Transportation Tips: The impact of different loading styles

Many products are shipped and received by shipping container, also known as full truckload (FTL), or less than truckload (LTL) freight. Did you know that the difference in loading styles, it being floor loaded or palletized, has an impact on your e-commerce fulfillment costs? That’s why we are going to share with you what you need to know about floor loaded vs. palletized shipping for handling your goods. 

A floor-loaded container refers to contents being loaded directly into the floor of the container. Also known as floor stacking, this packing method’s objective is to fill the trailer from floor to ceiling. Meanwhile, Palletization is carried out by placing a set of boxes or products onto a pallet and is typically held together with plastic wrap or metal straps according to the product specifications. 

If you are looking to reduce freight shipping costs, a floor-loaded shipment is a way to go but have in mind the following: don’t ship fragile products. You save money by filling all the space and not paying to ship pallets but remember, this is best for heavy and bulky products that may suffer little or no damage during their journey and will require fewer containers to send the same amount of product. Another factor to consider is the increase in labor costs while optimizing space usage since loading and unloading by hand takes longer than using forklifts to handle pallets pre-assembled. 

 To make the best of floor loading we need thoughtful packing and practices. For example, a mixed shipment needs special attention when loading to make sure that heavier items go on the bottom. Although floor loading doesn’t involve plastic wrapping or strapping like palletization, containers do have straps or bars to hold items in place and avoid shifting that could damage your products during shipping.

Palletization is the most common unit for shipping freight around the world and it’s no wonder. This shipping method turns a batch of boxes into a large one, making it stronger than each box individually, making it secure for transporting your shipment. Another advantage of palletization it’s the elevation from the floor that is created by loading your products onto a pallet instead of letting them lay on the floor so if water were to find its way in, you would avoid getting damage as it crosses the ocean. 

Standardization of pallet sizes is key to fitting them perfectly into containers and handling them for loading and unloading. You can use pallets to ship full containers of products as well as FTL and LTL freight.

Just as in loaded shipping, it’s important to use the same principle of loading heavier boxes on the bottom if your pallet contains a mix of items. Also, plan ahead before packing and consider loading evenly so you don’t have more weight on one side of the pallet than the other.

Here are more tips for palletization shipping: 

  • Center boxes overboard gaps of your pallet to avoid tipping or slipping.
  • Keep the footprint of your load within the pallet edges.
  • Stack your items close together, and avoid leaving space between boxes.
  • Wrap your load securely with plastic so your loose boxes become a single unit that can survive a long journey without avoiding any kind of damage.
  • Prioritize building a square load when possible.
  • Avoid adding empty boxes to a pallet which could collapse and endanger the whole load. If it’s necessary to add an extra box to fill out your shape, pack it tightly with infill.

Palletization is an excellent choice for e-commerce shipping for 3PL, processing inbound shipments are done quickly without processing more charges. You won’t have anything to worry about in multi-modal journeys because your items will be secure with the structure of palletization. 

However, floor-loaded containers could be better for the following reasons:

  • Shipping is expensive so optimizing space by filling a container completely can mean saving but these may be used for additional labor costs for loading and unloading. 
  • If your items are bulky and durable, stacking them is a great option especially if they can’t be easily boxed

Loaded or palletized, G-Global is here to serve and meet your demand. We’d love to talk and hear the challenges you are facing, our teams are ready to develop strategies and choose the right methods for your supply chain. Learn how G-Global can help you today at g-global.com/contact 

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Start growing your business today with the support of our experts in logistics.