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Tips for Preparing Large Cargo Shipments

Shipping large cargo shipments to a central location is the first step in getting smaller shipments where they ultimately need to go. But getting large amounts of cargo where it needs to go while keeping the contents in good condition takes some forethought and care.

When shipments weigh more than 150 pounds they need to be packed correctly before they are sent off. This means choosing the right kind of shipping pallet, stacking boxes correctly, and seeing that they are securely wrapped before the big send off.

Loading the Pallet

Shipments that are between 151 pounds and 2200 pounds need to be loaded onto an approved pallet skid that has a jackable base that will allow it to be lifted by a forklift. In most cases, the dimensions of a skid should not exceed the dimensions of 70″ high, 119″ long, or 80″ wide. If more needs to be loads onto a pallet, either over 2200 pounds or larger dimensions, this will need prior approval.

If a specific piece is more than 150 pounds, extra care needs to be taken to see that it stays secure, and it should be strapped directly to the pallet with metal or unbreakable plastic straps, and these straps will need to be wrapped around the pallet on all sides, Containers made of metal, plywood, or other hardened material need an exterior lock or clamp, rather than being held closed with only glue, screws, or nails.

Stacking Boxes

Boxes on the pallet should be stacked in an interlocking fashion, aligning corners and edges in a way that sits securely on the pallet without hanging boxes over the edge. Stacking in a pyramid fashion leaves the boxes on the top of the pallet vulnerable to damage. Boxes can also be arranged in columns, created a top to bottom compression that strengthens the overall shipment.

Pallets to Choose, or Not

Not all shipping pallets are created equal. There’s a choice between standard wood pallets, wood pallets without bottom boards, block style pallets made from processed wood, plastic pallets, or corrugated pallets.

Good Options

Standard Wood Pallets

The standard wood pallets are among the most widely used and acceptable, however there is some concern over insect infestation, and international shipments may require that the wood be treated.

Plastic Pallets

Plastic pallets are also a good choice, with the biggest concern being that they may be slippery and are heavier than wood pallets. They also hold up better with multiple shipments, and are a good choice if you need to reuse your pallets.

Poor Options

Block Style Pallet

In Europe and Asia, many companies use a block style pallet. This looks much like a standard wood pallet, but it is made with processed wood rather than natural wood, and is not as sturdy and may be damaged during transport.

Wood Pallets Without Bottom Boards

These pallets  are not done yet. They may look fine standing on the ground empty, but won’t distribute weight evenly, and are prone to warping.

Corrugated Pallets

Some countries do not like wood pallets. To get around this, shippers use corrugated pallets that are lightweight and recyclable. The problem is these pallets can start to degrade during a shipment.

Making sure packages arrive at their intended destination as quickly as possible and in good condition is a concern with all large cargo shipments. International shipments in particular may make multiple stops along the way. JML serves as a shipping fulfillment company with locations in the Miami area and the British Virgin Islands, making it a prime spot for sending and receiving cargo throughout the United States and the Caribbean. We’ve provided these and many other services for more than a decade, including excellent customer service, customs clearance,  consolidation of air and sea freight and more.

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