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  • Illustration loading unit and pallets

    Step 2: Load

    Any package weighing more than 30 kg is considered a heavy load and must be packed in a reinforced cardboard or wooden box on a base or pallet that will allow for it to be handled automatically. Pallets are the most commonly used standard loading base for transporting consolidated shipments by road.

    Types and features of pallets

    Illustration of a wooden pallet


    Strong, suitable for heavy goods. Reusable. Easily available and cheaper than plastic. If the shipment is international, make sure that the wood is treated and complies with the specifications for the destination country. Make sure that the bottom of the pallet is reinforced in order to increase its stability.

    Illustration of a plastic pallet


    High loading capacity and anti-slip surface. It does not weigh a lot. Resistant to moisture and corrosion. More expensive than wooden pallets.

    Illustration of a cardboard pallet


    Lightweight. 100% recyclable. Single-use. It is not suitable for heavy goods or wet places. Cheap.

    Using standard pallets is the way to avoid supplements for items with surplus volume. Standard pallets are considered to be those that do not exceed 120 cm in size on any of its sides.

    However, in order to make better use of the available space, the need arose to normalize the measurements of European pallets, which are also known as Euro-pallets or EPAL, by way of standard UNE-EN 13698-1 with measurements of 1200 x 800 mm. Such a pallet weighs approximately 25 kg and can bear loads of up to 1,500 kg.

    Illustration of a the measurements of an Euro-pallet

    Illustration of a pallet tower nearby skyscraper

    How high is the tallest tower ever built from pallets?

    Answer: 47,4 m.

    In the following you can find out how to stack pallets correctly.

    How to stack pallets

      • This will maintain the structural strength and avoid the contents from being squashed. Suitable for general use with mixed goods.
      • Load the pallet from corner to corner taking advantage of the entire pallet base surface. 

      Illustration of stacking pallets in column

      • When the contents of the box are sturdy, this will improve the stability of the loading unit.
      • Not suitable for loads with content that is not sturdy, as the edges of the boxes bear more pressure, thus limiting the resistance of the boxes. 

      Illustration of in-line stacking

      • Pyramid stacking makes the top uneven. It can give rise to damage and could lead to supplement fees.
      • To create a flat top section, use empty boxes to fill the gaps on the top of the pallet or transport the extra boxes separately. 

      Illustration of pyramid stacking

      • Do not stack items on the pallet with any overhanging edges. That is the main cause for damage during handling and transport due to it being exposed to abrasion from other goods.
      • Loading oversized boxes limits their structural resistance by around 30%.

      Illustration of stacking pallets with overhang

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