Pallet Storage: Best Practices

Palletizing merchandise saves time and effort, and we all know that time and effort equal money.

With that said, there is a right way to properly palletize (and store) merchandise, along with many, many wrong ways.

Here are some of the best practices to follow with loading and pallet storage.

● Inspect pallets before loading: Damaged pallets are prone to failure under a load. They can also be dangerous, making it unsafe for forklift operators to load or lift them. Even if not dangerous, a damaged pallet that yields under a load will need to be re-stacked, and that wastes time.

● Place heaviest items lowest: Unless your merchandise is all of the same weight, the heaviest items/boxes should be placed down first. This helps prevent pallets from becoming top-heavy, making it safer to transport and stack them.

● Distribute weight evenly: While you should place down the heaviest items first, you should also carefully load everything else evenly as the pallet fills up. Lopsided pallets are more likely to tip with lifted or stacked; in extreme cases, a lopsided pallet can even tip over a forklift.

● Wrap palletized goods: Palletized merchandise should also be wrapped. This protects the merchandise on the pallet and helps prevent costly accidents and spills.

● Be conscientious about pallet stacking: Pallets should always be stacked evenly when in storage. This helps prevent dangerous uneven load conditions that can cause injury and damage to palletized products.

● Don’t overhang when stacking: Overhang occurs when a pallet or one part of a pallet is sticking out at an angle from the base under it. This is dangerous for warehouse workers and can cause pallets to tumble, damaging the merchandise on them.

● Don’t stack mixed sizes: Pallet sizes should be homogeneous; mixed sizes will create inherent overhangs that, as mentioned, can be dangerous at worst and costly at best.

● Enter pallets slowly: When entering a pallet into a narrow berth (such as between two other pallets) proceed slowly and with caution. Shrink wrap is “sticky” and even contacting the pallets on either side lightly will cause it to rip, slowing down workflows and consuming precious time.

● Never overload pallet shelving: It is self-evident why this is dangerous and should always be avoided.

● Keep aisles clear: Keeping aisles clear isn’t so much a matter of properly palletizing merchandise as it is about workplace safety. Warehouse workers need to be able to freely navigate the warehouse floor in order to uphold a safe and organized workplace.

● Trash damaged pallets: Last but not least, pallets that are damaged should never be reused. They can fail under a load and should be scrapped or trashed.

Suspicious Your Pallet/Storage Provider Is Cutting Corners? Outsource to a New 3PL
A single pallet of merchandise can be worth thousands to tens of thousands of dollars in freight, if not more.

Mishandling pallets, and failing to observe the best practices for pallet storage mentioned here, can have massive economic consequences.

If you’re concerned your current 3PL provider is not properly loading, handling, or storing your merchandise, look into alternative options such as Snapl, one of the leading 3PL providers in New Jersey. It may be well worth it in the long run.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *