How to Load a Pallet Properly

3 min read

An incorrectly loaded pallet is both cumbersome and potentially dangerous, so knowing how to stack boxes properly will go a long way toward making your pallets easier to store and transport. A good packing job, especially if the boxes are of different sizes, will also increase safety and minimize the risk of merchandise being damaged in a fall. Wondering how to stack a pallet correctly? Cousins Packaging reveals the best way to stack different size boxes on a pallet. Read the full blog to find out!

How to Stack a Pallet — The Proper Steps

Before beginning to load a pallet, consider the size needed to carry every box perfectly. The pallet is the foundation for the load, so having the right size is crucial. A standard pallet is 48 inches by 40 inches. However, pallets come in smaller and larger sizes to accommodate the size of the load you wish to stack. 

  1. Inspect the pallet: Always inspect the pallet before placing boxes onto it so you can ensure it will be able to withstand the load. There are lighter pallets made with lighter materials and heavy-duty pallets to withstand heavier loads. Avoid using the pallet if any deck boards are broken or have a crack. Broken deck boards are unsafe and put boxes at risk of being damaged. 
  2. Check the box size: The size of the boxes will be the determining factor in the size of the skid. With the appropriately sized pallet, you will be able to lay the first layer of boxes uniform to the edge of each side. It is crucial to avoid overhang because any boxes that extend past the edge risk breaking during transportation. 
  3. Account for differently shaped boxes: Different box sizes can make the process more difficult, but you should always attempt to have the boxes layered uniformly with the pallet. When different sized boxes cause a load that isn’t uniform, it is imperative to use a higher grade wrap to prevent it from tearing on box edges.
  4. Stack by weight: Consider the weight when loading different sized boxes. Put heavier boxes on the skid first as the base layer, then stack the lighter boxes on top. Stacking the weight heaviest to lightest will keep lighter boxes from being crushed and damaging the items inside. 
  5. Use the bricklaying method: When stacking uniform boxes, it is best to arrange them as you would bricks. This method involves placing one layer, then adding the next laying the opposite direction. Each layer has the same pattern, but is laying opposite of the one it sits on. Bricklaying boxes will securely tie in each box, interlocking them for safer transport and stocking within freight racks. This technique also provides a way to create zero space between the boxes to minimize movement and increase stability. 

These steps on how to load pallets are essential to ensure boxes are safe during distribution or when being stocked for later access. Knowing how to load a pallet properly will provide a safer work environment for everyone who has to handle it. Stacking boxes correctly will also save you time since the boxes will be securely packed and unlikely to fall off the pallet and need restacking.

Wrap and Move Pallets Safely

The final step is to wrap the merchandise to the pallet properly. You should always wrap a pallet to transport the merchandise safely and when putting it up in the top racks for a later time. Cousins Packaging is a full-line manufacturer of various semi-automatic stretch wrappers and fully automatic stretch wrapper machines. We fabricate and assemble our machines in North America using time-tested designs. If you would like to know more about how to securely wrap your palletized items, fill out our contact form today!

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