Good packaging is key to keeping cargo intact throughout its shipping journey. Using a pallet is one of the best ways to ensure your cargo arrives safely and securely at its destination. Pallets are stable transport plates made from wood, plastic or metal that are core components of modern logistical processes. Palletizing your cargo keeps it protected throughout loading, transport and unloading—and makes the entire process faster and more efficient. Pallets also make it easier to move everything from small packages to large bulky items with machinery like a forklift or pallet jack.
It’s essential to carefully prepare pallets and packages for shipping. Read on for tips on properly palletizing your freight.
1. Use Quality Materials
Using quality packaging materials can prevent shipping disasters. Start with good quality boxes that are the right size for your cargo. Get quality packing materials as well—you’ll need sturdy shrink wrap, corrugated cardboard inserts to fill voids in boxes, and either bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts or air pillows to cushion package contents. Be sure to seal all packages with quality packing tape.
2. Choose the Right Size
Look for a pallet that is big enough to hold your cargo without hanging over and sturdy enough to support its weight. Avoid pallets with broken boards or protruding nail heads.
3. Properly Pack Each Box
Make sure each individual box is packed well before loading it onto a pallet. Boxes should be full, with no air spaces and an even distribution of weight. The box’s contents can get crushed and damaged if there is air space and shifting can occur if weight is distributed unevenly. Use your choice of packing material, such as Styrofoam peanuts or air pillows, to fill any voids. Seal with plenty of high-quality packing tape.
4. Stack Carefully
Stack boxes together on the pallet, with weight distributed as evenly as possible. Heavier boxes should go at the bottom, with lighter ones at the top. Stagger or align the boxes to boost stability. Stacking the packages incorrectly or failing to secure them to the pallet can result in injury to the handlers or damage to the cargo.
5. Stabilize With Cardboard
Add layers of flattened cardboard to every few rows of boxes and to the top and bottom to improve stability and weight distribution. Add cardboard corner beads to protect against damage to the corner edges. This strengthens the entire pallet and helps solidify any loose boxes. It’s especially helpful when shipping several small packages rather than just a few larger ones.
6. Go Big With Shrink Wrap
Use high-quality shrink wrap to secure everything on the pallet. Wrap the pallet three to five times to keep packages from coming loose. Twist the wrap to strengthen it as you secure the boxes. Start at the bottom and work your way up, but only wrap the top partially. This ensures that your cargo won’t separate from the pallet while keeping it accessible to forklifts. Further secure your packages by strapping the load to the pallet.
Follow these tips to help ensure the safe arrival of your precious cargo. Click here to learn more about the best cargo transport company in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.