Custom Instrument Cases: A Traveling Musician’s Best Friend

Whether you rock a Fender Stratocaster, a Stradivarius violin or perhaps a vintage clarinet, keeping it safe during your travels is crucial. Custom instrument cases can prevent damage and bring you some peace of mind.

In many cases, musicians will purchase a separate seat for their instrument, particularly if it is a rare, large or extremely expensive item. However, we’ve also read several horror stories of travelers that purchased tickets for their beloved instruments, yet the tickets were revoked because the flight was full or overbooked. Then your instrument ends up tossed around by baggage handlers, which is precisely what a musician does not want.

Additionally, if your instrument is damaged, it can be a huge hassle to receive compensation for these damages. In some cases, airline policy limits the amount of damage compensation they will provide, and it might be far less than the cost of repairs. If you have a vintage or antique instrument, there’s also always the chance that repairs won’t really undo the damage caused by transporting your instrument.

Your best defense is a good offense, and custom instrument cases from Bel-Air Cases can handle the rigors of transportation. Our heavy-duty shipping cases are built to meet or exceed ATA guidelines. These guidelines were created by the airline industry and specify how cases need to be constructed in order to handle the jostling typically inflicted upon them by the transportation industry.

The exterior of our custom instrument cases is built using highly durable the materials. Shells are built using tough polyethylene and the valances are crafted from sturdy aluminum. The case design as well as the materials we use ensure that case itself absorbs any impact and not your precious musical instrument.

Additionally, our custom instrument cases can include a custom foam interior that protects every centimeter of your instrument. We use the highest quality foam for these interiors and never simply stick a chunk of pick and pluck foam inside a case. Pick and pluck foam is a type of low-quality foam that breaks down quickly and doesn’t fully protect your instruments from damage. We never use this type of foam, and, when we design Bel-Air custom instrument cases, every bit of your case is custom inside and out.

Of course, we also can add a bit of flair to your case. We offer black and silver as our standard case colors, but you also can request us to build your case with one of our stock colors, which include white, yellow, orange, red, olive, green and blue. Additionally, we can add a molded-in logo to your custom instrument cases or add engraved plates or custom decals.

We also have many other custom options to consider such as handles, hinges, latches and locks. We can design a custom instrument case with wheels and a telescoping handle to make it easy for you to maneuver through airports, concert halls or wherever else you need to move your instrument.

Using our Bel-Air Custom instrument cases can be the best way to avoid enduring the heartbreak of a damaged instrument. Whether you book a seat for your instrument or check the instrument as luggage, you won’t spend your flight worrying about whether or not your guitar, cello, tuba, violin, clarinet, saxophone or perhaps your mandolin is safe. To start a custom case order, you can click on the Request A Custom Quote tab on our homepage or give us a call at (866) 235-2472.

Plastic Case Manufacturing: How It Works

For more than 50 years, the team at Bel-Air Cases has been providing our clients with custom plastic case manufacturing. In fact, we were the first company in the United States to design, produce and sell vacuum-formed equipment cases.

Our cases are formed using high-molecular weight polyethylene plastic, and we use this specific type of plastic because it’s lightweight, yet durable and strong and able to withstand the punishment the transportation industry may inflict upon it. How do we transform a sheet of plastic into a custom carrying case? It all begins with a conversation.

When clients contact us, we spend some time discussing the type of cases they need. They might need a light-duty carrying case for toting a sales kit or delicate items that won’t be transported as freight or they might need heavy duty cases that can handle trips around the globe with ease. Our first step is to learn everything we can about the items going into the case and how the customer needs to transport it.

Understanding how a case will be transported can be the most important aspect of our plastic case manufacturing. All of our shipping and expo cases are built to handle frequent handling and shipping, as well as our heavy-duty carrying cases. These cases meet exacting ATA standards and many military specifications. Our light-duty cases, however, are not meant to be transported as luggage or shipped. Our medium-duty carrying cases can be used occasionally as airline luggage, but typically, these cases also are better for use as carry-on luggage or perhaps toting items in the trunk or backseat of a car.

Once we’ve determined the type of case you need, it’s time for the next step in our custom plastic case manufacturing process. This includes the selection of case options as well as talking about a custom foam interior. We can create any type of custom foam interior you might need with custom cavities for each component you need to transport, as well as creating panel mounts, shock mounts, interior doors and much more.

We also discuss other custom options, such as case color. Black and silver are the standard colors we use, but we also offer optional stock colors and, with a minimum purchase, we can provide color matching or custom colors. We also can add a molded-in logo to the design or add engraved plates or custom decals.

Once we have a design plan in place, the real fun of plastic case manufacturing begins. We use sheets of thick gauge polyethylene, which are heated to the point where they become malleable. At this point, they are vacuum-forced around a mold or cast, which sucks out all of the air and transforms the plastic into one half of your custom case. The plastic cools and any excess plastic is trimmed away. This whole process actually is known as thermoforming, and it can be used to create thousands of plastic products, from our custom plastic cases to car parts, plastic cups, toys and much more.

Once both halves of your case have been created, we use durable aluminum valances to connect the two halves. Then we add whatever handles, hinges, latches and wheels you may have selected. At the same time, our team of foam experts will be crafting your custom case interior.

No matter what type of custom plastic case manufacturing you might need, the team at Bel-Air Cases is ready to help. Take a look at our different types of cases and then give us a call or fill out our custom quote form which can be found on our homepage. Simply click on Request A Custom Quote, and our friendly customer service representative will be in touch shortly to discuss your custom case needs.

Plastic Cases With Foam Inserts: 6 Fast Facts

At Bel-Air Cases, we’ve been creating plastic cases with foam inserts for more than 50 years for clients from just about every industry imaginable. Our clients tote medical equipment, musical instruments, camera equipment, computers, lighting equipment, sales kits, trade show materials and much more.

There’s nothing we love more than building custom plastic cases with foam inserts, except possibly for talking and writing about plastic cases with foam inserts. To that end, we’d like to share a few facts about our cases to help you understand a bit about our production process and to help you select the best possible case for your needs.

1. Plastic Is Awesome
Well, we certainly believe that to be true, but many people will ask us why we use plastic for our cases. There are many different types of plastic, and each type has unique properties. We’ve chosen high-density polyethylene for our cases because of its strength, durability and impact resistance. It’s also affordable, easy to mold, and lightweight. And, while your Bel-Air Case is meant to last for years, the plastic we use is even recyclable, so it’s a win for the environment, as well.

2. Aluminum: Another Amazing Case Component
We create the shells of our plastic cases with foam inserts out of polyethylene, but the valances are created out of sturdy aluminum. We chose this material for many of the same reasons we chose our plastic, it’s durable, lightweight and affordable, yet it can handle the rigors of transport again and again. Oh, it’s also recyclable as well, which is just another perk.

3. We Offer Tons Of Custom Features
Nothing about our plastic cases with foam is off-the-shelf, it’s all fully custom. You can add any type of handle, hinge, latch or lock you might want. We offer nine stock colors, but we can provide you with custom colors or color matching (minimum purchases apply). We also can personalize your case with molded-in logos and graphics, or add engraved plates or custom decals. Take a look at all of our case options, and if you don’t see exactly what you want, we can probably get it for you, it’s all about choice.

4. We Have A Case For Everyone
Some of our clients need lightweight carrying cases for sales kits or demo kits, while others need heavy-duty shipping cases that can handle 100 trips abroad with ease. Our light-duty and medium-duty carrying cases are perfect for everything from fragile equipment weighing under 40 pounds that won’t be transported as luggage, while our heavy-duty carrying cases are easy to maneuver yet can handle the rigors of transport.

If you have items that you ship frequently, check out our heavy-duty shipping cases, which have been designed to provide an ultimate level of protection. These rugged, lightweight cases can be created in any size you might need, and we add in molded protective corner bumpers and stacking lugs into each case, ensuring that the case absorb impacts, instead of the case hardware or your components.

5. Heading To A Trade Show, We’ve Got Cases For That
Trade show materials often come in sizes that aren’t compatible with most off-the-shelf cases. Our Expo Cases are the perfect solution, and can be used for wide, lightweight items such as graphics materials, framed pictures and tradeshow components. These cases include easy-roll wheels and heavy-duty spring loaded handles which makes it a snap to maneuver your case through a crowded airport or trade show floor.

6. And, Now, Let’s Talk About The Foam
When we talk about plastic cases with foam inserts, the foam inserts are a huge factor in the design. A foam insert provides an extra layer of protection for whatever you put inside your case, and we can create any type of insert that you might need. We use the highest quality foam and can create multiple cavities to fit each component exactly, as well as creating interior doors, windows, panel mounts and more. For the same price you would expect to pay for cases filled with low-quality foam slabs or diced foam, the team at Bel-Air Cases can create fully custom foam interiors.

Intrigued? Interested? Perhaps fascinated? To learn more about our custom plastic cases with foam inserts, head to our home page and you’ll find links to information about our shipping cases, carrying cases and expo cases, as well as our many custom case options. You also can click on the Request A Quote tab and we’ll get started planning out your custom case project.

Bel-Air Carrying Cases: Four Levels Of Protection

When it comes to carrying cases, our customers want something lightweight and easy to transport, but they also want an attractive case, and there’s no reason why your case can’t be both functional and fabulous. If you aren’t sure which type of carrying case to select, here’s some information about our four levels of protection.

Light-Duty Plastic Carrying Cases
These carrying cases are perfect for sales kits, medical kits and demo kits as well as delicate equipment that won’t be transported as luggage. A light-duty carrying case can hold items weighing between five and 20 pounds with ease. Our clients use these cases to hold everything from computer equipment to musical instruments to diagnostic and testing equipment.

Medium-Duty Plastic Carrying Cases
If you do have items that might need to be transported as luggage once in a while, you will want to upgrade to a medium-duty carrying case. If you have equipment or items that weigh more than 20 pounds and up to 40 pounds, but they won’t be transported frequently, a medium-duty case is the perfect level of case for your equipment.

Heavy-Duty Plastic Carrying Cases
If you have heavier items, such as those more than 30 or 40 pounds, or if you need to ship items frequently, but still want the convenience of a lightweight carrying case, our heavy-duty carrying cases are the perfect option. You can ship these cases either as luggage or cargo and they can withstand the rigors of transport, protecting your delicate equipment or whatever you pack inside of them. We create these cases using the same materials and components that we use for our heavy-duty shipping cases, but they are formed on our carrying case tooling, which makes them a bit easier to maneuver in tight quarters.

Custom Foam Inserts
Our fourth case “level” is not a type of case, but rather what goes inside the case. A custom foam insert is an essential component for any Bel-Air Case and we can create everything from a simple foam liner to a complex insert with custom cavities, plastic dividers, interior doors, windows, panel mounts, shock mounts and more.

We use the highest quality foam, and never simply stick in a chunk of diced foam, also known as pick and pluck foam. This type of foam typically is of poor quality and breaks down quickly. We also don’t believe that our clients should have to pick away at foam to make cavities for their equipment, when, for about the same price, we can create a completely custom interior design.

All of our cases include a shell built from durable polyethylene plastic and built with molded-in ribs which absorb impact. We also use steel hinges and a strong aluminum valance for each case. We also can include optional hardware, such as a telescoping handle and wheels, as well as many different types of latches and locks.

Your carrying case, no matter what “level” you select, also can include a molded-in logo or perhaps a custom decal. Standard case colors include silver and black, but we also have several optional stock colors, and, with a minimum order, we can provide you with color matching or a custom color.

No matter what type of carrying case you need, the team at Bel-Air cases can handle the job. We’ve been making quality custom carrying cases for more than 50 years, so just give us a call and we’ll get started on your project, and whether you need one case or 500 cases, you’ll enjoy the same level of quality workmanship and unsurpassed customer service.

Shipping Cases For Equipment: The Bel-Air Difference

When you’ve invested money into your equipment, you need shipping cases for equipment that truly can handle the rigors of transportation. At Bel-Air Cases, we build cases meant to last as long as your equipment lasts and beyond. There are many case manufacturers to consider, but there are several reasons why we believe you should join the Bel-Air family.

50 Years Of Experience
For more than 50 years, we’ve been creating custom shipping cases for equipment, so we know a thing or two about cases. In fact, we are the original innovator and producer of vacuum-formed plastic shipping cases and carrying cases. Vacuum-forming allows use to create cases in virtually any size or shape, which provides more options for our customers.

Unique Design
Each Bel-Air case is custom. We don’t have off-the-shelf cases in stock. When you order a case, we build it specifically with your equipment in mind. We use special tooling that add molded protective corner bumpers and stacking lugs in to each case. These features ensure that the toughest part of your shipping cases absorb impacts, and not your expensive equipment.

Durable Materials
The exterior of each case is formed using high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is one of the most durable materials on the planet. Not only is HDPE durable, it’s also highly impact-resistant, which makes it an excellent option for shipping cases for equipment.

Each case also features heavy-duty hardware as a standard feature. The most important component is our heavy-duty valance, which is crafted from aluminum. We chose this material for both its durability and impact resistance. The valance is the backbone of our shipping cases for equipment, and it’s built to handle frequent use as luggage or frequent shipping.

Custom Interiors
A custom exterior is crucial, but we also believe a custom interior is just as important. We never use diced foam, also known as pick and pluck foam. Instead we create custom foam interiors with specially designed cavities to fit around each centimeter of your equipment.

Pick and pluck foam typically is made from poor quality materials and then the customer has to pick away at the foam in order to create cavities. Not only will you end up paying for excess foam that just gets thrown away, you’ll find that this type of foam tends to break down quickly.

We Meet (or Exceed) ATA Standards
The Air Transport Association (now Airlines for America) is a group of major air carriers that set very specific and rigorous standards for shipping cases. Our cases are built with ATA standards in mind, so you can transport your shipping cases hundreds of times and rest assured that your equipment will be safe and secure.

What Can You Ship?
Through the years, customers have used our shipping cases to transport everything from delicate medical equipment to electronics. You can ship computers, lighting equipment, camera and film equipment, military equipment and virtually anything else you can imagine with ease. Our heavy-duty cases are perfect for heavier items (40 pounds or more), delicate items and valuable items, whether your will be shipping them frequently or not.

If you need shipping cases for equipment, contact us today. Just click on the Request A Quote tab on our homepage or contact our friendly packaging professionals at 866-235-2472.

12 Options For Your Bel-Air Custom Plastic Cases

When we say our custom cases are made-to-order, we aren’t kidding around. Each Bel-Air plastic carry case we make is completely unique, designed to your specifications. Before we begin a new design project, we will discuss your options and consider which of the following options you might need.

1. Light-Duty Carrying Cases
Our attractive light-duty cases are perfect for non-delicate and lightweight items that won’t be shipped frequently. In fact, these custom plastic cases are perfect for your sales team, and we’ve seen them filled up with everything from medical equipment samples to high-end designer soaps. If you want a professional look that won’t break the bank, a light-duty case might be the perfect fit. They are lightweight, easy to tote around from place to place and quite attractive, as well.

2. Medium-Duty Carrying Cases
Our medium-duty carrying cases also are quite popular for use as sales kits, particularly if you need to tote items that are somewhat delicate. These also provide an excellent option for any type of fragile, fairly lightweight equipment that won’t be transported as airline luggage often. For instance, perhaps you need to carry diagnostic instruments or medical equipment or electronics. These custom plastic cases might be an ideal option, as they provide more protection than the light-duty case, yet are still very lightweight and easy to carry from place to place.

3. Heavy-Duty Carrying Cases
If you have heavier items or delicate items that you do need to transport often as luggage, we highly recommend that you opt for a heavy-duty carrying case. These cases are built using the same materials we use for our shipping cases, but they are formed on our tooling for carrying cases. This ensures that you have a highly durable case, yet it’s a bit easier to maneuver in tight quarters.

4. Shipping Cases
If you have delicate equipment or heavy equipment and you have to ship it often, we highly recommend that you skip the carrying case option and choose custom shipping cases instead. These cases meet ATA specifications and can handle the rigors of transport. Let them bump, toss or jostle your shipping cases. Bel-Air custom plastic cases can take it! These cases are formed from special tooling that add molded protective bumpers and stacking lugs into each case, ensuring that the case absorbs impacts and not the equipment or components inside the case.

5. Expo Cases
Heading to a trade show? Consider one of our stylish expo cases. These cases can handle the rigors of frequent transport and are perfect for lightweight items such as framed pictures, tradeshow components, sales displays and graphics materials, point-of-purchase displays and much more.

6. Handles
Every great case deserves a great handle and we’ve got plenty of options. We have handles ideal for a light-duty carry cases as well as telescoping handles that make it easy to move your custom plastic cases through a crowded airport or down a bustling city street.

7. Wheels
We also have a wide variety of wheel options. We have wheels ideal for cases that hold lighter weight items as well as heavy equipment. As with our other case components, the materials we use are meant to handle the rough and tumble of transport.

8. Latches & Locks
Whether you need a simple latch or a secure lock, we can add it to your case. Our latches and locks are built using materials that are both durable and lightweight. If you don’t see the exact type of lock or latch you need, we probably can get it for you.

9. Custom Logos & Decals
Adding a molded in logo or custom decal is a great way to make your cases stand out and add that professional touch. It also helps you identify which cases are yours in a crowded airport or at a trade show.

10. Color Options
Silver and black are the standard colors we offer for our custom plastic cases, but you also can form your cases using one of our additional stock colors, including white, yellow, orange, red, olive, green or blue. With a minimum purchase, we also may be able to provide you with custom colors or even color matching.

11. Custom Foam
The exteriors of our cases are formed using durable high-density polyethylene with sturdy aluminum valances, and these rugged materials absorb impact and keep your items safe. However, we also can craft a completely custom foam interior for your case to provide even more protection.

Whether you need a simple foam liner or something quite complex, we can create it and for around the same price you’d expect to pay for cases filled with low-quality foam slabs or diced foam. We never use the cheap “pick and pluck” type of foam because it doesn’t provide the high level of protection that our customers need and this type of foam tends to break down quickly. Our custom foam protects your items and has a much longer life expectancy that these lesser quality types of foam.

12. Additional Interior Options
We are experts at creating complex case interiors such as fabricating interior walls, adding plastic dividers, interior doors, windows, panel mounts and shock mounts. Give us your equipment specs and we will create a custom interior that protects your items and displays them to their best advantage.

We’ve been creating custom plastic cases for more than 50 years for clients from a wide range of industries. Not only will our cases protect your items, our prices are more affordable than you might think a custom case would cost. While we don’t sell any cheap $40 cases, we also aren’t selling a bunch of $1,000 cases either. As an example, if you order five of our large shipping cases, you might pay about $400 per case. Order 100 lightweight sales kits featuring custom foam and these might cost around $120 each.

Typically, the production lead-time for new orders is around three to five weeks, depending on the order volume and your case options. For instance, custom foam inserts might add to the lead-time, and if you need a new case size that requires a new tool this typically takes about eight weeks.

Whether you need just one custom case or 100 custom plastic cases, you can rest assured that each case will receive the same benefits of our “made-to-order” practices and top-notch customer service so call us today and we’ll get started on your case project.

Traveling & Your Plastic Carry Case: 6 Helpful Tips

The airline industry can be pretty tough on luggage, and it can be expensive to travel with a ton of gear, but sometimes it’s a necessity. Whether you are heading to a trade show, a photo shoot or just travel frequently with a plethora of equipment, we’ve compiled a quick list of traveling tips for you and your Bel-Air plastic carry case.

1. Choose The Right Airline
If you are traveling with just one plastic carry case, it might not matter what airline you choose. However, if you have two or three or many cases, it might be wise to consider looking at airlines that allow travelers to check at least one case or bag at no charge.

For instance, Southwest Airlines allows travelers two checked pieces of baggage as long as the total size of each piece of baggage does not exceed 62 inches and the item weighs 50 pounds or less. Other airlines charge $25 to $50 per item, so if you are only traveling with two cases that fit the size and weight restrictions; you can save some money by selecting an airline that doesn’t charge for your first two checked bags.

2. Research Airline Cargo Rates
Of course, many of our customers don’t travel with just a single plastic case. They bring along tons of equipment in heavy-duty shipping cases, expo cases and other large cargo. For these types of trips, it can be wise to research the cargo rates from several different airlines. Before you call, be able to provide information such as the size of each plastic carry case and the weight when filled as well as the dimensions of each case. A little research could save you hundreds of dollars, especially if the airline also offers some good rates for your passengers.

3. Look At Special Rates
Some airlines offer what is known as a media rate. This is a flat rate offered to photographers, members of the media and filmmakers so if you fit in one of those categories, this could help you save a bit of money and provide you with the convenience of keeping you and your equipment together on the same flight.

4. Consider Alternatives To Air
If you can ship your equipment ahead of your trip, this is usually much less expensive that flying with your equipment. Ground transportation shipping will almost always be cheaper than flying with your cargo. Research the rates from UPS, FedEx, Greyhound and other freight carriers to find the best deal.

If you are traveling internationally, look into shipping via ocean rather than sending your cargo as air freight as this also can be less expensive. Of course, you will have to have your cases ready far in advance of your trip, but if this is an option, it can save hundreds of dollars. Some shipping companies also offer volume discounts if you ship a bunch of items at one time, so consider selecting a company that offers this type of discount.

5. Purchase Insurance
While a Bel-Air plastic carry case definitely can ensure that your equipment will arrive at their destination safe and sound, it’s still wise to purchase insurance for your freight. After all, what if a piece is lost in transit or stolen or the container ship hits an iceberg and sinks to the bottom of the sea? If you have expensive equipment, looking into cargo or freight insurance is a smart idea.

6. Choose The Right Plastic Case
We have many different types of plastic cases. Our light-duty carry cases and medium-duty carrying cases are fine in an overhead bin (provided they meet carry-on restrictions), but this type of plastic carry case is not meant to be transported as luggage or freight. Our heavy-duty carrying cases, our shipping cases and our expo cases are all built to withstand the rigors of transport and these are the cases you’ll want to select for delicate equipment or anything that will be transported frequently by land, air or sea transportation.

If you aren’t quite sure which plastic carry case to select, just give us a call at 866-235-2472. One of our helpful case experts will help narrow down which type of case will best suit your needs and then we will get started building your custom plastic cases.

Can Custom Equipment Cases Save The Day?

A well-made custom equipment case just might be worth its weight in gold and while it might be a bit much to say that our custom equipment cases with wheels could save the world, Bel-Air Cases definitely have been known to save the day.

custom aerospace equipment casesOur equipment cases have been jostled around on military transports, transported through customs in just about every country in the world and, perhaps most impressive, some of our cases are built to withstand the rigor of space travel. So, once you book that Mars flight with Elon Musk, don’t forget to call us and order your some cases for your journey to the Red Planet.

If you’ve invested thousands of dollars in your equipment, our equipment cases with wheels provide the perfect way to transport your items. With shells built from durable high-density polyethylene and strong aluminum valances, our medium-duty and heavy-duty cases can protect the most delicate equipment. Each of our cases is made-to-order, inside and out, and we have a myriad of helpful custom options, including:

Custom Foam Interiors

Too often, a so-called custom case features a cheap “pick and pluck” foam insert. This isn’t ideal for several reasons. For one, customers have to do the work, picking and plucking away at foam in order to make cavities to fit various pieces of equipment. Another issue is that this type of foam is low quality and tends to break down quickly, not to mention that you end up paying for a bunch of foam that you pluck away and toss into a rubbish bin.

custom foam interiors for equipment casesFinally, this type of foam doesn’t truly protect your items as well as a custom foam insert. At Bel-Air Cases, we can design a custom foam insert or multiple foam inserts to ensure that your equipment is well-protected. We use the highest quality foam for these inserts, meant to last for many years and provide an additional layer of impact resistance. We also can design plastic dividers, interior doors, windows, panel mounts and shock mounts for your case.

Equipment Cases With Wheels & Handles

Should you add wheels to your custom equipment case? Absolutely, and we have several wheel options. Equipment cases with wheels are easy to transport, whether you are simply taking them into a business meeting or you have to lug them from Gate B12 to Gate B79 at Denver International. We have a large selection of handles, including telescoping handles, which makes it as easy as possible to move your case from place to place.

Logos, Decals & Custom Colors

Because we build each and every equipment case from scratch, we can create cases with molded-in logos for a professional and personalized appearance. We also can add engraved plates or custom decals, and our cases are available in an array of colors. Silver and black are the standard colors, but we also can create white, yellow, orange, red, olive, green or blue cases. With a minimum order, we may be able to provide you with color matching or custom colors for your equipment cases.

In the end, you can rest assured that everything you put in Bel-Air equipment cases will remain safe and sound throughout the journey. Will it save the world? If your case is filled with the antidote to catastrophic virus or perhaps contains the super-secret formula to harness the power of cold fusion, it just might.

5 Unique Features Of Our Heavy Duty Shipping Cases

There are plenty of companies out there selling heavy-duty shipping cases, but not all of these cases truly possess the unique features we provide at Bel-Air Cases. We’d like to take a moment to share a few of the reasons why we are an industry leader and why our custom cases stand out from the pack.

1. We Use The Most Impact-Resistant Materials Possible
As a leading manufacturer of heavy duty shipping cases, our goal is to create a case that truly can withstand the punishment of frequent transport. Of course, we also want to create cases that are as lightweight as possible. After all, when it comes to shipping, every pound counts, cost-wise.

The exterior of our cases are created using a process known as thermoforming, and we are the first company to create cases using this process! As a basic definition, this means we take large sheets of high-density polyethylene, heat them up and mold them into the shape of your custom heavy-duty shipping cases. We use high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a type of plastic, specifically because of its ability to withstand a great deal of impact. The lightweight and the low cost of this material add to its advantages.

For the case valences, we use aluminum, again because of its durability and impact-resistance, as well as for its lightweight. Aluminum also is an inexpensive material, so using HDPE and aluminum helps us keep the cost of our heavy-duty shipping cases as low as possible without sacrificing quality.

2. We Meet ATA 300 & Military Specifications
At Bel-Air Cases, we serve a wide range of clients, including military and aerospace clients. With these clients particularly, the equipment transported in our heavy duty shipping cases not only can be fragile, it’s also extremely expensive, and so we’ve designed our cases to meet stringent ATA 300 and many military transport specifications.

Fun Facts: ATA stands for the Air Transport Association, and this group includes major U.S. airlines, such as American Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, United and several others, including Federal Express and UPS. The ATA, however, is now known as Airlines 4 America or A4A. Technically, this is a lobbying group, but in 1960, this group did create packaging and shipping guidelines known as ATA Spec 300. There are several requirements set forth in these original specifications, such as, in order for a shipping case to adhere to ATA Spec 300, that case needed to be able to withstand the rigors of at least 100 shipments, and our heavy duty shipping cases are up to the challenge.

3. A Design Built For Rough Handling
In addition to being able to handle at least 100 shipments, our cases adhere to other ATA Spec 300 guidelines. For instance, each of our heavy-duty shipping cases includes rounded edges. These rounded edges absorb the impact, rather than the items inside the case. Each case also includes molded-in bumpers for unsurpassed product protection.

Our custom foam interiors offer another layer of protection, further absorbing any impact. We know how rough the transportation industry can be on shipping cases, so we’ve designed our cases to take all the punishment, and not your precious equipment.
We also include recessed handles, which is another ATA Spec 300 requirement.

4. Extreme Conditions? No Problem
In addition to durability, the light weight and the low cost, HDPE also has a few advantages which might come into play if your heavy-duty shipping cases are exposed to extreme conditions. For instance, our heavy-duty cases can withstand extreme temperatures, from -80 degrees F up to 180 degrees. These cases also are moisture-resistant, water-proof and resistant to solvents. No matter what happens, the items inside your case will stay safe and dry, and the case exterior won’t be affected by extreme heat or cold.

5. Many Custom Options
We design our heavy-duty shipping cases with molded-in ribs and channels for stacking ability, and we also offer a myriad of custom options. In addition to customizing the handles and wheels of your case, you also can add casters, locks, latch protectors, a telescoping handle, humidity indicators and much more. We can create cases with molded-in logos and there are several color options. With a minimum order, we can even use a custom color. And, of course, we design fully custom interiors using the highest quality foam.

Our heavy-duty shipping cases can be used to transport heavy items (40 pounds or more) as well as delicate items, such as medical equipment, lighting equipment, electronics, computers and more. If you need affordable, custom heavy-duty shipping cases that truly can withstand the rigors of transportation, contact Bel-Air Cases today.

12 Questions You Need To Ask About Custom Equipment Cases

In the market for custom equipment cases? At Bel-Air Cases, we’ve been crafting high-quality carry cases, equipment cases, expo cases and shipping cases for more than 50 years. While we are confident about the quality of our cases, we know that not all equipment cases are built to our exacting standards, so before you order custom cases, be sure to find answers for these 12 essential questions.

1. Are Your Cases Truly “Made-To-Order?”
In some cases, your custom equipment cases might not truly be “custom.” A manufacturer might have a wide variety of stock cases and might offer to customize the interior, but this isn’t really a custom case. At Bel-Air Cases, each of our cases in made from scratch based upon your specifications. This allows the customer a far greater range of options, including the size of your cases, the color, the type of handles and hardware and more.

2. Can You Create A Custom Interior?
For custom equipment cases, it is essential that each case includes a fully custom interior. We can create made-to-order foam interiors with custom hand-cuts or die-cuts that surround and protect every inch of your fragile equipment. We never use pick-and-pluck foam, also known as “diced” foam. This is an inexpensive type of foam that a consumer can pick or tear away at in order to create cavities to hold equipment. It’s seems like an easy option, but this type of foam tends to break down very quickly, and the customer ends up paying for a bunch of foam they don’t need.

3. What Materials Are Used To Build A Case?
To build our custom equipment cases, we use high-density polyethylene, which is a durable type of thermoform plastic. Not only is high-density polyethylene durable, it is impact resistant and lightweight. It’s actually even a recyclable material, and while our cases are meant to last for decades, it’s always nice to know that the shell can be recycled and reused for something else.

4. What Materials Are Used For Case Valances?
When we design your custom equipment cases, we begin by creating the plastic lid and base shells and then hardware is added. This includes a sturdy aluminum valance. We use aluminum because of its durability and it’s lightweight. We pride ourselves on creating cases that are able to handle the rigors of transport yet still be as lightweight as possible.

5. What Type Of Case Should I Select?
When you browse through our website, you’ll see that we offer several different case types. This includes light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty carry cases, as well as shipping cases and expo cases. For custom equipment cases, we often recommend opting for heavy-duty cases, as these typically are the best option for fragile equipment.

However, if your equipment is small and will not be shipped or transported as luggage, a medium-duty or light-duty carrying case might be a good option. Before we construct a case, we talk with the customer about the type of equipment that will be placed in the case as well as the way the case will be transported in order to select the best options for your custom equipment cases.

6. Do Your Cases Meet ATA & MIL Specifications?
We have many cases that can withstand the rigors of transportation, so if you often ship your equipment, you can rest assured that your fragile items will be secure. As manufactured, our heavy-duty shipping cases do meet ATA guidelines as well as many MIL specifications. Of course, as our cases are made-to-order, we also can configure these heavy-duty shipping cases and other case styles to meet most airline, military, government and even aerospace specifications.

7. Can I Customize My Cases With Handles, Wheels & Locks?
We have a wide variety of hardware ware options, including wheels, handles, hinges, feet, latches and locks. If you want a case with wheels and a telescoping handle, it’s no problem. If you need a specific type of lock, we probably have that, as well. Moreover, if there is a case component that you need, and we don’t have it, we can probably get it for you.

8. What Case Colors Are Available?
Our standard colors are silver and black, but we also offer several stock colors, including white, yellow, orange, red, olive, green and blue. With a minimum purchase, we also may be able to provide you with custom colors and color matching. Additionally, we can design your case with a molded-in logo or add engraved plates or custom decals. Your Bel-Air Cases truly can be custom in every way.

9. Can I Order Just One Case? Is There A Minimum Order?
While some companies require a minimum purchase, we are happy to create just one case or 1,000 cases or anywhere in between. We put the same level of care and craftsmanship into every order, whether you order just one of our custom equipment cases or many.

10. How Much Do The Cases Cost?
While our custom equipment cases are made-to-order, the cost is surprisingly affordable. However, we don’t list prices on our website simply because it would be difficult to provide a narrow range of pricing for our cases given the wide variety of styles, sizes and configurations we offer. While we don’t sell any cheap $40 cases, we also aren’t selling many $900 cases either. Typically, an order of five large shipping cases might run about $400 per case, while an order of 100 lightweight sales kits with custom foam inserts might sell for around $120 each.

11. How Long Until I Receive My Custom Equipment Cases?
In general, new orders have a production lead-time of three to five weeks, depending on the order volume and the options you select for your custom equipment cases. If you select custom foam inserts, this could increase the lead-time. In some cases, if you are requesting a new size which requires a new tool, this might take up to eight weeks. Typically, though, you can estimate about a four-week lead-time.

12. What Type Of Warranty Is Provided?
We actually have no written case warranty, and we’ve never needed one. We stand by our cases throughout their lifetime. If a case component breaks, we’ll fix it. We know that the transportation industry is tough on packages and cases, so while we cannot guarantee that your case will never be damaged, we assure you that we will always repair the damages for as long as you own your custom equipment cases.

Ready to order? Have more questions? Get in touch with the team at Bel-Air Cases today. Whether you need custom equipment cases or something else entirely, we can provide you with any type of case you might need. To receive a free quote, you can give us a call or select the Request a Quote tab on our homepage.