Proper Pallet Stacking Protects Box Contents
Getting your products from the factory to the end user undamaged is a top priority. Damage during shipping isn’t uncommon but can be minimized by ensuring your corrugated boxes are stacked correctly on each pallet.
Column stacking is the preferred method for stacking boxes on a pallet.
The weight is distributed evenly at the strongest point (corners) of each box, which allows it to maintain 100 percent of the engineered compression strength.
If you are concerned about stability, use slip sheets between the layers and/or shrink-wrap the fully stacked pallet.
People often stack corrugated boxes in an interlocking fashion thinking the load will be more stable. What they fail to realize with this method is if the boxes’ contents aren’t rigid enough to offer support, you may suffer significant damage. According to the Fibre Box Handbook (75th Anniversary Edition), this stacking method may result in loss of up to 50 percent of a load’s stacking strength. Individual box damage may be even higher.
With interlocking stacking, the weight is unevenly distributed at the weakest point of each carton. Two-thirds of the stacking strength is concentrated at the corners of the box. With interlocking stacking, the strongest part of the upper box (corner) is on top of the weakest part (side) of the box below it, dramatically reducing strength. Also keep in mind that if a side has a compromising structural feature, such as a handle, it must be considered non-load bearing.
Another concern is pallet overhang. If your boxes overhang the edges of the pallet, they are not able to support the load of the stack and become more unstable.
Overhanging at the outer edges is not the only consideration. Wooden pallets typically have a 1–3-inch gap between deck boards. If the edge of your corrugated box rests in between the deck boards, you are also creating an overhang situation. If you can’t place boxes without the edges overhanging between the slats, cover the pallet deck with plywood or corrugated sheets. An overhang can reduce compression strength by 32 percent.
Let Our Packaging Experts Improve Your Pallet Utilization and Load Stability
We use a software to find the most effective stacking configuration for your load. In addition, we can work with you to evaluate your current configuration to determine the optimal material strength required for that stacking pattern.
Contact our team to get started!