Pallets form the foundation for every product shipment that takes place around the globe. Pallets act as robust and hard platforms that allow stacking more cargo in considerably less space, and they also smoothen out the freight process.
Plastic pallets are designed, built, and manufactured to lift heavy loads. Failing to accommodate the required quality may lead to damages such as punctures, abrasions, and compression of the shipped products.
Optimizing your palletized shipment can make it easier to accommodate more products, ensure their safety, and save time. Here are some tips to optimize your palletized shipment:
Select Your Pallets Carefully
Special care should be exercised when choosing pallets, as their design and quality can prove to be the difference. Consider the following for your pallet decision:
- They should be large enough that the shipment doesn’t overhang from them. They come in all shapes and sizes to ensure every package is well covered.
- They must be analyzed for their strength and durability to bear the shipment.
- They should feature closely assembled deck boards.
- Pallets come with a labeled maximum capacity as guaranteed by the manufacturer – make a note never to exceed that weight limit.
- Don’t select pallets that have broken boards or consist of bulging nail heads.
Carefully Stack Boxes on A Pallet
Shipments mostly consist of boxes and stackable units. For such shipments:
- Make sure that pallets are being used for the first time as reused ones may lack the strength to hold the weight of the shipment.
- Ensure they’re closed properly – either stapled or sealed.
- Empty spaces within a shipping unit lead to the product moving inside and a possibility of damage. To protect them from vibration, make sure you use ample dunnage.
- Label your units clearly – with complete address information for both the involved parties: the shipper and the consignee.
- To ensure maximum stacking firmness, align the boxes in proper columns and align with opposing corners.
- Interlocking and rotating layer patterns are troublesome – avoid them.
- Carton boxes should not exceed past the pallet edges.
- Do not build a pyramid. Top layers can be prone to imbalance, so keep it flat.
Ensure Proper Securing of The Shipment To The Pallet
To secure your shipment to the pallet and ensure maximum strength while doing so:
- Use strapping or banding devices
- Use a stretch wrap with at least a 60-gauge and five resolutions.
- Prevent cartons from getting lost or separated from the load
Label Your Shipment Clearly
Pallet labeling is one of the most important tasks, as it ensures proper communication. Proper labeling includes:
- Complete telephone numbers – of both the shipper and the consignee
- Complete address – of both the shipper and the consignee
- Postal codes – of both the shipper and the consignee
- Place a label on each side with all of the above mentioned information
Use Slip Sheets
Slip sheets are a form of plastic sheets that are used to protect cargo that is placed on the bottom of the pallet. Slip sheets are widely used when palletizing equipment, as it helps avoid compressive strength deprivation.
Stabilize Pallets Carefully
Stabilizing carton boxes doesn’t require any rocket science – just place the heaviest box at the bottom of the pallet and build from there. The top layer should be in tandem with the bottom, as a heavy box at the top could create a load imbalance.
Why Overhangs Are Dangerous
Overhanging occurs when a pallet is smaller as compared to the size of the shipment products. The result is that cartons are hanging over the edge of the pallet and the edges that are not yet facing an overhang take on all of the load support.
Overhanging is dangerous because it exposes the shipment and all its products to a weakened pallet strength – which can result in freight damages. In addition to the damage, a pallet overhang can result in a reduction of top to bottom compression by 30%.
How to Ensure Proper Stretch Wrapping
Stretch wrapping is one of the most efficient and effective ways to keep all pieces of your shipment together. The wrap should be first applied around the bottom half – starting from the pallet and continuing upwards to secure the top half of the load.
Take the following steps to properly wrap your cargo:
- Ensure the stretch is tightened to prevent any load shifting
- It should properly hold the pallet as it ensures the shipment remains unified
- For additional strength, the stretch wrap can be twisted like a rope
Stretch wrap is used to secure the load properly and stabilize it, so that it remains unified and in place. Generally, stretch wrap is not meant to secure the pallet. To secure the pallet, strapping and banding should be used with stretch wrap to ensure maximum protection.
Are you ready to optimize your palletized shipment? It all starts with reliable pallets. That’s where PTM Solutions comes in. We specialize in plastic products for the automotive, retail, and food and beverage industries. Contact us to learn more about your pallet options.