The use of plastic pallets brings lots of benefits to companies in many industries, such as automotive, manufacturing, distribution, food and pharmaceuticals. But any item we use is as good as the way in which we handle it and comply with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Plastic pallets are made from sturdy and high quality materials and they are designed for intense use and handling by various logistic equipment, but they cannot guarantee the safe shipping of your products if they are not loaded and stacked properly.
Unsecured Loads – the Number One Cause of Product Damage in Transit
On many occasions, Logistic Packaging experts identified the same serious problem in the most critical phase in any shipping operation: stacking the products on the plastic pallets and securing the load.
Many warehouse workers are less tractable and willing to apply new work procedures, because they are too entrenched in old practices. These old practices are precisely those which your company wants to get rid of, together with their old batches of wooden pallets.
Proper stacking and the use of load securing accessories, such as plastic pins, anti-slip mats and pallet collars are the only best practices that can guarantee the safety of your products. Since there is an obvious need for clear information in this respect, we prepared a list of five simple and effective tips for securing loads on plastic pallets.
1. Choose the Right Plastic Pallets
This may be a very obvious statement, but it has to be said. Plastic pallets come in various models and each of them has specific characteristics and tolerances. When you start preparing the order, the first step is to identify the right type of pallets you need according to:
- Footprint – the products must cover the entire surface of the pallet evenly, without gaps or empty edges;
- Static load – the maximum weight of products which can be placed on a pallet;
- Dynamic load – the maximum weight of products that can be placed on a pallet which will be moved and handled by various loading machines;
- Stack load – the maximum weight a pallet can bear while stacked with others.
2. Choose the Right Stacking Method
There are three recommended stacking methods for products on plastic pallets:
- Cube method: the products are placed one on top of the other;
- Brick method: alternate layers at 90 degrees for improved stability;
- Pinwheel method: intertwining each layer within itself.
No matter which method your workers pick, they must always remember to put the heaviest items at the bottom, the lightest at the top and the most fragile in the middle of the stack.
3. Always Top a Pallet with a Pallet Lid
The plastic pallet lid, together with the pallet, forms a solid packing unit which can be safely handled and loaded in the truck. The pallet lid is a simple and affordable accessory which makes a huge difference to your logistics operations: your products will be protected from weather conditions, dust and other contaminants, and you will experience a lower percentage of returned damaged items.
4. Use Adequate Load Securing Accessories
Some plastic pallets are already delivered with various load securing accessories placed on them. These multi-pallets are provided with plastic prisms and pins which help secure round and cylindrical items (such as pipes) on the base of the pallet.
Anti-slip mats are also very useful, because they offer increased adherence and ensure an optimal grip for products placed on the pallets, even during the handling process when the loaded pallet is inclined at an angle.
5. Always Limit the Stack to a Safe Height
A simple and practical rule for stacked products on plastic pallet is that the height of the stack must not exceed the long side of the pallet. Thus, if you use a 600 x 400 mm pallet, the height of your stack must be maximum 600 mm.
The packaging and logistics experts at Logistic Packaging is always ready to offer you the best advice in selecting plastic pallets and load securing accessories to keep your products save. Send us your packaging project by email or give us a call!