Holiday Shipping Tips Series: Properly Prepare Pallets

Think of your pallet as the perfect Christmas present under the tree. The edges are nice and crisp, the wrapping paper is smooth and the bow is perfecProperly Prepare Palletstly centered. Then along comes your kid, grabbing presents at random, shaking them and tearing at the edges to see what’s inside. All of the sudden, your present looks like it was, in fact, wrapped by a 5 year old. If a kid can ruin your award-worthy present wrapping skills under the tree, just imagine what a forklift can do to your pallet if it’s not properly prepared beforehand. Check out these simple – yet sometimes overlooked – steps you can take this holiday season to prevent damage.

#1 – It’s all about your pre game.

That’s right. The key to properly preparing your pallets actually starts before you put your product on the pallet. Always make sure that the pallet is in good condition with no broken boards or protruding fasteners.

#2 – Even it up.

Pallets that are improperly stacked can become a shipping nightmare. Ensure that boxes are loaded squarely, corner-to-corner on the pallet with the weight evenly distributed – that means no muffin-topping your freight or making a box design that resembles the Great Pyramids.

#3 – Wrap it, wrap it real good.

Poorly wrapped pallets are often the reason boxes get damaged or lost. Two to three complete wraps around the pallet is the standard practice to secure your load.

#4 – If you like it, then you should have put a label on it.

You don’t put presents under the tree without name tags on them – the same goes for your shipment. Effective labeling is an extra step your business can take to avoid shipping loss. If every box on the pallet is not going to be labeled individually, it is a smart idea to mark each box as 1 of 10, 2 of 10, etc.

The holiday season is stressful enough without sticky shipping situations. So now is the ideal time for small- to mid-size businesses to take precautions and focus on shipping fundamentals that will lead a business to a cheerful and efficient holiday shipping season. Stay tuned in the weeks to come for more holiday shipping tips for your business.