How to Prepare a Pallet for Shipping?4 min read


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Are you preparing a large shipment and you are in pursuit of the cheapest and safest option to prepare a pallet for shipping? A freight shipment is the best way to economically transport larger shipments. For your load to arrive at your desired destination safely, the pallet must be properly packed. Thus, we assembled some easy guidelines on how to prepare a pallet for shipping.

How to pack and prepare the pallet for transport?

Step 1 – Choose the right pallet for transport

Are you wondering what is the right pallet for your shipment? They can vary from dimensions to strength, but generally, the pallet must be strong, not damaged and big enough to hold all the items. Measure the boxes/items you are planning to transport and get the pallet size according to them, as nothing should be overhanging the edges.

Step 2 – Pack and prepare properly the pallet for shipping

We know it may not seem like a hard task to do, but if you do not stack the packages on the pallet properly, they might fall over and get damaged.

If the nature of the shipment allows it, put the items in a strong cardboard box, stuffed inside with a lot of cushioning materials, and seal it properly with duct tape. Square packages are easiest to load, whereas oddly shaped items could be more troublesome. If you are sending many oddly shaped items on a pallet, it might be best if you secure them with a lot of cushioning materials inside regular boxes.

However, if you are shipping pallets without cartons, cover the object with a lot of bubble wrap, secure it with strong plastic bands, and add clear pallet wrap.

Step 3 – Stacking the packages on the pallet

You should always put the lighter, smaller packages on top of the heavier and bigger ones and align boxes in columns, side by side, and from corner to corner, to shape a square. Make sure to stack the packages tightly together, leaving as little space as possible in between. Furthermore, you should not stack the pallet too high, since that can cause instability and increase the chance of damage.

Step 4- Securely fixate the shipment onto the pallet

Strap the shipment to the pallet with bands. Wrap them tightly around the load, in every possible direction, and several layers, even running it underneath the cargo, to make it stick to the pallet as firmly as possible. Then, further, strengthen the entire installation with stretch foil. Wrap it around the load in a similar way as the bands, and even under the pallet, to prevent any shifting.

Step 5 – The need for forklift when shipping on a pallet

In most cases, the shipment is rather heavy and large therefore, forklifts or pallet jacks are required. If you do not own either of the two, whether you are a business or individual, you can ask the courier company taking care of the shipping process to bring their own. You should ask the logistics provider to bring a forklift on the collection day as otherwise, they would not be aware of the situation.

Things to remember before packing and shipping packages on a pallet:

  1. Measure the dimensions of the pallet accurately before placing the order for shipping, as this information will be required for calculating the shipping prices.
  1. Make sure that the actual weight and dimensions of the pallet do not exceed what you placed the order for.
  1. Check with the shipping services provider if you need to print and put labels on the package or if the pickup guys will bring it.
  1. Do not forget to put specifications on heavy boxes, for example, if the package is heavy, then put a note that it may not be easily lifted by one person.
  1. Place the order for shipping at least 2 days before your departure from the location, just to avoid risks in the end.

FAQ about shipping a pallet

Where can I find/buy a pallet?

You can either reuse an old pallet or buy a new one. If you are planning on reusing your old wooden pallets, make sure they are not showing any signs of mould, or damage.

If you do not have any pallets to reuse, you can buy one in any hardware store (for example, Bauhaus). For a complete list, check this article.

Where can I find carboard boxes and plastic bonds?

You can get cardboard boxes in any stationery or hardware store. Sturdy cardboard boxes are recommended when stacking items on a pallet.

If you still have any doubts about preparing a pallet for shipping, Eurosender’s packing and shipping experts are always there to help you. Feel free to reach us on any of our channels!

This article was written in collaboration with Maša Kovacic.

Last modified: February 19, 2020

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