Properly pack pallets for more efficient shipments


#1

We want to remind you to take care when you pack your pallets for your shipments. If you pack according to our recommendations, we can fit more inventory in each truck and process your shipments to fulfillment centers more efficiently.

We have two specific reminders:


  1. Build 50-inch stackable pallets. Pack stackable pallets no higher than 50 inches (45 inches for boxes and 5 inches for the pallet). Pallets of this height are the most space-efficient. Non-stackable pallets are less space-efficient.
  2. Stackable pallets must have flat tops. Ensure that stackable pallets have flat tops, which enables pallets to be stacked safely.

For additional details on these requirements, see Seller requirements for LTL, FTL, and FCL deliveries. For weight, dimension, and shipment packing requirements, see Shipping and routing requirements.


#2

Thought it was 72" high, not 50". Is this a new policy?


#3

50 inches is for stackable pallets.


#4

Pallets ideally have a pack height no higher than 50 inches (45 inches for boxes and 5 inches for pallet) and are stackable, as this is space efficient and maximizes trailer space. Non-stackable pallets cannot exceed 72 inches in height and are less space efficient.

Great care should be taken if you are near 50". It takes extra effort and $ to build a pallet that can hold another pallet on top of it.


#5

As someone who drove semi’s for 22 years the idea of someone with no experience in hauling freight building stackable pallets is terrifying. Can’t tell you how many loads I refused over the years because a quick glance could tell you before you were 2 hours down the road the bottom pallets would be crushing under the weight and the top pallets falling all over the place. then you wind up have load claims out the ying yang.


#6

How much effort and cost is it?


#7

Depends on your product. Something light like toilet paper just needs a lot of thick shrink wrap with a slip sheet on top. A heavy product needs a perfectly fitting double or triple wall box depending on the weight. These boxes can get expensive quick. Then shrink wrap them.


#8

Some of our stuff could be made stackable I think but I simply do not trust our ability to do that and the headaches doing it wrong would cause is unimaginable lol

Also when I checked partnered carrier rates changing from stackable to non-stockable i did not see any savings in shipping… so im not sure why I would choose to do stackable if there are no savings? Maybe I ran the partnered carrier rates wrong?


#9

One thing to keep in mind is the average semi can gross 80,000lbs. Empty average weight is about 30,000. The savings is more for light products that can double stacked that won’t make the truck overweight.

The main problem with double stacking comes from the medium weight stuff that volume and weight wise can be double stacked with out putting the truck overweight. Then as the truck starts going down the road every bump they hit is bouncing those pallets making all that weight compress the lower pallet. Acceleration, braking, emergency braking, tight turns on exit ramps, etc all work to compress and make the load start leaning all over the place. When the pallets on top start leaning it makes them nearly impossible to unload. if you try to pick up the whole unit from the bottom pallet it will fall over. Most facilities don’t have low profile forklifts so they can’t pick the top pallet inside the truck or the top of the fork guard will hit the roof of the semi trailer. This means it is hand unloading and re-stacking time. This obviously takes a huge amount of time and money. Most times the drivers will hire a lumping service for this and expect to pay $100-$300 depending on the product and about a full days loss of time and wages.

That’s why in my first comment I said I’ve turned down tons of loads that i knew would be trouble. Considering when I drove i would average $300 a day driving and zero, zippy, nada, when sitting still waiting to be loaded or unloaded. It was financially beneficial to sit a day waiting for another load then to lose a full day plus lumper fees and having half your load refused because of damage. Not to mention when you back up to dock with your load leaning all over the place the dock foreman will usually tell you to pull back off the dock and wait till they have time for you to be blocking their dock for 8 hours when average unloading time takes 15-20 minutes.


#10

Really interesting. Thanks for sharing.


#11

And who knows who’s pallet is going to be put on top of your pallet and how much it will weigh?


#12

Nice points raised by multiple folks, however here are my 2 cents:

  • There is no cost incentive in sending a stackable vs non-stackable pallet (I have tried at least a 100 times literally)
  • Even if a carrier is marked non-stackable, carriers tend to ignore and stack on top of it if they see it is less than 50 inches high. So we try to mark such pallets as do not double stack, however we still had a lot of damages. So now if possible and pallets are close to 50 inches, we place some empty boxes on top to make them higher than 50 inches. You have to be careful though because the Freight Class and hence your rate may change depending upon the weight of your merchandise

#13

This entire conversation is why we send 70" tall pallets. Mostly 36x8x8 boxes, two rows of boxes then a cardboard divider, repeat to 70" (7 rows tall). Corner guards with big red letters “DO NOT DOUBLE STACK”. Wrapped at least 3x and cross strapped with 1/2" strap. Then we add the big Orange and Black 8x12 sticker that says “DO NOT DOUBLE STACK”. We pay a few bits more but we have a near 0 defect on delivery rate.

Our drivers all love us - seriously - we take the gueswork out and make it impossible for someone to think they are doing anyone a favor with a double stack.

I was told once that Double Stacks are great if the whole load came from one factory/warehouse with one homogenous product. Not what we are sending in to FBA.


#14

I would think double stacking could lead to one persons product crushing another persons product.

I think 72" high would be the way to go but why not increase that height a bit?

Also amazon has a max case qty of 150. Does this mean I can only put 150 items to a pallet?

Doe’s anyone know if it is possible to put 200 items on a pallet and not have any cases?


#15

If the pallets are double stacked, does the 1500 lb per pallet limit still apply? Or is it 1500 total for both pallets?


#16

The words “do not stack” or “non-stackable” are not known or understood by carriers. They will stack whatever they want on whatever they want lol.

UPS Freight with roll up doors has a max height of 96" so if you stack two 50" pallets you’re SOL. FedEx freight is more forgiving.

If I were you I’d tell people to max out at 48" (including pallet).


#17

@tyler_d have you seen the videos of automated pallet handling? Amazon lists a max of 72" for a reason.

I have received double stacked pallets. What a mess!

Sorry @BeffJezos When we ship pallets it is on every carrier we use. Stack-able or not. We choose not!


closed #18

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