Avoid pre-used, old or moisture-exposed fiberboard cartons.
Use good-quality lumber in crates.
Don't nail into the end grain of lumber.
Use three-way locking corners and diagonals to help form a structurally sound open-frame crate.
When to palletize:
When pieces fit squarely within the edges of a pallet.
When height and width of shipment pieces are similar.
When individual pieces in a load exceed 100 lb.
When individual pieces are less than 84" high.
When not to palletize:
When pieces are light enough to be stacked on top of heavier goods.
When a shipment isn't large enough to fill the surface of a pallet.
When containers have considerable air space and can crush easily.
When the sides of the containers overhang the sides of the pallet.
Form The Perfect Pallet:
Vertically align the edges of boxes.
Have no edges overhanging the pallet.
Make sure the top is flat.
Secure items by stretch wrap, banding or shrink film.
What to avoid:
Overhangs: up to 32 percent of the shipping container's stacking strength is lost.
Pyramiding: ship extra cartons as loose pieces.
Misalignment: up to 30 percent of the stacking strength is lost.
Interlocking: up to 50 percent of the stacking strength is lost.
Q. My shipment would make a total of two perfect pallets if it weren't for three left-over items. What should I do? A. Label and ship those items as individual pieces. On your bill of lading, then, you would have a total piece count of five (2 pallets + 3 individual pieces).