Whether you're just entering the wholesale market or you're new to retail sales in general, one of the things that you need to consider is how you're going to get your pallets shipped without the risk of damage. One of the best ways to do this is by using a pallet wrapping machine from a place like Fox Packaging Services. It eliminates the human element from the process to ensure greater consistency and protection. The downside is that your warehouse staff may start to lose some of their carefully refined wrapping skills due to automation. Encourage them to wrap pallets manually at least a few times a month to help keep their skills sharp. Here's what to watch for as you evaluate their performance.
Make Sure The Boxes Fit
When stacking boxes for palletized shipping, it's essential that the boxes are the proper fit for the pallet that they are sitting on. There should be no box edges hanging off the pallet because you won't be able to wrap those edges securely, nor will the edges of the boxes be protected. If you want to be sure that your products arrive undamaged, keep the box edges inside the edge of the pallet's boundaries. It's equally important that the pallet not be much larger than the boxes because then you risk tearing the pallet wrapping on the edge of the pallet. This could tear the plastic, weakening the integrity of the wrap.
Position The Boxes Close Together
The closer you can pack the boxes, the better. Make sure that the boxes are positioned so that they are tight together with no gaps or overhangs. That means stacking all similar sized boxes whenever possible. Keeping everything tight protects the boxes from shifting around inside the wrapping.
Wrap Things Up
Start by putting the wrap on the manual wrapper. It should be positioned on the spindle, then secured with the locking screw. Some models even feature a retention plate to offer more support to hold the roll in place. Make sure that everyone understands that they must use the wand at all times to wrap the boxes, otherwise the plastic won't unroll as evenly. You don't want loose wrapping, so make sure that they are pulling the wrap tight.
Start the wrap at the base of the pallet, then stretch it completely around until you've covered all four pallet sides. Twist the very end of the plastic into a tight, thick rope shape. Tuck that around the corner of the pallet. Pull the plastic wrap down over the side of the pallet until it covers halfway down the pallet itself. From there, work up the pallet, covering all of the boxes. Repeat this until everything is covered in two to three layers of pallet wrap, all pulled tightly against the boxes.
Make Sure The Packaging Is Stable
After you're done wrapping the pallet, check the boxes. If the stack isn't as tightly secured as you'd like it to be, this is the time to fix it. Work your way back down the pallet with the wrap, pulling it as tight as possible around the pallet as you go. When finished, cut the plastic wrap, wrap the end into a rope like you started with and tuck it under the layer of plastic to keep it secure.
Manual pallet wrapping is an important skill for every new hire to learn before you provide them with an automated pallet wrapper. Training everyone on manual wrapping also ensures that you have staff who can step up when you need help during periods of peak orders, particularly during the holiday season.