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Palletising Your Shipment

15 Jan 2016

When shipping goods overseas, ensuring the safe and complete arrival of your shipment is of paramount concern. Several factors, including mishandling, adverse weather or transportation conditions as well as human interference, can affect the safe receipt of your goods.

Most suppliers will agree that anything which can be done to ensure a successful shipment should be done. Most insurers will also agree that reasonable steps should be taken by the shipper to make sure their goods reach their final destination securely.

Shipping on Wood Pallets

While some shippers do use plastic, wooden pallets are the preferred option for shipping overseas. There are a number of reason for this: the standard weight of between 20lb and 70lb is low and economical; their standardised size makes stacking a container more practical; and their relatively low cost means that shippers don’t need to pay for their return. However, if an exporter is participating in a regular and repeated shipment of goods to a client, plastic pallets can be used or even shared by arrangement with a third party.

Securing Goods on Wooden Pallets

Palletising freight and goods allows the entire contents of the pallet to be processed and treated as one piece. This cuts down on administrative shipment tasks and reduces costs. As already mentioned, it also protects against damage and loss. However, it is simply not enough to stack the pallet and consider it done. Several important conditions need to be met when stacking a pallet.

Firstly, you will need to be able to ensure the robustness of your pallet for the weight being carried. For all weights of loads, heat treated wooden pallets are an excellent way of decreasing the likelihood of a pallet failing. Broken pallets lead to fallen boxes, especially during repositioning or removal, and this leads to dented boxes and damaged goods.

Just as importantly, your goods need to be correctly positioned on the pallet. Always ensure boxes do not overlap the pallet edge. You should leave a margin to allow for slippage or warping. Any edges which protrude over your wood pallet are also likely to be dented during shipment.

Your goods should be fixed to the pallets using the appropriate strapping or banding. If you’re shipping several boxes on one pallet, stretch wrap is recommended. Standard practice involves using 60 gauge or higher wrap at five revolutions to secure pallets. It’s also worth noting that pallet wrappers are available for hire if your shipment is a one-off.

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