What to Do When Packing Pallets For Shipments

Packing a pallet is a daily necessity for those businesses who routinely ship goods around the country or around the world. For experienced packers, this is simply a rote task; however, for those who have never had to pack a pallet before, it can represent a surprisingly difficult challenge.

Fortunately, there are some best practices when it comes to pallet packing. Using a business insurance broker to protect your financial investment in your pallet shipment is always a good idea. However, before you do that, it is imperative that you pack your pallet properly to give it the best chance of arriving at its destination safely.

Let’s look at the specific steps that you need to follow when you are packing pallets for shipments.

Place Heavy Items On Bottom

Make sure to look at what items you will need to stack before you start stacking. Heavier items need to be placed on the bottom to avoid having your lighter items arrive crushed at the destination. Keeping heavy items down below also helps to keep the stack stable while in transit. The last thing you want is for your pallet stack to topple over which might send boxes flying everywhere.

Work Within The Pallet Limits

For ease of transport, it is also necessary to keep your pallet stack within the limits of the edge of the pallet itself. Depending on the items that you have to pack, you may choose to arrange them slightly differently. Nevertheless, none of the box edges must reach past the edge of the pallet. If you leave edges hanging over, this will potentially lead to damaged items or problems with packing the pallet into a cargo truck. 

Use An Overlapping Pattern

If you use other stability aides like cardboard inserts or wrapping, it may seem tempting to stack your boxes completely vertically on the pallet. However, stacking boxes in an overlapping pattern will greatly aid in keeping the pallet stable. For each layer of the pallet stack, you should try to keep boxes with their edges in a perpendicular direction from the boxes below. There are a few different ways to configure this and it will depend on the precise dimensions of the boxes that you are shipping. Experiment a bit to find the setup that will work best in your case.

Strap Down Boxes

Use heavy-duty strapping to keep your pallets stable during transport. It is ideal to use at least two straps that are evenly spaced to make sure that almost all of your boxes are kept secure by the strapping.

Wrap It Up

Packing wrap is not too expensive, so there is little sense in being frugal with its use. Make sure to generously wrap your pallet with plastic packing wrap to give it a final stability boost. If you have never wrapped a pallet before, make sure to tie down one end of the wrap before you start spinning around the stack, otherwise, you will waste wrapping and end up with a mess. Be sure that the wrapping is evenly applied to all levels of the stack, as well.

Use Cardboard Inserts

While extra cardboard inserts are not always necessary, they can help to reduce crushing for heavier pallets. For every two or three layers of your box stack, throw in some extra flat cardboard to distribute the weight of the boxes that will rest on top.

Ship With Success

If you follow these steps to the letter, then your pallet will arrive at its destination securely and safely. Taking the time to pack properly will protect your investment and allow your merchandise to arrive in one piece.

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