Whether your warehouse has to pack up pallets to ship out to their final destination, or you assemble your own pallets for easier storage of smaller/irregularly shaped items, building a pallet is a common task for many different warehouse workers.
While the steps to building a pallet will vary depending on the items being stored and organized, the goal is always the same: a safe, durable pallet where the items are unbroken and not in danger of falling off and hurting anyone. There are always a few guidelines you can keep in mind to help your pallets look and work the way they should, and knowing them will both help make the process easier as well as keep everything safe and sound on their way to the pallet rack. Here’s a few of our favourite tips for better pallet packing:
Start with heavy goods
It may sound obvious, but it bears repeating when arranging goods on a pallet, make sure the heaviest products go on the bottom. This will stop anything below them from getting crushed by accident and create a good center of gravity that will help the pallet get moved around the warehouse.
Never load over the edge
Make sure everything is loaded onto the pallet parallel to the edge and as close to the edge as possible without going over. This will make strapping the goods down easier, as well as preventing safety hazards with overhanging items that could fall and injure someone or impede the flow of traffic on lower shelves.
Avoid pyramid shapes
A lot of pallet shippers make the mistake of trying to build their pallet up into a full-sized pyramid, but this can cause problems down the road. Pyramid-style stacking can compromise the overall integrity of your stack by placing more weight on the center. If you’re faced with a lot of different box sizes, try to work smaller boxes into the stack itself to keep a more cubic shape with better-distributed weight.
It’s crucial to remember to leave enough room for straps in your pallets to safely wrap over and contain everything, before the shrink wrap is applied. The straps will do much of the work as far as keeping the items level on the pallet itself, as well as providing for a better distribution of weight before the shrink wrap collapses and contains everything. Factor in the space you need to safely strap everything up before it gets shrink wrapped and you’ll have an easier time buckling everything down.
Leave room for safety
Finally, you’ll want to make sure your pallets are as stacked as neatly along the edge as possible to accommodate for safety guards. Many pallet racks these days are built with pallet rack safety guards along the edges of their decking to prevent injury or damage, and as such they have to enforce pretty strict edge overhang to make sure everything fits. If your racks include safety guards like these, make sure everything lines up accordingly.