FCL, or full container load, shipments are a popular and cost-effective way to ship large goods worldwide. An FCL shipment typically consists of one 20ft or 40ft shipping container filled with multiple items that require transport.
Depending on the size of the goods, an FCL shipment can include up to 10 pallets in its container. Correctly packing these pallets is critical in ensuring your goods’ safe arrival at their destination.
How to pack pallets for an FCL shipment
It is important to properly pack pallets for FCL shipments to ensure the safe transit of goods. FCL freight requires careful loading, blocking, bracing, and securing of items within the container. Using suitable materials and adequately navigating FCL packing regulations will ensure your pallets arrive securely at their destination.
Selecting the right pallet
The first step in packing FCL pallets is selecting the correct type for your needs. Pallets come in various sizes, materials, and grades, so it is essential to consider which will best suit your FCL shipment. A standard 40 “x48” wooden pallet is usually suitable, but dimensions may vary depending on the items you are shipping. The pallet should also be strong enough to securely hold the weight of its FCL shipment. Moreover, regulations also dictate that pallets should be free from hazardous material and feature four-way entry for easy handling.
Securing your goods FCL shipment
It is essential to secure loose items before loading them onto the pallet. Items should be wrapped or secured to the pallet with plastic or similar material and against any external forces that may affect them while in transit. It is also recommended to cushion items on the pallet by placing additional padding between layers of goods. Furthermore, the regulations require that any FCL shipment with hazardous materials be double-wrapped in plastic and labeled accordingly. Additionally, be sure to label items as “FRAGILE” if necessary.
Blocking and bracing
Once the pallet is loaded with goods, it should be blocked and braced to ensure stability. Blocking can be achieved using timber braces or wedges placed between layers of the cargo, while bracing involves securing the items against any movement within the container. It is essential to use suitable materials for blocking and bracing FCL shipments, such as plywood, plastic wedges, steel cables, or timber. Regulations require that the cargo be secured in a way that prevents movement within the container and cannot damage the pallet itself. Additionally, the blocking and bracing should leave enough space between the container walls and the cargo to allow for ventilation.
Wrapping the pallet FCL shipment
Wrapping the pallets is an essential step in the FCL packaging process. FCL freight should be securely wrapped with multi-layered stretch or shrink wrap, depending on the type of FCL shipment being sent. It is also essential to use a suitable wrapping machine to ensure that the pallets are sufficiently wrapped to secure the items and prevent them from moving in transit. FCL wrapping should also be done carefully, as the regulations require that FCL shipments are free from hazardous material. Furthermore, the pallets must be strapped or blocked at the edges to prevent any damage while in transit.
Securing the pallet
The pallet should be secured with suitable straps or ropes to prevent the items from shifting in transit. The straps can be made with either metal, plastic, or nylon, depending on the size and weight of the FCL freight being shipped. It is essential to use suitable tightened strapping to adequately secure the pallets and items. Regulations also require that the cargo is secured to the pallet according to the loading guidelines. Furthermore, the items should be adequately secured with corner boards, wedge blocks, or straps to ensure they do not move within the container during transit.
Labeling the pallet
It is essential to label the pallet and its contents before shipment. The labels must include the consignee’s name, address, contact information, and other necessary information relating to the FCL shipment. Furthermore, it is essential to properly label hazardous materials according to the regulations. It will ensure that all FCL shipments are correctly identified and can be easily tracked in transit. Also, labels should include the shipment weight, dimensions, and additional instructions for handling the pallet. Proper labeling is essential to ensure the efficient and safe transport of your FCL freight.