A pallet is a flat structure utilised for supporting goods or containers. This portable platform is used to store or move goods for delivery. Pallets can be made of wood, metal, or plastic and are a much stronger option than cardboard boxes. A well-maintained pallet will be reusable many times, particularly as it can be kept off the ground reducing potential risks from water and debris.
What is palletizing? Palletize meaning is to place, stack, or transport goods on a pallet or pallets. So palletizing is placing goods or materials on pallets for handling or moving.
What is palettizing in logistics? Read on to find out more…
Styes of pallets
Look at a range of pallets commonly found in warehousing:
Block pallets: these can be made of wood, plastic, or plywood and are known for their four-way entry meaning they can be accessed on all four sides by forklift trucks. They’re typically comprised of up to 12 cylindrical posts that help stabilise the top boards and are available with or without bottom boards.
Double-faced pallets: these comprise of decks on both top and bottom surfaces – increasing the strength of the pallet and evenly distributing the load. There are two types: reversible and non-reversible. Reversible pallets can be turned and have items stacked on either side whereas non-reversible options usually have one surface with more densely packed planks for packing.
Double-winged pallets: this design gives the illusion of wings alongside the pallets as the top and bottom decks extend outside the stringer boards.
Solid deck pallets: the surface consists of one large sheet of wood without spaces that are easy to clean and transport. Particularly suitable for storing and transporting smaller items as slipping through planks is avoided. These pallets are highly popular as they’re considered aesthetically pleasing.
Stringer pallets: stringers are the boards running between the top and bottom decks, used to support the pallets load. Entry is from two sides for a two-way stringer and four sides for a four-way version. There are two types of four-way stringer pallets – either notched or block designs.
Advantages of palletizing
Using pallets as a base for unit loads offers a number of benefits that result in the more efficient handling of goods.
When organised correctly pallets can provide adequate circulation and drainage for products. Perishable items will remain fresh as product damage is negated by this type of storage as optimum temperatures are selected.
Palletizing allows goods to be moved much faster than by manual handling. This results in reduced labour requirements and faster turnaround times, and quicker availability of the trailer door for the next arrival.
Pallets also tend to be extremely cost-effective. The pallets are lightweight, taking up little storage space, and they can be moved easily and efficiently stored when not in use. Due to the consistent size and shape, they can be stacked high, requiring less floor space.
Pallet transportation doesn’t need specialist equipment. A forklift truck or pallet jack is all that’s necessary to lift and stack.
Ways to palletize
Palletizing products allows the conversion of multiple loads into one single load that can be moved as one. To avoid product damage during transportation you simply need to follow basic guidelines as shown below:
- Don’t leave boxes partially empty – these can be crushed resulting in gaps that cause stacks to shift in motion. Make sure that boxes are filled with stock or additional packing to prevent this from happening.
- Distribute weight evenly – put the heaviest packages at the bottom of the load. Interlocking pallet patterns can reduce pallet deflection by over half.
- Stack and wrap boxes tightly – edges of boxes should be aligned with the pallet edge, and four to five layers of plastic wrap should be used to bind the load to the pallet.
Types of palletization
The four basic types of palettization are:
- Manual palletization – this involves workers lifting boxes off the assembly line conveyor and stacking them onto a pallet. If the pallet is being loaded for a specific client the boxes will be removed from the pallet as required.
- Semi-automated palletization – cartons are slid manually to form a layer and then an operator presses a button to automatically palletize that layer.
- Automated palletization – this process is carried out by a machine that takes containers from the end of the conveyor and arranges then in a set pattern – forming layers and then building them onto the pallet to create a single unit load
- Robotic palletization – robots offer great flexibility alongside the capability of palletising multiple package sizes onto the same pallet.
Get professional storage logistics
DRG Solutions can help with any international shipping from Barcelona. The most suitable provider chosen for warehousing will palletize goods to ensure they remain safe and undamaged until transportation time. Then the most efficient and effective mode of ground, sea, air freight or a combination of all three will be selected to meet the specific demands of your business.