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Every warehouse or industrial plant needs a durable set of pallets, but there are plenty of options to choose from. When loading your equipment or goods onto the pallet, be careful not to exceed the dimensions or you risk damaging your inventory.
The container should be the same size or smaller than the pallet for easy handling. You will need to measure the width and length of your containers and compare these figures to those of the pallet to make sure it’s a perfect fit.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your container will fit onto the pallet. You should only attach a loaded container if you’re absolutely sure it will fit.
So, how many square feet is a standard pallet?
Most pallets come in at 48” x 40” which comes out to 13.333 square feet.
However, not all pallets are the same size. If you bought a used pallet or can’t find an identifying marker, use measuring tape to calculate the exact dimensions. Multiple the width by the length to get the total square inches and divide that number by 12 to get the square footage.
The three most common pallet sizes are 48” x 40”, 42” x 42” and 48” x 48”.
The square footage works out to 12.25 square feet for 42” x 42” pallets, and 16 square feet for 48” x 48” pallets.
Most pallets can hold up to 4,800 pounds. They generally weigh around 37 lbs. and are 6.5 inches tall.
The size and weight of your pallet will vary based on the materials. Steel and metal pallets are more secure with higher weight capacities, but they weigh more than other varieties, which will increase the cost of shipping. However, metal pallets are the preferred choice when shipping metal industrial equipment and supplies. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.
Plastic pallets are lighter than metal pallets with excellent weight capacities. They are durable and reusable, helping you keep your shipping costs low.
Wooden pallets tend to be the worst choice for industrial plants. They tend to fall apart easily over time, spreading dust and debris all over the floor. The dimensions of the pallet may change as the wood starts to warp or chip away. They will also lose their structural integrity after multiple trips, reducing the weight capacity.
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Palletizing Your Products
Making sure your inventory fits onto the pallet is just one step in the palletizing process. You also need to make sure these containers don’t slide or shift in place. But what is palletizing?
When loading your inventory onto the pallet, be sure to spread out the weight so the pallet doesn’t tilt to one side. The heaviest items should go on the bottom with the lightest containers on top. Avoid over-stacking your products or they may fall over. Your shipments should never be more than five feet or 60 inches tall.
Before sending off your shipment, use ratchet straps to securely attach the container to the pallet. You may have to use edge protectors to avoid crushing the box. That’s why it’s best to use plastic or metal containers that can withstand the pressure. You can pin them down on the pallet without crushing the contents.
You may also need to shrink wrap your pallet before sending it off for delivery. Pack all your containers tightly together before applying the plastic. This is the best way to keep multiple packages together on the pallet. You will need to attach the shrink wrap to the corner of the pallet, covering the entire load several times over. This step can be messy and time-consuming depending on the size of your freight.
Consider putting smaller packages and goods inside a pallet container. Unlike cardboard boxes and other disposable shipping materials, pallet containers are specially designed to fit onto a pallet, which takes the guesswork out of palletizing. Find a bulk pallet container that will hold several packages at once for easier shipping. This also reduces your dependence on shrink wrap.
So much goes into the palletizing process. Find pallets for sale that meet the needs of your facility. If you use a wide range of containers with different shapes and sizes, stock up on pallets with varying dimensions to move your inventory with more peace of mind.