Transporting Goods on Pallets
If you have multiple items to be transported, consolidating them onto a single pallet can be an effective way to prepare your goods for transport. Then you know that all your items are together in one place. Strapping, shrink wrapping or stretch wrapping are good ways to ensure the safe handling of palletised items during transit.
A Few Guidelines for Palletising
- The pallet should be lined with a board or pallet sheet to stop goods falling between the pallet boards. The board should not be smooth (like Masonite), otherwise entire pallet consents may shift in transit.
- Use common sense – place heavy items on the pallet first and stack the lighter ones on top. Don’t overstack your pallet, or the items on the bottom layer may crush.
- Make sure that the goods do not hang over the edge and block the forklift entry points of the pallet.
- Some palletised goods may need to be strapped into place to secure the load before wrapping. Cardboard angles also improve the stability of a stretch wrapped pallet.
- Stretch wrapping needs to be adequately tensioned to hold the goods in place.
- Hook several layers of stretch wrap under the base of the pallet so that the goods and the pallet are wrapped as one unit.
- One layer of wrapping is not enough. Wrap extra layers of stretch wrap around and over the top of the goods to secure the highest items.
Poorly Packaged Pallets
The time and effort required to resolve problems caused by poor palletising can be quite extensive. Here are some typical scenarios and solutions:
- Goods shifting during transit: The pallet has insufficient layers of stretch wrap which allows for movement of the boxes. Stretch wrap needs to be at a high tension and requires several layers.
- Bottles of liquid in cartons leaking: The pallet boards are uneven and there is no pallet sheet at the base. This causes uneven weight distribution. Use good quality pallets and line the pallet with a pallet sheet.
- Cartons falling through the gaps in the pallet boards underneath: Placing board or sheeting at the base of pallet would prevent this.
- Product damage due to poor pallet quality: Timber pallets need to have a Safe Weight Limit which is greater than the product it is carrying. Low grade softwood pallets can collapse and boards can come loose. Hardwood pallets are recommended.
- Damaged bagged products: Poor stacking and no wrapping. Bagged products should be stacked so that it will not overhang. Loose bags on pallets is not an acceptable standard of packaging. Strapping will not hold bagged products in place. It is recommended that bagged pallets:
- Have a sheet at the bottom to prevent sagging.
- Be stretch wrapped under high tension to prevent movement.
- Preferably have corner angles for extra strength.