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Jan 14th, 2022

5 Ways to Reduce Pallet Damage in Transit

Packing Pallets to Reduce Damage and Waste

While it's almost impossible to eliminate product damage, there are plenty of opportunities for companies to improve their pallet packing methods to significantly reduce product damage. Sometimes, the automatic assumption is that more packing materials are the secret. However, that's not always the case, and more packing materials often mean more waste in a world where sustainability is key.

Finding the middle ground between secure pallets and minimal waste can be tricky, but it is possible. Here are our top tips to reduce damage to your products while in transit and cut down on the materials used to cut costs and reduce environmental impacts.

  1. Get the Right Pallets
  2. It starts from the ground up. Using the right pallets for both your products and your shipping and warehousing methods can help cut down on freight damage. Size, material, and design can all make a big difference in how effective pallets are for your operation.

    If you're wondering where to recycle pallets to reduce waste, Trinity offers a National Pallet Program where we sell and recycle pallets. Learn more about the program by contacting one of our sales representatives here.

  3. Use the Right Boxes
  4. Choosing boxes that are the right size and the right strength is a great way to ensure your product arrives unharmed. Boxes should allow freight to fit comfortably but not move too much, and they should be able to withstand the weight of the freight around and on top of them.

    Using the right boxes doesn't necessarily mean using the lightest-weight boxes. The boxes you use must hold up to the product inside of them and the stress of shipping. You can also reduce cost and the environmental impact of freight by adding more layers to the pallet. By doing this, you can ship more with fewer pallets but the boxes need to have a higher Edge Crush Test (ECT) rating to hold up to the weight of the extra layers.

  5. Wrap them Up
  6. Stretch wrapping can help reduce shipment damage by keeping boxes in place on the pallet and keeping movement to a minimum. Using the right gauges and wrapping methods can help keep packages safe without wasting plastic. Stretch wrap must extend a few inches onto the pallet to help secure the load to the pallet.

    Either taping or using straps before shrink-wrapping can provide extra stability. Automatic wrapping machines can go a long way towards reducing unnecessary waste that often occurs when hand-wrapping pallets.

  7. Consider Extra Protections
  8. Slip sheets, cardboard corners, and package fillers are all great options for freight that needs a little extra protection.

    Slip sheets are great for adding extra stability to whole pallets and protecting boxes on the top and bottom of the pallet from damage. Cardboard corners are a great way to add stability to pallets that are stacked with fragile or expensive freight. Package fillers can provide extra protection for products by adding padding and ensuring they don't move around in the box.

  9. Stack Freight the Right Way
  10. The way you stack freight can have a bit impact on the stability of the pallet and whether damage is likely to occur.

    Start by making sure that box corners on the bottom layer of pallets aren't sitting in between the pallet slats since much of a box's strength is in the corners. When stacking a pallet of mixed goods, freight should be stacked with the heaviest boxes on the bottom and the lightest boxes on top. This keeps heavier packages from crushing lighter ones. You can also stack boxes like you would stack bricks to keep pallets stable.

Assessing where in the supply chain damage is occurring and finding ways to head off that damage before it occurs sounds simple enough, but the cause of freight damage isn't always clear. At Trinity, we offer consulting services to help set you up with the right packaging to cut your costs, reduce waste, and make sure that your product arrives intact.

If there's room for improvement in your company's packing or palletization processes, you can reach out to Trinity for a free consultation. Our experts will take a tour of your facility and offer recommendations to reduce damage and packaging waste.