Since composite cases look the same are wood cases, future case buyers in these industries will be more inclined to try composite (and probably like them better) without disturbing tradition. A closer examination reveals that cases, like automobiles, have a life cycle cost that far exceeds the initial cost. For 10,000 years, wood has been successfully used to manufacture shipping cases. One cannot even assign a cost to that. Recent advancements in billboard and sign industry panels have quickly spilled over into the world of fabricated ATA cases (also known as flight cases).
Back to the question at hand; are wood cases on the way out? It definitely seems so. If your wood case breaks or splinters, you will not only have to pay for cases repairs, but you may also have to bear the cost of broken items inside the case. In fact, a buyer may expect to pay 10-15% less for an all plywood case.
. It appears that wood is simply trading China Injection moulding Suppliers on past glories. Your case is guaranteed to break at the most important moment in your career.
So far we have been talking mostly about larger cases that tend to ship by dedicated or commercial truck. Injection molded cases not only have an advantage in weight and standard features, but also have a significant price advantage as well. This seems to stem from a respect for tradition rather than actual features or cost. Wood ATA cases tend break and crack with rough handling and extended use. On the plus side, wood is plentiful, inexpensive, and easy to cut and shape.
One the surface, one might think that wood still holds and advantage because the initial case cost is less when plywood panels are used as compared to the commensurate composite panels. Here, once again, the wood case has been eclipsed by the recent explosion in the quality and size range of injection molded case products. Despite the fact that wood is heavy, brittle, not weather resistant, and is a delicacy to some insects, it does offer some benefits. This is especially true in todays shipping environment, which is teeming with weight overage and fuel surcharges. Wood cases have also been used extensively in the travel and carry sizes. Given this, it is hard to see how wood construction can compete with molded construction. Molded case even trump composite panel cases when it comes to price and usability in the travel and carry size ranges. Murphys Law will of course apply to your case damage. These newer generation composite panels are lighter and stronger than wood, and mass production keeps the cost relatively low.
The one thing that nobody can argue with is a product that passes the rigorous test of time.
Since composite panel construction is lighter than wood, substantial shipping cost savings can be attained by having a lighter overall package. These panels are also now made in thicknesses that match commercially available extrusions and ATA hardware. The obvious question is, after 10,000 years, is wood is still the best shipping case construction option?
The short answer to this is a resounding no. Composite panel construction definitely holds up better than wood in a commercial or airline shipping environment. There are some industries, however, that still love wood ATA cases. The most notable are music and broadcasting.
Repair is another element to the cost equation