4 Pallet Packing Strategies
February 5, 2018 by Susan Brooks
Pallet delivery services have become increasingly popular, for good reason. They allow cost-effective shipments of goods while eliminating a lot of time and effort that would otherwise have to go into labelling and bundling up separate packages.
It is easy to pack pallets but a little planning can make the process easier and/or make life simpler at the pallet’s destination. Here are different strategies you can consider in planning your pallet preparation.
Obviously, the first consideration in stacking items on a pallet is to make sure the items are secure and can withstand shipment. It is easy to secure items for a pallet delivery service. After you’ve done that, ease of access should be another factor. You’ll want to stack the inventory so that it will be simpler to count the number of items on each pallet. This might make things easier on your warehouse crew but it will most certainly help your customers when they need to verify the number of items in the shipment.
LIFO or FIFO
In business, first in first out (FIFO) and last in first out (LIFO) are standard terms used in production. However, you might not have thought how these terms apply to stacking a pallet. If you are loading up a pallet of products as you make them and shipping them to your warehouse location, you are probably defaulting to a LIFO approach. That’s fine as long as your product has a long enough shelf life. That also works well if you are sending the pallet to one of your customers who will then work through them on time.
On the other hand, FIFO might be a better approach if your product will expire. It may also be a better option with regards to your inventory tracking and warranty information.
Another thing to think about is how items will be distributed once they are on a pallet. Will they be split into orders for various customers once it reaches its warehouse destination? These may seem like minor consideration but saving a few minutes of extra time verifying the inventory or restacking your inventory for each shipment could add up to a lot of time wasted. A brick-like pattern of stacking might be secure but this requires more time and effort to stack and unstack while making it more difficult to count the boxes. It might be worthwhile to invest in more secure wrap around the pallet to secure it if it will save a significant amount of time later.
Perhaps one of the most helpful things is to pick the approach to pallet stacking that works best for you and your customers. Then stick with it. Having one consistent way to load the pallet will make things easier for your workers and for your customers. This way everyone knows what is expected and little thought is required when switching from one pallet to the next.