The goal when stacking pallet loads is to create the most uniform shape possible, so the products are easy to stretch wrap or strap together. Unfortunately, you can’t always get the perfectly shaped pallet with nice clean edges. Sometimes items will jet out from the main section and cause some concern for load security. That’s why packaging professionals have been classifying loads in three different profiles to help decide which materials should be used to properly secure the pallet. Here are the 3 pallet load types you need to know if you work in the packaging industry.
Pallet Load Type A
Type A pallet loads are considered the easiest to wrap. They are almost the perfect configuration of boxes or cartons to create a uniform shape. The load is lined up perfectly with the pallet where there is little to no gaps from the base of the load to the edge of the pallet. The uniform horizontal and vertical edges make wrapping or strapping the pallet easier because there are few sections that will cause your stretch film to tear or your strapping to break. These loads generally require lower gauges of stretch film or lightweight strapping materials. Polypropylene strapping might work well for A-type pallets if the load is lightweight or compressible.
Pallet Load Type B
Type B pallet loads are less uniform compared to type A loads, but still pretty even in shape overall. The base of B-type loads might be larger than the pallet size, which makes them a bit difficult to wrap. They will likely have a few more edges poking out that can cause stretch wrap or strapping to tear or break. If stacked efficiently, they can still be fairly easy to wrap, you’ll just need a higher gauge of stretch film or a stronger strapping material to prevent load failure. Your basic stretch wrap or polypropylene strapping would likely not work for this type of load, especially if it’s on the heavier side.
Pallet Load Type C
Type C pallet loads are the least uniform in shape, and they are also considered the most difficult to stretch wrap or strap. These loads feature numerous sections where irregular or sharp edges poke out from the overall shape. This makes it extremely difficult to secure because the risk of stretch wrap tearing or straps breaking is high. Most places will avoid packaging loads with this profile if possible, but in some cases, it is necessary for businesses to stack loads this way. C-type loads require the strongest packaging materials in order to remain secure during shipping or storage. When this pallet load profile appears, you should break out a higher gauge stretch film that can handle the weight and the shape of the products. If you are using strapping, you would want to choose polyester or steel strapping, depending on the type of products and the required holding power.
These 3 pallet load types are recognized by packaging professionals in every section of the industry, from the warehouse manager to the packaging engineer. They help you quickly identify the need for stronger or weaker packaging materials and can allow you to quickly select supplies for your specific application. Of course, other factors like the type of products being stacked and the weight of the finished pallet will come into play, but knowing these 3 load profiles gives you an ideal starting point for your packaging operations.