Do's and Don't in Shipping a Pallet: A Beginner's Guide

Sep 11, 2023

Pallet shipping is a fundamental aspect of logistics and freight management. It can seem daunting for beginners, but understanding the do’s and don’ts of shipping a pallet is crucial to ensure your cargo arrives intact at its destination. 

In this guide, we will walk you through the essentials of pallet shipping and provide you with valuable tips to help you navigate this process with confidence. 

Do’s in Shipping a Pallet: How to Pack a Pallet

Pack Your Goods in Individual Boxes

When preparing your cargo for pallet shipping, it’s necessary to pack your goods in individual boxes. This not only helps in organizing your items but also provides better protection during transit.

Individual boxes prevent your items from shifting or becoming damaged during handling.

Put the Heaviest Items at the Bottom

One of the critical principles in pallet shipping is weight distribution. 

Always place the heaviest items at the bottom of your pallet. This ensures stability and minimizes the risk of your pallet becoming top-heavy, which can lead to accidents during loading and unloading.

Use a Stretch Film and Wrap Around the Pallet

Securely wrapping your pallet with stretch film is essential for stability and protection.

The stretch film holds your items together, preventing them from shifting or falling during transport.

Expert Tip: It’s better to have too much stretch film than too little. Excess film can always be trimmed, but inadequate wrapping can lead to complications with your shipment.

Learn How to Ship a Pallet

Let Couriers & Freight handle your pallet shipping needs with our fast and cost-efficient service!

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Stack the Boxes in Columns

When arranging your cargo on the pallet, consider stacking the boxes in columns. This method provides better stability and even weight distribution. Here are the different stacking techniques that you can use depending on your cargo’s nature and shape:

  • Block Stacking
  • Column Stacking
  • Brick Stacking

Strap It In For Extra Safety

In addition to stretch film, you can also use straps or bands to further secure your palletized items. Strapping provides extra reinforcement and prevents the boxes from shifting around while in transit.

This is particularly important for heavy or irregularly shaped cargo.

Make Sure You Put the Correct Label

We cannot stress enough how important proper labeling is in shipping a pallet or in any parcel. Ensure that you attach clear and accurate labels to your pallet. These labels should include the necessary information such as the destination address, handling instructions, and any special handling requirements. 

Correct labeling streamlines the shipping process and minimizes the risk of errors and delays.

Don’ts in Shipping a Pallet: What to Avoid When Shipping a Pallet

Now that you’ve read about what to do when shipping a pallet, here are some things to avoid before you clear your goods for sending.

Avoid Interlocking Boxes

Interlocking boxes might seem like a space-saving technique, but it can actually lead to instability. Avoid stacking boxes in a way that they interlock or overlap, as this can compromise the balance of your pallet and make it prone to tipping. 

Don’t Overlook Wide Gaps

While you want to avoid interlocking boxes, be mindful of leaving wide gaps between them as well. Like the previous point we made, wide gaps can also lead to instability and damage during transit.

Aim for a snug but not overly tight fit between your boxes.

Don’t Stack Your Freight in a Pyramid

Stacking your cargo in a pyramid shape is a common mistake. This creates an uneven weight distribution and increases the risk of toppling over during handling.

Stick to flat, uniform stacking to maintain stability.

Avoid Overhanging Goods

Goods that overhang the edges of the pallet can be easily damaged during handling and transport. Avoid overhanging items as they are more susceptible to impacts and harsh weather conditions while in transit.

Try Shipping with a 3PL Company

While mastering the science of pallet shipping is a good skill to acquire, it’s important to acknowledge that it can be a complex process, especially for beginners. If you find pallet shipping too complicated or overwhelming, consider partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) company.

3PL Companies like Couriers & Freight specialize in managing all aspects of logistics, including pallet shipping. They have the expertise, resources, industry knowledge to handle your shipping needs efficiently. Working with a 3PL can save you time, reduce stress, and ensure that your cargo reaches its destination safely.

Partner with Couriers & Freight if shipping a pallet is too complicated for you. 

Partner with a Reliable 3PL Company

Let Couriers & Freight handle your 3PL needs with our fast and cost-efficient service!

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Closing Thoughts

Pallet shipping is a vital part of the logistics and supply chain industry, and understanding the do’s and don’ts is crucial for beginners. Properly packing your pallet, following the weight distribution guidelines, and avoiding common mistakes can help ensure that your cargo arrives at its destination intact and on time.

Remember that while it’s important to learn the intricacies of pallet shipping, there are professional services available, such as 3PL companies like Couriers & Freight, that can simplify the process for you. 

Whether you choose to master the science of pallet shipping or seek the assistance of logistics experts, the key is to approach it with knowledge and attention to detail, ensuring the safe and efficient transport of your goods.

Learn How to Ship a Pallet

Let Couriers & Freight handle your pallet shipping needs with our fast and cost-efficient service!

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Robert Lynch

Founder of Australia’s largest outside hire company Couriers & Freight, Robert Lynch is a seasoned business leader in the shipping industry with over 20 years of experience. His expertise spans from outside hire, taxi truck, and last-mile services to freight management, freight forwarding and warehousing. 

Robert has also incorporated technology into his business through custom software to enhance growth and efficiency. Robert is a valuable resource for business owners looking to improve their logistics operations.

Connect with Robert Lynch on LinkedIn.

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