Shipping Crates, Mailing Crates and Travel Frames

Shipping Crates, Mailing Crates and Travel Frames

We build bespoke Shipping Crates, Mailing Crates and Travel Frames at our Elephant and Castle workshop.

While we primarily cater to the arts, antiques and furniture industries, our shipping crates are suitable for moving just about anything that needs one. We offer a range of different products, so depending on what it is that needs moving and your budget, we can build something to safely transport your artwork or precious cargo with confidence.

What’s the difference between a Shipping Crate, a Mailing Crate and a T-frame?

Shipping Crates

Our shipping crates, which are primarily made for international shipping, are robust timber and plywood boxes, designed to house artworks for lifelong transport around the world. They can be used over and over again, whenever the artwork needs moving. We only use heat-treated timber that complies with international shipping regulation ISPM 15, a legal requirement which permits the crate to cross borders while adhering to IPPC (International Plant Protection Convention) regulations. Our crates can be made to be fully collapsible, and for top or side loading, whatever your requirements.

We can build crates for multiple artworks or items, and unless specified, all internal surfaces are lined with 25mm ether foam. We use quality hardwood ply in all our crates, and use varying thicknesses (6mm, 9mm, 12mm and 18mm) depending on what’s going inside.

If a crate is heavy or large, we can build in a pallet base for easy moving by pallet or forklift truck.

Mailing Crates

Mailing crates are a stripped down version of a shipping crate, designed for UK courier transport of 2-D artworks. They’re built with many of the same materials as the shipping crates, but with less timber reinforcement. This helps reduce weight, which in turn brings down transport costs.

We started building these for local print galleries. We are able to pack multiple works within the same crate, however we recommend that if you have more than a couple that you consider a full shipping crate.

We would always recommend that you use the more reinforced shipping crate for international shipping, however the timber we use in our mailing crates is the same ISPM 15 heat-treated timber required for port clearance.


T-frames are an economical art industry standard solution to safely transport a single painting when travelling between galleries and clients (for viewings, for example), or going into storage. While generally designed for local transport, we use the same heat treated timber as the international ISPM 15 crates so they are ready to travel, wherever you may be taking it.

If you’re just looking for a local or UK transport solution, with no need to see the artwork within, we would recommend the mailing crate over the T-Frame. We do not recommend the use of T-Frames with third party couriers or shippers.