When possible, heavy, bulky items should be placed on pallets for improved handling. To maximize carton strength, stack cartons on the pallet vertically. You can secure cartons to a pallet with banding, shrink-wrap, stretch-wrap, or breakaway adhesive.
Cartons should be stacked squarely on the skid, with no overhang. Box flaps and corrugations should face up. Make the top surface as flat as possible. The pictures below should help you visualize the best way to package and secure your goods. Stacking strength is lost when pallets are improperly loaded.
Pallet overhang loses up to 32% of carton strength. Interlocked pattern loses up to 50% of carton strength. Misalignment loses up to 30% of carton strength.
Damage can occur if cartons overhang the pallet, because there is no support for the freight in transit. Damage can occur when a pallet doesn’t have a flat top surface. Place single containers on an outside corner or ship them loose. Loads made from different size containers may not be uniform enough to have unit strength.
Shrink wrap is a common and effective method of keeping all pieces of a shipment together. Be sure to include the pallet when wrapping the shipments. Start at the bottom of the pallet and continue wrapping upward around the load. This prevents the shipment from shifting or slipping off of the pallet and potentially damaging the cartons or other freight.
An excellent rule of thumb: Can your item be dropped from 12 inches and not get damaged? How about: Can it be forklifted without being damaged?
If you answer no to either one of those questions, you need to fix it.