If you need to ship delicate or expensive items, your shipping cases should be able to withstand anything that might occur during transport. With an ATA case, your items should be protected if the case is jostled, dropped or banged against other cases. At Bel-Air Cases, we design custom shipping cases that can handle the rigors of all types of transportation.
What Is an ATA Case?
ATA stands for the Airport Transportation Association, and it was a group formed in the 1930s when the airline industry was just getting started. This group included the first commercial airline carriers and their goal was to promote the airline industry as well as setting certain standards.
In regards to shipping cases or luggage, ATA standards included a section known as ATA Spec 300, and this set forth certain regulations or specifications that cases would have to meet to meet the ATA’s standards. For instance, in order to comply with specifications, an ATA case would have to be able to handle at least 100 shipments without damaging the contents of the case. Additionally, cases needed to have recessed handles.
When you purchase ATA cases, this doesn’t necessarily mean it was approved by the ATA (which now is known as Airlines 4 America); it simply means that the case manufacturer created the case to meet these exacting standards.
Bel-Air Cases & ATA Specifications
At Bel-Air Cases, we create several different types or levels of cases. If you do need cases that can be shipped frequently, we have several options that meet those ATA specs. We have heavy-duty carrying cases, expo cases and heavy-duty shipping cases. All of these are built to handle frequent shipping and transport.
If you want the ease of maneuverability that a carrying case provides, our heavy-duty carrying cases are formed on the tooling for our carry cases, but we use the same tough materials and components used on our heavy-duty shipping cases.
Our shipping cases are built to handle just about any type of transport you can imagine. We’ve built rugged cases for the military and the aerospace industry that meet ATA standards as well as many MIL specs. These cases can handle the abuse of transportation, as well as handling temperature extremes and locking out moisture.
If you need a case capable of handling a voyage to Mars or a case that can withstand a downpour in a Brazilian jungle or a perhaps journey along one of the world’s bumpiest roads, our shipping cases are up to the challenge.
On the flip side, if you don’t need quite that much protection, we offer both light-duty and medium-duty carrying case options. These two cases are not meant to be transported as freight and luggage, so they do not meet all ATA specifications.
They are highly protective and durable, but they aren’t meant to be shipped frequently. Most of our customers will use the light-duty and medium-duty carrying cases to transport equipment that might be placed in a car trunk or backseat. These often are used to hold sales kits, diagnostic equipment or perhaps used as OEM cases. They are lightweight, protective and attractive, but not suitable as luggage unless you place it in an overhead bin.
ATA Cases & Custom Foam Interiors
While the exterior of an ATA case needs to be able to handle transport, we believe that quality shipping and storage cases also need high-quality custom foam interiors. A custom foam interior cushions every centimeter of your equipment, protecting it from vibrations and jostling.
Too many case manufacturers neglect this area of production and simply hand over a case with a chunk of pick and pluck foam (also known as diced foam). This is a cheap type of foam that tends to break down quickly, and the customer is also forced to create cavities for their equipment by plucking or cutting away bits of foam.
We believe that our customers deserve better than pick and pluck foam, so when we design and produce a custom ATA case, we customize the interior foam as well as the exterior. We build your entire case around whatever will be placed inside – lighting equipment, diagnostic equipment, camera & film equipment, military items, Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Strat, medical equipment or whatever you need to transport.
Using custom thermoforming, we can create an ATA case in virtually any size with any kind of foam interior you might need. But, we have many other custom options. For instance, if you want shipping cases with wheels (and you probably do), we have many wheel options.
We also can provide you with a myriad of different latches, locks and handle options, including cases with telescoping handles. No matter what you want, we can probably make it happen.
Our carry cases and custom shipping cases are available in two standard colors – silver and black, but we do have several additional stock colors, including white, yellow, orange, red, olive, green and blue. With a specific minimum order, we also may be able to provide you with color matching. We also can create cases with a molded-in logo or personalize your case with engraved plates or custom decals.
If you need an ATA case, ATA shipping case or a custom carrying case, contact the team at Bel-Air Cases at any time. We’ve been manufacturing quality custom cases for more than 50 years, and can create whatever you need, whether it’s just one custom case or 1,000.