Glass Handling Reinvented: Tailored Stillages for Fragile Freight


Transporting fragile glass poses a unique set of challenges. Its manufacture, packaging and transport require careful handling throughout the entire logistics process. Uneven roads and bumps during loading can shatter, dust particles rubbing against the surface can leave noticeable marks and extreme temperatures can shock and warp. Tailored material handling solutions, such as cushioning materials, dividers and stillages, will protect glass from vibrations, shocks and jolts.


A well-constructed stillage will get a glass pane to its end destination intact and on time. JS Burgess Engineering are the largest stillage manufacturer in the UK. With an experienced team, we manufacture and supply tens of thousands of stillages annually to many industry sectors.


The Evolution of Glass Handling: From Creaky Crates to Stillage Savvy

Historically, glass handling has undergone significant transformations. From traditional manual handling methods to modern stillage solutions, its evolution reflects a commitment to efficiency, safety and precision in the glass industry.


In the early days, glass handling was a labour-intensive and delicate process. Skilled artisans crafted glass products by hand and transportation involved manual carrying or basic wooden crates. Fragile glass items faced a high risk of breakage during transit, limiting the scale and scope of glass production and distribution.


As industrialisation gained momentum, glass for the masses increased demand. Enter the frame stillage, a sturdy wooden frame cradling individual sheets of glass, offering much-needed protection and stability. The mid-20th century saw a significant shift with the introduction of more advanced handling equipment and packaging, such as foam, bubble wrap and forklifts. Modern stillage solutions adopted metal frames and rubberised supports. Today, specialised stillage designs cater to specific glass types and applications, from flat mirrors to curved architectural panels.



A-Frame and L-Frame Stillages

JS Burgess Engineering is one of the largest manufacturers of glass handling equipment in the UK. We supply thousands of bespoke A-Frame and L-Frame stillages to leading glass and window manufacturers and distributors.

A-frame and L-frame glass stillages are two distinct designs. The main difference is their structural configuration and applications. As the name suggests, an A-frame glass stillage resembles the letter “A.” Characterised by a triangular frame, an A-frame works well for storing and transporting long, vertical glass items such as sheets or panels. The A-frame structure provides stability, preventing leaning or shifting during handling. JS Burgess design and manufacture A-frames to meet customer requirements for usage, dimensions, safe workload (SWL), transportation and LOLER certification.


Whilst most companies use A-frames for handling panel-type products such as glass and modules, some customers have site-specific rules requiring L-frames. An L-frame stillage has a horizontal base with an upward vertical section resembling the letter “L.” This design allows the frames to be stored flat against a wall or in a warehouse racking system. Our L-frames and A-frames use hard-wearing mesh-faced birch timber on the base and PAR timber on the backboards.



Customisation for Specific Needs

Stillage customisation ensures that every stillage we make can be tailored to our customer’s specific industry needs and product requirements. We can offer a fully comprehensive CAD design service using our in-house drawing and technical design facilities. Our experienced technical team work closely with our customers to exact stillage specifications, sizes, safe working loads, logistical problems or restraints, storage space and transportation.


We can adjust size, shape and weight to optimise the use of space and unnecessary movement during transportation. This tailored approach ensures that the stillages precisely fit the contours of the items they carry, reducing the risk of breakage. Stillages can also be engineered to handle varying weight capacities, maintaining structural safety even under diverse load conditions. Another option is customising stillages for their working environment, such as corrosion-resistant coatings for outdoor use or anti-static features for sensitive electronic components. Our engineering team can add specialised features like removable partitions, dividers, or adjustable shelving. These elements enhance the versatility of stillages, minimising the need for multiple storage solutions and streamlining logistics operations.



Safety and Efficiency in Glass Transport

Stillages incorporate various safety features to ensure secure storage and transportation of goods. One crucial aspect is structural integrity; stillages are professionally engineered to withstand maximum load, minimising the risk of collapse. Reinforced frames and durable materials enhance their strength, contributing to overall safety. JS Burgess can also incorporate anti-tip mechanisms to prevent accidental tipping during loading, unloading, or transportation. We use ergonomic designs with rounded edges and smooth surfaces, minimising the risk of injuries during handling. Additionally, safety markings and load capacity indicators provide clear guidelines for operators.


Choose JS Burgess for best-in-class glass stillages

As one of the largest A-frame suppliers in the industry, JS Burgess designs and manufactures all A-frames within our own UK-based factory. We operate to ISO 9001 certification, ensuring quality, consistency and excellent service. This commitment to quality management enhances operational efficiency, reduces defects and streamlines production processes. We consistently meet and often exceed customer expectations. If you want to know more about the different types of glass handling products, call 01663 719 300. Our skilled team are happy to answer any questions and advise on specific requirements.