… START WITH PROPER PALLET STABILITY!

How do you transport thousands of bottles of soft drinks so they arrive
safely at their destination without any damage? The answer is simple: proper pallet stability.

When a load is unstable, all kinds of things can go wrong. For example when
a driver has to brake suddenly, take a sharp curve or has to swerve, the load
can shift and fall over, or even worse, fall off the truck. With unstable pallets
you run a high risk of damage and consequently loss of value.

The figures do not lie: some four percent of palleted products arrive at
their destination in a damaged condition. Each year, hundreds of millions
of products are rejected in Europe due to damage. And manufacturers have
to write off the goods that become damaged because they were incorrectly
wrapped. So proper pallet stability is an important subject.

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    HOW TO KEEP A LOAD UPRIGHT

    Load stability comprises several levels. The pallet itself must meet certain conditions and
    the pallets must be packaged. It is also important for the loads to be fixed to the pallet so
    that the pallet and the load always form a single unit. In this respect it is also important to
    pay attention to aspects such as the type of load and the products to be wrapped. How are
    the products packaged? How do you fasten them so that everything stays on the pallet?
    Another factor is the means of transport used to convey the load. What is the means of
    transport? What kind of supporting equipment is available for this purpose? Things that
    come to mind for example include tension belts and anti-slip mats in a truck.

    A stable load is important, because a pallet is subjected to significant forces during
    transport. In case of an emergency stop, these forces can be as high as 0.8 g. The
    g-force also comes into play in sharp turns, and can reach up to 50 percent of the weight.


     

    PACKAGING IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EUMOS GUIDELINES

    The best way of achieving pallet stability is by using stretch film. Today, more than 80
    percent of the pallet loads in Europe are packaged this way. This, as well as packaging
    products in accordance with the EUMOS guidelines, is why stretch films and wrapping
    machines have undergone major improvements in recent years.


    The EUMOS regulations were introduced in 2014 with the objective of reducing the
    number of traffic accidents caused by unstable loads. In 2018, the regulations were
    refined and now subject the transport of palleted goods within the EU to even higher
    demands. The guidelines specify the forces a load must be able to withstand. Violating
    the guidelines can result in high fines.

    EUMOS shifts the responsibility for securing a load from the driver to the shipper and
    even to the packer. It is difficult for a driver to individually secure a thousand bottles of
    soft drinks. It is far easier to secure a clear-cut number of pallet loads. In case of damage,
    one of the first questions often asked is whether the bottles could stay upright in the
    first place.

    Many packers, and increasingly more often the producers of the load, opt for highquality
    stretch film with well-documented mechanical properties. They adjust their
    wrapping machines on the basis of these properties and have their pallet load stability
    certified in accordance with the EUMOS guidelines.


     

    STRETCH FILM PLAYS AN INCREASINGLY MORE IMPORTANT ROLE

    This means that the role of wrapping film is becoming increasingly more important. The
    film must have high tear resistance, so that the film does not break during the pallet
    wrapping process, and also does not break due to sharp edges or corners. In addition, the
    film must prevent pressure-sensitive loads from being compressed during the wrapping
    process.

    This is even more important, because nowadays companies often make the primary
    and secondary packaging even thinner. This causes the fundamental strength of the
    packaging system to decrease, which in turn increases the chance of damage. While
    this does not seem very sensible, it is nevertheless understandable. Retailers want to
    reduce the inconvenience caused by packaging to a minimum because it slows down the
    shelf restocking process. One consequence of this is that shrink wrap is no longer used.
    However, this also means that bottles and jars can move separately. To then prevent
    the products from breaking, the presence and quality of the tertiary packaging, such as
    wrapping film, becomes even more important.

    While stretch film is not the most essential element, it often is a company’s last effort to
    ensure the safe transport of its product. And with the right stretch film, the load sits stable
    on the pallet. That means less damage and products that arrive safely and on time at their
    destination.
    That means less damage and products that arrive safely and on time at their destination. If you would like to know how we can help you with proper pallet stability, then please contact us.