Off-The-Shelf Vs. Custom: Selecting A Hard Case With Wheels

If you need to protect expensive and/or delicate equipment, a heavy-duty shipping or carrying case is your best option. But should you select an off-the-shelf case or invest in a custom case? What advantages will you enjoy with a custom hard case with wheels? Let’s take a look at some benefits that a custom case can provide versus an off-the-shelf case.

Specific Dimensions

Equipment that doesn’t fit standard case sizes might require a custom hard case to ensure a snug and secure fit. If the equipment moves around too much inside a larger case, it can be susceptible to damage. Conversely, a case that’s too tight might press against delicate parts.

Unique Equipment Shape

Some equipment might have irregular or unconventional shapes. Our custom foam inserts can be designed to match the exact contours of the item, ensuring optimal protection against shocks and vibrations. We use high-quality case foam, and, unlike some case manufacturers, we never hand off a case with a cheap chunk of pick and pluck foam.

We are experts at fabricating interior walls and doors, plastic dividers, windows, shock mounts, panel mounts and any other interior features you might need. Typically, we can construct custom foam sets for about the same price that you’d pay for a case filled with cheap diced foam, which is what you generally get with an off-the-shelf case.

Branding & Aesthetics

Companies often want their equipment cases to reflect their brand identity. Custom cases can incorporate specific colors, logos, and designs that off-the-shelf cases might not offer, enhancing brand visibility and consistency.

We can added molded-in logos to any carrying case as well as shipping cases and trade show cases. We also can add custom engraved plates or decals, depending on what you want. Our standard colors are black and silver, but we do have several additional stock case colors including white, blue, green, olive, yellow, red and orange. With a specific minimum order, we may be able to provide you with custom colors or color matching.

Enhanced Durability Requirements

Some equipment might be headed to particularly harsh environments, such as deserts, snowy regions, or marine settings. Our Bel-Air custom cases can be built to withstand specific environmental challenges like extreme temperatures, high humidity, sand or saltwater.

Our cases are vacuum-formed using high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is one of the most durable, impact-resistant materials available. HDPE also is moisture-resistant and resistant to many chemicals and solvents, as well as being able to handle temperature extremes with ease. It’s also extremely lightweight, which makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, but also can reduce your overall shipping and transport costs.

Ease of Transport

Depending on how and where the equipment will be moved, custom cases can be designed with specific transport-friendly features. This could include reinforced handles, wheels and stacking capabilities. We also have a variety of latches and locks and if we don’t have the specific items you want, we likely can source them out for you.

Regulatory & Compliance Needs

Certain industries have stringent regulations regarding how equipment should be transported or stored. A custom hard case, such as an ATA case, can be designed to meet specific standards or certifications, ensuring compliance and avoiding potential legal or financial repercussions. Our cases meet ATA specs and also can be built to conform to most MIL specs if needed.

For companies producing valuable equipment, the upfront investment in a custom a rolling hard case often outweighs the potential cost of equipment damage, replacement, or liability.

Customization ensures that every aspect of the equipment’s protection, transport, and presentation is optimized. While off-the-shelf cases might be cheaper and faster to attain, a custom case provides a much higher level of protection.

Bel-Air Cases are meant to last a lifetime, and while we don’t offer a written lifetime warranty or guarantee (we’ve never needed one), if a case component breaks, we will fix the issue at no charge (shipping charges may apply).

We all know that the transit industry can be tough on luggage and cases, so we can’t guarantee that your case will never be damaged. However, we can promise that we will always repair the damages for as long as you own your Bel-Air case.

Our Case Options

At Bel-Air, we design and produce three types of cases – carrying cases, heavy-duty shipping cases and expo cases (AKA trade show cases). Our heavy-duty custom carrying cases, our shipping cases and trade show cases are all suitable to be transported frequently as cargo or luggage.

We also have a medium-duty carrying case, and while that option is not meant for frequent trips as cargo or luggage, it is ideal for sales kits and demo kits or if you need OEM cases. If you want the ease of a carrying case with the durability of a shipping case, we recommend opting for our heavy-duty carrying case.

Our shipping cases with wheels are ideal for just about any type of equipment. We’ve built cases to hold lighting equipment, camera gear, diagnostic and medical equipment, audio-visual equipment, music equipment, aerospace equipment, military gear and much more.

Order Your Cases Today

If you need a custom hard case with wheels (or multiple cases), don’t hesitate to contact the team at Bel-Air Cases at any time. We’ve been producing quality padded equipment cases for more than 50 years and can provide you with an attractive, durable case that meets all of your specifications.