To Palletise or Not: Helping Your Customers Pack Cargo


When it comes to shipping, a lot of people still know little about the intricacies of this industry. Some don’t know what hull and machinery insurance is all about or why one cargo needs so many documents to be taken care of before it’s allowed on board.

Another detail about shipping that a lot of customers need some help with is how to package their cargo. Some often exhibit a bemused look when freight forwarders ask them if they want their cargo palletised or not.

What is palletisation?

Simply put, palletisation is when you shrink-wrap cargo and place it on top of pallets before you load them onto the container of a truck. It’s easier to handle palletised loads because the pallets can carry several items and there are loading machines that can remove them from containers more quickly.

But, you should know that if you use pallets, this means that you’ll be adding those items to your overall load. So, say, you’re loading 100 items plus the pallets into a container that can only carry exactly 100 items, then you won’t be able to load all of your products.

The pallets can take up a lot of space, so including them in your cargo means you’ll have to adjust the number of items you can load into a container.


What is FCL?

Full Container Load (FCL) means that you’ll fill up a whole container with cargo. If you’re going to do this, you need to decide which one would be better: palletised load or not palletised.

Remember that if you use pallets, you’ll take up more space in the container. But, you should first consider the destination of your shipment if the people there are amenable to unloading the cargo by hand.

If you’re not going to use pallets, then that means the cargo will be unloaded one by one, which will take some time for the people in your destination. On top of that, you might have to pay your trucker at your destination extra because they might have to wait for a long time until your shipment has been unloaded into the warehouse.

So, before you decide to palletise or not your shipment, coordinate with the people receiving your cargo first. Check with them what would be more convenient for them and then you can decide on how to pack your cargo.

What is LCL?

Meanwhile, Less than Container Load (LCL) means your cargo won’t fill up the container. If you’re going to use LCL, it also means that other cargo will share the container with your items. So, in order to protect your shipment, it would be better to palletise your load.

If you choose to transport your cargo by plane, chances are they will ask you not to palletise your items because they will take up too much space. But, there are some airlines that do allow palletised cargo into their planes.

Now that you know everything there is to know about palletised cargo, you’ll be in a better position to decide how you would want the cargo to be shipped. And the more details you know about how shipping works, the lesser chances you’ll make a mistake that can cost you a fortune.


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