hinged lids, while open crates are designed without lids and can feature a grid pattern for clear visibility of the contents contained. There is high demand for plastic crates from the delivery industries and food services. Most food stuffs such as dairy products, bread, beverages, meats, seafood, and other food items are transported in plastic food crates.

Plastic crates are often found in general storage in places such as warehousing facilities to organize, store, and transport goods. They are made with handles for easy lifting and handling and are designed so that they can be stacked or nested for easy storage and maximize storage in warehouses. There are different shapes, sizes, and colors of the plastic materials used to make crates. They are made to withstand different temperatures, other loaded and stacked crate weights, and impacts.

Plastic crates are manufactured using a process called plastic injection molding. An injection mold is a machine that uses a raw plastic product or stock and processes it into a usable product. The plastic injection molders start with a stock collection in a hopper that is moved directly into a conveyance channel. A screw will turn according to the conveyance channel, coupled with heating, which helps to liquefy the plastic in preparation for the mold.

A mold is a container that has a shaped cavity that, when filled with liquefied plastic raw materials, gives the plastic its shape when cooled. Under strict and regulated temperature control measures, the newly molded plastic will be allowed to cool and harden. Once hardened, the product or crate is cleansed of imperfections if present using other processes. It is then shipped or sent to additional processing.

Every mold can be designed in such a way that imprinting the customer or molding company's name into the finished product is possible; the mold needs only to be designed with projecting letters positioned appropriately. In many cases, the stock used or the raw material for plastic crate production is made of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which is a thermoplastic known for its durability.

Orientation of Plastic Crates

Collapsible Plastic Crates

These are the most expensive crates to purchase followed by stack-nest plastic crates and then the stacking crates.

Our sales team at Dreymar Industrial will work with you to ensure that we are quoting on the correct product for your intended application. 

Our bread crates do not come with a built in lid, but a lid can be purchaed separately.

Stacking Crates

They are designed as square and they contain rounded corners, an efficient use of available space is possible as they can be stacked one on top of the other. Depending on the size of the crate, the loss of loading space compared with loose break bulk is much better than stacking. Although stacking crates have a rigid design, some space during the return trip can be obtained by putting one crate inside two others and overlapping crates during stacking. Some space gaps in the crate's rim are needed, making transportation after delivery also easier.

Stack-Nest Crates

The stack-nest crates can be found with a lid/cover and be stacked at 180°.

180° Stack-Nest Crate

The box can be stacked and nested in 180 degrees turn position by making supports at multiple places inside the box. Extra space is required for these supports. A collapsible crate consists of a base with sides attached to it by means of plastic or metal hinges.

Types of Crates

Regular Plastic Crates

These are used for all kinds of basic storage conditions. They are accessible in many various shapes, colors, and sizes. These include plastic crates for grocery distribution. They help by protecting fragile and delicate products such as produce. The use of these crates brings smooth, protective handling, excellent ventilation and good stability. In the grocery industry, there are what are called returnable plastic crates which are folding for inbound trips and rigid for outbound trips used to transport all types of produce between growers and supermarkets around the world. These plastic crates have one common footprint and six different stack heights conforming to the different produce and can be mixed on pallets to make the unit loads more stable and efficient.

Ventilated Plastic Crates

These are normally used for the purpose of storage of food items and vegetables. They are accessible in a fully ventilated and nestable design. These include plastic crates used in the dairy industry. They are made from a material called polythene which is strong and resilient. There are also plastic crates that are custom made, that can be made use of from the beginning to the final stage of the process of handling the materials. They can be used for farmers to the display on the shelves of the supermarkets and then to the customer and therefore finally their kitchen. 

Dairy plastic crates are strong to handle the process entailed by the handling and shipping of dairy products. These plastic crates are capable of holding automated stacking equipment, sterilization and big temperature changes, high pressure washing. This makes plastic crates better than wooden or cardboard crates that are sensitive to washing, temperature changes and cannot be incorporated into the processing line.

Closed Plastic Crates

These are high-quality closed crates that can be made in various sizes and shapes. Generally, they are used for all types of storage, including fish in the fishing industry and other food items. These include plastic crates for the fishing industry. The plastic crates are used in the transfer of the catch to the company's holding tank, where they are processed. Seafood processors and wholesalers mostly use these crates.

These plastic crates are better than wooden ones in the fish industry because their handling is much easier. Plastic crates support careful handling due to their smooth surface, unlike the nails and splinters found in wooden crates. Their opening is also easier as well as their closing than wooden crates that have craftsmanship that is not accurate.

6040 Plastic Crates

These crates are designed and made for multiple purposes in 600L and 400 W dimensions.

Jumbo Plastic Crates

These are big-sized crates which are mainly utilized in the storage and transportation of large items.

Plastic Crates vs. Wooden Crates

Plastic crates can be compared and contrasted to wooden crates in the following aspects:

Plastic Crate Safety

The handling of plastic crates is safer than that of wooden crates because of their design, low weight, and smooth finishing. The weight of plastic crates is significantly lower than that of wooden crates. The back injuries associated with the worker are reduced through the use of plastic crates

Space Savings

Plastic crates save space relatively to wooden crates and because of that, they reduce the shipping and storage costs. Plastic crates can be easily stacked on the top of each other to save storage space.

Ease of Use

Plastic crates are uniform, have a variety of designs, and have ease of maneuverability, therefore are easier to handle. 

Crate Versatility

Plastic crates have a higher versatility than that of wooden crates. They can be used in warm and cold conditions from -22 °C to +60 °C without any damage, unlike wooden crates that can easily damage by even mild temperature changes. Plastic crates have a UV rate that is very high.

Ease of Cleaning

Plastic crates are easy to clean and therefore much more hygienic than wooden crates. Their hygienic properties are of importance in agriculture, pharmaceutical industries and food industries. Plastic crates are easy to clean with steam or water or solvents while on the other hand, wooden crates get damaged when they come into contact with steam and water or solvents.

Application of Plastic Crates

Dairy Industry

In the dairy industry, milk crates serve an extremely important means to supply milk cans and packets across cities and towns. They are also important and efficient in shipping milk across long distances, holding them firmly and avoiding spillage. While compared to wooden and cardboard crates used in the prior years, plastic crates have now become an increasingly gained market due to their lightweight and resilient structures. Typically made of polyethylene (PE), plastic milk crates are resistant to repeated washing and ensure more hygiene in the supply process.

Agriculture Uses

Plastic crates are important and play a very important role in the agriculture industry, facilitating a hygienic and efficient transportation process. These are suitable alternatives to the other ones such as traditional wooden and cardboard counterparts as plastic crates resist the growth of fungi within them. As a result, plastic bins and crates are gaining popularity in the market and are chosen for the transport of agricultural produce, soil, and seeds on a large scale. Moreover, plastic crates are also resistant to extreme weather conditions, which aids in the secure transportation of perishable agricultural products in the industry. The nature of the products to be transported in the agro-industry requires extra care to be taken in terms of hygiene and proper maintenance. Plastic allows for increased efficiency as an element in the supply and transportation of such products.

Fishing Industry

Fisheries utilize plastic crates and also plastic fish tubs and ice boxes to prevent fish perishing while being transported. As a poor conductor of heat and resistant to rain, heat, and other harsh weather conditions, closed plastic crates protect the ice within the crates and containers from melting and ensure that the fish stored within remains fresh even after being transported across long distances. Moreover, cleaning plastic crates can also be done for the purposes of hygiene. This can be more easily done compared to crates made from other materials. Thus, even in case of spillage, these may be cleaned more easily and hygienically maintained. In this industry rust is not allowed, therefore plastic containers are more suitable when storing and transporting fish.

Vegetables and Fruits

Transporting fruits and vegetables across long distances requires special care and hygiene to be practiced as these are perishable and easily affected by harsh weather conditions. Plastic crates are popular options for transporting such goods, because they are compact and resist external deterrents. A variety of fruits and vegetables are transported everyday, in plastic crates, from one place to another. In fruit and vegetable transportation, the storage of these crates may be done in in-built systems of pallet storage, before they are further transported to the markets.

Grocery Stores Uses

Another major domain that utilizes plastic crates is the grocery industry. They utilize plastic crates in the storage and transportation of grocery items and also aid customers to carry them easily around within supermarkets. These crates may be used to carry packaged grocery items that need to be supplied to the markets efficiently. The ease of transportation of even bulky grocery items is ensured by the plastic crates’ durability and resilience of these crates.

Benefits of Plastic Crates

  • They are strong, rigid crates that can be used for many journeys, making the cost per journey relatively low.
  • Different sizes and shapes can be made available according to the customer’s specifications. 
  • The plastic crates are easy to clean and to disinfect after use.
  • Plastic crates are strong and have good weather resistance. (This enables the crates to be used in humid areas and during hydro-cooling).

Conclusion

Plastic crates are containers used for moving or transporting goods from one point to the other. Plastic crates are found in a variety of configurations including collapsible plastic crates, stack nest plastic crates, etc. Due to their different configurations, each plastic crate has its own unique suitable application, for example the stack crate with cover can be sealed, preventing pilferage of produce. Therefore it is most suitable for use in the food industry where the food needs to be kept clean and safe. Plastic crates also offer many advantages such as being strong, rigid, and easy to clean. They also have disadvantages of damaging the produce with their rough surface. Therefore it is wise to consider the configuration and properties of the plastic material used when opting for a plastic crate.

 

Which types of Plastic Crates do we supply?

We supply a wide range of plastic cratess:

What areas do we deliver our Plastic Crates to?

We supply and deliver plastic crates throughout South Africa. 

Our main service areas include (but are not limited to):

Gauteng (All Areas), Western Cape (All Areas), Kwazulu-Natal (All Areas), Nelspruit, Limpopo, Bloemfontein, Rustenburg, East London, Port Elizabeth.

We aim to supply plastic crates that will cater to your storage and transportation needs.

At Dreymar Industrial, our dedicated and experienced team will take the time to understand your goals and asses your needs. 

Our sales team is on hand to help you find the right crate solution for your intended application.

Please contact us for further assistance.