Basic Pallet Stacking - Guest Post by Jodie

Paul's picture

I asked Jodie, our awesome Warehouse Manager here at GTG, to write up a few blog posts on topics in which she has expertise. This first post will be incredibly useful to anyone first starting out dealing with freight shipments, whether to distributors or trade shows.


This is a how-to on basic pallet wrapping.  There’s a lot more that you can go into on the details on types of supplies etc., but we’re going to stick with the basics of what you need to do to help ensure that a freight shipment on a pallet makes it from point A to point B safely.

What You’ll Need:

  • A standard pallet (typically 48x40”)
  • Pallet wrap (I use 18”)
  • Packing tape
  • Top sheets


The Process:

Take your pallet and stack your freight so it’s centered on the pallet minimizing the extra edges and corners.  The ideal shape for shipping is to stack your freight shipment so that it’s box shaped.  

Once it’s stacked, place your top sheet so it hangs off all sides roughly evenly.

IMPORTANT: If you plan to ship a packing list (and many receiving companies expect one), place it under the top sheet before you continue.

Now you’re ready to start wrapping!  Take your pallet wrap and run it through your hands to make it roughly rope shaped.  Then, thread it through the pallet, tie it in a knot two times, and tuck it into the wrap you threaded through the pallet so it doesn’t get snagged.

From there, loosely wrap the wood of the pallet in two layers of pallet wrap to anchor the freight to the pallet, like so.

Then start wrapping the freight by loosely walking the wrap to the corner of the pallet, then tightly pulling it around the corner.  Do this all the way around your freight and repeat re-wrapping about 50% of the previous layer until you get to the top.  Wrap over the hanging pieces of the top sheet, then over the top corners of the freight to secure it.  Wrap the top corners two times then start wrapping back down the freight.

Once you get about half-way back down the freight with the wrap, go around a corner, pull the wrap extra tight around the next corner, pin the wrap to the freight with your body, and put the tip of your finger through the top of the wrap so you can tear it off the roll easily.  When you’ve done that, it should look like this.

Tape down the loose end you’ve created, and tape the pallet wrap at the top of your freight to the top sheet.  Inspect your wrapping and if there are any snags, holes, or other loose ends, tape those down too.

Once your freight is fully wrapped, be sure to tape the address and number of pallets where it’s plainly visible to the freight carrier.  We tend to put the destination address on all four sides of the freight and on the top.  

Because we ship products that can’t hold extra weight on top of them, we put “DO NOT DOUBLE STACK” stickers on two sides and a “NO STACK” cone on top of our freight before shipping.  We’ve had issues with certain carriers damaging our products when we used to do less.  If you’re not going to mark your pallet as not stackable, I’d suggest using a freight carrier that will insure your products for their cost.

Wrap Up:

Once your freight is wrapped, use this formula to estimate the shipping weight: Shipping weight = weight of the product + the boxes they’re in + 30lbs. for the pallet.

If you don’t have a loading dock, your shipment will need lift-gate pickup, which costs extra because the truck has to be equipped to do it.

When scheduling pick-up, give the carrier the biggest range of time you can for the pick-up.  If they can’t make it during the time you offer them, they may push your pickup to the next day (or even the day after that).


arenson9's picture

Fun read!

Powerhound_2000's picture

Yep I remember doing similar when I worked in a warehouse for a while

Beckyzoole's picture

Wrap-up? groooooaaaaaannnnn

(Great post, BTW. Useful and entertaining!)

dpt's picture

You don't do the thing with stacking every other layer rotated the other direction, so you don't have seams running through the stack?

And what's the purpose of loosely walking to the corner, then pulling it tight? What's wrong with keeping it tight all the time?

Ivory Maxwell's picture

Thanks a lot for sharing this post. Walk into any warehouse, manufacturing, or retail facility, and pallets are hard to miss. Strewn here and stacked there, these denizens of industrial space are part of the transportation and logistics clutter that often goes unseen. Without the pallet there is a clear void in the warehouse and the supply chain. For such a simple piece of equipment, it stirs rabid debate and attracts a lot of interest, often after the fact and for the wrong reasons. When materials handling systems fail, or pallets fall apart with contents in tow, shippers and consignees take note.

Your wordings are good but it’s too lengthy. I read this for 2 days, I don’t have the high vocab memory. This is the type of content is worth. Check this online store of artic rugs and you’ll find rugs at the best selling price. Everybody is running after it.