Moving Using Cardboard Boxes Versus Plastic Crates

  |   Posted In Moving Tips & Advice by Ben

Moving Using Cardboard Boxes Versus Plastic Crates

Moving from one location to another is a real pain and regardless of how you go about completing your move, you’ll need to pack your belongings ahead of the move in order to transport them safely to their new location.

There are two main options when it comes to deciding on how to pack your belongings; you can choose to us either plastic crates which will typically be rented for an agreed period of time, or you can choose to buy traditional cardboard boxes.

Rental Crates Vs Cardboard Boxes Crate Hire UK

*Above image shows IT2 computer moving crate

Both types of packaging have their own strengths and weaknesses, so this article looks at the things you’ll need to consider in order to make a decision as to which will be the most suitable way for you to pack ahead of your move.

What Are You Moving?

Plastic lidded crates are particularly ideal for universities, schools, libraries and commercial offices as they are so robust and easy to stack, so they save space. Due to the added strength and ridgitidy of plastic crates they are also ideal for storing important files and documents in.

Anything that is valuable or that could easily break should be moved inside a plastic crate as cardboard boxes are less ridgid and as such more flexible, meaning items inside can much more easily be damaged during the moving process.

Where Are You Moving?

If you are moving a long distance and have a lot of valuables, then choosing more robust plastic crates is probably a better choice for you. If access is limited at either end of the move, there may be the potential of bottlenecks forming as you attempt to get in or out of the building making it ncessary to leave boxes outside for short periods of time, or you may need to stack them up outside your property as you unload the van.

If you are only moving to a different office in the same buildling, then cardboard boxes may well be adequate. Likewise if you don’t have an awful lot to move (for example students moving dorm rooms) then cardboard boxes could be a good choice for you and they can be reused for storage after the move too.

When Are You Moving?

If you are moving in the middle of winter then you are more likely to have ot contend with moving your crates or boxes in wet, sleet or snowy weather conditions. Cardboard boxes can very quickly become soaked through which not only means the items inside can risk being water damaged, but a wet box is much weaker and far more likely to split or burst.

What is Your Budget?

Your budget will also play a role in determining which option you go for as plastic rental crates can be a little more expensive if you choose to have them delivered direct to you. However, If you choose to pick them up straight from your regional depot, the cost is greatly reduced, in some cases making them a better value choice than cardboard boxes.


  • Strong enough to pack heavy items
  • Plastic crates can be used over and over again
  • Rigid boxes will help to stop the contents being damaged
  • Easier to stack than cardboard boxes so you can maximise space
  • Quicker to use plastic crates as no assembly is needed
  • No need to use packing tape
  • Ideal for commercial movers


  • Great choice for those on a budget
  • Because you buy the boxes, you don’t have to think about renatl periods
  • No additional box handling equipment needed as cardboard boxes can’t hold much weight and so are easier to carry
  • Great for kids to use for play/craft projects once emptied and no longer required
  • Ideal for light items

For more information take a look at our range of plastic rental crates you can hire from us or alternatively take a look at our range of cardboard moving boxes.

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About Ben

Ben lives and breathes crates, so when it comes to crate hire and moving home or office, Ben is able to provide the best possible advice. Dedicated to providing the best crate hire service in the UK, Ben helps to ensure that Crate Hire is consistently rated "Excellent" in independent reviews and is here to help your move go as smoothly as possible.

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