Palletizing may seem like a simple task of stacking boxes in the right order, yet doing this without the proper skills and knowledge may cause freight damage. Improper palletizing can lead to 50% of boxes’ compression strength loss.
We’ve created a useful palletizing guide to help you with shipment consolidation.
A Guide for Palletizing Freight:
Use a Slip Sheet
This is a plastic sheet, used to protect cargo on the bottom of the pallet. On wooden pallets, spaces between decks can be up to 4 inches, which results in no support of the boxes’ bottom. To avoid compression strength deprivation, use slip sheets to cover the bottom of the pallet.
Put Boxes in Stable Position
It’s a simple physics law: create a stable base layer by placing the heaviest boxes on the bottom of the pallet. The top layer should be full for steadiness, but if there are not enough boxes to fully stack a pallet, place the last few along the outside edge.
Stack in Columns
For greater stability, boxes should be stacked in columns with one box directly over the other. To reduce the danger of damage, stick items as close to each other as possible. Column stacks prove to be the best way to make pallets stable and safe for shipment.
Strap for Extra Safety
Use metal strapping or plastic wrap to secure individual pieces over 150 pounds to the pallet. Keep banding and straps close to the load to minimize damage.
Use Stretch Wrap
Putting boxes into columns can make the load sensitive to shifting. The best solution to this problem is to use a stretch wrap. It can be applied manually or with the help of a wrapping machine.
Help from Labels
For correct palletizing, print a visual reminder of proper pallet patterns and place it on the container or provide it to the staff. Also, don’t forget to label all shipment pallets with an address and phone number.
Stack in Pyramid
Pyramid-shaped loads may appear to be stable, but it is a less secure and less steady form of palletizing. The top boxes in a pyramid have a high risk of damage. Don’t build pyramids.
Neglect Wide Gaps
Some wooden pallets have wide gaps between boards, around 4 inches. When you bridge this gap with a box, you create an overhang situation which reduces a box’s compression resistance potential.
Interlocking can reduce strength by 50% and lead to freight damage. Since 2/3 of potential compression strength is in vertical edges and corners, it is important to stack boxes edge-to-edge and corner-to-corner.
Create an Overhang
Overhang happens when boxes are hanging over the edge of the pallet. When this happens, two edges of the box that are not hanging get all the work for load support. Overhanging exposes freight to damage and decreases a pallet’s strength. Pallet overhang can reduce top to bottom compression up to 30%.