Palletizing Cargo: When to Do It

Palletizing Cargo: When to Do It

What is a pallet? 

A pallet is a strong, flat structure, specifically designed to support goods and provide stability when they are being lifted on a forklift, moved with a pallet jack, or being transported from between different locations. 

While the most common type of pallet is made out of wood, they can also be constructed from plastic, metal, paper, and various recycled materials. Each one is used to hold and transport different types of goods.

What types of cargo should be palletized before transport? 

Some of the types of goods that should be transported on pallets are: 

  • Fragile cargo, like glass and liquid bottles
  • Building materials
  • Furniture
  • Domestic appliances 
  • Machinery
  • Small and stackable items packed together

  

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What are the size dimensions of pallets? 

Countries like the United States, Canada, Spain, and Portugal hold a standard size for pallets to make sure that they can fit through typical entrances and in trucks and containers. Here is a size breakdown:

  

North America Standard Dimensions: 

Dimensions in inches (W x L)

Dimensions in meters (W x L)

Uses

48 × 40

122 × 102

Groceries

42 × 42

107 × 107

Telecommunications and Paint

48 × 48

122 × 122

Drums

40″× 48

101.6 × 122

Military Equipment and Cement

48 × 42

122 × 107

Chemicals and Beverage

40 × 40

102 × 102

Dairy

48 × 45

122 × 114

Automotive Parts

44 × 44

112 × 112

Drums and Chemicals

36 × 36

91.4 × 91

Beverage

48 × 36

122 × 91

Beverage and Packaged Paper

35 × 45.5

89 × 116

Military

48 × 20

122 × 51

Retail

  

Australian Standard Dimensions:

Dimensions in inches (W x L)

Dimensions in meters (W x L)

Usage Location

45.90 × 45.90

117 × 117

Everything in Australia & New Zealand

  

European Standard Pallet Dimensions:

Dimensions in inches (W x L)

Dimensions in meters (W x L)

31.50 × 47.24

80 × 120

47.24 × 39.37

120 × 100

39.37 × 47.24

100 × 120

31.50 × 23.62

80 × 60

  

ISO Pallet Dimensions: 

The International Organization for Standardization has its own set of approved pallet measurements for its member-countries. 

Dimensions in inches (W x L)

Dimensions in meters (W x L)

Region used in

48.00 × 40.00

122 x 102

North America

39.37 × 47.24

100 x 120

Europe, Asia

44.88 × 44.88

114 x 114

Australia

42.00 × 42.00

107 x 107

North America, Europe, Asia

43.30 × 43.30

110 x 110

Asia

31.50 × 47.24

80 x 60

Europe

How can I prepare my pallet for a safe transit? 

Here are some steps you can follow to make sure your pallet is prepared for transit: 

1.  Use multiple layers of corrugated cardboard to evenly distribute the weight of the contents on the pallet.

2.  Use corner boards to prevent damage to the corners of boxes and to stabilize the load. Whenever possible, make sure that they cover the full height and length of the load and use the materials in all corners.

3. Use shrink wrap or stretch wrap to secure all pieces of the shipment together.

  • First, apply the stretch wrap around the pallet.
  • Then continue wrapping it around the contents of the pallet and upwards around the load to prevent the load from shifting.

4. Use strapping or banding techniques, in conjunction with the stretch wrap to secure the load to the pallet and keep it from tipping or shifting during transit. 

  

If you’d like to learn more about pallets or other palletization and packing requirements, contact us!