Do I need to put my cargo on pallets?

Palletization is the act of shrink-wrapping loose cargo on top of pallets to improve the ease of handling, loading speed and cargo safety during the transport process.

To shield it from damage during transit, fragile cargo should be palletized.

For the destination warehouse to unload palletized cargo will be easier and faster, but pallets will affect the quantity of products you can ship. The transport mode of your shipment (FCL, LCL, Air) will also affect the palletization choice.

If your shipment goes to Amazon, see the criteria for Amazon’s palletization*. FCL If you ship FCL (full container load), you will have a full container to fill with your cargo. You will not be able to fit as many cartons if you choose to palletize your FCL shipment as pallets take up space in the box themselves. Palletized cargo, however, will be easier and faster to unload, as equipment can be used by the destination warehouse.

If you load a FCL shipment on the floor, you will have to unload the shipment by hand from the destination. It may take the warehouse longer to unload the shipment than the trucker is going to wait, so it won’t be possible to unload it live and the trucker will have to do a fall. Many warehouses may not allow a floor-loaded shipment at all, so check with your destination warehouse before you agree to palletize your FCL shipment or not.

LCL When shipping LCL (less than container load), high-value cargo palletization is recommended to minimise the risk of damage. Initial palletization will add to your freight costs due to the pallet’s extra weight. If you are looking for lower shipping costs, it is recommended to load the floor.

If it was not palletized at the origin, your LCL will be palletized at the destination. Once the shipment is deconsolidated at the CFS (container freight station), the CFS will palletize the cartons as truckers will not pick up floor-loaded cartons (except for cartons going via Fedex to Amazon). Palletization may incur an exchange fee for pallets, unless you use the LCL service provided by Prime Freight.

Air If you are shipping air, you may not be able to palletize your shipment because the pallets will take up too much of the aircraft’s limited space. If your cargo is unpalletized, the airline must accept your cargo’s weight and volume and load the aircraft accordingly. To ensure a safe flight, an unpalletized shipment may be split. Delayed flights are more likely to be split.

If your air cargo is palletized, the airline may allow a trucker to pick up the palletized cargo, or may require the airline to break down the pallets at the airport. Your Prime Freight team will keep you up to date on the airline’s requirements.

Note: If you know your shipment will be palletized, when you submit a quote request, enter the number and dimensions of the pallet.