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Shipping goods to the Far North

Expédition de marchandises dans le Nord
Photo credit Unsplash

The contents of wooden crates used for shipping goods in the North are subject to extreme climatic and transport conditions. This means that, depending on environmental conditions and the mode of transport chosen, each shipment to the North can be unique, and require equally unique packaging.

Wooden crates shipped to the Far North must therefore be designed and manufactured specifically to suit the characteristics of your goods and the conditions inherent to transport in this region.

Therefore, when shipping in the North, custom crate design is essential, both to comply with standards and to adequately protect your merchandise.

9 essentials for shipping to the Far North

Whether you're shipping to Labrador, Nunavik or Nunavut, here's a list of the nine (9) most important things to consider when purchasing crates for your shipments in the North:

Selection of materials

Crates for northern shipping should be made from plywood. Aspenite should be avoided, as it is essential to use a material that is resistant to moisture and water. In fact, some shipping lines and several companies operating in these regions require it.

Structural reinforcement

Crates for shipping in the North must also need to be more robust, as they have to withstand shocks and vibrations during transport. For example, you can add metal strapping or opt for a sturdier floor structure.

Isolation thermique

If your merchandise is sensitive to temperature variations, or if frost damage is to be avoided, you need a crate design that allows for the addition of thermal insulation to prevent sudden drops in temperature during air transport.

Watertight and moisture-proof

Since humidity is omnipresent in a northern environment, chances are your wood packaging will require the addition of an air intake, or products to help control humidity such as a vapour barrier, polythene or ambient humidity absorbers (descicants).

Classification of transported goods

Before shipping goods to the North, it is essential to check whether any part of your shipment contains products that fall within the nine (9) classes of products regulated for transportation. Paint, batteries, propane, refrigerant gases, gasoline, diesel and some cleaning products are just a few examples of commonly used products that are considered hazardous materials when it comes to transportation. If part of your cargo is regulated products, you will be required to comply with a range of additional rules. For more details on shipments of products deemed hazardous, click here >

Individual protection of items in packaging

In many cases, each item inside the wooden crate needs to be individually secured using cushioning materials, appropriate blocking pieces or strapping to prevent any movement that could damage your goods.

Custom design

Crates should be custom designed based on the size and specific nature of your merchandise. In fact, a tailor-made design is essential to ensure a perfect fit for optimum protection. This will also reduce your shipping costs if they are calculated according to volumetric dimensions.

Selected mode of transport

Packaging requirements for the North also vary according to the mode of transport chosen. So your wood packaging may well be designed differently for sea freight than for air freight.

As you can see, organizing a shipment of goods to the North requires meticulous planning because of the climatic challenges it imposes.

By using suitable wooden crates and taking into account the specific conditions of the Nordic region you're shipping to, you maximize your chances of goods arriving in good condition and on time.

Industrial packaging specialists and northern shipping experts are your best allies when it comes to shipping in these conditions. In fact, most organizations requiring delivery to the North (e.g. mining companies) have their own specific packaging requirements.

At Certified Pallets and Crates (CPCQ), our industrial packaging consultants know the standards and prerequisites, and will be able to guide you towards the right type of packaging for your shipments to the Far North.

Contact CPCQ now at 1.888.687.6111 for more information about packing and transporting goods to Labrador, Nunavik and Nunavut.

You can also request an online quote for your project.

For shipments to Canada's North, we can help you prepare your goods for transport by companies such as Canadian North and Air Inuit, which carry hazardous materials to these major villages:





Arctic Bay


Kinngait (Cape Dorset)




Pound Inlet


Rankin Inlet

Resolute Bay





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