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10 Common Pallet Shipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The logistics and transportation industry operates globally, 24/7. It is constantly in motion and incredibly intricate. Amidst the cogs of logistics and transport is one key element; pallet shipping. Pallet shipping is a reliable and cost-effective method for all types of customers to move their goods efficiently around the globe. However, despite its efficiency, pallet shipping can encounter challenges, particularly if you're not vigilant about avoiding common mistakes. These pitfalls can lead to damaged goods, costly delays, and frustrated customers; three things we never want to happen!

We want poor pallet shipping to be a thing of the past, so we've laid out 10 common pallet shipping mistakes to help you steer clear of disappointment and enjoy a smooth experience every time you ship.

Whether you're an experienced logistics professional or shipping for the first time, this insightful guide will serve as a valuable resource to ensure the safe and successful shipping of goods on pallets.


The importance of getting pallet shipping right

Properly executing pallet shipping is a fundamental aspect of the logistics and supply chain industry, and its importance cannot be overstated. It serves as a linchpin that holds together the entire process of moving goods efficiently and effectively. Getting pallet shipping right is essential for a multitude of reasons.

Mistakes in pallet shipping can lead to damaged products, delayed deliveries, and disappointment. Doing pallet shipping right is essential for customer satisfaction, cost efficiency, timely deliveries, and effective inventory management.

It also helps to mitigate risks, maintain a positive brand image, and contribute to the long-term growth and sustainability of your business.

So, let's dive in and explore the nuances of pallet shipping to help you elevate your shipping capabilities to new heights of reliability and efficiency.

10 common pallet shipping mistakes

1. Inadequate Protection

An all too common mistake in pallet shipping is inadequate protection and packaging. Failing to properly secure and protect your items can result in damage during transit. Packing a pallet properly is really simple, so take the time to learn what safety measures you need for your goods.

Solution: Use appropriate packaging materials such as shrink wrap, bubble wrap, or padding to safeguard your goods. Ensure that each item is securely fastened to the pallet. Click here to view our guide on how to pack a pallet.

2. Incorrect Pallet Size

Choosing the wrong pallet size can lead to inefficiencies and potential damage to your items. It's essential to match the pallet size with the dimensions of your goods. While it's ideal to avoid goods overhanging the pallet base, we understand that this isn't always possible.

If you choose to ship items that exceed the pallet base dimensions and cannot secure an oversized pallet, please ensure the goods are firmly secured with ratchet straps and that the corners of overhanging items are adequately protected.

Solution: Measure your items carefully and ideally select a pallet size that accommodates them without overhang. The safest option for oversized consignments would be to build a custom-made pallet according to the dimensions of your items, so they don't overhang the pallet base. This will ensure that your items are stable and well-supported during shipping. Click here to view our guide on shipping large and heavy items.

3. Overloading Pallets

Exceeding the weight capacity of a pallet can lead to structural damage and safety hazards. Always adhere to weight limits specified by the pallet provider and the shipping carrier. Remember, pallets are designed to support your items and protect them in transit. Putting too much weight on them can put your items at risk.

Solution: Weigh your items accurately and distribute the weight evenly on the pallet. Avoid overloading to prevent pallet damage during transit.

4. Incorrect Weight Distribution

Uneven weight distribution on a pallet can cause imbalances, making it difficult to stack and transport. Proper weight distribution is crucial for stability. Always stack a pallet with the aim of creating square shapes - it will help to successfully transport your goods.

Solution: Strategically place heavier items at the bottom of the pallet and distribute weight evenly. If any items look precarious then you need to restack your pallet until everything is even.

5. Improper Stacking

A rule of thumb for stacking pallets is to first stack wide, then stack high. Pallets work best when stacked square, so build up the foundation for a well-distributed pallet consisting of tactically organised layers. A tall, precarious pallet is more likely to result in damage during transit.

Solution: Stack items systematically, forming layers on a pallet which are organised by weight. Use padding to separate and protect items.

6. Not Labelling Clearly

Inadequate labelling can lead to misrouting or delayed shipments - something every customer wants to avoid. Be sure to put a clear and easily readable label on your shipments to ensure that they get to their destination successfully.

Solution: Clearly label each pallet with essential information such as destination, handling instructions, and item descriptions. Waterproof labels are also useful to prevent them from getting damaged during transit.

7. Neglecting Documentation

Failing to complete the necessary shipping documentation can result in delays or fines. Ensure all paperwork is accurate and complete to facilitate a smooth shipping process. If you're feeling confused, just get in touch with us if you need any support. We're here to help!

Solution: Double-check all documentation requirements, including bills of lading, customs forms, and any other necessary paperwork. Keep copies of these documents for your records.

8. Choosing the Wrong Carrier

Selecting the wrong shipping carrier or service can lead to higher costs or longer transit times. It's essential to research carriers to find the best fit for your shipping needs. At Pallet2Ship, we're proud to have hundreds of five-star reviews from our customers.

Solution: Evaluate carriers based on factors such as destination, speed, cost, and reputation. Consider customer reviews and feedback when making your decision.

9. Lack of Insurance

Insurance can often seem like an optional add-on, but it provides invaluable peace of mind. Not insuring your shipment can be a costly mistake if items are damaged or lost during transit. Although damaged goods are uncommon, you'll thank yourself if it ever does happen - especially on larger and more expensive items. Protect your investment with shipping insurance.

Solution: Explore shipping insurance options that provide coverage for your goods. While it adds an extra cost, it offers peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen events.

10. Ignoring Regulations

Ignoring shipping regulations and restrictions, especially for hazardous materials or international shipments, can result in legal issues and delays. Compliance is crucial.

Solution: Familiarise yourself with all relevant regulations and compliance requirements. Ensure that your shipments meet the necessary legal and safety standards. Click here to read our guide on prohibited and restricted items, and our guide on dangerous goods.

Final Thoughts

Avoiding these common pallet shipping mistakes is essential for the success of your shipping operations. While there's a lot to consider, it's important for you to play your part in ensuring the safety of your goods. Be sure to pick the appropriate pallet size, stack correctly, and don't overload. Additionally, don't forget to clearly label your goods, adhere to correct documentation and always consider insurance.

If you're looking for expert pallet shipping or need a reliable partner for your shipping needs, don't hesitate to contact Pallet2Ship and get an instant quote. We are here to assist you in a smooth, secure and successful pallet shipping experience.


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