Failing to secure cargo on a pallet properly can lead to disaster for what you’re shipping. When shipping on a pallet, you don’t want to treat the cargo and pallet as separate. You need to secure them together so that they act and move as one object.
Part of how you secure cargo on a pallet depends on the type of cargo. A single large box or item can often be strapped to a pallet. You want to make sure to use at least two straps, though we’d typically recommend more. Loop them through the forks of the pallet to secure the cargo tightly. Don’t just rely on your strength to tighten the straps. If you’re shipping on a pallet, we recommend using a ratchet to ensure the straps are firm and that there’s no give or play to the straps.
Any give will be exacerbated during shipping. This is because any form of transport – over road, rail, or through the sky or sea – will transfer some movement to the cargo itself. This isn’t enough to harm the cargo, but it can be enough to make loose straps vibrate and thus become looser. Tighter straps that are in contact with the boxes, crates, or other cargo being shipped are less likely to develop extra give.
You can also use nylon or metal banding, though these are better for lighter objects that can take some movement. This is because banding won’t be quite as tight against the cargo as any kind of strapping, but the advantage is that banding won’t loosen: it’s already a set size. We recommend strapping as a more reliable way of securing cargo on a pallet.
You can also shrink wrap in order to secure cargo on a pallet. This involves making a series of wraps around the entirety of the shipment and pallet. This can be a little more difficult and requires strong plastic to make work.
Shrink wrap gains its strength through layering. A single layer will easily stretch and lose its integrity, sending cargo everywhere. Five or more layers is usually enough to secure everything together. You must cover every surface with multiple layers that wrap around both cargo and pallet.
Above all, test your strapping or shrink wrapping. Jostle your cargo and apply pressure to the topmost boxes to see if anything comes loose.