How much does shipping your Freight cost?
Free Instant Online Calculator based on quotes from Trusted Freight Shipping Companies
Customer Images
7790 people shipped using A-1 Auto Transport last week

Joe brought me peace of mind. I can’t thank you enough for being so reliable and trustworthy

Joe brought me peace of mind. I can’t thank you enough for being so reliable and trustworthy

+2 million
of customers
recommend us

Differences between Pallet, Skid, and Crate in Logistics

What's in this article?
  1. What Is The Difference Between A Pallet, Skid, And Crate?
  2. Pallets Are For Stacking Crates And Cartons
  3. Skids Are For Transporting Heavier Items
  4. Crates Are For Holding Large Volumes
  5. Materials
  6. Pallet Materials
  7. Skid Materials
  8. Crate Materials
  9. Sizes And Weight Capacities
  10. Pallet Size And Weight
  11. Skid Size And Weight
  12. Crate Size And Weight
  13. Conclusion
  14. Move With A-1 Auto Transport
Differences between Pallet, Skid, and Crate in Logistics

When transporting items from one location to another, it is imperative that they are appropriately packed with a suitable packing container or material.

Aside from that, they must be loaded onto platforms and secured nicely to ensure that the items remain intact and safe.

Many types of platforms and containers are used in logistics, such as pallets, skids, and crates. You can use either one or all of these for shipping and storing items, but saving money requires choosing which you'll most likely need.

What Is the Difference Between a Pallet, Skid, and Crate?

Let's dive deeper into the differences between the three and how they function in a logistics operation.

Pallets are for stacking crates and cartons

Pallets are platforms that are used for shipment as a group. Crates and cartons are stacked on them.

These are crucial items in logistics because they enable more efficient movement of large or bulky items with minimal difficulty.

Pallets are stable as they are square-shaped and convenient for racking. Pallet racking involves stacking single items or pallets very high, using a single or multi-leveled system.

Forklift trucks can easily haul pallets thanks to their design and sturdiness.

When shipping companies use standard pallets, securing and labeling them properly is necessary. It would help in tracking and tracing them throughout the logistics process.


Skids are for transporting heavier items

Without a closer look, viewing a skid as a pallet would be easy. However, the design of a skid is what differentiates the two.

The crucial features that define a skid are its single deck, which gives it a completely flat surface, and vertical legs.

In contrast, a pallet has a top and bottom deck, so it is two layers of individual planks that have planks stacked in the middle to give it support.

With a skid, instead of a bottom deck, its vertical legs support the deck, upon which weight will be rested. This enables it to be a permanent foundation commonly used for heavy equipment.

Due to not having a bottom deck, they have a smaller surface area than a pallet. Its size makes a skid easier to drag, which is necessary for heavy items.

Crates are for holding large volumes

A crate is simply a box, probably the most preferred shipping and storing method.

Crates have a stark difference in appearance among the three items. Unlike pallets and skids, crates are three-dimensional and are not simply flat surfaces or platforms. Crates are cubes, in a way.

Thanks to its design, a crate is ideal for securely holding large volumes of valuable items.

A drawback of using crates in logistics is that it is bulky and harder to transport. You can stack them on top of each other, but pallets can be used between each crate for added safety.


Materials for pallets, skids, and crates may vary. Wood, plastic, and metal are commonly used, while customizations are also possible.

Pallet materials

Wooden pallets are quite easy to find, making them the most in-demand shipping method and storing cargo.

Many logistics solutions companies offer the option of custom pallets. Custom pallets are when pallets are tailor-made, either from scratch or a redesign of an existing one, to meet your exact needs.

Pallets often come in four types of material: wooden, cardboard, plastic, and metal.


Skid materials

Skids are similar to pallets. They primarily come in three materials: wood, plastic, and metal.

Similar to a pallet, wooden skids are the most common. However, if wood skids get wet, the risk of rot and bacteria build-up increases.

This risk makes it unfit for transporting food and beverages and other materials that cannot be contaminated.

Crate materials

Lastly, crates also are available in wooden, plastic, and metal. Each material has its own uses, and neither material is more common than the other because each is unique.

For example, wooden crates are great for transporting wet or chemical products, as well as food items.

Plastic crates are used not only for storage and transportation but also for organizing products in an assembly line, such as bottle crates.

Metal crates, often steel or aluminum, are suitable for handling delicate items, like glassware, and stacking and storing products in an environment with volatile temperatures.

Custom crating is also possible, like pallets.

Sizes and Weight Capacities

There are different sizes and weight capacities for these three things. Learn more below.

Pallet size and weight

In the U.S.A., standard wooden pallets have a dimension of 48"x40" and can hold up to 2,000 kilograms. However, more sizes can be classified as 'standard,' too.

There are several different standard pallet dimensions depending on their use. There are also 42"x42" and 48"x48" pallets.

The dimensions change even more in other countries. A "Euro-sized" pallet is about 47"x31", or 1,200x800 millimeters. This size is widespread in the United Kingdom and is considered the 'standard' for pallets there.

Skid size and weight

However, there are no verified standard sizes for skids. Skids would follow the sizes of pallets more often than not, thanks to how interchangeable the two are.

Crate size and weight

When it comes to crates, the range of sizes available is endless. If you approach a logistics company that provides crates, you may face a long list of options.

For instance, one carrier may label a 48-cube as 48"x48"x36". Another carrier may not have this dimension but does offer 48"x48"x28" and 48"x48"x48" instead.

As a result, the weight capacity of a crate varies, too. A crate with an outside dimension of 24"x20"x25" may only be able to sustain 135 kilograms. On the other hand, an 84"x48"x48" crate can hold 1,500 kilograms.

This would also depend on the material. The weight capacities provided in the examples above were all for wooden crates.

The range of crate sizes is necessary as logistics service providers need to anticipate the cargo needs of their customers. If only small sizes were available, then a customer would need to pay for more crates to hold their items, which wouldn't be cost-efficient.



Pallets, skids, and crates are often used for shipping and storing items.

Pallets and skids are quite similar, with a significant difference being that a pallet has two decks while a skid has one. They both are used for their flat surfaces to make loading and unloading items easy.

Crates are entirely different as these are essentially cubes used for storing items.

All three are available in wooden, plastic, and metal, with pallets also available in cardboard. Each material has its own purpose, strengths, and weaknesses.

Lastly, you can expect a range of sizes for crates but more standardized ones for pallets and skids.

Move with A-1 Auto Transport

Now that you know more about the differences in packing instruments, you can plan your move much more efficiently.

At A-1 Auto Transport, we use the right tools to help you pack up and transport your belongings with care so contact us today. Let A-1 Auto Transport help you move!

Share this content on social media
for a chance to get up to 15% off your next shipment.
Copy link

Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

Email Me

Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.
★★★★★ choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

A1 Auto Transport... From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

Visit our social, and see what our clients are saying about us

Ship Your Vehicle With A-1 Auto Today
Get an instant free Quote Now

Or Call Us Today and Speak Directly to Our Sales Team:

Our Partners:

Better Business Bureau Accredited
FMCSA Member
INC. 500 Member
VeriSign Secured
AMSA Member

A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
Copyright © 1988-2023, A-1 Auto Transport - All Rights Reserved.