Nowadays pallets constitute the basis of functioning of almost every warehouse and transport company. When they are incorrectly stacked, it may expose the entrepreneur to serious consequences.
However, we should start with the answer to another important question. Which pallets to choose in order to use them most effectively. There are three things to consider: pallet dimensions, materials and quality. This last feature may even be the most important in this comparison. A flimsy pallet can put at risk both the goods stacked on it and the health and lives of workers in the vicinity. Therefore, it is best to buy so-called europallets, as they come from licensed manufacturers and are adjusted to European standards. In Poland, their quality is supervised by the Polish Association of Europallet Manufacturers (Ogólnopolski Związek Pracodawców Producentów Europalet) which is a part of the European EPAL organisation. You should therefore make sure that this mark is on the pallets you buy, otherwise they should not be allowed for use. EPAL” should be printed on the left corner of the pallet, and “EUR” on the right – on the right corner. Europallets are open pallets. In addition to these, there are closed pallets, which are usually used in the UK, and four-piece Stringer pallets and two-piece Bearer block pallets – both of which are used in America, Africa and Asia.
Once you’ve made sure they meet safety standards, you should think about what size pallets would be best. There are three standardized sizes available: 800 × 600 mm, 800 × 1200 mm, 1000 × 1200 mm, and 1200 × 1200 mm. If traditional wooden pallets do not suit your needs, you can also think about plastic or metal pallets. The former are more susceptible to damage. However, they are also much lighter and easy to keep clean, which is why they are often used in the food industry. Metal pallets, on the other hand, are the most durable of all. Metal pallets are the most durable of all, and can be used to transport pre-assembled components, making them ideal for the automotive and steel industries.
Stackability is one of the biggest advantages of using pallets. It is nothing more than stacking pallets on top of each other. This saves a great deal of space. Anyone who has ever played Jenga knows that these types of towers can easily collapse. So you have to stack them carefully, following some rules. First of all, make sure that the center of gravity of the pallet is as close as possible to its center. Besides, such a construction made of pallets must be placed evenly. Even very evenly – the permissible deviation here is only 2%. The height of the piled pallets should not be exaggerated either, and they should be laid using the “overlapping” method. A special spacer should be placed every few layers to stabilize the construction. Make sure that the goods will not fall off the pallets. To do this, they can be wrapped in stretch film, banded, or special shrink film hoods can be used.
The weight and height of stacked pallets, however, are not clearly defined. Certainly the nominal pallet capacity should not be exceeded. Instructions for storing goods on pallets in accordance with the regulations should be drawn up by the entrepreneur himself.
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