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Bulk shipping often requires stacking multiple corrugated boxes together on top of a pallet, crate or skid. In order to ensure these palletized freight shipments remain bundled together securely during transit, follow the four steps listed below:
- Avoid pyramid shaped pallet loads. Make sure the corrugated boxes are of uniform size and stacked directly on top of each other to provide an even surface. Pallets with a level surface provide better strength and stability for when double-stacked. Avoid overlapping boxes unless the boxes and contents are made specifically to interlock to form a rigid unit.
- Don’t overhang the stack. Packaged products that stick out from the boundaries of the pallet can reduce compression strength by as much as 30 percent. Overhanging can also result in damaged product due to tears and punctures from pallet handling.
- Use proper banding. Banding is typically used to secure the bundled load to the pallet. Corrugated stacks should be banded on each side and the banding should be kept close to the load to avoid exposure, damage or breakage. If an individual piece is over 150 pounds. or if the boxes are large, they should be secured on all sides with heavy-duty steel, rayon, polypropylene, nylon or polyester strapping.
- Reinforce palletized products with stretch wrap. When it comes to bundling loads and protecting large freight pieces, stretch wrap film is critical. 70-gauge stretch wrap that sticks to itself is ideal, so it can be wipe-sealed as it is applied to the stack. Proper application includes spiral-wrapping the cartons with a minimum 50 percent overlap, using a 3″ overlap over the top of the pallet base and a 3″ overlap at the top of the stack, as well as stretching the film diagonally over the top corners.
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