For more than 50 years, we’ve been designing and creating quality custom hard plastic carrying cases and shipping cases. Our cases can be used to protect delicate equipment, used as OEM packaging or even used to hold samples or sales kits.
Over the years, we’ve built cases for clients in a wide range of industries. We can build hard plastic carrying cases or durable plastic shipping cases for electronic equipment, diagnostic equipment, aerospace and military equipment, lighting equipment and anything else you need to protect from the rigors of transport.
Each Bel-Air case is vacuum-formed, and we were the first company to create cases using this process. Vacuum-forming allows us to create cases in just about any size, and add whatever custom features you might need, such as wheels and telescoping handles, molded in logos, locks and much more.
Sometimes we think back to the late 1960s, when we first got started in the case business. We wonder what happened to some of our cases, and perhaps it went something like this . . .
It was a warm summer day, way back in 1967. Somewhere in the warehouse, the haunting melody of a Procol Harum tune whispered through the air. Clad in now-vintage Levi’s and a gray t-shirt, a worker hands off one of the first Bel-Air hard plastic carrying cases to its owner.
It’s first stop? A trendy camera shop on Los Angeles’ Beverly Boulevard some 45 miles away. The case’s owner chats with a youthful salesman named Marvin and purchases enough film to last him several weeks. The film is packed carefully in a handsome hunter green Coleman cooler that rests on the floor of the passenger seat of a 1965 Ford Bronco.
From there the case travels onward to Santa Monica Boulevard and heads to the sea, turning south at Pacific Coast Highway until it reaches a tiny battered cottage in the seaside village of Venice Beach.
Its owner grabs the cooler and the case and heads inside. His other suitcases are ready to go, but the kitchen table is covered with camera equipment. A tripod, a Nikon F, an assortment of lenses, a light meter. The case is opened and the camera and lenses are tucked into durable, custom-made foam cavities each one a perfect fit.
In the following weeks, the case is taken on a journey north along the California coast, taking in the sites of Big Sur, Monterey and San Francisco. Its owner heads east and snaps some photos of Lake Tahoe, then heads south and spends a day or two snapping pictures of tourists on Las Vegas’s Fremont Street.
All along the way, his trusty hard plastic carrying case keeps his camera equipment safe and secure. Throughout the years, the case would see the Basilica di San Lorenzo in Florence, the shores of Waikiki Beach, the Eiffel Tower and enjoy a relaxing trek down the Nile, secure in a comfortable state room as its owner headed out to snap pictures of great antiquities.
Eventually, after many years of travel, the case would be found in an attic in Yorba Linda, covered with dust, yet still protecting the now-antique Nikon F and its components from dirt, moisture and the occasionally jostling when its owner struggled through the attic in search of Christmas lights.
The case might be dusted off, and taken downstairs to be shown to a grandchild with a fondness for vintage camera equipment. Perhaps, it will enjoy a second life with this grandchild or perhaps it will find its way to some other camera enthusiast. We don’t really know its fate, but we do know that it was built to last. While it has a few scratches and dents, it never wavered in its ability to protect what was inside.
Of course, we don’t really know what happened to these cases, but we do know that we built them to last a lifetime. Your hard plastic carrying case or shipping case is crafted from durable, impact-resistant high-density polyethylene with sturdy aluminum valances.
Which Case Should You Choose?
For lightweight items that won’t be transported frequently as luggage or freight, we recommend a light-duty or medium-duty hard plastic carrying case. These cases are perfect for items such as sales kits, sample kits or lightweight equipment that you plan to transport mainly by car.
If you do want a hard plastic carrying case that can handle frequent transport, either as luggage or freight, our heavy-duty plastic carrying cases are ideal. These cases are constructed from the same materials and components that we use for our heavy-duty shipping cases, but they are formed on our tooling for carrying cases.
This makes them a bit easier to maneuver in tight quarters than a shipping case. These cases are still quite lightweight, but we can, of course, add wheels and a telescoping handle to make it as easy as possible for you to weave through a crowded airport terminal or through a crowded city street or wherever you may be headed.
If you do have delicate or expensive items that need frequent shipment, you also might consider our heavy-duty shipping cases. These cases are built to ATA standards and can handle hundreds of trips without damaging your precious items.
While we can’t promise that your case might not suffer from a ding or two and perhaps some scratches (the transportation industry is tough on cases), we can assure you that whatever is inside the case will be well protected.
All of our cases, either a hard plastic carry case or a shipping case, can include a custom foam interior. We never just hand over a case with a chunk of diced foam. We create fully custom interiors. It might be as simple as a basic foam liner or it might contain panels and doors, shock mounts and many custom cavities to hold whatever will be placed inside.
If you need a hard plastic carrying case or 1,000 cases or something in between, give us a call at any time or click on the Contact Us tab and fill out our quick contact form. We can build a case for just about anything and look forward to working on your unique project.
Whether you need to ship lighting equipment, diagnostic equipment, audio/visual equipment or perhaps the super-secret components of a cold fusion-powered time machine, we can build a plastic shipping case that meets your needs.
We know what you are thinking – there’s just no way to produce a cold-fusion reaction to equal the 1.21 gigawatts to power the flux capacitor needed for time travel. But, we don’t judge what our clients place in their cases, we just build them and, of course, we aren’t physicists.
We are, however, case experts. In fact, we’ve been building quality custom plastic shipping cases for more than 50 years, and our cases are built to handle just about anything the transportation industry can throw at it – literally.
What Sets Our Cases Apart From The Pack?
Quality and experience are two factors that truly set our cases apart from the rest. We’ve been creating custom shipping cases and carrying cases since the 1960s, and we’ve built cases for just about any item imaginable.
Our cases are built to last inside and out, and every inch of your case is customized to fit your needs. This includes the custom foam interiors that we design. Many case manufacturers only provide their customers with a slab of diced foam which the customer then has to pluck away to create cavities for their equipment. We believe that the best case has a custom exterior and interior, and we can build any kind of custom foam insert you might need.
What Type Of Case Should You Choose?
There are many different types of cases, and at Bel-Air Cases, we design vacuum-formed plastic shipping cases. Other options include roto-molded cases, injection-molded cases, fabricated wood cases, blow-molded cases and even aluminum cases.
The type of case you need will depend upon many factors, including:
1. The Level Of Durability You Need
If you need to transport your plastic shipping cases often, either as luggage or freight, our cases are an ideal match. The only other types of cases that can match vacuum-formed cases in terms of durability are roto-molded and injection-mold cases, but these two types also have other limitations.
For instance, roto-molded and injection-molded cases aren’t available in as many sizes as vacuum-formed cases, which can be built in almost any size or configuration. These cases also aren’t as easy to customize as vacuum-formed cases, and roto-molded cases are much heavier than vacuum-formed or injection-molded cases, which might be an issue.
2. Size Considerations
With vacuum forming, the sizes and custom options are nearly endless. We can create plastic shipping cases in just about any size you might need. Fabricated and aluminum cases also can be created in just about any size, and it’s quite easy to custom fabricated cases, as well. Of course, these two options aren’t durable as our plastic shipping cases, so if you ship items frequently, that should be factored into the equation.
3. Your Budget
Plastic is an excellent material because it’s durable and moisture-resistant and highly impact-resistant. Two other huge advantages of the materials we use are the light weight of our materials and affordability.
Plastic is one of the most affordable case materials on the planet, especially when you factor in the level of protection it provides. The polyethylene we use for our plastic shipping cases will protect your items from the rigors of transport, extremes in temperature, moisture and exposure to many solvents. This level of protection ensures that you won’t have to pay for costly repairs or pay to replace your equipment, and that’s a huge savings right there.
Additionally, the light weight of our materials can reduce your shipping and transportation costs. After all, shipping costs are determined by the size and the weight of your items, and plastic reduces weight, so that can provide you with some substantial savings if you ship items frequently.
4. Custom Options
With a Bel-Air plastic shipping case, we can provide many custom options. In addition to customizing the size and configuration, we can customize the hardware we use as well as the color of your cases.
Our standard colors are black and silver, but we have several additional stock colors. If you need color matching or perhaps a custom color, this may be available with a minimum purchase. We also can create a plastic shipping case with a molded-in logo or perhaps a custom decal.
We can add many different types of wheels and handles to your shipping cases and we also have many different latches and lock options. If we don’t have precisely what you need, we can probably find it, so let us know exactly what you want when you speak with our customer service representatives.
While we always hope a potential customer will choose our company, it sometimes occurs that our cases aren’t the perfect fit. If we feel that a different type of case or even an off-the-shelf case will better meet your needs, we’ll be honest about it and help you find another source for your cases.
How Long Does It Take?
Each project is unique, but generally, new orders take about three to five weeks, depending on the order volume and the case options you choose. If you opt for a custom foam interior, this can increase your lead time. Additionally, a new size that requires new tooling can take up to eight weeks. Typically, though, most case projects are completed in about four weeks.
How To Get Started
Whether you need one plastic shipping case or many, we are happy to help build you a durable, attractive custom case. Give us a call at any time or click on the Contact Us tab at the top of this page and we will get started on your unique case project.
At Bel-Air Cases, we’ve spent the last 50+ years creating custom plastic cases for clients from just about any industry. No matter what you need to protect, our design and production teams can build a case around it. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from Bel-Air.
Custom Vs. Off-The-Shelf
While an off-the-shelf case might work for some items, custom plastic cases often are the best option for many of our clients. If you need to display items in a sales kit or demo kit, for instance, custom cases with custom foam interiors can truly display your samples or products to their best advantage.
If you have diagnostic equipment or any type of delicate equipment, a custom case typically is your best option because we can build the case around your product and ensure that every inch of it is perfectly protected. Our plastic cases can include a custom foam interior and this is crucial because the foam is designed around your product and helps absorb impact rather than passing on those vibrations to your delicate items.
What Can You Put In A Bel-Air Case?
We can build custom plastic cases for just about any product. Here’s a quick look at just a few of the items for which we have built cases:
• Electronic Equipment
• Laptops & Computer Components
• Lighting Equipment
• Diagnostic Equipment
• Military Equipment
• Aerospace Equipment
• Audio & Video Equipment
• Medical Equipment
• Sales & Demo Kits
• Trade Show Displays & Materials
You might not think that something as lightweight as plastic could be highly durable and protective, but plastic has many advantages over other materials. We use high-density polyethylene for our cases, a type of thermoform plastic known for its impact resistance.
Additionally, polyethylene is moisture-resistant and solvent-resistant, further protecting your products from water and other liquids that might come into contact with your case. Our cases also can withstand changes in temperature, so whether the case has to sit in a hot car in the Mojave Desert or on a slab of tundra in Antarctica, the materials we use can handle these extremes.
The light weight is another advantage that makes it easier for our customers to tote their cases, and the lightweight also reduces shipping costs. Keep in mind, we can add telescoping handles and wheels to most cases, but it’s still easier to wheel around lightweight plastic cases than cases made from heavier materials.
Lastly, the materials we use are highly affordable. Polyethylene is extremely cost-effective, and our valances are crafted from aluminum, which also is inexpensive, not to mention lightweight and durable.
Which Plastic Cases Should You Choose?
When we begin to plan out a case design, we start by looking at what will be going inside the case and how it will be transported. We have several different levels of plastic carrying cases, as well as heavy-duty shipping cases.
For sales kits, demo kits, OEM cases and lightweight items that won’t be transported frequently as luggage, our light-duty carrying cases are a great option. These might be placed in an overhead bin of an airplane or perhaps placed in the trunk of a car or backseat, but aren’t meant to be shipped or transported as luggage. If you have items that weigh less than 20 pounds, these cases are a great option.
These also can be designed to hold sales kits, OEM and demo kits, as well as medical equipment, diagnostic equipment and electronic devices. These cases are a bit more durable and often recommended for items that might be transported occasionally as luggage. While light-duty cases are recommended for products 20 pounds or lighter, the medium-duty plastic cases can handle up to about 40 pounds in weight.
If you have heavier items or items that will be shipped frequently as luggage or cargo, our heavy-duty carrying cases are your best bet. These are constructed from the same materials and components as our heavy-duty shipping cases, but we form them on the tooling for carrying cases, which makes it easy to maneuver these cases in tight quarters. If you need the convenience of a carrying case combined with the strength of a shipping case, this is a perfect choice.
Heavy-Duty Shipping Cases
These plastic cases were built to withstand the rigors of transport and designed with ATA specifications and Military specifications in mind. You can ship these cases again and again with worry as they are built to handle the jostling, bumping and general abuse that the transportation industry might heap upon them.
A Quick Word About Foam
While the exterior of our plastic cases is built to absorb impact and vibrations, we can further protect your products with our custom foam interiors. Some companies simply stick a slab of diced foam in the case and hand it off to their customers, but we highly recommend that you avoid these types of case manufacturers.
Diced foam, also known and pick and pluck foam, is a low-quality type of foam that tends to break down quickly. Of course, with this type of foam, the customer has to cut or pluck away at the foam to create cavities for their items or equipment. Then you end up with a bunch of leftover foam and cavities that don’t quite fit around your items.
If you are paying for custom plastic cases, don’t you also deserve custom foam interiors? We certainly think so, and we also believe that you will find our foam interiors to be more affordable thank you might think. We can create a basic foam liner for your cases or highly customize interiors with multiple cavities, panels, shock mounts, windows and more.
Contact Us Today
Our rugged, yet attractive plastic cases are the perfect option for just about any product. In addition to quality craftsmanship, we also pride ourselves on customer service. Give us a call or fill out our Contact Us form and a representative quickly will be in touch to discuss your case needs and provide you with a quick quote for our services.
If you are in the market for plastic carrying cases, you might be pondering whether or not to take the plunge and order custom cases or simply select off-the-shelf cases. There are advantages to both, but for many products, we firmly believe that custom cases are your best option.
Advantages Of Off-The-Shelf Plastic Cases
The main advantage of an off-the-shelf case is affordability. Since you are selecting a standard case that is mass-produced, your costs naturally will be lower. These cases might be a good option for those with a smaller budget or someone who only needs a single case to hold inexpensive items.
Advantages Of Custom Plastic Carrying Cases
While an off-the-shelf case might be right for some customers, our custom plastic carrying cases have many important advantages over pre-made, off-the-shelf options, including:
1. Designed Around Your Product
Our plastic carrying cases are ideal for many items, such as delicate equipment or sales kits as well as a good option if you need OEM cases. If you want to send salespeople out with kits, our custom cases display your products to their best advantage.
Each Bel-Air plastic carrying case is designed with your product in mind. Whether you need to house medical equipment, electronics, sales materials or something else, we will design the perfect size case for your needs.
2. Custom Foam Inserts
The interior of your case is often just as important as the exterior. At Bel-Air Cases, we can provide you with a custom foam insert that protects every inch of whatever is inside. We never simply build a case then hand it over to the client with a hunk of cheap pick and pluck foam.
This type of “diced” foam is cheap and breaks down easily. Furthermore, the customer has to pick away and cut away at the foam to create cavities for each item that will be placed inside. This hardly allows you to display your items in an attractive manner, and we believe our clients deserve better than cheap foam. If you are buying a custom case, you should expect a high-quality foam interior.
Our custom inserts can be as simple as a foam liner or we can provide you with complicated designs that include multiple custom cavities, interior walls and doors, windows, panel mounts, plastic dividers and more.
3. Three Levels Of Durability
Depending on your needs, we have three different types of plastic carrying cases. Our light-duty carrying cases are ideal for items that are lightweight, non-delicate or inexpensive. These cases are not meant to be shipped or transported frequently, such as sales kits, OEM packaging, medical equipment and product samples.
Our medium-duty plastic carrying cases amp up the protection a bit and are perfect for items that might be transported frequently and even can be used as airline luggage on occasion. We often build these for sales kits or as OEM packaging, but these also are ideal for medical equipment, diagnostic instruments and electronic devices.
If you do have items that you need to transport frequently, but still want the convenience of a carrying case, our heavy-duty plastic carrying cases are the perfect option. These cases are built using the same materials we use for our heavy-duty shipping cases, and the result is a tough custom case that can handle whatever the transportation industry throws at it – literally.
4. Custom Hardware & Improved Security
Our plastic carrying cases can be fitted out with whatever type of hardware you might want. We have many different wheel options, as well as many different handles and hinges.
There also are many options for latches, and we can install features such as a key lock or combination lock to ensure security and keep your items as safe as possible. If we don’t have precisely what you need, we can probably get it. For us, it’s all about providing our customer with multiple choices so that we can design the ideal custom case for their needs.
5. Many Custom Options
Of course, there are other custom options to consider beyond latches, handles and locks. Our cases are available in our standard colors of black or silver, but we also offer many optional stock colors, including white, yellow, orange, red, green, olive and blue.
Additionally, with a minimum purchase, we may be able to provide custom colors or color matching. This might be a great option for those needing a large number or sales kits or OEM packaging. We also can add in a molded-in logo as well as custom decals and engraved plates. Our ability to customize the look of your plastic carrying cases is a huge advantage over those off-the-shelf cases.
Over the last 50+ years, we created custom plastic carrying cases and shipping cases for just about any product and industry imaginable. That includes designing cases for audio & video equipment, medical equipment, diagnostic equipment, lighting equipment and even building custom military and aerospace equipment cases.
No matter what you need to put into your plastic carrying cases, the team at Bel-Air can provide you with custom case that meets all your needs. To get started, just click on the Contact Us tab at the top of this page, and a friendly customer service expert will be in touch as quickly as possible.
At Bel-Air Cases we manufacture many different types of custom cases, from lightweight carry cases to trade show expo cases to heavy-duty shipping cases. Our shipping cases are the perfect option for many different types of equipment, including the following.
Items Shipped Frequently
If you have any item or equipment that will be transported frequently as freight or luggage, heavy-duty shipping cases are almost always your best bet. Our shipping cases and carry cases are created using the same plastic materials, but the thickness of the plastic and the design of the cases is quite different.
Heavy-duty shipping cases feature molded-in bumpers that absorb impact instead of passing impact and vibrations to your equipment. We also craft our shipping cases with molded in ribs and channels for stacking stability.
These cases meet stringent ATA 300 Category 1 and many Mil specifications. This means they are capable of being transported hundreds of times without breaking down. They might endure a scratch or two, but they will protect whatever is placed inside.
While our light-duty and medium-duty carry cases are quite protective, these cases are not meant for frequent transport. If you do want a carry case but need one that can handle frequent flights or shipment, consider our heavy-duty carrying cases. These feature the same level of materials as our shipping cases, but our built using the tooling for our carry cases.
If you have items that weigh 30 or 40 pounds or more, we highly recommend that you opt for our shipping cases rather than using our carrying cases. In some cases, our heavy-duty carrying cases might be an option, and we can talk with you about which type is the best fit for your equipment.
While the heavy-duty carrying cases can be a great option, keep in mind that we can add wheels and telescoping handles to our heavy-duty shipping cases, which can make it easy to navigate a case through a busy airport or wherever you might need to move it.
Lighting equipment is particularly delicate, and we definitely recommend using our heavy-duty shipping cases for lighting and related equipment. Professional photography equipment also is a good fit for these heavy-duty cases as well as any type of audio and video equipment.
If you have computers or other types of electronic equipment, our heavy-duty shipping cases are the perfect match. Each case also includes a custom foam interior that protects every inch of your equipment from jostling and movement as well as from static and vibrations.
Medical equipment is expensive and difficult to replace, and if you are transporting any type of medical items, you definitely need it to be well-protected for the journey. Whether you are headed on a medical mission or perhaps need a sales kit that displays your equipment to its best advantage, we can come up with the perfect design.
Military & Aerospace Equipment
We’ve been building cases for the U.S. military as well as related aerospace industries for decades and our cases can be built to handle just about whatever specifications you might need. In addition to shipping cases, our durable Mil-SPEC cases also are available as light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty carrying cases.
No matter what type of cases you select, we have many additional custom options that you might want to consider. For instance, we can add molded in logos, custom plates or decals to any case.
Black and silver are the standard colors for our cases, but we have several optional 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 or color matching.
Additionally, we have a myriad of hardware options, including several different styles of wheels. You also can select from several different types of handles, hinges, latches and feet.
Of course, we also provide you with a completely custom interior. We never use cheap pick and pluck or diced foam. We can provide any level of foam interior you might need, from a basic foam liner to complicated designs with panels and doors, shock mounts and more.
If you would like to learn more about our heavy-duty shipping cases and determine whether or not they are the best option for your equipment, give us a call at (866) 235-2472 or click the Contact Us tab and fill out our quick contact form.
Purchasing custom shipping cases with wheels is ideal if you have any delicate or expensive items that need to be transported frequently. Of course, there are many types of durable shipping cases to consider, so which one is right for you?
At Bel-Air Cases, we design custom vacuum-formed plastic shipping cases, and our cases have many advantages over other common types of shipping cases, such as roto-molded, injection molded, blow-molded, aluminum or fabricated wood cases, including:
1. Light Weight
For our shipping cases with wheels, we use sheets of high-density polyethylene, a type of thermoform plastic that is very lightweight. Not only does this light weight make it easier for our customer to handle, it also can reduce overall shipping weights, which can reduce your transportation costs. Commonly used cases, such a roto-molded and fabricated wood transport cases, while very protective, these cases also are very heavy and cumbersome.
Whenever you search for shipping cases with wheels, it is best to select cases that are built with ATA standards in mind. These standards, which were set by an organization that represents major airlines, ensure that your cases can withstand the rigors of transport.
Our cases are built to ATA standards, and our vacuum-formed plastic materials are highly durable. Unlike materials such as fabricated wood, aluminum and blow-molded plastics, our cases can handle being jostled about on airplanes, container ships, vans, trains, helicopters and any other method of transportation. Only roto-molded cases are more durable, but these also are quite heavy, which can be a big disadvantage.
3. Design Options
With vacuum-forming, we can design just about any size shipping case you might need. Fabricated wood and aluminum cases also can be built in many sizes, although only fabricated wood cases equal vacuum-formed cases when it comes to customization. Roto-molded, injection molded, blow-molded and aluminum cases aren’t nearly as easy to customize.
For instance, we can provide you with a wide array of colors. Our standard colors are silver and black, but we also have a number of optional stock colors, including green, olive, white, red, yellow and blue. With a minimum order, we also may be able to provide color-matching services or create a custom color. We also can add a molded-in logo or add engraved plates or custom decals on your shipping cases.
We also can add different types of wheels and handles, including telescoping handles. We offer many custom latches, hinges, locks and case feet, and if we don’t have precisely want you want, we can probably get it. It’s all about choice and providing you with a completely custom case that meets all of your needs.
One of the best things about our custom shipping cases with wheels is the affordability factor. Thermoform plastic is a highly inexpensive material, and with our in-house tooling, we can keep costs quite affordable. You’ll find our cases more affordable than roto-molded and fabricated wood shipping cases and fairly comparable with custom injection molded and aluminum case costs.
Keep in mind, that we don’t sell off-the-shelf cases; all of our shipping cases are custom-made with your specifications in mind. We design each case around your product, providing an ultimate level of protection that you just can’t get with an off-the-shelf case. And this leads us to our next point . . .
5. Custom Foam Interiors
In order to truly protect your expensive equipment or whatever you place in your case, it is important that we customize the interior of the case, as well as the exterior. We never simply toss a slab of pick and pluck foam in your case and hand it over to you.
Pick and pluck foam is common in our industry, but it’s completely inadequate to use as protection for expensive or delicate equipment. With this type of foam, the customer has to pick and cut away at it to make their own cavities for the equipment that goes inside the case. This type of foam is cheap, and tends to break down quickly, and you end up paying for a bunch of foam that you just throw away.
Our custom interiors are made using the highest quality foam, and we usually can construct a foam interior that is comparable in price to the pick and pluck foam. We can provide you with a basic foam liner or a complex design with interior walls, plastic dividers, interior doors, panel mounts, shock mounts and windows.
While our custom shipping cases with wheels are ideal for many types of equipment and delicate items, you may not be sure if a Bel-Air Case is your best option. We can discuss your case needs, and help you decide if one of our custom cases is your best bet or if you would be better off using another type of case or perhaps even an off-the-shelf shipping case.
We design shipping cases with wheels for a wide range of industries as well as the military. In addition to our military and aerospace cases, we can design cases for audio and video equipment, medical equipment, computer equipment, lighting equipment, sales kits, trade show displays and much more.
In the last 50 years or so, we’ve built thousands of hard plastic shipping cases. Our cases are meant to handle the rigors of transport with ease whether they are bouncing along in a Boeing C-17 on route to Afghanistan or tossed around in a container ship during stormy weather or just used for a cross-country flight on a domestic carrier.
Our hard plastic shipping cases are built using some of the most durable materials on earth. Additionally, we design the cases to meet ATA guidelines as well as many MIL specifications.
What Are These ATA Standards?
You’ll often see companies sell hard plastic shipping cases (including our own) built to ATA 300 Category 1 specs or they might simply call their products ATA cases. But what does this mean and why is this important?
ATA stands for Air Transport Association, and this group was formed in 1936 to support the air transportation industry. It is now called Airlines for America and includes Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, United and UPS.
In 1960, when this group was still known as the ATA, they published a set of standards or specifications for shipping cases. Cases that meet these standards, which are known as ATA Specification 300 standards, are able to handle the rigors of air travel without damaging the contents of the cases.
When you buy an ATA case, this does not mean that the case has been approved by this group. It simply means that we have studied the standards and built cases that meet or exceed these standards. For any delicate or expensive item, we highly recommend that you find cases that meet ATA standards, such as our own.
When it comes to identifying Category 1 cases, these are reusable cases that are built to handle a minimum of 100 round trips via air travel. There are also Category II containers, but these are built to handle only a minimum of 10 round-trips.
These standards also identify the types of materials that should be used to build shipping cases, as well as the configuration and size, the interior cushioning, closure fasteners and hardware, and even the handles.
For Category I cases, materials such as metal, plastic, fiberglass and plywood are acceptable. We use high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for our hard plastic shipping cases, which has many benefits over other ATA-approved materials.
Our plastic is very lightweight, which makes it easier for our clients to transport or carry their cases, as well as possibly lessening shipping costs. HDPE also is a highly affordable material, which lowers overall costs for our clients. HDPE is durable and resistant to moisture and water as well as chemicals and solvents. Basically, if your case is left standing on a tarmac in a puddle of jet fuel as the rain beats down on it, whatever is inside will remain safe and dry.
In order to comply with ATA standards, a shipping case must be able to withstand temperatures that range from -40°F up to 130°F. Our hard plastic shipping cases go well beyond this standard and can handle temperatures between -80°F up to 180°F. So drag your case through Death Valley in the middle of August or send it on an expedition to Antarctica and rest assured your case can handle the extremes.
ATA standards also include a section regarding the design, configuration and size of a shipping case. Of particular importance, the ATA standards also discuss the type of interior cushioning that must be present.
The interior cushioning must be able to protect your equipment from vibrations or shock. Additionally, the interior cushioning must be crafted from materials that are durable, resilient, mold-resistant and these materials cannot produce dust.
At Bel-Air Cases, we take a great deal of pride in our foam interiors. We study your equipment carefully to create custom foam interiors that truly protect your items from damage. If a case is dropped, jostled or bumped, we ensure that the impact is absorbed by the case and the foam and not your products. We also can add features such as shock mounts, panel mounts, interior doors and so forth to ensure that every inch of your equipment fits perfectly and is perfectly protected.
The ATA standards also specify the types of closure fasteners, hardware and handles that should be placed on a case. For instance, all of these items should be flush or recessed so that they don’t protrude beyond the case edges. This ensures that handles and latches and fasteners aren’t damaged as they are being jostled about in a cargo hold or along a conveyor belt. If handles cannot be recessed or flush, guarded surface-mounted handles can be used.
We have a wide variety of handles, hinges, latches and feet and if you don’t see exactly what you want or need, we can probably track it down. With Bel-Air Cases, it’s all about choice and creating custom cases that fully meet your needs.
The ATA standards even discuss the color of the cases, and while they recommend that all Category I cases be white, this is not a requirement for compliance and we offer many different color options for our hard plastic shipping cases. Our standard colors are black and silver, but we also have an assortment of optional stock colors, including white, yellow, orange, red, olive, green and blue. We also can add decals, molded in logos and even engraved plates if requested.
No matter what color you select, your Bel-Air case is built to withstand whatever the transportation industry throws at it – literally. In addition to shipping cases, we also create custom expo cases as well as light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty carrying cases.
Come & Take A Tour
All of our hard plastic shipping cases as well as our carrying cases and expo cases are designed and built at our Ontario, California, facility. If you’re ever in the area, feel free to stop by and we’ll give you a tour.
How To Order
If you need hard plastic shipping cases, we can provide you with just about any size of case you might need as well as custom foam interiors for each case. To get started, just click on the Contact Us tab at the top of our homepage and fill our quick contact form. A friendly customer service rep will be in touch quickly to start discussing your project.
At Bel-Air Cases, we know a thing or two about the transportation industry and how rough it can be on cases, boxes and luggage. If you have to ship something delicate or expensive, your transport cases need to feature an exceptional design that protects your items and absorbs the shock of multiple rounds of jostling and bumping.
Case Cost Vs. Replacement Value
You might be wondering if custom transport cases are worth the cost. The best way to decide is to compare the case cost with the replacement value of your equipment. Our heavy-duty transport cases are built with ATA and MIL specifications in mind and designed to absorb impact, rather than passing that impact on to your equipment.
Obviously, a custom transport case or custom shipping case isn’t going to be just $40 or $50, but you won’t find many $900 cases on our site either. As a basic estimate, you can expect to pay about $400 each for five large heavy-duty shipping cases. If your equipment costs thousands of dollars, and a $300 or $400 case will protect this equipment from harm for many years, the value is pretty clear.
Keep in mind, that we do not sell off-the-shelf cases. Each of our transport cases is made-to-order from the inside out. Each case also includes a custom foam insert. We never just build a case and pass it off to you with a chunk of cheap diced foam. We design custom foam inserts that truly protect every inch of your equipment. Your case is built to last a lifetime, protecting your equipment through hundreds of trips via airplane, truck, boat, bus, train, chariot, Batmobile, helicopter or whatever method of transportation is required.
Which Case Do You Need?
At Bel-Air Cases, we build many different types of custom plastic cases. We have light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty carrying cases; heavy-duty shipping cases; and expo cases ideal for transporting oddly-sized trade show displays.
For transport cases, we typically assume that you need heavy-duty cases that can withstand frequent transport. Heavy-duty carrying cases and heavy-duty shipping cases can be transported frequently, and they are perfect for delicate items that weigh more than 30 pounds.
The difference between the heavy-duty shipping cases and carrying cases lies in the design. Our shipping cases are built with protruding corner bumpers and stacking lugs for extra protection and stacking ability, while our heavy-duty carrying cases do not feature these design elements, making them durable yet easy to maneuver in tight quarters. Keep in mind we can add wheels and telescoping handles to any case, either a carrying case or a shipping case.
OEM Transport Cases
Do you have a product that needs a case? We can help. We can design OEM carrying cases as well as heavy-duty transport cases for your product. Over the years, we’ve built light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty OEM cases for a wide range of clients. This includes designing custom foam inserts specifically for your product for a truly professional and polished look.
Additionally, we can add molded-in logos, engraved plates or custom decals. When it comes to the color or your OEM case, our standard colors are black and silver, but we have several optional stock colors, including green, olive, white, yellow, blue, orange and red. With a minimum purchase, we may be able to provide you with custom colors or color matching.
With our OEM cases, you may or may not need heavy-duty transport cases. If you do need cases that can handle constant shipping and transport, we can provide you with what you need. But if you need some light-duty carrying cases, such as for sales kits or for lightweight items that aren’t particularly expensive or won’t be transported or shipped, we can provide you with those types of cases, as well.
No matter what type of transport cases you need, we are equal to the task. We design cases for just about any industry imaginable, and can create a custom case for lighting equipment, video & motion picture equipment, photography equipment, military equipment, medical equipment, music equipment, sales kits and more. To get started, just click on the Request a Quote tab at the top of our homepage.
When it comes to shipping cases, protecting your product is the most crucial factor, but if you could find a shipping case that was also lightweight, attractive and affordable, wouldn’t this seal the deal? At Bel-Air Cases we can provide you with a handsome, durable, fully custom case that won’t break the bank.
Off-the-shelf shipping cases might be fine for inexpensive items, but for items such as lighting equipment, music equipment, medical equipment or anything that’s expensive and fragile, a custom case is essential. The transportation industry is tough on cases, so yours needs to be able to handle being dropped, bumped and jostled without affecting whatever is inside. Keeping that in mind, we always prioritize the following factors when designing your cases.
1. Cases Are Built Around Your Equipment/Product
We don’t sell off-the-shelf cases, and your custom shipping cases will be built according to the specifications needed to fully protect your equipment or whatever items you need to transport.
We use high-density polyethylene to build the shells of our shipping cases. This material was selected for several reasons. It offer high impact resistance, it’s durable, it’s lightweight and it’s also quite affordable. Shipping cases also include aluminum valances, and this material also is lightweight, durable and affordable. Our stainless steel hinges and latches also are built to handle the rigors of transport.
When we begin the design process, we aren’t just thinking about the exterior of the case, but also the foam interior. You’ll need a custom foam interior large enough to fully protect every inch of your equipment, and this can affect the size of your case overall. We have many standard size options, but, if needed, we can create an entirely custom size to fit your needs.
2. Foam Load & Foam Quality Are Crucial
Foam is more complex than you probably ever thought. There are many different types of foam and they all possess unique characteristics in terms of weight, firmness and density. Many companies will simply stash a big chunk of diced foam or pick & pluck foam in your case, and then you have to pick or cut away at the foam to create cavities for your product or equipment.
This is in no way acceptable to us here at Bel-Air Cases. We firmly believe that custom foam inserts are crucial and provide the extra protection that you equipment needs. The foam can be designed to further divert impact from your product. In order to do this, we have to think about foam load.
To calculate foam load we calculate the weight of your item and divide that by the side surface area. This allows us to design a foam insert that has the strength and support your product needs.
3. Temperature Control
Of course, when it comes to protecting your equipment, it’s not just about the jostling that occurs during transport. Changes in temperature and humidity also should be factored in when you select a company to create your shipping cases.
When it comes to fluctuations in temperature, it’s crucial that your case be up to the challenge. A typical airplane cargo hold might be just 8 degrees Fahrenheit, and while you can sometimes arrange to place your shipping cases in a temperature-controlled cargo area or bin, this might not be available every time you ship via a commercial airliner.
If you are transporting your shipping cases on a large container ship, both temperature and humidity can be a factor. The interior of shipping containers can be climate controlled, but if your items will be shipped in non-climate controlled containers, it’s essential that your case can withstand the heat and the humidity often present in these containers.
Our shipping cases can withstand temperatures ranging from -80 degrees Fahrenheit up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, our cases are solvent, moisture and water-resistant. Our cases are able to meet stringent ATA 300 – Category 1 and MIL specifications, so whether you are traipsing through the Amazon rainforest, meandering across the Mojave or on an Arctic expedition, your case will remain strong and protective.
Of course, we offer many other custom features to make your shipping cases entirely unique. We have a variety of standard and optional stock colors and we can add a molded in logo, decals or engraved plates to any case. We also have a variety of handle and wheel options, to help make transport a breeze.
No matter what type of shipping cases you might need, the team at Bel-Air Cases can create an attractive and affordable design that truly protects your products from transport and the elements. To get started, just head to our homepage and click on the Request a Quote tab and fill out our quick contact form.
Whether you need equipment cases with foam to transport lighting equipment, medical equipment, electronics equipment or perhaps a 14th century Ming Dynasty porcelain dragon vase, we can create a custom case that suits your needs.
We design equipment cases with foam for customers in just about any industry. Our cases are completely customized, and we build your case from scratch, based upon agreed-upon specs. Before we start building your case, we consider many factors, including the following:
1. Type Of Transport
We have several different levels of equipment cases with foam – light-duty carrying cases, medium-duty carrying cases, heavy-duty carrying cases and heavy-duty shipping cases. Carrying cases tend to be a bit smaller, and although we call them carrying cases, we certainly can add all types of wheels and handles to make transport as easy as possible.
One of the first questions we ask a customer is how the case will be transported. For instance, our light-duty carrying cases and medium-duty carrying cases are ideal for items that won’t be transported as luggage frequently. While these cases are quite protective, they are meant more for items that might be transported in a backseat or car trunk, and not jostled around by luggage and baggage handlers and bounced along conveyor belts.
For items that you do need to ship frequently, we recommend either our heavy-duty carrying cases or our heavy-duty shipping cases. These cases are built to withstand the rigors of transport and can be shipped or transported as luggage by trains, planes, automobiles, boats or even aboard an Apache helicopter during a combat mission should you need that level of protection.
2. Type Of Equipment
Our light-duty carrying cases and medium-duty carrying cases are ideal for lightweight items that aren’t particularly delicate or expensive, but still are important enough that they deserve a handsome, professional-looking custom case. Light-duty cases often are used to house sales kits, OEM packaging, medical equipment and samples of various lightweight products.
Medium-duty cases are more durable, and can be used as airline luggage on occasion, and these cases are ideal for items that might be a bit more delicate than those packed in a light-duty case, such as diagnostic instruments and electronic devices. These often are utilized for sales kits, as well, particularly if you need just a more protection for the items in the kit or will need to use it as luggage once in a while.
If you do have very delicate and expensive items, or heavier items, even if they won’t frequently transported or shipped, we recommend that you opt for our heavy-duty equipment cases with foam or our shipping cases. These are built using our most durable materials and designed to absorb impact and protect every inch of your equipment.
We use high-density polyethylene for the shells of our cases, which is one of the most durable materials in the world and also provides very high impact resistance. We also use durable aluminum valances and heavy-duty stainless steel hinges. Shipping cases also include molded-in protective corner bumpers and stacking lugs to further absorb impact and protect your equipment. Additionally, these materials are quite lightweight, which makes it easier for the customer to transport and can even reduce shipping costs in general.
3. Equipment Shape & Size
As we stated before, each of our equipment cases with foam is completely custom. We don’t have cases sitting around on the shelf. We don’t build a case until you place your order, so we can design just about any size of case you might need. If you have large or oddly-shaped equipment, we can build a case around it and create a custom foam insert that fits your equipment precisely.
When it comes to equipment cases with foam, we don’t simply build a case and provide you with a chunk of pick and pluck foam. This is a cheap type of foam common in our industry. With this type of foam, the customer has to pick and cut away pieces of foam to create cavities to accommodate your equipment.
Not only does this type of foam not provide a high level of protection, it tends to break down quickly and when you pick away foam, the cavities created aren’t truly custom and your equipment really isn’t fully protected. At Bel-Air Cases, we can create any type of custom foam insert you might need.
We will study your equipment carefully and create the perfect foam insert. We can create anything you might need, from a basic foam liner to complicated designs with plastic dividers, interior doors, windows, panel mounts, shock mounts and more. No matter what you need, we can create the perfect equipment case.
We also offer a variety of decorative options. In addition to our standard colors of silver and black, we also can form your cases in several optional 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 or color matching. We also can personalize your case with a molded-in logo, engraved plates or custom decals.
At Bel-Air Cases, we’ve been creating custom equipment cases with foam for more than 50 years, and whether you need just one carrying case or 100, we can design the perfect case for your needs. To get started, head to our homepage and click on the Request A Quote tab or the Contact Us tab, and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.