International ocean cargo shipping has its advantages and disadvantages, but when used wisely it can be your main and most useful method for overseas shipping. Shippers have to decide on the way they want to prepare their cargo so it can be safe from harm during the trip. The following tips will help establish how that can be done using pallets and why:
TIP #1 – USE STANDARD PALLETS & STACKING SIZES
When your cargo is being palletized, the shipping boxes will be stacked on a pallet in a pattern that allows the most boxes to fit within a reasonable set of dimensions. They may be stacked up to five feet high, but should not exceed sixty inches total.
Once the whole set of boxes is shrink-wrapped with plastic film, it will be safe and ready for transport. The standard-sized US pallet has the following dimensions: 48″x 40″x 6″ or 1.2 x 1.0 x 0.15m.
The international ocean cargo industry allows different sizes, but you should remember that forklifts can handle pallets of certain sizes, so there should be at least a minimum clearance they can work with safely. This is the reason why you should stick to the standard size when possible so things can be handled with greater ease and safety.
Pallets exceeding the previously mentioned dimensions as well as the safe limits of weight may need special approval before they’re shipped.
TIP #2 – CHECK WOOD SHIPPING REGULATIONS
Keep in mind that there are still restrictions for wooden packing in some countries, so you will need to check for such before you decide to ship your cargo. This will save you many headaches down the line.
TIP #3 – PROPERLY LABEL PALLETIZED BOXES
You should label every single box and unit within the pallet you’re planning to ship.
Remove or cross out the old labels and you will succeed in making sure there will be no mistakes, even if something unexpected happens. This will help your cargo be recognized even if the pallet breaks down and gets spilled during accidents.
Label at least both sides of the pallet for greater ease and include the ocean carrier’s booking number as well as the contact information of the consignee. You should not write anything mentioning commodity on your shipping boxes. You will describe that in the shipping documents, which will be submitted to the shipping company itself.
TIP #4 – EVENLY STACK BOXES
When it comes to stacking and loading, always remember to stack the boxes evenly and squarely from corner to corner.
Never allow boxes to hang from the pallet or else you’ll have great trouble fitting them in their place.
TIP #5 – MAKE PALLETS STACKABLE
Make sure you keep the top of the pallet flat so there will be less damage to the boxes when and if stacked on top of each other. This will keep things better organized, but is also largely dependent upon the nature of the cargo being shipped.
TIP #6 – REINFORCE BOXES
You can put some fiberboard between the boxes if you’re worried they may get crushed during transport. This will require some skillful stacking. Just make sure you do things right before you ship.
TIP #7 – PROTECT YOUR CARGO FROM THE ELEMENTS
You can cover the top of the pallet with a plastic film so it will be protected from the elements when it’s outside. It requires a small bit of work, but if it becomes part of the packing routine, then it will greatly improve the odds of your cargo surviving such conditions without damage.
TIP #8 – SECURE PALLETS
You must keep in mind that you need to really secure the pallets.
This can be done with a good, 70-gauge stretch wrap that passes through the bands and the voids around the pallet. You can also use rayon, nylon, steel, polypropylene or polyester to band the cargo.
Make sure you use shock absorbers or cushioned pallets for sensitive cargo.