You’re moving away and after pricing out your options, you’ve decided that sending your personal effects by pallet delivery will be the most cost-effective method. How you go about packing that pallet is important. Set yourself up for a happy arrival of goods in your new home by following these tips.
Choose the right pallet
You can purchase individual pallets or even have them made according to your specifications. If you choose the latter – say, because you have some fragile items and want a special frame to ensure they aren’t damaged – have it built to standard size or you could incur additional shipping charges. A standard pallet in the UK is 1 by 1.2 metres and can hold up to 220 centimetres in height, with a usual weight limit of 1,000 pounds. If anything overhangs the edges, this can also incur oversize charges, so plan your boxes carefully.
If you’re shipping domestically, you can buy any wooden pallet, but it’s best to buy new or carefully inspect a used one. Old nails, broken boards, and mildew can spell trouble for your hands and your belongings. If you’re shipping internationally, and you use a wooden pallet, it needs to carry a stamp that shows it has been decontaminated for pests, bacteria, moulds, and mildew.
This type of delivery is so affordable, though, that you might want to splurge on a plastic or aluminium pallet instead.
Think from the bottom up
It may seem obvious, but too many people do not heed the advice to put the heaviest items on the bottom. A top-heavy pallet is a dangerous pallet, for both your goods and the people handling them.
Protect those boxes
A pallet can go through a lot of changes on its journey – truck changes, that is – and your items will never be alone. You’ll want to protect them from OPS, other people’s stuff, and from bumps along the way. The edges of cardboard boxes can be easily crushed, so don’t use second-hand boxes unless they’re really in good condition. If you buy boxes, get ones with crush-resistant edges and a heavy weight capacity.
Wrap and wrap again
After you’ve carefully stacked your boxes, you’ll create a tidy package. You’ll need plastic wrap (not the kind you’d use for food) and ratchet straps. Wrap all the way around the boxes, covering the whole of your stack. Put edge protectors on at least the top boxes; you can buy edge protectors in different lengths and materials, such as cardboard, plastic, and foam. The ‘ribbons’ on your package will be the ratchet straps, which will keep your edge protectors snug and the whole operation firmly on the pallet itself.
And now you’re ready to ship your goods. Good luck in your new job and home!