At Shipping Discounts, we are often asked by customers how to improve shipping services with regards to pallets. Customers want to ensure that their freight will not be damaged in transit. The orientation of cartons in your LTL freight can have a big impact on the integrity of your shipments. Palletized and shrink-wrapped cargo has much higher probability to reach destinations without damages or loss. Palletizing is placing and securing units or containers on pallets. The average size of a U.S. pallet, also known as a “skid”, is 48″(1.2m) x 40″(1.0m) x 6″(0.15m). The sizes of pallets are mandated by the International Organization for Standardization.

The following are some recommendations for palletizing your freight:

Column stack your pallets. In most cases this increases the top-to-bottom compression strength for palletized shipments.

column stack

Use an interlocking stack. If the carton contents are rigid, interlocking cartons will result in increased stability. Stack boxes corner-to-corner and edge-to-edge. This improves stack strength.  Interlock Stack Not Recommended: Overhanging Stack. Don’t overhang the pallet with packaged products because it can reduce compression strength. It also subjects packages to tears, punctures and other impacts due to normal handling and sorting.


Not Recommended: Pyramid Stacking. Pyramid stacks don’t provide a level surface, as the top cartons are exposed to potential damage from other shipments. Pallets with a level surface provide better strength and stability. Pyramid stacks also have a higher likelihood of toppling.

pyramid stack

Make sure the label on your freight is clearly visible and securely attached to the freight. This precaution alleviates possible confusion that can occur when the freight is in transit. palletwithlabel

When shrink wrapping pallets, use a shrink wrap with a gauge of 50 or higher. Remember, the higher the gauge, the thicker your shrink wrap will be. Thicker shrink wrap is more protective of your freight, as it compresses the freight better. Here is what an ideal pallet looks like:


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