How to Correctly Prepare a Stackable Pallet?5 min read


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Pallets are a rather convenient way of shipping multiple packages at once, but do you know how to correctly stack the packages on top of each other? Organizing a pallet shipment with many boxes together can be a difficult process, especially if the packages are of different shape and weight.

What does “stacking pallets” mean?

Imagine you need to send not one, but a couple of boxes on a pallet. Stacked pallets are considered those, whose boxes are shipped as one joint shipment, stacked on top of each other on a pallet and the carrier can place another pallet on top. Stackable pallets are designed to maintain maximum stability therefore, the possibility of a sudden loss of package is rather smaller.

Not only this is the safest way to prepare a pallet for shipping, but also, it is the most efficient one. Courier companies see to use every available spot in their vehicles, and these pallets allow for that. However, not only the courier companies benefit from this, but also, you as an individual or business. This way, you would not have to ship your boxes separately, and they will travel as one shipment.

How to stack packages on top of each other on a pallet?

There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when stacking a pallet:

  • By building up from the heaviest packages you will make a stable base for the rest of the packages.
  • Stack the boxes close to the edges of the pallet, but not over.
  • Do not make a pyramid shape. For most stability, we recommend stacking the pallet in a cubic shape instead.
  • Do not stack the goods too high. If you have the boxes piled up too high, there is an increased risk that some of the packages will shift and fall over during their transport.
  • To have the structure of the pallet as stable as possible, remember that strapping the packages is important.
  • Know how much weight the pallet can hold. Over-stacked pallets are harder to be handled with the forklift, and they could also bend or break.

How many boxes can you stack on a pallet?

Depending on the size of the boxes you are placing, but for the most popular euro-pallet, it is not recommended more than 220 cm in height. This dimension serves as an indicator for the safety of the goods during their transit. The pallet weight is normally around 25 kg and the carrying capacity up to 4000 kg. Keep in mind that you need to check if the pallet is in good condition, without any cracks or signs of mould.

Stacking packages with different weight and size on a pallet

  • If the pallet you are transporting has different package sizes and weight, place the heavier ones in the centre. By doing this, the weight gets concentrated there, and the pallet will have its required stability.
  • If you are stacking a pallet with irregular shaped items, we recommend placing them in cuboidal packages or other special boxes so they can be easily secured with straps or belts. Keep in mind that if you do place the irregular shaped items in an additional box, you should fill the voids with some packaging material to avoid movement during their transit.
  • You can also just place the item you wish to be transported without any boxes just by strapping it onto the pallet, with a lot of bubble wrap and a clear pallet wrap as cover. However, this is not a recommended way for shipping, and you should always opt for stacking packages on a pallet, as a cheaper and safer option.
  • However, If you have the packages with almost identical content and weight, then you can continue with the recommended way of stacking pallets and place them on the bottom of the pallet.

What is a double stacking a pallet?

To ensure the stacked pallet’s maximum security, you can now add a “cap” at the end of the stacking. This cap serves as a stabilizer of the load on the pallet and will not allow the pallet to move with another set of a pallet on top. After having the shipment ready, you should put straps around it, regardless of the cap.

Stacking pallets

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Can stacking pallets be dangerous?

Stacking up pallets can be dangerous when the pallet can get easily broken and it not meant to be stacked. Such cases can happen if you are using home-made crates or damaged pallets. That is why it is of utter importance that such pallets are marked as non-stackable or shipped with a freight forwarder which explicitly avoids stacking up pallets.

How can I faster down-stack a pallet?

If you have the pallet consisted of many boxes of different content and size, you might not want to make a mess when you need to down-stack the pallet. This process will ease the sorting of the products later, and save you a lot of time:

  • Take different containers based on the content you need to divide.
  • As you are down-stacking the items from the pallet, place the boxes/items according to their content in another separate container.

Do you still have some questions on stacking a pallet for shipping? Do not hesitate to contact us, and our customer support will lead you the process, and answer your doubts.

This article was written in collaboration with Nuša Počič.

Last modified: March 20, 2020

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