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Supply chain businesses that work with a large number of plastic pallets should know how to stack and store pallets properly. It doesn’t just improve security and satisfy safety measures but also enhances productivity. When pallets are stacked correctly, it reduces the chances of any unfortunate accidents when lifting them with a forklift or jack.
Fortunately, there are various safety measures to comply with. That being said, the best storage methods largely depend on the type of stock you deal with, how frequently you require access to it, and the freight weight. In addition to this, the amount of storage space is equally important when considering various safety measures.
How To Determine The Best Pallet Stacking And Storage Solution
Stacking and storage of loaded pallets
When you work with perishable goods, food bye-products, and pharmaceuticals, how frequently the goods are needed have to be considered for loaded pallets.
Industries and factories that deal with perishable goods usually store old products on top of the new ones or avoid stacking upwards as a whole. This ensures that old stock is cleared out first, before the new stock and is known as the first in first out (FIFO) storage system.
Suppliers that do the opposite use the last in first out (LIFO) method where the pallets are stacked up, and the top racks are cleared out first.
With loaded pallets, the type of stock and when you need to access it is the biggest consideration.
For large warehouses and factories that deal with large quantities of products, pallet racking is the most obvious choice. There are various ways of racking pallets, some of which include:
- Single-depth racking.
- Double-depth racking.
- Conveyor belt flow racking.
- rive-in racking.
Using any of these methods is a good way to maximise the use of space in a factory. However, each system depends on the size, length, weight, and nature of the stacked products.
Depending on the racking method that best suits the kind of materials you deal with, the arrangement may follow a FIFO or LIFO process.
Block stacking involves stacking pallets on top of each other concisely. It’s usually no more than three units high and wide and the more affordable option, since it costs next to nothing to install and maintain racking.
You do have to ensure that the pallets at the bottom are rigid and sturdy enough to take the weight piled on top of them when stacking.
Additionally, the pallets at the top should be high-priority goods that need to be transferred first, so there won’t be any arrangement or access challenges.
Pallet Stacking Frames
Instead of using plastic pallet bins, or containers, pallet stacking frames have a very similar set-up to block-stacking, but with a mechanism that supports the weight.
This means the plastic pallet crates won’t take the direct weight of other containers that are piled on top.
Rather, each crate is usually placed on a sturdy iron frame with good weight retention capabilities.
Collapsible Pallet Crates
Shop owners and other smaller supply chain businesses could choose to invest in collapsible plastic crates that are light, durable, and great for storage.
As the name implies, collapsible pallets are extended to store both food and non-food items, and once the goods are cleared, they can be collapsed back into a flat crate and easily stored for future use.
And Storage For Unloaded Pallets
Pallet stacking in designated spaces might seem very straightforward. However, there are a number of critical measures to be considered when storing unloaded pallets.
There’s a stacking height that should not be exceeded. Stacking pallets too high becomes a hazard to anyone in the vicinity if they tip over..
It’s essential to organise pallets according to their types, and the materials they contain, so that they’re less likely to fall over.
Most manufacturers and suppliers don’t like to let go of cracked or damaged pallets; they prefer to manage them. While they may be manageable, they are still the ‘weakest link’ and could pose serious danger even when stacked on top.
Damaged wooden pallets that have nails or other sharp or cracked edges are even more dangerous when they fall.
As opposed to plastic pallets, wooden pallets are more susceptible to mould and mildew when exposed to wet weather conditions or humid warehouses.
Wood easily sucks in moisture, which doesn’t only make it heavier but also affects the quality. This can be a hindrance to meeting hygiene standards, especially when storing food-grade materials and pharmaceuticals.
The Department of Labour has set out certain guidelines that businesses must follow when storing wood or plastic pallets.
To reduce the risk of fire outbreaks, wooden pallets, in particular, have to satisfy the necessary guidelines, as they are more prone to fire risks.
For unloaded pallets, the materials used and the way they are stored are equally important.
Plastic pallets are a more reliable choice for economical, safety, and hygiene reasons, as they are inherently mould and pest resistant.
Additionally, they are more durable and less likely to have loose nails or splinters that can be extremely harmful.
With a wide range of options available, look no further for plastic pallets that meet your requirements and comply with standard safety measures.