14 Storage Container Terms to Know in 2022

14 Storage Container Terms to Know in 2022

Do you know your storage containers from your storage boxes? Is there a difference between an ALC and a Tote Box? The variety of storage terminology can be confusing!

Where you live, where you grew up or where you’ve worked, can influence what you personally know everyday words to be. And this extends to to work and industry terminology. Shakespeare himself famously saidWhat’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet” – so who are we to say what the correct term is for one thing also known by another? In these parts, ‘dinner’, ‘tea’ and ‘supper’ all mean the same thing!

With that in mind, we have pulled together our guide to the top key terms for storage containers, hopefully making it easier to find what you’re looking for…


General Terms

1. Crates

Looks like a box, shaped like a box, BUT! They are ventilated. Ideal for food and agriculture settings.

2. Containers

Fully enclosed and in some cases, there are lid options.

3. Boxes

At Exporta, we mostly use ‘boxes’ when referring to ‘Pallet Boxes’. But if you called us asking for a ‘heavy duty plastic box’, we could help you out.

Product Specific Terms


4. Totes

Also known as Attached Lid Containers (ALC). From moving goods, storing goods, transportation and many more uses. The containers have an attached lid which protects the goods from any harmful external components.

5. ALC’s

As stated above, Attached Lid Containers, are a fully enclosed container with hinged lid. They can be stacked using the lids, but also nest when there are no contents in the container. They have a range of uses, including the medical and pharmaceutical settings as well as retail distribution in closed loop networks. A very versatile product.

6. Bins

At Export this could mean picking bins or small part storage bins. Both are excellent choices for warehouses where a picking system is in place, as the open fronts provide easy access to the bin contents.

7. Bale Arm

Bale Arm Crates. Widely used in agriculture – but also look out for them the next time you’re in the fruit and veg aisle at the supermarket – these ventilated crates are ideal in because of their easy to carry handles and stacking capabilities. Our Bale Arm Crates are also suitable for use in conveyor systems.

8. Folding

Folding crates have a solid base and sides that can fold down, so when not in use, the crates can be stored away flat saving you space. Their collapsible quality means that these plastic crates can take up less space on a return journey.

9. F-Crate


Just another name for a Folding Crate! They are the fastest to collapse, the easiest folding crate to build up; and can also carry the most weight in its class of crates.

10. Collapsible

Another word for Folding and F-Crates. The sides collapse down. They store away flat when not in use. You know the drill.

11. Picking

Usually, open fronted and made of either plastic or cardboard. In a world of increased online and ecommerce consumption, picking bins are the ideal choice for pick and pack systems of any size.

12. Stack

As the name suggests, Stacking Crates are plastic crates that can stack on top of each other. These crates can be stacked in a tower formation to be easily transported around or placed into storage. Exporta’s stacking crates fit snugly and safely on top of each other. They can be combined with a dolly to then move them around on wheels for ease of transport, or they can be stacked onto pallets for the same purpose.

13. Nest

Another name for Stack Crates. Nesting Crates are plastic crates that can nest inside each other when not in use to reduce the space they take up. Nesting Crates are used a lot in return trip scenarios where the crates are sent out fully loaded then returned empty. The percentage that they nest is important as this can have a direct effect on shipping costs.

14. Euro

A best seller of all the storage containers! Euro Containers are a versatile storage box, sometimes called a Eurobox or Euro bins. The most common sizes (length × width) are 600 × 400 mm and 400 × 300 mm, which can be stacked together to fill a Euro-pallet measuring 1200 × 800 mm.

Kayleigh Waters 22/02/22


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