How to Prepare a Pallet for Shipping

October 28, 2020 11:19 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

You know that pallets are used to consolidate heavy, fragile or large items for shipment—but do you know how to pack them properly? Packing a pallet ensures that your items remain together during shipping, and can protect them during transportation. However, your trucking service will not pack the pallet for you. It’s important that you understand how to prepare a pallet for shipping in Houston, TX.

Read on to learn about the most common pallet shipping mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them:

  • Using the wrong size: Before you start packing, make sure you have the right size pallet. The standard size is 40” x 48”, but there are smaller sizes available. The key is to ensure there’s no overhang—otherwise, the overhanging materials could be scraped, punctured or compressed. It’s best to measure your cargo first to determine which pallet size is right for you.
  • Going over the weight limit: The bottom or underside of the pallet should have a maximum weight capacity printed on it. This is usually 4,600 lbs, but can vary according to size. Never exceed the weight limit.
  • Using substandard packing materials: Some people save money by using previously used packing materials—which can damage the items being shipped. Watch out for exposed nails and broken pallets, too.
  • Stacking improperly: Boxes should be aligned in columns, corner to corner. Use a flat layer of cardboard between every third layer for additional support.
  • Not using protectors: Edge protectors and corner or edge cones help protect your boxes from being damaged during transport. Using these plus stacking boxes properly helps prevent crushing.
  • Not securing the load: Use strapping and stretch wrap to secure your load to the pallet. Use a minimum of two straps and 60 gauge stretch wrap. Make sure the wrap is tight and is stretched around the pallet and the top.
  • Forgetting to label: Every item on the pallet, plus the pallet itself, must be labeled with address information, phone numbers and anything else your carrier requires. If in doubt, contact your carrier for more information.
  • Not measuring items: Since you can’t exceed the weight limit or go over the pallet size, it’s important to measure and weigh all of your items before you pack them on the pallet.
  • Forgetting insurance: You never know what can happen on the road. Although rare, accidents do happen—and if your shipment isn’t insured, you could lose not only the items but their full value. Be sure to insure your shipment.
  • Missing bill of lading: Your bill of lading is like a receipt and shipping instructions all in one. It includes the original location, shipping destination, sender, recipient and other important details. If you don’t have this, your cargo will remain at the original location until you can provide one.

Once you’ve followed these steps, your pallet should be safe and secure for the road. For more information about how to pack pallets for shipping in Houston, TX, reach out to the team at Pro Delivery LLC.

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