When it comes to shipping goods via a pallet delivery, you must ensure you have selected the right pallet size before reaching out to a courier to arrange delivery.
While that may often be easier said than done, determining the correct pallet size is something you should know and remember how to do for every shipment you plan to send with a pallet courier.
If your pallet is too small, any boxes or items you wish to send are likely to overhang and therefore, the courier is bound to refuse to handle the pallet altogether.
This is simply because the courier would be liable for any damage if your pallet overhangs and they still accept it through their pallet network - no courier will accept this risk.
Essentially, a standard UK pallet measures 1.2m x 1m. The only real difference between each pallet size is the height and weight allowance. For example, a quarter pallet has a height limit of 60cm and a weight limit of 250 kilograms, while these allowances increase the larger the pallet size.
And then, of course, there's the Euro pallet. Again, the length and width remain standard, but the height and weight vary for each Euro pallet size.
With nearly all pallet couriers, a pallet size guide is available to help customers determine which is the best and correct size for their shipment. If you struggle to differentiate between the options, just ask for help!
Carefully Stack Your Boxes
You should always aim to get your pallet looking neat and tidy, stacking your boxes carefully. Avoid stacking in pyramids and aim to place an even number of boxes on each layer, i.e. 3 on the bottom layer, 3 on the next layer and so on.
Also, to do this without causing damage to your items, it pays to make sure you place the heaviest of your goods at the bottom of the pallet. Then load the rest in weight order (heaviest first, lightest at the top).
Doing this will ensure that no damage is caused to your lightweight boxes, as they will sit comfortably at the very top of the pallet for their entire journey.
Pay Attention To Detail
A common mistake that people make when preparing pallets for delivery is stacking items or boxes in the shape of a pyramid. This is likely as they have an uneven number of items to load to the pallet, so struggle to find the best way to position them.
However, loading your pallet must be done in a specific way. There's no need to be artistic, just as long as it looks neat and there's absolutely no room for anything to move.
Stacking with no order, like in pyramids, will simply increase the risk of damaging items in the boxes higher up as they are much less secure during their journey. As there would only be one or two boxes at the top of the pallet, they are likely to shift while on the move - we recommend booking another pallet to transport any extra boxes.
For a pallet to be delivered with a low risk of damage, or without being damaged in any way at all, you should always aim to stack in rows wherever possible, i.e. the same number of boxes on each layer, on each side of the pallet.
If you happen to have a few boxes spare, then you should consider booking an additional pallet space. Depending on the size of the boxes, you may get away with booking a quarter or half pallet to transport the remaining goods.
This additional space will ensure the remaining goods travel safely, without risking the safety of anything else that is secured to your first initial pallet.
Wrap Your Goods Properly
Wrapping your goods properly is the key to safe pallet delivery. If your goods are poorly wrapped and you still ship them through a courier, you run the risk of seriously damaging everything on your pallet.
Certain pallet couriers may offer a packing and wrapping service, which may help you if you are unsure of how to pack and shrink wrap a pallet yourself.
However, if you ship pallets often, the chances are that you already know exactly how to shrink wrap them. Just remember, it's unlikely for any pallet courier to accept your pallet if you don't wrap it to their standards.
Secure Your Pallet With Straps
Lastly, you should secure your pallet with straps of some sort. Doing this will help reduce the risk of damaging your goods significantly, but it is better to follow the advice of the courier (they know best!) on how to properly strap items and boxes to pallets without damaging anything!
Ratchet straps are the most popular and recommended type of strapping material and will not let you down; they are durable and hundreds of couriers advise using them instead of using a rope.
However, if ratchet straps are a little out of your price range, a rope is equally as good when secured properly.
If you get stuck, you can always ask the courier for other recommendations as to what you can use to strap and secure your items - they will have plenty of alternatives based on your budget.
Of course, their suggestions and willingness to help you find the best solution will depend on who you choose to ship with and just how reputable they are, as well.
Strapping your pallet means that your goods are less likely to move around and cause damage while on the move. Every pallet courier that cares for their customers will always recommend using this method of securing goods. While it is optional, we recommend straps for added peace of mind.
Contact us for more details regarding how to prepare your pallet for delivery. Either call 0345 658 0049 or send a message via our Live Chat service and we will get back to you promptly.
Alternatively, you can find more advice and tips on how to prepare pallets by heading over to our Help Centre.