The best way to ship? Design a unit load for your product. A unit load combines multiple items into a single “unit” that can easily move through the distribution process.
Packaging your product as a unit load requires organizing and restraining items to allow shipping as a single mass. Many of the hazards that loom in the shipping process can be avoided simply by using a correctly-designed unit load.
So what should you watch out for when packaging your unit load? Glad you asked!
Here’s our list of the top 5 most common unit load mistakes.
- Pallet to Product Size
The footprint of your unit load should match the footprint of the pallet to avoid extra costs and unnecessary damage. If your product has excessive overhang, the product is at risk for damage because it is not fully supported. On the flip side, if the product does not fill the footprint of the pallet, you’re paying for more space than necessary.
- Pallet Strength/Stiffness
Economy-grade pallets save you money... or do they? Pallets that are not “up to the job” can break. Broken pallets create product damage and shipping delays. Choosing a pallet optimized for your load requirements can significantly reduce unexpected costs (and be more cost-effective in the long-run).
- Stretch Wrap Application
Stretch wrap needs to join the product to the pallet to contain the load. If the stretch wrap is not properly applied, your product can ‘walk’ off the pallet. Product walk creates significant damage and dangerous loads.
- Packaging and Deck Board Alignment
Many products ship in corrugated boxes. Over 70% of the compressive box strength is located at the box’s corners. Accurately placed deck boards allow for optimization of your corrugated material selection. If the corners of boxes are not properly supported, your product could end up damaged.
- Securement within Truck
Most trucking-related damage can be traced to in-transit securement of the load. Insufficient or missing securement leads to damage. Vibration and impacts from other unitized products in the truck could cause damage to your unit load. Always protect your product with proper securement methods.
Do you have a unit load horror story? Share it with us below. We can help make sure it never happens again!
Post by: Kent Longardner, Technical Sales Manager