Proper packaging is essential to protect goods throughout the entire shipping journey, and palletizing is one of the best ways to ensure your cargo arrives safe and sound. Pallets, also called “skids,” are transport plates typically made of wood that provide a foundation to stack packages on with open slats at the bottom for easy handling with a forklift or pallet jack. Palletizing and stretch wrapping packages protect them during loading, shipping, and unloading and support efficient shipping processes.
Safety First When Palletizing
It is important to make sure that your palletizing and stretch wrapping processes are efficient and safe for all workers, including warehouse and transportation employees. There should be a limit on how many rows high packages can be stacked with consideration given to the weight and type of material packaged. For example, bottled water may seem harmless enough, although when stacked high and toppled over, this has been the cause of more than one tragic death in warehouses.
Working with an experienced packaging and palletizing company can alleviate in-house palletizing needs. Safety should always be the first concern when palletizing any type of goods. Here are some freight palletizing tips to maximize safety and efficiency.
Tips to Maximize Safety and Efficiency When Palletizing
1. Use the right size of pallet – make sure that your pallet is big enough to hold all packages without hanging over the edges and that it is sturdy enough to support the weight load.
2. Use only quality pallets and shipping materials – never use pallets with protruding nail heads or broken boards. Quality packaging materials such as undamaged, sturdy corrugated boxes, quality pallets, and quality stretch wrap all contribute to protecting packages on pallets.
3. Make sure all boxes are packed properly – every individual box should be packed full without excess air space to help prevent the box from being crushed or damaged in transit. Proper packaging also more evenly distributes the weight when stacked on a skid. Fill any void areas with the appropriate type of dunnage, such as air pillows, paper, Styrofoam peanuts, etc. Seal all boxes securely with quality packing tape.
This is one area where a contract packager can help companies as they are experienced in proper packaging methods, knowledgeable about quality packaging materials, and efficiently perform quality packaging processes. Using a contract packager with experience in palletizing adds a lot of value to manufacturers and many types of businesses.
4. Carefully stack boxes on pallets – stack boxes together with the weight evenly distributed. Place heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top, staggering or aligning the boxes for maximum stability. Incorrect stacking of boxes can lead to worker injury or damage to cargo. You can add a layer of flattened cardboard in between rows of boxes for added stability and weight distribution, which is particularly helpful when shipping several small packages instead of fewer larger boxes.
5. Use plastic or metal strapping – secure any individual packages that are 150 pounds or more with bands or straps. Make sure all straps and banding are close to the load to mitigate damage.
6. Use quality stretch wrap – boxes stacked in columns and rows can be sensitive to shifting. The best solution to keep your packages and places to use quality stretch wrap that can be applied manually or with the help of a stretch wrapping machine.
7.Avoid stacking boxes in Pyramids – even when stretch wrap, boxes stacked in a pyramid shape are much less stable, with all packages at the top at high risk for damage. Boxes that are evenly distributed on the pallet are much more secure and stable.
Contact Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, for assistance with your palletizing and stretch wrapping needs.
Peoria Production Solutions is an industry-leading contract packaging company with more than 80 years of experience. PPS offers a host of secondary packaging services and production solutions, including all types of secondary packaging, flexible packaging, kitting, assembly, repackaging, palletizing, and more. Contact us to learn more about improving your packaging and logistics processes with high-quality, experienced palletizing services.