What Is The Best Wood For Packing?

Protecting fragile products during shipping or long-term storage requires the use of appropriate packing materials. Wood has traditionally been a favourite among accessible materials because of its longevity and adaptability. The best wood for packing will be discussed in this post so that you can make an educated choice when it comes to the safety of your goods during transport.

Wooden crates in a storage warehouse. stock photo

Pallets, crates, boxes, and other shapes and sizes of wooden packing are all available. Your packaging’s durability, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability will all be affected by the type of wood you use. Whether you’re a corporation looking to export products or an individual getting ready to relocate, knowing the qualities of various types of wood can make a big difference in the safety of your valuables during transport.

In this article, we’ll look at the strength, weight, availability, and ecological impact of some of the most popular packing woods. We’ll talk about things like budget and rules that must be followed while using wood for packing. To make the best decision for your needs, you should finish this article with a thorough understanding of the best wood options for packing.

What Is The Best Wood For Packing?

Several criteria, such as the nature of your packing project, your available resources, and your environmental goals, should be taken into account when deciding on the appropriate wood for packing. To assist you in picking which type of wood is best suited to your packing needs, we have included several often-used wood varieties along with their characteristics, check here:

  • Pine: Pine is a popular choice for packing due to its availability and affordability. It’s relatively lightweight, making it suitable for cases where weight is a concern. However, it may not be as strong as some other hardwood options.
  • Plywood: Plywood is made by bonding multiple layers of wood veneer together, which gives it strength and stability. It’s commonly used for making crates and boxes. Plywood comes in various grades, with higher grades offering better quality and durability.
  • Oak: Oak is a hardwood known for its strength and durability. It’s often used for heavy-duty packing, such as shipping machinery or large equipment. Oak is more expensive than softwoods like pine, but its strength makes it a reliable choice for demanding applications.
  • Maple: Maple is another hardwood that offers excellent strength and resistance to wear and tear. It’s often chosen for high-quality crates and pallets. While it’s more costly than pine, it’s a solid choice for protecting valuable or fragile items.
  • Birch: Birch plywood is a versatile option for packing due to its strength and stability. It’s commonly used for creating custom packaging solutions. Birch plywood is available in various thicknesses, allowing for customization based on your needs.
  • Mahogany: Mahogany is a premium hardwood known for its beauty and durability. While it’s less commonly used for packing due to its cost, it can be a superb choice for luxury or high-end items that require both protection and an elegant presentation.
  • Cedar: Cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insects, making it an excellent choice for packing items that need protection from environmental factors. It’s commonly used for packing outdoor furniture or items that will be stored in humid conditions.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo is a sustainable and eco-friendly option for packing materials. It’s strong and lightweight, making it suitable for various packing applications. Additionally, bamboo’s rapid growth makes it a renewable resource.

When choosing the best wood for packing, consider the following factors:

  • Strength requirements: Assess the weight and fragility of the items you’re packing to determine the necessary strength of the wood.
  • Environmental considerations: If sustainability is a concern, opt for woods like bamboo or choose woods certified by organizations like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to ensure responsible sourcing.
  • Budget: Different wood types come with varying price points, so factor in your budget when making your selection.
  • Regulations: Be aware of any international or local regulations regarding the use of wood in packaging, as some countries have strict requirements to prevent the spread of pests and diseases.

What makes a certain wood ideal for packaging is a matter of personal preference, since you’ll want to strike a balance between elements like price, durability, and ecological footprint.

What Is Wood Used For In The Packaging Industry?

The packaging business relies heavily on wood due to its versatility and the many advantages it provides. Examples of how wood is typically employed in the packaging sector:

  • Pallets: Wooden pallets are perhaps the most recognizable use of wood in packaging. They provide a stable base for stacking and transporting goods. Wooden pallets are widely used in logistics and supply chain management to move and store products.
  • Crates and Boxes: Wood is used to create crates and boxes for packaging a variety of goods. These can range from small wooden boxes used for shipping delicate or valuable items to larger wooden crates designed for heavy machinery or industrial equipment.
  • Dunnage: Wooden dunnage refers to the spacers, supports, or padding materials used to protect and separate items within a container or shipping crate. Dunnage ensures that products do not shift or get damaged during transit.
  • Skids: Wooden skids are similar to pallets but are often used as a temporary base or platform for heavy items during manufacturing or storage. They provide stability and elevation for equipment or materials.
  • Wooden Reels and Spools: In industries like cable and wire manufacturing, wooden reels and spools are used to wind and store long lengths of cables or wires. These reels are sturdy and facilitate easy unwinding of the materials.
  • Wooden Drums: Wooden drums are utilized for storing and transporting liquids, chemicals, or bulk materials. They are robust and often used in industries where steel drums may not be suitable.
  • Cradles and Frames: Wooden cradles and frames are custom-made structures that support and protect specific products during shipping. They are designed to securely hold items in place and prevent damage.
  • Packing Material: Wood can be used to create packing material, such as wooden shavings, chips, or excelsior. These materials are often used for cushioning fragile items and preventing them from shifting within a container.
  • Display and Presentation: In retail, wood is used to create attractive and durable packaging for products. Wooden boxes, cases, or displays can enhance the presentation of high-end or luxury items.
  • Reusable Shipping Containers: Some companies use reusable wooden containers and crates for their products. These containers are designed to withstand multiple shipments, reducing waste and packaging costs.
  • Export Packaging: For international shipping, wooden crates and packaging are often preferred due to their strength and ability to protect items during long journeys.
  • Custom Packaging Solutions: Wood can be easily customized to meet specific packaging needs. Manufacturers can create tailor-made wooden packaging solutions that provide optimal protection for unique or delicate items.

Even though wood is commonly used for packaging, there are ethical and ecological concerns that must be taken into account. To lessen the toll taken on forests and ecosystems, it is essential to employ sustainable forestry practices and source wood resources ethically.

To encourage sustainability, many modern businesses are looking for eco-friendly alternatives or utilising recycled and salvaged wood in their packaging solutions.


Since wood can be used for so many different things, it plays an important part in the packaging business. Wood has many uses in the packaging and shipping industries due to its durability, strength, and adaptability. This includes everything from pallets and crates to dunnage and bespoke packaging solutions.

But as concern for the environment has increased, so has the significance of using wood in packaging in a sustainable manner. To lessen their environmental impact, several businesses are switching to packaging made from recycled or reclaimed wood.

In the end, variables like shipping costs, environmental impact, and the nature of the goods themselves will determine whether or not wood is used in the packing. Wood is still widely used, but a balance must be found between its advantages and the need to conserve our natural resources. Sustainable and functional eco-packaging options will likely continue to emerge as the packaging industry develops.