Crating and Protecting Your Cargo to Ship to Alaska

Before deciding to ship your supplies to Alaska and beyond, some items require extra special attention. To ensure your cargo gets to the destination unscathed, it’s important to package them appropriately and securely. For specialized items, Alaska Air Forwarding can produce crates or other packaging materials on a case-by-case basis.

Whether you’re sending building or shipping supplies, here are many ways to protect your shipment to Alaska:

Packaging Materials

Before crating, there are a variety of packaging materials needed to make sure items are safe. Beyond the traditional packaging items like bubble wrap and paper, here are other ways to package items for shipping in crates:

  • Wood wool: Also known as super moss, wood shavings are created to produce a light but sturdy packaging material for many items. Wood wool is recyclable as well.
  • Pulp: More of a cotton-like material, pulp is created by separating fibers from wood, paper or fabrics, usually from recycled materials.
  • Polyurethane liner: This liner has the woven texture of a reusable grocery bag. This thick plastic-like material protects against moisture build-up that may happen during travel. These types of duffle bags are also used for things like nuts and seeds.
  • Polyurethane spray-in foam: For highly delicate items that shouldn’t move during transit, there is this spray foam that tightly compacts the item in the crate. This spray is also traditionally used for insulation in walls, as it protects from moisture and frost.


There are several types of crating options for large or heavy items. Many crates come in predefined sizes (48 x 48 x 48, for instance) while some items like the engine Alaska Air Forwarding shipped (below) must have custom-sized crates produced. Specialized crates are important for unusually sized items, as it holds your product securely and safely without moving around in transit.

Crating and Protecting Your Cargo to Ship to Alaska

Custom crate for an engine being shipped to Alaska, image from Alaska Air Forwarding

Crates are usually made from plywood, but some are made of heavy-duty plastics for reuse and storage purposes. Corrugated boxes are usually used for lighter items but aren’t necessarily recommended for shipping to Alaska as they are not water-resistant.

There are also heavy-duty crates that are reinforced with steel hinges that can carry 5,000+ pounds.

Heavy Loads

There are some crating and packaging options that cater to heavy loads to ensure their safety. However, if the load is large enough and is weather-resistant, it may not necessarily need a crate at all. Things like long pipes or heavy steel likely don’t need additional safety precautions like more delicate cargo.


Though crating and packaging provide as much safety as possible for your cargo, insurance can be valuable for your peace of mind. If your item is one-of-a-kind or holds a lot of value, you may want to consider some options. With Alaska Air Forwarding, we work with your insurance you may already have or we work with the Fireman’s Fund, which provides valuable items insurance.

If you have an unusual item that needs to be shipped to Alaska, contact Alaska Air Forwarding for quotes on how we can create a customized crate for your shipping needs.

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