What are 'made to order' cases?
At Bel-Air, all of our shipping cases and carrying cases are “made to order.” This means we don’t have any cases already completely built, in stock, or ready to ship. Our goal is to build the best case for your requirements, not to try to fit you into the closest case we might happen to already have. The benefit to you is a greater choice of sizes and options, assembled your way.
How are Bel-Air shipping cases and carrying cases made?
Bel-Air Shipping Cases and Carrying Cases are vacuum-formed from a sheet of plastic. After the lid and base shells are formed, they are trimmed to the desired heights and then the hardware is added. Unlike other styles of manufacturing, where a machine produces an entire case, our method gives you much more ability to customize the case color, lid and base heights, appearance, and components of the case.
From what materials are the cases constructed?
We vacuum-form our plastic shells from High-Density Polyethylene plastic. This material offers an unparalleled combination of durability and light weight. The two halves of the case are held together with an aluminum valance. We then can add a variety of standard and optional hardware components including hinges, latches, handles, and wheels.
What are the differences among the various case styles?
Our Bel-Air cases differ from each other in both “style” and “classification”:
The design of the plastic shell determines the “style” of case. For instance, the Shipping Cases’ shells are formed with molded bumpers and stacking lugs. Only Shipping Cases have these features or this style. On the other hand, the plastic shells of our Carrying Cases’ style more closely resemble attache cases or suitcases. Finally, our EXPO Transport cases, Aerospace Cases, and Recessed Hardware Cases all have their own unique plastic shell design or case “style.”
In addition to “style”, our cases are also “classified” by the materials used for construction and assembly. For example, all of our “Carrying Cases” are formed from the same tooling, so they all have the same “style”. However, they can be classified as “Heavy-duty”, “Medium-duty”, or “Light-duty” by the type of hardware and thickness of plastic utilized. Obviously, the more durable cases are made with thicker plastic shells and more robust hardware.
Here is a synopsis of our case styles and classifications:
Shipping Case, heavy-duty = shipping case shell + heavy-duty hardware
Carrying Case, heavy-duty = carrying case shell + heavy-duty hardware
Carrying Case, medium-duty = carrying case shell + medium-duty hardware
Carrying Case, light-duty = carrying case shell + light duty hardware
Aerospace Case = aerospace case shell + heavy-duty hardware
Recessed Hardware Case = recessed hardware shell + recessed hardware
EXPO Transport case = EXPO ‘overlapping’ shell + EXPO hardware.
What case sizes are available?
Please consult the web pages of the particular style and classification of case in which you are interested. There are downloadable “sizes and specifications” sheets on every products’ information page.
Otherwise, please call 866-235-2472 for assistance.
Why are the light-duty carrying cases only available in smaller sizes?
Although all “Carrying Case” classifications are formed from the same tooling, we stop producing “Light-duty” cases larger than 23″ long. At this length, the thinner gauge of plastic starts to sag. Also, the “light-duty” valance can become misaligned over longer spans. Therefore, with cases longer than 23″, it’s better to go with a “Medium-duty” or “Heavy-duty” classification.
Do the Bel-Air cases come with foam?
Just like our cases are ‘made to order’, so are the foam interiors. We can provide custom hand-cut or die-cut foam interiors, layers of foam ‘slabs’ or we can cover all inside walls of the case with a foam ‘liner.’ With our ability to create any type of custom foam insert, there is no reason to have to settle for that awful ‘pick-n-pluck’ foam found in many ‘off-the-shelf’ cases.
Why do we recommend against 'pick-n-pluck' foam?
There are actually two reasons we’re against ‘pick-n-pluck’ (or ‘diced’) foam. The first is about the foam itself. ‘Pick-n-pluck’ is die-cut foam that results in foam slabs with perforated cubes. The idea is that by being able to tear away (or pick and pluck) the foam cubes, you can easily create your own foam cavities. In theory it’s not a bad idea. In reality, however, it’s almost always a horrible solution. This is because a customer will pay for a case completely full of die-cut foam but will end up discarding 70% to 90%. Furthermore, the remaining foam has a bunch of tiny holes in it and inevitably starts falling apart. (You’ll be buying foam again fairly soon.) There is almost always a better solution than ‘diced’ foam for your packaging requirements, and we at Bel-Air will work with you to find that answer. By the way, the other reason for recommending against ‘pick-n-pluck’ foam is the associated indolence. Be wary of anyone who advocates ‘diced’ foam, as this requires the least amount of effort, interest in your products, and design acumen.
Can I get a case with a telescoping handle and wheels?
We can add a telescoping handle and wheels to almost every shipping case and carrying case we manufacture. For cases larger than 30″, we often recommend a 3″ or 7″ end handle instead of a telescoping handle, since the case is already sufficiently long for easy and comfortable maneuvering.
What options and customizations are available on Bel-Air cases?
Depending on the case style and classification, you have your choice of many options and customizations including:
- Case color – from stock colors to custom color matching (minimum order)
- Case heights – you choose the case, lid and base heights (within limits)
- Molded-in logo – your logo can be embossed into the plastic shell
- Valance – standard, panel mount, or anodized for protection and color
- Hardware – a variety of styles and materials including stainless steel
- Wheels – we can wheels (edge-mount or casters) to almost any case
- Interiors – inner lids, dividers, mounting brackets, foam, and more
- Etc. – Sealed cases, pressure relief valves, locking mechanisms, etc!
Why are there no prices on the website?
Because we manufacture our Bel-Air shipping cases and carrying cases specifically to your specifications, the final price depends on many factors. These include the case size and custom options, foam interiors, and the quantity of cases ordered. Additionally, you may qualify for certain discounts. Therefore, rather than trying to post an incredibly large and potentially confusing price list, we’ve computerized our quoting process and are most happy to give instant quotes over the phone. Just call 866-235-2472.
How much do Bel-Air Cases cost?
With the wide variety of styles, sizes and configurations we offer, it is difficult to provide a narrow range of pricing for our durable cases. While we don’t sell any cheap $40 cases, you won’t find many $900 cases either. Expect to pay about $400 dollars each for five large shipping cases, while 100 lightweight sales kits with custom foam may sell for around $120 each. Bel-Air Cases are actually a great value for made-to-order thermoformed cases.
Is there a minimum order? A maximum?
At Bel-Air Cases, every order from one case to one thousand, receives the benefits of our “made-to-order” practices and top-notch customer service.
Where can I purchase Bel-Air Cases?
Do Bel-Air Cases meet ATA and MIL specifications?
As manufactured, our Heavy-duty Shipping cases meet ATA guidelines and many MIL specifications. We can also configure this and other styles to meet most any airline, military, government, or aerospace specifications. Just call and tell us what you need.
What is the warranty on these cases?
Bel-Air Cases has no written case warranty. Really. That’s because we’ve never needed one. We stand by our cases throughout their lifetime. Should a case component break, we’ll fix it. Moreover, we can usually repair most case defects for no charge. (You may, however, be responsible for the shipping charges.) Let’s face it, the transit industry is rough on packages. So while we can’t guarantee that your cases will never be damaged, we can assure you that we will always repair the damages for as long as you own the case.
What are the return and exchange policies?
Because our cases are “made to order” to your specifications, we do not usually allow returns, exchanges, or refunds. However, we will provide you with sufficient information, design drawings, photographs, and samples (if appropriate) to be confident in your decisions. If, for any reason, you aren’t satisfied, we will rework the cases until you are. (Within reason.)
How long until I receive my cases?
New orders typically have a production lead-time of 3 to 5 weeks, depending on the order volume and case options. Custom foam inserts may add to that lead-time. A new size which requires a new tool typically takes about 8 weeks. For most orders, however, you can estimate a 4-week lead-time.