Preparing Your Crates

December 28, 2022
3 min read

How to prepare your crates?

Central to the Cratebase approach is the actual, physical crate. The crates used by our partners are used for the entire order workflow from picking the items to shipping the order out. To keep your operations organized even when processing 100's of orders a day, it's essential to use proper hardware that is sturdy, durable and is easy to handle.

Let's start with the crate itself.

We love using the Really Useful crates as they are relatively light, sturdy, easy to handle and readily available in most parts of the world. They fit around 80-100 records so it's easy to pick up to 30 orders in one crate. US-based sellers may also use the plastic USPS crates that are even more light-weight but also less durable. In general, go for shipping crates that are light (so avoid wood as a material) and leave some space around the records to avoid damaging records while moving items in and out of the crates.

Make sure that whatever crates you choose, you prepare plenty of crates for picking, packing and handling exeptions all simultaneously, so you'll want at least 5 crates and up to 20-25 crates depending on your volumes. Mark each crate with a letter, if possible on all sides, to easily identify the different crates once they are in operation. We recommend using stickers for this and we can supply these too if needed.

And now let's add some dividers.

To make a crate ready for picking multiple orders it's essential to fill each crate with dividers / tabs that are numbered. Go for thin tabs so they don't take up too much space in the crate, and durable enough for heavy use. To easily navigate through the crate and locate the right tabs we strongly recommend to use index tabs with a space to write or sticker the numbers. Fill each crate with the number of tabs equal to the max number of orders to be picked in one picking round, around 20-25 is probably a good number here, or more if you are getting a lot of small orders. Clearly number each tab from 1 in front up to the last tab, and we recommend using printed stickers instead of handwriting to avoid confusion in the operation. Again, we can supply both the tabs and stickers if needed.

Let it roll.

If your warehouse / storage space allows for it we strongly recommend to use trolleys to place one or multiple crates on, as crates can get quite heavy when filling up and carrying the crates around the warehouse will loose valuable time for your team. We have seen different solutions here from simple serving trolleys to actual shopping carts with devices attached to the handlebar, but the best solution would depend very much on the physical space and local availability. We don't supply trolleys but can definitely advice and help sourcing.

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