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Goods packed on pallets being shipped via truck.

How to Ship a Pallet

How to Ship a Pallet?

When it comes to shipping freight, any number of items can be collected and palletized for shipping. This ensures that your items arrive safely and undamaged. Sometimes, with small loads, your box is too large for mail or there may be too many pieces to ship separately. This is why shipping a pallet is more efficient and cost-effective, especially when there is more than one item going to the same destination.

Shipping Pallets

If you’re not familiar with these terms, pallets are platforms made of wood or plastic used to combine items for shipping into one packaged container to facilitate easier transportation. Pallets are packed tightly to keep anything from being damaged during transport. Several items will fit on one pallet which makes it easy to ensure that all the items arrive at the same time and nothing is lost. Valuable items can be crated to ensure safe travel.

Steps for Pallet Shipping (or how to palletize the load)

1. Choose the Right Pallet Size

Select a pallet large enough to fit everything without anything hanging over the edges. It should be sturdy enough to support the load and preferably one that allows forklift entry. Make sure all the boards are secure and with no protruding nails to catch on things.

2. Arrange Boxes on Pallet by Size

Create a stable base by putting the heavier boxes on the bottom and evenly distribute the load. Smaller, lightweight items can be stacked on top of larger items but avoid making a pyramid-shaped load. Other pallets may be stacked on top of yours and this will prevent items from being crushed during loading.

For greater stability, stack boxes in columns one over another. Make sure that all the boxes and containers are closed tightly and secured with packing tape. Pack boxes in tightly and do not leave any space between items.

Damage can occur from items falling over and vibration during transport. Fill all spaces in and around boxes to that there is no room for movement. Stack boxes evenly and do not extend past the edges of the boxes below.

As an added layer of protection, you can add cardboard around the outer edges before wrapping as a buffer. It can also be placed on the bottom and between layers of boxes for stability.

3. Secure the Load on the Pallet

Strap or band the load to keep everything together and prevent shifting during shipment. To prevent anything from falling off or getting lost, wrap the load in stretch wrap to help secure it to the pallet.

Wrap the entire shipment 5-6 times, this will unify the shipment look and also help protect from dust and liquids. This is very easy to do by hand. Gently pull the stretch wrap as you circle the pallet and shipment. This will help it cling to the shipment. Tie it to the bottom of the pallet and move your way to the top.

You want it as tight as possible because the pallet will be loaded by forklift so you want to make sure everything is properly balanced and secured ahead of time.

4. Attach a Label to Your Shipment

Each pallet should be labeled with the address and telephone numbers of the shipper and the designated receiver. Be as detailed as possible and be sure to include the zip code of both parties.

Tips for Preventing Damage During Shipping.

  • Fill up space inside boxes with packing peanuts or bubble wrap.
  • Arrange boxes and cartons by size to maximize space.
  • Make sure to leave no air space between boxes.
  • Pad the outside corners and edges with cardboard.
  • Wrap and band the load as tight as possible.
  • When finished, the pallet and cargo should feel like all one piece.

When finished, have all of your paperwork ready for the driver and the pallet ready for pickup. By following the tips above, you will ensure that anytime you ship a pallet it will arrive safely and in one piece. If you need help shipping pallets feel free to call us here at Ship Smart. Our company makes shipping pallets a breeze from pick up to delivery.


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