Over 100 years since their invention, we see wooden pallets for sale to the logistics industry all over the world. But pallet packaging is not something you should treat casually. The safety of the goods you’re carrying depends on proficient stacking, packing and wrapping. To learn the best way to palletise goods, you could risk trial and error or you could follow these five practical tips.
Choose the Right Pallet
You’ll find wooden pallets for sale and in use throughout the industry. Many alternatives are widely available now, including pallets made from metal, plastic and various corrugated materials. However, on the whole, these have been developed for specialised applications and won’t be suitable for general use. Variations of load weight, movement and pallet strength can make a huge difference. Wooden pallets have always been completely reliable and if there is any doubt about what to use then wood should be your first choice.
Don’t overlook the effects of wear and tear. Pallets take a tremendous beating over time as they are loaded, transported, unloaded, stacked, reloaded and reused time and time again. It is advisable to inspect the condition of any used pallets before reuse. Any cracks or weaknesses could cause significant difficulties unloading at the destination. Although if the load remains intact throughout the journey.
Before you start to load the pallets, you should make sure that individually boxed goods are properly packed. If the boxes are too large for their contents, there will be wasted space inside allowing the goods to shift in transit. You can use extra padding to secure them but this is ultimately wasted space and costs money. Equally, if the boxes are only just big enough, there will inadequate room to add layers of cushioning to protect against the rigours of travel. Maximise the value of your pallet load and minimise the risk of harm.
Spreading the Load
There are some important loading principles to observe in order to guarantee safe transport. The aim is to make a solid block of individual cartons. Which will maintain its stability for the length of the journey and this requires attention to the correct distribution of weight. Place the heaviest items on the bottom and keep this uniform, working upwards so that the lightest layer is at the top. It’s also important to use a pallet that is big enough to take the layers without any overhang. If the surface area is smaller than each loaded layer then your goods will be vulnerable.
It is essential to use sufficient plastic wrapping. This is well understood that plastic can present environmental problems if disposed of irresponsibly. It is now possible to recycle shrink wrap in industrial quantities so don’t let ecological concerns tempt you to skimp on the wrapping you use. It is vital for the protection of any load. If you have loaded the pallet correctly, then wrapping should be easy.
Start at the base, threading one end of the wrap around one corner then taking the plastic around the bottom layer several times to create a strong foundation. Make sure the plastic tucks underneath the edges and corners of the pallet and keep it as tight as possible. As you move up the pallet each new layer of plastic should overlap the previous one by about 50%. These don’t hesitate to wrap extra layers if it seems appropriate. Once you reach the top, check the stability of the load and if necessary continue to wrap back down to the base. You can use too little but you can rarely use too much.
When it reaches its destination, each pallet needs to be easily identified to enable efficient unloading. Which onward distribution if necessary. You don’t want the team at the other end having to break a load apart to find out what’s inside and then discover it’s not in the best place for unloading or, worse, it’s been delivered to the wrong location.
A Word About Used Wooden Pallets for Sale
While it’s always possible to buy new, there are now some extremely durable reconditioned pallets on the market. You’ll need to check their grading to make sure you buy the ones appropriate to your needs, but if you’re buying in quantity, this can save a lot of money.