Understanding how stackable pallets work and how to stack them up can be quite difficult even for an experienced shipper. But don’t worry – this article is going to tackle the most common questions shippers might have when it comes to stackable pallets and help you resolve any problems that can arise during the stacking.
Why are stackable pallets preferable?
As their name suggests, stackable pallets can be stacked onto one another in order to get more freight onto one lorry. They are perfect for stack loading or static storage and they also offer more shipping options as many freight forwarders don’t even accept non-stackable pallets. Stackable pallets are designed to maintain maximum stability when stacked, be it empty or filled with products. They can therefore be shipped without any worries that they would all of a sudden lose stability and get destroyed or cause damage to the pallets surrounding them.
However, stacking up pallets can be dangerous if the pallets in question are not meant to be stacked, meaning that they can be easily broken, which is commonly the case with home-made wooden pallets or crates. This is why it is of utter importance that such pallets are clearly marked as non-stackable or shipped with a freight forwarder which explicitly avoids stacking up pallets.
How to stack a pallet
It’s very important that you get familiar with all the handy tricks when preparing stackable pallets. If not prepared correctly, you’ll be wasting space or the pallets might tumble down, damaging the pallets and goods surrounding them or, even worse, hitting a worker.
- Begin by stacking items of equal shape and size – this will ensure even stacking of a pallet, meaning that it is less likely for the goods on the top of the pallet to shift and fall off.
- Don’t stack your goods too high – this again increases the chance of them shifting. If pallets are stacked too high, they might not even fit on a pallet rack, which is why you should make sure you also know how much space is available on the lower and the middle racks.
- Know how much weight you can put on one pallet – an overloaded stackable pallet could break, bend your pallet racks or be too heavy for your forklift to handle.
Our advice is to always make sure your pallets are stacked evenly, otherwise they might shift during the handling process. If your pallets are not stacked with items of similar weight, make sure you place the heavier ones in the centre. By doing this, the weight gets concentrated there and pallets should therefore not shift and tumble. Another possibility is to place the heavy items on the bottom part of the pallet. Whatever you do, just make sure the weight of the pallet isn’t unbalanced and the heavier items are not placed on the top or on the corners of the pallet, otherwise this will lead to shifting.
Where to find pallets
Various pallets can be easily purchased online or in hardware stores. When making a purchase, check which kind of a pallet you need, and opt for stackable pallets. There is also an ongoing debate about pros and cons of either wooden or plastic pallets. The former ones are still the most popular option on the market as they are very durable and rigid and can support heavy loads. They are also cheaper than plastic pallets as they are generally not returned to the customer. On the other hand, plastic pallets cost almost twice as much as the wooden ones, but can be reused more times. When deciding which pallet to use, you should therefore take into consideration all the aspects and needs of your shipment.
Moreover, if you’re planning to ship pallets from Slovenia or Croatia, you can also avoid the hassle and purchase a stackable pallet directly from Eurosender.
Are there extra costs if the pallets are non-stackable?
Yes, many freight forwarders impose extra costs for non-stackable pallets as such pallets represent a loss of space in the lorry and consequently reduce the number of shipments per lorry. Additional fees can cost much more than stackable pallets, going up to more than hundred euros, so you should make sure you take this information into consideration before purchasing a non-stackable pallet.
Last modified: February 7, 2018